- Cancer Information
- Living well
- Living well after cancer
- Understanding your feelings
- Managing your mood
Managing your mood
- Take care of yourself. Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
- Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol.
- Try to do some physical activity every day – this will help you sleep better and improve your mood. Set small and achievable goals and review your priorities. Don’t expect too much from yourself.
- Share your fears and concerns with someone close to you. Having someone know exactly how you feel can help you feel less alone.
- Spend time outside in the fresh air. A change of scenery might make you feel better.
- Try not to judge yourself too harshly. Self-criticism can lead to increased feelings of hopelessness. Learn to be kind to yourself.
- List activities you used to enjoy and plan to do one of these activities each day.
- Write down how you’re feeling or express yourself in painting, music or singing.
- Get up at the same time each morning, regardless of how you feel. Make an effort to have a shower and get dressed.
- Allow yourself a “low mood day” every now and again. You don’t have to be “up”every day.
- Practise letting your thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them.
- Consider complementary therapies, such as massage, yoga, meditation or reflexology (hand and foot massage).
- Keep a record of positive things that happen each day.
Dr Haryana Dhillon, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, NSW; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Jessica Barbon, Dietitian, Southern Adelaide Health Network, SA; Dr Anna Burger, Liaison Psychiatrist and Senior Staff Specialist, Psycho-oncology Clinic, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, ACT; Elizabeth Dillon, Social Worker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Prof Paul Glare, Chair in Pain Medicineand Director, Pain Management Research Institute, University of Sydney, NSW; Nico le Kinnane, Nurse Coordinator, Gynaecology Services, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Amanda Piper, Manager, Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Kyle Smith, Exercise Medicine Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, WA; Aaron Tan, Consumer; Dr Kate Webber, Medical Oncologist and Research Director, National Centre for Cancer Survivorship, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
- Emotions and Cancer Download PDF506kB
- Understanding Complementary Therapies Download PDF948kB
- Exercise for People Living with Cancer Download PDF3.21MB
- Living Well After Cancer ebook Download ePUB818kB
- Emotions and Cancer ebook Download ePUB569kB
- Understanding Complementary Therapies ebook Download ePUB596kB
Life after cancer treatment
Programs and support for people who have finished treatment
Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand
ENRICH – a free healthy lifestyle program
A face-to-face exercise and nutrition program for cancer survivors