Mental Health - Lets Fuck Cancer

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A caregiver’s guide to

Mental Health

When your loved one has cancer, your mental health can take a serious hit. Oftentimes, caregivers are so focused on the patient that they don’t pay enough attention to their own mental health. We’re here to remind you that your mental health is important. You can’t take care of someone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

Coping with your loved one’s cancer

So, WTF does mental health actually mean? It’s your psychological, emotional, and social well-being. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to how you cope with your loved one’s diagnosis and the impact it has on your day-to-day life. We’re definitely not here to tell you how to feel about cancer and its impact on you, but we have put together a few tools you can lean on when you’re going through it. Give one or all of them a try if you’re feeling stressed, depressed, or emotionally a mess.

Journaling

Writing down your thoughts and feelings is proven to help you process what you’re going through, improve sleep, and reduce anxiety. There’s no right or wrong way to journal, the only key is consistency. So whether you journal once a month or once a day, get in a routine. You can use a notebook, do one-line-a-day style, or start a blog.

Meditation

Ok, hear us out – we know how it sounds, but there’s a lot of research to back it up. Meditation brings you to a place of active awareness about what your body and mind are feeling. This can help you gain perspective, understand your thoughts, and boost your mood. There are a lot of different kinds of meditation, but meditation apps and YouTube are great places to find what fits you best.

Sleep

It’s really important and usually the last thing to be prioritized. It improves your mood, clears your mind, and reduces stress. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a day to function at their best. So while we understand that the stress of caregiving can wreak havoc on your sleep, try to prioritize staying on a schedule with it.

Laughter

We believe that when you’ve lost your sense of humor, you’ve lost it all. Laughter really is a powerful stress-relief medicine. The short and long-term effects of laughter have been proven to boost mood, relieve tension, and improve your immune system among other things. So whether you’re getting your laughs from a friend, a comedy special, or finding the funny in an awkward moment, embrace it.

Exercise

We get it, sometimes the last thing you want or, feel like you have time to do, is work out. But exercise is a great way to force some endorphins when you might need them most. Whether it’s stretching, dancing, walking, or running, movement is good for your mind and your mood.

Getting Support

Your People

It’s super important to have your own support system in place when you’re helping your loved one through cancer. Your people are your greatest asset and you’re going to need them to make you laugh, listen to you vent, or help take your mind off the day-to-day pressures you’re facing.

Therapy

Even if you’ve never seen a therapist before, talking to a mental health professional can be very helpful. They’re basically a third party that is always on your side and has to listen to whatever you say….who doesn’t want that?!

Support Groups

Finding a caregiver support group of people who are going through a similar experience can be very comforting. Support groups are offered online and in person, so find the group that works best for you. Check out our caregiver support group here.

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