Fighting cancer takes a lot of strength. From invasive treatments to surgeries, medication and appointments, cancer certainly takes its toll.
All of the above can massively affect your body. You might notice weight fluctuation, hair loss, and surgery can create lifelong changes. All of this causes many cancer patients to feel self-conscious and even depressed.
It might seem impossible to get back to how you used to feel about yourself. However, there are plenty of ways to get your glass half full again. Here are some ways to gain your confidence back after cancer.
Give yourself time
This step doesn’t take much effort at all. You simply have to allow yourself the time to grieve. This means letting yourself be upset, cry, even scream if you want to. You’re bound to have a lot of complicated emotions swirling inside, and allowing yourself to embrace them isn’t wrong.
You shouldn’t feel any pressure to be happy all of the time. This can lead to bottled-up emotions and unresolved issues down the line. Instead, allow yourself time to sit with these negative emotions.
However, you can’t let them consume you forever. Embracing these feelings is essential for healing, but lingering in negative emotions isn’t good for your mental health. A great step is learning how to deal with your emotions properly. You can try talking things out, journaling your feelings, or expressing yourself through art. Remember, there’s professional help available if you need it.
While it’s important to acknowledge your negative thoughts and feelings, you can’t let them consume you. That’s why adopting a positive mental attitude is key to building your confidence.
Mindfulness is a great practice to encourage a positive outlook on life. You can do countless mindfulness activities to help with this but focus on activities encouraging you to be grateful. Setting aside time every day to consider what you’re thankful for can do wonders for your mental health.
It’s also important to remember compassion. Imagine your friend in your position. What would you say to them? Sometimes we tend to be hard on ourselves while giving others all of our compassion. Instead, say what you would say to a friend to yourself. You deserve kindness too!
Change what you can
As mentioned above, cancer can have drastic effects on your body. Treatments can lead to weight fluctuations. Chemotherapy can lead to hair loss. Surgery will leave scars. These changes can be distressing.
The truth is that many of these side effects won’t change overnight. However, with time, they will. It’s important to set realistic goals instead of wishing for the impossible.
While you work on these changes, you can focus on what you can change. For example, you can buy a new wardrobe of comfortable, flattering clothes. You can experiment with wigs and buy lotions to help with scar tissue. If you’re a woman who lost one or both breasts due to cancer, you can look into reconstructive surgeries to give you back your beloved frame. There will always be something you can change to help with your self-esteem – you just have to find it.
Create a support group
The support from friends and family is invaluable. Everyone has bad days, so having a group of encouraging cheerleaders can do wonders for your confidence.
Now is the perfect time to cut any negative friends from your life that don’t have your best interests at heart. You’re already going through enough, dealing with selfish and rude people isn’t recommended.
While friends and family are great support, sometimes you need people who know what you’ve gone through. That’s where cancer support groups come in. These online and offline groups are perfect for meeting and bonding with people who have gone through the same thing.
Life after cancer
Getting back to your old life after cancer treatment can be daunting. It’ll take time, but you’ll eventually get back into the swing of things.
Although it’s common for cancer patients to suffer from low self-esteem, you shouldn’t settle for it. After everything you’ve gone through, you deserve happiness. So, remember to stay positive, change what you can, and create a supportive group of friends.
You can do this!