Blood Cancer and Mental Health

Blood cancer can take a huge toll on mental health. However, we live our best lives when we have a proactive approach to taking care of ourselves – and that very much includes mental health.

To learn how you are safeguarding your well-being during your journey with blood cancer, we asked our “Facebook community”: “Fill in the blank: I take care of my mental health by _________.”

More than 40 of you shared. Here is what you had to say.

“Walking and kayaking.”

Exercise was by far the number 1 answer. Physical activity, whether as simple as walking or as challenging as long-distance running, provides so many benefits. Our bodies flood with feel-good chemicals when we exercise. More importantly, we typically stop dwelling on our problems and stressors, and instead enjoy the scenery and how good it feels to move our bodies.

“Running and biking, trying to stay busy and positive.”

“Walking, up to 5 miles a day. It is still tough and hurts a little, but has always been my favorite thing to do. I head to trails, the beach, or just go anywhere in neighborhoods. I will not let blood cancer stop me. I stop thinking about it when I am on the go.”

“Walking and kayaking.”

“Walking while on the phone to friends, since we have been so sheltered in the past 4 months.”

“Working out 6 days a week: running, biking, pilates, and Orangetheory.”

“Seeing a counselor.”

Some of you shared that talking with a counselor or therapist has helped you stay centered. For many people, talking it out with a professional can bring a sense of calmness and clarity to everyday life. Likewise, if emotions during this time feel too overwhelming, it is reasonable to consider medicine.

“Seeing a counselor and taking antidepressants without shame or guilt.”

“Seeing a counselor and listening to music.”

“When I was going through Blincyto chemo, the feelings hit me hard. I had to take antidepressants and see a psychologist for a couple months. It just snuck up on me.”

“Spending time with my grandbabies!”

Others shared that connecting with friends and loved ones is what lifts you up. Whether you are spending time enjoying the joy and energy of children or having a heart-to-heart with close friends, your well-being benefits.

“Spending time with my grandbabies! Amazing for the mind, heart, and soul!”

“Contacting those I love. I love spending time with those who laugh at practically anything, yet will listen when I am hurting just as I will listen when they hurt.”

"I did start planting.”

Many members of our community are finding comfort in their home. Some of you are cleaning and organizing, and appreciating the comfort and clarity of a clean home. Others are gardening or working on home-improvement projects. If it brings you joy and helps you feel good, go for it.

“Being home and spending time on my hobbies.”

“Doing belated spring house cleaning has led to feeling good about how the rooms look.”

“I did start planting. Right now, I am growing a sunflower garden.”

Thank you to everyone who shared. We appreciate your input and that you are part of this community.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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