Take Charge: Strategies for Managing Cancer Related Stress

A cancer diagnosis is a life-altering and stressful event. But the stress doesn’t stop there. Throughout a cancer journey, there is often overwhelming emotional, psychological, and physical tension. Left unmanaged, this constant strain can lead to depression, anxiety, and isolation. But the good news is that many sources of cancer-related stress are predictable, and with some planning, you can take steps to reduce their impact.

Tips for managing cancer related stress

  • Prioritize your well-being: It’s natural to want normalcy after a diagnosis. However, your focus needs to shift to your wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to say no to overwhelming requests and prioritize rest, self-care, and what truly matters to you.
  • Open up to those who care about you — Sharing your experience and asking for help can feel scary, but now is the time you need support the most. If you feel safe, reach out to friends, family, co-workers, and even neighbors. The bigger your support network, the more manageable your stress and to-do list will be.
  • Make a “help” list: As you navigate your treatment journey, anticipate times when you might need assistance. Consider creating a list of potential tasks others can do for you, such as grocery shopping, errands, or childcare. Think ahead about appointments, procedures, or days you might feel less energetic. Knowing what kind of support you may need allows you to proactively reach out to friends and family. This gives them the opportunity to show their care and makes it easier for them to offer assistance.
  • Create a wellbeing calendar: Planning can be powerful. Consider creating a calendar that outlines your upcoming appointments and treatments. Alongside each one, jot down potential tasks that might require help like transportation, household chores, or meal prep. This roadmap allows you to reach out to loved ones in advance and inquire about their availability during those times. Or you can even share this calendar with your family and friends, letting them proactively sign up to lend support.
  • Deal with cancer one day at a time: The American Cancer Society recommends focusing on each day and not worrying excessively about the future. This helps you make the most of each day and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Utilize the Carrum Health benefit: For eligible members, Carrum Health provides cost-free access to virtual support from cancer care experts. From confirming your diagnosis and outlining the most effective care plan to answering questions and providing information about how to best manage your treatment, use your Carrum Health benefit to virtually access cancer care expertise to reduce your stress. Check your eligibility here.

There will be some stressors that you have no control over, but by incorporating healthy habits into your routine, you can build resilience and manage stress over time. Consider these activities and make sure to discuss how they could fit into your care plan with your cancer care team:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Spend time socializing
  • Do things you enjoy
  • Meditate
  • Practice yoga
  • Join a support group
  • Spend time in nature

Your Carrum Health benefit can help you on your cancer journey

Carrum Health works with the leading cancer care centers in the country to ensure members receive the best possible cancer care. If you’re a member of Carrum Health, and you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or test results indicate you may have cancer, reach out to Carrum Health. We’ll help you navigate your cancer journey with as little stress as possible. Get started.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. No material is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

*With the exception of second opinions, individuals enrolled in a high-deductible plan must first meet their deductible, but oftentimes copays and coinsurance will be waived. Second opinions are typically provided at no cost to members and do not require payment of any deductible. Per IRS rules, a portion of any covered travel expenses will be reported as taxable income to the covered member.

How Carrum Health Can Help
Carrum Health is a unique benefit that connects employees with the country’s top surgeons and cancer specialists to receive high-quality care at a far lower cost. Find out if the Carrum Health benefit is available to you.