- Cancer Information
- Caring for someone with cancer
- How will you feel as a carer?
- Ways to manage your emotions
Ways to manage your emotions
It may feel hard to find the time or energy to look after your own emotional wellbeing. These simple strategies may help you cope and feel more in control.
Try complementary therapiesListen to our relaxation and meditation audio tracks now. You could also try a local yoga or tai chi class.
Be activeResearch shows that regular exercise can help with feelings of anger, stress, anxiety and depression. It can also improve fatigue and sleep. Even a brisk walk around the block offers benefits.
Take time for yourselfMake time each day to do something you find relaxing. Respite care is available for short or longer periods and may give you the break you need.
Talk about how you’re feelingIf at any stage you feel overwhelmed, speak to your health care team, as counselling or medicine – even for a short time – may help. You may be referred to a psychologist. The organisation Beyond Blue has information about coping with depression and anxiety. You can also call Lifeline 13 11 14 for crisis support at any time of day or night.
Speak to your GPIf at any stage you feel that you are not coping, your GP can refer you to a counsellor and prescribe a short course of medicine if needed.
Find out what to expectInformation can help you understand what to expect, and plan for any changes. This may make you feel more secure.
Be kind to yourselfNo-one is a “perfect” carer. It is often a demanding role and everyone has bad days. Try to avoid using the words “should” or “must”, and accept that you are doing the best you can.
Join a support groupThere are face-to-face, internet and telephone support groups for carers. These groups meet regularly to share their experiences. See page 69 for more information about support groups.
Connect onlineUse technology such as email, Facebook or a blog to stay in touch with family and friends. To connect with others in a similar situation, visit Cancer Council Online Community.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Dr Laura Kirsten, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Nepean Cancer Care Centre, NSW; Mary Bairstow, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Centre, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Anne Booms, Nurse Practitioner – Supportive and Palliative Care, Icon Cancer Centre Midland, WA; Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor, Staff Specialist, Department of Palliative Care, Mercy Hospice, Calvary Mater Newcastle, NSW; Tracey Gardner, Senior Psychologist, Cancer Counselling Service, Cancer Council Queensland; Louise Good, Cancer Nurse Consultant, WA; Verity Jausnik, Senior Policy Officer, Carers Australia; David Larkin, Cancer Supportive Care Manager, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital and Health Service, ACT; Kate Martin, Consumer; John McMath, Consumer; Simone Noelker, Physiotherapist and Wellness Centre Coordinator, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; Tara Redemski, Senior Physiotherapist – Cancer Care, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dean Rowe, Consumer; Chris Sibthorpe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.