A mesothelioma diagnosis can leave patients and their families reeling; it can seem all but impossible to think of anything besides tests, symptoms and treatments. However, once you recover from the shock of the diagnosis, focusing on how you can best care for yourself should be a priority.
What is self-care?
The term self-care may sound like something young people talk about on social media or a way to explain away indulgence. But the fact is that self-care is a very real approach to coping with the incredible strain we experience due to circumstances like a severe illness.
Self-care can help you manage your mental and physical health, and it can have benefits for those who prioritize it.
For some people, self-care means a day at the spa or taking a vacation. However, self-care is not something that needs to be lavish or expensive; it should be something that improves a person’s mental well-being.
For instance, some examples of what self-care might look like in the aftermath of a mesothelioma diagnosis include:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating well
- Practicing yoga or other meditative methods
- Making meaningful connections with loved ones
- Engaging in enjoyable hobbies
- Doing volunteer work for an organization you support
These smaller but more manageable tasks can bring happiness and relief to you and those around you. And they can be easier to accomplish, even when your symptoms prevent you from exerting yourself too much.
What are the benefits?
If you have mesothelioma, you may be battling significant stress, depression and upsetting physical ailments. Self-care can help you by alleviating your stress and helping you develop or reinforce your coping mechanisms. You may also have more energy and focus, which can improve your overall health.
Diagnoses and treatments for mesothelioma take a tremendous toll on people. And while you may be undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or radiation to treat this illness, the things you do for yourself can also play essential roles in your condition and prognosis.