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Stress management

Stress Management

A cancer diagnosis may add stress to your life. This stress may be the result of many changes including loss of control over events in your life, uncertainty about the future and anxiety concerning the treatment regime. Many women have said that stress was a major factor in their life before being diagnosed with breast cancer. At this stage we don't know whether stress is a major risk factor but we do know that stress does suppress the immune system.


Learning to manage stress is an important part of the healing process. Here are some ways to reduce stress and get control over your life.

  • Talk about your feelings. Don't bottle them up inside. This may be with your partner, close friends, a support group or a psychotherapist.
  • Create space for mental, physical and emotional relaxation in your life.
  • Get practical help with housework, chores and childcare.
  • Restructure your priorities and simplify your life.
  • Here are some techniques that may be useful: meditation, yoga, visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing.
  • Take frequent naps to rest your body and mind.
  • Live in the present moment. Take one day at a time.
  • Don't allow yourself to worry about things that may never happen.
  • Don't pressure yourself to feel positive all the time. There may be times that tears flow and you feel sad or down.
  • Enhance the quality of your life by doing activities that bring you pleasure
  • Pet therapy, a dog or cat helps to reduce stress.
  • If walking makes you feel more relaxed, walk every day.
  • Massage, aromatherapy or reflexology but check with your doctor first
  • Spending time with people you enjoy
  • Take up creative and absorbing activities such as painting, gardening, reading and crafts.
  • Laugh a lot. Humour reduces stress.
  • Cut down on tea, coffee, alcohol and caffeine based drinks. Try replacing them with herbal infusions ofd chamomile, lemon balm or lime flowers.
  • Try to cut down on hours spent at work.
  • Do what you want more. Say NO

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