Self-Care Journey: How to Practice Self-Care During Cancer

Cancer not just affects your physical health, but it can impact mental health too affecting your mood and emotions as you deal with feelings of loss, sadness, anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, guilt, and anger. But did you know that staying emotionally positive and having good mental health and well-being can lead to better health outcomes and increased adherence to treatment?

Because your mental health also impacts your physical health and treatment outcomes, you can practice self-care and take action to improve your health. Here are self-care tips for cancer patients while undergoing cancer treatment.


Journaling helps you track your mental health regularly, allowing you to recognize triggers that leave you feeling down and understand how you can manage yourself.

There is more than one way to journal. Some people record and express their feelings by writing. You can write as you would in a diary, chronicling the day’s events and sharing both your highs and lows. Art journals are for those who aren’t into writing. Allow an art journal to let you express your creativity through drawings, doodles, images, and scrapbooking materials. You may even consider a video journal; regularly shoot short videos. They can be videos of you talking directly to the camera or scenes from places you’ve visited. Match the videos with songs that match your mood or audio narration. The key is to keep the videos honest, allowing you to increase self-awareness of your emotions.

Slow down

Cancer treatment can take its toll on your body and mind. As determined as you are to overcome the disease and secure the best outcome, remember that you can only take so much emotionally and physically. You may have a job, a family that relies on you, and other responsibilities. However, your recovery is a priority too.

Slow down by finding quiet time for yourself. Go for a walk. Meditate. Eat slowly and savor your meals. Read a good book. Relax as you watch your favorite movie or tv series. Learn to say “no.” Sleep well.


Even the most introverted person can find that socializing and connecting with others can help you recharge emotionally. Spend time with family, friends, and other people that you consider part of your support system; this may include a counselor or fellow cancer patients.

Recognize what is best for your emotional wellness, whether it’s keeping things positive or releasing difficult feelings that can’t be kept bottled in. Find what speaks to you and tap into your inner needs.

Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about cancer-fighting tips.