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5 Self-Care Tips to Help You Care for Yourself After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

breast cancer self care

Last Updated on January 11, 2023 by Lori Geurin

Living with breast cancer can be a challenging journey, and one of the most important things you can do during this time is to practice self-care. Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths and yoga. It is also about making lifestyle changes that promote physical and mental well-being. Here are some tips and strategies to help you care for yourself while living with breast cancer.

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Disclosure: Ana Ono graciously gifted me complimentary items in exchange for this blog post. However, all views and opinions are my own.

breast cancer self care

What Is Self-Care and Why Is It Important?

Self-care is the practice of taking time to nurture and care for yourself. It means making conscious choices that serve your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Self-care plays an important role in managing stress and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety associated with living with breast cancer.

It’s essential to prioritize self-care and build regular habits in your daily routine. Doing so will improve your quality of life and help you face the challenges of breast cancer with more confidence.

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Breast Cancer Self-Care Strategies

With the following tips, you can ensure your well-being and elevate your quality of life during this breast cancer journey. Take the time to practice self-care – it can make a world of difference!

breast cancer self care

1. Practice Mindfulness

One of the most useful self-care strategies is to practice mindfulness. This means focusing on your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the present moment without judgment or criticism.

This type of self-awareness can help you stay grounded and focused on what matters most, which will, in turn, help you make better decisions about how to take care of yourself. Additionally, practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress by helping you become more aware of your surroundings.

You can learn more about mindfulness and how to practice it in our article: How To Practice Mindfulness Throughout the Day For Less Stress and More Peace

Meditation

Developing a meditation practice can help you relax, reduce stress and anxiety, and stay centered.[*] Furthermore, it can allow you to connect with yourself more deeply.

To get started, try doing gentle breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes daily to help clear your mind and reduce stress. Once you become more comfortable with this practice, you can work up to longer and more intense meditation sessions.

Check out the benefits of meditation according to science.

Yoga

Gentle yoga poses can help you relax, reduce tension in the body, improve circulation, and increase your overall sense of well-being.[*] When practicing yoga, focus on poses that are easy on the body and don’t require too much effort. This will ensure that you don’t overdo it or push your body too far.

RELATED: 20 Benefits of Yoga: Simple Yoga Poses for Beginners

breast cancer self care

2. Engage in Healthy Habits

Cultivating healthy habits is a must for those times when you need extra care and support.

Healthy Food

Choosing healthy, nutrient-dense foods can do wonders for your body.[*] Eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins gives you the energy and nutrients you need to stay strong.

Enjoy salads full of leafy greens, fresh fruits such as berries, and colorful vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots.

Do you desire something wholesome and filling? Why not prepare a vegetable-packed soup or chili, like the delectable sweet potato chili my family can’t get enough of?

Enjoy a handful of nuts and seeds for a delicious and nutritious snack. Additionally, you can add flavor to your meals with healthy herbs and spices like rosemary, garlic, or turmeric.

RELATED: Eating the Right Foods for Optimal Health and Well-Being

breast cancer self care

Here are a few more ideas for healthy meals and snacks:

breast cancer self care

Regular Exercise and Physical Activity

Exercising during and after breast cancer treatment is an important part of survivorship. It can boost not only physical wellness but also mental and emotional well-being.[*]

However, it is important to begin gradually.

Consider starting with a walking program that fits your lifestyle and goals. As you progress with your journey, consider different types of exercise to create a plan that works for you.

Learn more about the benefits of walking!

breast cancer self care

3. Connect With Others

Feeling connected is vital to the self-care routine of those with breast cancer, as it can help them stay hopeful and socially engaged, even if they feel isolated due to their diagnosis.

Staying connected might include reaching out to family members or friends who offer emotional support or joining online support groups where members share their stories and provide comfort for each other during challenging times.

Others find a deep sense of connection when attending church, volunteering, or joining a book club.

Further, to remain connected and for emotional support, patients can come together in group therapy sessions where they openly share their journeys with others undergoing similar experiences. These connections can help foster resilience during tough times.

RELATED: How to Overcome Adversity and Live Life Well

breast cancer self care

4. Prioritize Sleep

Getting enough rest and sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Aim for seven or more hours of sleep each night to maintain optimal health. Consistency is key; try to go to bed at the same time every evening if possible.[*] This will help your body establish a healthy sleep schedule.

Additionally, try to avoid caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. It is also important to keep the bedroom dark and comfortable and avoid blue light from screens before bedtime.

If trouble sleeping persists, consider talking to your healthcare provider about natural strategies to help you sleep better. You can learn more healthy sleeping tips in our blog posts:

breast cancer self care

5. Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for the body to function properly. Staying hydrated helps regulate mood, energy levels, and digestion. Drinking plenty of water can also help flush out toxins and help maintain a healthy weight.[*]

Make sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily and avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice. Additionally, foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can help meet your daily hydration needs.

breast cancer self care
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Breast Cancer Treatment

During breast cancer treatment, it is vital to make yourself a priority. Doing so will allow you to stay strong and persistent in the face of adversity while nourishing your physical and mental health. Caring for yourself through self-care practices can be an effective way to maintain hope during this journey; with such resilience, you may come out stronger on the other side!

The journey to recovery and healing can be long, but with a little self-care, you can take comfort in knowing that your body is strong and capable of overcoming this challenge. You are not alone in this process and will get through it! Take it one day at a time, and be kind to yourself. You deserve it!

What should you avoid if you have breast cancer?

If you have breast cancer, avoiding unhealthy habits that could put your body under additional stress is important.

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, as these can damage the body during treatment and recovery. Also, try to limit exposure to environmental toxins or pollution and avoid processed foods or sugary snacks, which can cause weight gain.

Finally, avoid extreme dieting or exercise programs that are too intense for your body during this time. These could have a negative impact on your overall health and hinder the recovery process.

It is important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed to stay healthy and reduce stress during treatment. With a little love and care, you can manage your breast cancer journey with grace.

Breast cancer patients are strong, capable warriors who will conquer this challenge with resilience and hope. With the right support and self-care habits, you can take control of your health and well-being during treatment.

Stress Management for Breast Cancer Patients

It is normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious during breast cancer treatment. It is important to find healthy outlets such as exercise, journaling, music, or relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to manage stress. Taking breaks and talking with a friend throughout the day can also help lessen anxiety and provide emotional support.

Prioritizing your mental health and self-care is essential. Focus on positive thoughts and activities that bring you joy and peace. Remind yourself of your strength and resilience, and practice gratitude for the everyday moments in life.

breast cancer self care

Final Thoughts About Self-Care for Breast Cancer

Self-care is essential when living with breast cancer as it helps promote physical and mental well-being during this challenging journey. One can practice mindfulness and engage in healthy habits like regular exercise and balanced nutrition to support a mental health journey.

Additionally, staying connected to family members or friends who provide emotional assistance will help foster resilience on the road ahead.

Be gentle with yourself and tackle each day as it comes. You are deserving of your own kindness! Look after yourself because you’ve got this!

Ana Ono Bras and a 15% Discount for You

Breast cancer is an issue that affects 1 in 8 women, and Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is one of the more aggressive types of breast cancer that often has limited treatment options.[*] Lori Goldstein and AnaOno have partnered to bring lovely, colorful prints to some of their most popular styles to help support those diagnosed with breast cancer all year long.

I am so thankful to AnaOno for generously gifting me these comfortable bras, t-shirts, and underwear. Not only are they beautiful, but they also provide a luxurious level of comfort that I never thought possible!

Show your love and support for those you care about by purchasing AnaOno bras and clothing at anaono.com and receive 15% off with my code: FYI15.

Let us not forget, beauty is something we all possess!

What are your favorite self-care tips for breast cancer patients? Share in the comments below!

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