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Self-Care Tips for Cancer Survivors

A cancer diagnosis is a lot to grapple with. Its  followed by a number of decisions, treatments, and a life-altering mindset. 

In Cara Tompot’s article, she reflects on her Mother’s diagnosis, battle, and cancer survival and offers eight tips for survivors, to implement this new relationship to cancer. 

Her first tip is to focus on yourself. Take a moment to reflect on the choices that you are in control of. Being free from cancer allows for you to dictate your life, and no longer the other way around. 

Second is trying something new. The world is filled with opportunities that you likely have not finished exploring; find something you’ve always loved. 

Thirdly…Following the time spent in treatment, perhaps you made a friend during those sessions that you want to connect with.

Number four is to meet new people and find a support group.

 A fifth suggestion is to give back, while six is to try to find ways to benefit your mental and physical health. Taking up activities such as going for walks, or taking a yoga class, can be beneficial to your overall health. 

Short and to the point, Tompot’s seventh tip suggests saying no to things that do not benefit you. 

Lastly, Tompot’s final word of advice, tip eight is a reminder to put yourself first in this new journey. 

Source: Cancer Hope Network

Let’s Talk About  Alcohol and Anxiety 

Individuals with diagnosed depression and anxiety disorders are more susceptible to addiction, self-medicating, and developing an alcohol use disorder. These disorders when combined with alcohol only lead to a heightened sense of anxiety. 

Matt Kushner, a professor at the University of Minnesota found that individuals with these disorders have a greater chance of developing an alcohol dependence. This relationship assists with understanding why those with anxiety or depression are more likely to experience disorders surrounding alcohol than those without. 

Kushner’s group researched this connection and published the results in the Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research journal. They label this connection the “harm paradox effect”, which is equally as evident in men and women, and is quite visible to those who have or had a diagnosed anxiety or depression disorder. 

There is evidence that individuals are likely to develop these issues with alcohol based on their neurobiological conditions. And, while more research is required to fully comprehend the link, Kushner and his team have a hypothesis related to a person’s neuro-dysregulations and internal conditions. 

Regardless, those with anxiety or depression disorders need to be mindful of the impacts that alcohol has to their mental health. 

Source: Inverse Daily

‘Constant Cravings’: Experiencing food

Food has the ability to connect people in a variety of ways. Whether it is a Grandma teaching her grandkids how to bake, or a few people reaching a deal at a business lunch, food brings people together. Beyond that, our bodies need food for nutrients and energy. 

So, what happens when our bodies have difficulty intaking food? Alice Wong shares her experience with muscular dystrophy, a condition where the muscles progressively weaken with time. Wong’s MS led to her increasing struggle to consume food without being in pain or causing anxiety, and eventually having to undergo a gastric and jejunostomy. Of note, these types of surgeries have a long recovery period and result in the patient having to consume food through a feeding tube. And, despite being able to receive necessary nutrients, a feeding tube discards the satisfaction of tasting sweet fruit, savory meat, or cooling off with your go-to ice cream.

To pass time, Wong experienced food virtually through cooking shows, and Instagram that gave glimpses of unique items, worthy of being on your bucket-list. 

Her lessons: while food can be experienced through most of our senses, the reality is many chronically ill and disabled people don’t experience food this way. For some, food is reduced to its basic purpose, and not the typical experience we may take for granted. 

Source: Eater

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