I didn’t have an official “Coping Plan” to navigate and manage my cancer journey. My quest to embrace various aspects of healing resulted in a subconscious plan that allowed me to cope.
Knowing what I do now, I highly recommend creating a personal coping plan for yourself.
It will give you a sense of control, occupy your mind with something other than worry, and set you up with tools for success.
Consider what you can control that is integral to health and wellness, for your body and mind. Four main categories come to mind: diet, sleep, movement and mindfulness. When managed with intention, they will positively impact our body and mind.
Diet - focus on nutrient dense, unprocessed food. Feed your body quality nutrients so it is fueled to function optimally. This can be a challenge during treatment when you don’t feel well enough to eat. What I did was supplement with Boost protein drinks when I couldn’t handle much. On days when I was feeling ok, I made sure to eat as much as I could because I knew there would be days when I didn’t consume anything to balance it out.
Sleep - a restorative power that boosts your immune system. Set up a nighttime routine to get in the habit of training your brain to sleep. Maybe it’s a hot bath, watching a tv show, reading a book, meditating...prime yourself with routine and ritual. If insomnia is an issue, speak to your doctor to find a way to help get rest. Take naps and don’t feel guilty.
Movement - will help reduce stress. It may be low intensity some days, just a walk or gentle yoga session. Maybe other days it’s hitting the gym or a bike ride. It’s important to listen to your body and check with your doctor about any exercise program. But even just getting outside for a breath of fresh air is a place to start.
Mindfulness - embrace it all. Your mind is a powerful tool at your disposal and is always with you. Tuning into your spirituality through gratitude, meditation, and living in the present moment will bring peace.