Simple Tips to Lift Your Spirit When Breast Cancer Gets You Down
Going through breast cancer is tough. Whether newly diagnosed, going through treatment, or a breast cancer survivor, at some time during your breast cancer journey, you’re going to feel down.
I know I did and still do sometimes.
And while it’s okay to feel sad or glum occasionally, it’s not good to stay that way. It can lead to depression and can cause any physical symptoms you’re having from your cancer treatment to worsen.
Plus, having a positive attitude is essential to your healing when it comes to breast cancer, and it’s hard to be positive when you’re feeling down. My post, Why You Need To Stay Positive as a Breast Cancer Patient and How to Do It, explains why this is so important.
Are You Just Feeling Blue, or Is It Depression?
Below are twenty-five ideas to help beat the breast cancer blues. Try one, two, or a few of these pick-me-ups and see if they improve your mood.
But before you read those, I wanted to mention the difference between being depressed and having depression. The list of ideas below can lift your spirits if you’re having a down day, but if you’re feeling depressed most of the time or feel constant anxiety, you need to speak with your oncologist immediately.
As I said before, going through breast cancer is tough on your body and mind. Your oncologist knows this and has solutions to help with depression and anxiety.
Also, many medicines we take while going through treatments list depression as a side-effect, and your oncologist needs to know if you’re experiencing this in case it is a reaction to the medicine.
If you’re unsure whether what you’re experiencing is just a low mood or is depression, Breast Cancer Now has an excellent post explaining the difference.
25 Pick-Me-Ups for When Breast Cancer Get You Down:
1) Identify why you’re unhappy – Why are you feeling blue? Sometimes, it’s something so tiny you don’t even realize it’s affecting you. Recognizing the reason can often help you take actions that can change your mood.
2) Pray about it – Tell God how you’re feeling and ask Him to help you feel better. Or if you aren’t sure why you’re down, ask him to show you the reason. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our lives and how we feel that we forget to ask Him for help and guidance.
3) Listen to what your body is telling you. Sometimes, the cause of bad moods can be your body needing something. Perhaps it is telling you you’re fatigued? Maybe you’re trying to do more than your body can handle at this time. Take some time to rest. Possibly, you’re dehydrated or hungry. Drink water or eat a healthy snack to see if your mood improves
4) Make a Thankful List – With all the things we have to deal with concerning having breast cancer, it’s easy to forget the blessings we have. Write down everything you are thankful for. It’s almost impossible to be gloomy and grateful at the same time!
5) Read something positive and uplifting – Grab your Bible, a devotional, or an inspirational book. Sit in a comfy chair and spend a few minutes (or hours) reading.
6) Add to Your Bucket List – Have you started a “bucket list” yet, a list of places you want to visit or things you want to do? I’ve never cared for the term Bucket List, though. I prefer to call it a Living Life Fully List. I think it’s more upbeat and appropriate. The point is looking at and adding more dreams to your list can help put you in a positive mood.
7) Turn on some upbeat music – Turn on your favorite tunes. Crank up the volume, sing to the top of your lungs, and even dance to it. I have a “Be Happy” playlist filled with all my favorite songs for times when I need a musical pick-me-up.
8) Take a nice, long, luxurious bath – Pamper yourself. Fill your tub with your favorite bubble bath product. My favorite is Dr. Teals Lavender Epsom Salt Soak and Foaming Bath. The scent of lavender is relaxing, and the Epsom salt soothes those tense muscles that usually accompany stress and bad moods. Don’t forget to light some candles and play soft music for added relaxation and enjoyment.
9) Read a book or listen to a book on tape – Escape the “real world” for a little while with your favorite fiction book. Even a short reading break can lift your spirits.
10) Eat Chocolate – It’s a scientific fact that eating chocolate can boost your mood so indulge yourself with your favorite piece of chocolate.
11) Call a Friend – Do you have a friend who always makes you feel better when talking with them? You know, the friend you can talk to about anything? Give them a call. Better yet, go out and do something fun together.
12) Watch a funny or feel-good movie – Go to the theater, grab your favorite DVD, or stream a movie that will make you smile and laugh. Check out these posts for ideas: The Best Comedy Movies for When You Need to Laugh and Favorite Romantic Feel-Good Movies that will Warm Your Heart
13) Work on your favorite hobby – Do you have something you enjoy doing but don’t usually take the time to do? Set aside some time today and work on that hobby.
14) Get a massage, manicure or pedicure – Pamper yourself by getting a massage, manicure, or pedicure.
15) Go shopping – A little retail therapy can be a quick pick-me-up if you don’t spend more than you’ve budgeted. And you don’t have to buy anything. Window shopping can be fun, especially if you bring a friend along.
16) Go to the park – Spend a few hours at your favorite park. Have a picnic lunch, walk around, people-watch, and relax.
17) Go for a walk – Don’t have time to go to the park? Take a walk outside instead. Even a short fifteen-minute walk in the sun, soaking up that Vitamin D, and breathing in fresh air can help improve your mood.
19) Exercise – Exercise is another scientifically proven mood booster. Visit the gym or exercise at home. It doesn’t matter – get your body moving and let those endorphins go to work, boosting your mood!
20) Plant some flowers – Pick up a few and plant them in your garden or a flower pot. Not into gardening? Purchase an orchid or bouquet of fresh flowers at your local florist to liven up your environment.
21) Do something kind for someone else – One of the best ways to forget your worries is to think of someone else. Write a note to someone, visit an elderly friend, or volunteer with a local organization. There are so many ways to improve someone else’s life and make yourself feel better at the same time.
22) Organize an area of your home – Going through breast cancer can leave you feeling your life is chaotic and out of your control. This feeling can leave you feeling helpless and discouraged. If you’re feeling this way, organize something in your home. Organizing even a small area can give you a sense of order and control, boosting your mood.
23) Straighten the house – Straightening the mess in your house can also lift your spirits. You don’t have to spring clean your home; just spend a few minutes picking up and putting things away. Your home will look better, and you will feel better, too.
24) Take a long drive –Hop in the car and get away for a while. Roll down the windows, play happy music, and sing to the top of your lungs. You’ll be smiling in no time!
25) Do something fun you haven’t done since childhood – When was the last time you blew bubbles, put together a puzzle, or swung on a swing? Do something fun, even if you feel silly doing it. We tend to be too serious, especially now that we’re dealing with medical issues. Do something fun and see if your mood doesn’t lighten up, too!
These are just a few things you can do to perk up your mood. Hopefully, after reading this post, you’ve come up with a few ideas. The point is to relax, forget about all the problems weighing you down for the moment, and do something that makes you happy – something that cheers you up!
What do you do when you are feeling down and need a Pick-Me-Up? Please share in the comments.