Self-care means doing things to take care of yourself.
Taking care of practical things can have a big impact on your wellbeing. Sorting out your finances, getting someone to take care of jobs around the house, or asking someone for help looking after your family or pets are all things that can take away stress.
Here are some more ideas.
- Try to do things you enjoy and bring you comfort. If it’s difficult to keep up with old hobbies and activities could you find a different way of doing them?
- Think about what you can control. Maybe it’s choosing the food you eat, or choosing your favourite books to read, TV shows or films to watch, or listening to music.
- Set some small goals to help you focus on the present. This could be related to your hobbies or interests, learning or doing new things, or planning people or places to visit. You could aim to notice things around you each day, like the weather, the seasons changing, or flowers and plants growing.
- Be realistic about what you can achieve. Don’t try to do more than you are able to.
- Stay connected with friends and family. If you can’t visit them in person stay in touch through phone and video calls, or writing emails, letters or cards.
- Plan treats for yourself and your family, whether it is a day trip or ways to pamper yourself at home. The charity Something To Look Forward To provides people and their families affected by cancer with donated gifts, from meals out to short breaks away and day tickets to popular attractions.
Physical activity can help you feel better, and cope better with treatment. You may not feel like going far but try to spend some time outdoors or do light exercise at home. Trying to do some gentle exercise, such as walking, as often as you can has lots of benefits for your health and wellbeing.
If walking is too tricky, there are exercises you can do at home including Pilates, yoga or seated exercises. Macmillan Cancer Support has a free booklet that provides information and advice on being more active.
If you are feeling very tired, you may find this affects your mood. Fatigue is extreme tiredness. It can be difficult to cope with, and may make you feel down. There are things that can help. For example, physical activity can help with fatigue and increase energy levels. It’s also important to let yourself rest when you need to. It’s key to listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it so you can rest. Read more about what can help with fatigue.
You could try some complementary therapies which can include massage, acupuncture, mindfulness and grounding techniques. These may help you relax, take your mind off pancreatic cancer, and focus on the present moment.