This post is a part of the week long Live Your Best Life series in celebration of Survivor Week.
Managing emotional and physical wellness is important for everyone, but it’s essential for colon cancer survivors. Healthy lifestyles and relationships can have a direct influence on quality of life. It’s also important to take care of your emotional wellbeing and try your best to eliminate stress.
Diet plays a large role in preventing recurrences. In fact, research shows a high fiber, low fat diet can make a difference in only a matter of weeks! But don’t let the significance of a healthy diet intimidate you—you don’t have to go from carnivore to vegan overnight (or ever)! Try introducing more fruits and veggies to your diet slowly over a period of time; this will make it easier to “eat the rainbow.”
You can take the same approach with exercising—walk before you run! Make it your goal to walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and then move up from there. You can even participate in an Undy Run/Walk to get motivated!
While you may have many things on your plate, remember to make your emotional well-being a priority. Practice stress management (like speaking with someone or doing your favorite hobby), take time for yourself and try to maintain healthy relationships with your loved ones.
Also, keep in mind that cancer touches everyone, so work with your family to establish your “new normal.” This may also include openly communicating with your partner about challenges related to sex and intimacy.
Keeping up with your health and wellness doesn’t have to be hard, and often times physical and emotional health go hand in hand! Here’s our top 5 healthy living tips:
- Work with your doctor to develop a survivorship plan and be sure to follow it!
- If you need ostomy information or assistance, visit our Living with an Ostomy page. You can also contact the United Ostomy Association for help with supplies.
- Speak with your doctor before you start a vitamin or supplement regimen, as some may be harmful. Take a look at this guide to herbs and supplements.
- Diet and exercise are important in preventing recurrences! Start to incorporate healthy foods and exercise in to your life little by little.
- Have open and honest communication with your close family and friends about your life as a survivor.
Need Someone To Talk To?
Speaking to someone who’s been in your shoes is a great way to relieve stress! There’s more than 5,000 members of the Blue Hope Nation who can relate to your health and wellness needs and also give great advice. We’re here when you need us!
What’s your favorite way to manage your health and emotional well-being?
Don’t forget, the Colon Cancer Alliance serves as a source of information about colon health. If you have additional questions about colon cancer screening or are in need of support, please contact our free Helpline at (877) 422-2030. We’re here to help.