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Even without a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis, life can be hectic and stressful at times. Trying to balance family, career, and social obligations can be challenging. Add to that unexpected events like transportation problems or a minor illness and the stress levels can rise. Add a cancer diagnosis and life can be overwhelming! The chaos after the diagnosis is one of the first challenges most caregivers face. You may find yourself not knowing what to do or how to cope with all the choices and challenges confronting you. Here are a few tips to help deal with the chaos and stress of being a new caregiver.
Remember to Take Care of Yourself
Put your health first. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest and eating properly. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Know you body and your limits. Try to exercise daily. Even a quick walk around the block can be refreshing and help reduce stress.
Use tools to organize and manage your time. You can reduce your stress by keeping all appointments and important information neat and organized. Use a notepad or computer to help. You can also use index cards to keep track of tasks that need to be done. They can be reordered as priorities change. Keep important information such as insurance forms, medical papers and medication lists easily accessible.
If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, start with tasks that have to be done sooner or are the greatest importance and work from there. Ignore all the unimportant stuff. Focus only on one thing at a time. Trying to do multiple things at once is less efficient and can add to stress levels and the feeling of chaos.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help or take offers of help.Ask family and friends to help when needed. Mobilize your support system and engage with the people around you. Many individuals say they would help if only they knew how. Be specific with your need and ways they can help. If anyone offers you help, take it. It’s one less thing for you to deal with, big or little, and it should remind you that you are loved and surrounded by people who care enough about you to help. It helps lower the stress levels too.
I hope these tips help. Next I’ll talk about what comes after the chaos of the diagnosis and the emotional challenges of being a caregiver.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and their Families
- Request a Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide
- Connect with Top Mesothelioma Doctors
- Locate the Nearest Comprehensive Cancer Center