Why a Healthy Social Life Is Good for Cancer Patients
Humans are naturally social beings, and being around others is a normal part of day to day living. But when someone gets diagnosed with cancer, there comes a powerful feeling of being alone, and there is a tendency for a patient to shut off from social interactions. However, scientists and doctors agree that maintaining a healthy social life is a crucial component in a patient’s survival.
Combatting depression while undergoing cancer treatment
It is normal to feel depressed after cancer diagnosis and while undergoing cancer treatment. Every person has his or her unique way of dealing with stress, but it is important to keep loved ones and friends around. According to an article published in the Psycho-Oncology journal, depression, along with a lack of social interactions, are critical contributors to the severity of cancer symptoms. Therefore, it is best for a cancer patient to combat loneliness and lack of a healthy social life while battling the disease.
How to maintain a healthy social life during cancer treatment
One of the difficulties with maintaining a healthy social life is that during treatment, you will not be strong enough to handle overwhelming stimuli. That is why many cancer patients prefer to be alone during treatment and shut out almost any kind of interaction with the outside world.
- Figure out what works for you. Going through cancer treatment does not mean you have to give up all the activities you love. However, if it involves rigorous physical exertion, you may need to consult your oncologist to verify if it is safe. Generally, if your body can handle it, then it is likely good for you. For example, if you used to do yoga, you can continue participating by toning down the difficulty level.
- Communicate with people. At times when you feel too weak to leave the house, you can still socialize and communicate using digital channels. You can join a support group through a cancer app that connects people who are going through the same ordeal under one platform.
- Maintain your relationship with friends. Even though your friends may not know exactly how you feel, they can be an excellent support system for you in helping you feel a sense of normalcy. Do not push them away or shut them out because you do not want them to see you vulnerable. Your close friends will not only bring joy to your life but also help you maintain a positive attitude towards the situation.
- Try something new. If your physical capacity is limited because of treatment, you can start exploring new activities to combat depression. For example, you can take up painting or gardening while you stay at home. You do not need to exert yourself too much to find something that you enjoy. It is even better if you can share these activities with people you love such as your family.
In dealing with cancer, you need to continue self-love. Do not be too hard on yourself and keep negative feelings away by maintaining an active and happy social life.