Managing your emotions
Changes to the way you eat may make you feel anxious, particularly when you know eating well is important. If you can’t eat much because of treatment side effects, you may be worried about upsetting people who have prepared your food, or you may worry about eating in public. It may also be hard to adjust to your changing relationship with food – for example, if you previously loved cooking and eating, but have now lost your appetite. These strategies may help you cope.
Be active every dayStudies show that people feel better when they do some exercise each day. It can also help improve your appetite and manage your weight.
Try relaxation and meditationPractising relaxation and meditation can help you feel calm and less stressed. There are many recordings, videos and smartphone apps to guide you through different exercises. You can listen to our relaxation and meditationaudio tracks.
Talk to someoneYou may find it useful to talk to someone who is not a family member or friend. You could speak to a dietitian, social worker, psychologist, nurse or doctor or call Cancer Council 13 11 20. Another option is to join a cancer support group. Cancer Council can put you in touch with others by phone, in person or online.
Jenelle Loeliger, Head of Nutrition and Speech Pathology Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rebecca Blower, Public Health Advisor, Cancer Prevention, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Julia Davenport, Consumer; Irene Deftereos, Senior Dietitian, Western Health, VIC; Lynda Menzies, A/Senior Dietitian – Cancer Care (APD), Sunshine Coast University Hospital, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Janice Savage, Consumer.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Exercise and cancer
Exercise has many benefits both during and after cancer treatment, helping with side effects, speeding up recovery, and improving quality of life