Emotional Care and Support for Survivors
For most cancer survivors and their loved ones, life after treatment means adjusting to a “new normal.” The Helen F Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute offers counseling and support by professionals with expertise in the emotional and psychological side effects of cancer treatments.
Managing stress and anxiety
It’s normal to experience stress and anxiety when facing cancer. The Helen F Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute can help you find ways to limit and cope with the particular stress and anxieties that come with a cancer diagnosis.
Survivors have benefitted from individual counseling, connecting with other survivors in support groups, journaling and meditation and/or yoga.
Some suggestions for managing stress and anxiety include:
Studies show that during the day, as little as five minutes of meditation, deep breathing or yoga can lower blood pressure, release healing hormones and increase creativity.
Exercise regularly and eat healthy foods:
Start adding activity slowly and work up to at least 3x per week for 20 minutes. Eat a well-balanced diet. Establish a routine and stick to it. Good health behaviors can do wonders for the mind and body.
Please consult with your physician before making an exercise or dietary changes.
Laugh as often as possible
Laughter releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers. Laughter also lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and boosts your immune system’s functioning.
Hobbies increase creativity, help prevent burnout and allow you to recharge. Make time for an old or new one (gardening, craftwork, fishing, games, puzzles, music, dancing, sports, photography, reading).
Become aware of emotions and how these affect your choices, relationships, home life and work. When problem solving, focus on one aspect of the situation at a time.
Ask for and accept help
Clarify values and prioritize tasks. Address things that are both important and urgent first. Also, learn how to say “no” to requests that overwhelm you.
Connect with others
Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. Pets can also bring you joy and comfort.
Research shows gratitude exercises results in fewer physical complaints and higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. List three things you are thankful for each day.
Get enough sleep
Good sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body
Our social workers can also help you navigate financial and practical demands and connect you with resources at ChristianaCare and in the community.
There is no cost to speak with our social work staff, so please contact us at 302-623-4400.
Our social workers can help with questions like these:
- How do I apply for Social Security disability benefits? If I am approved, when and how do I get Medicare?
- How do I apply for Medicaid?
- What is the Delaware Cancer Treatment Program?
- Do I need to have Medicare D?
- How do I find out if I have paid sick leave at work?
- What is COBRA?
- What is the Family Medical Leave Act?
- I’m having trouble paying my bills, is there anything in the community that may be able to help me?
- I’m having trouble taking care of myself and my home. Is there any help?
- What is an advanced directive? Do I need one?