Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be shocking and upsetting. With time you'll find ways to cope with the stress and challenges of cancer and cancer treatment. Until then, you might find it helpful to consider:

  • Talking with someone. You may feel comfortable discussing your feelings with a friend or family member, or you might prefer meeting with a formal support group. Support groups for the families of cancer survivors also are available.
  • Prayer or meditation. You can pray or mediate on your own or receive guidance from a spiritual adviser or from an instructor.
  • Exercise. Gentle exercise may help boost your mood and make you feel better. Ask your doctor to recommend appropriate exercise.
  • Creative activities. Certain activities, such as art, dance and music, may help you feel less distressed. Some cancer centers have specially trained professionals who can guide you through these activities.
  • Relaxation exercises. Relaxation exercises help refocus your mind and help you relax. Relaxation exercises include guided imagery and progressive muscle relaxation. You can do relaxation exercises on your own, with an instructor or by listening to a recording that guides you through the exercises.
Feb. 17, 2015