(BlackDoctor.org) — If you have prostate cancer, you may feel stress caused by the uncertainty of your future, the unpredictability of the cancer, the chance of disability, and financial difficulties.
Common signs of stress can include disturbed sleep, fatigue, body aches and pain, anxiety, irritability, tension, and headaches.
How Can I Reduce Stress?
These factors can help:
• Keep a positive attitude.
• Accept that there are events you cannot control.
• Be assertive instead of aggressive. “Assert” your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.
• Learn to relax (see below).
• Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when you are physically fit.
• Eat well-balanced meals.
• Rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
• Don’t rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.
How Can I Manage My Stress?
Managing stress can play an important role in combating fatigue. Here are some suggestions that may help.
1. Adjust your expectations. For example, if you have a list of 10 things you want to accomplish today, pare it down to two and leave the rest for other days. A sense of accomplishment goes a long way to reducing stress.
2. Help others understand and support you. Family and friends can be helpful if they can “put themselves in your shoes” and understand what fatigue means to you. Cancer groups can be a source of support as well. Other people with cancer understand what you are going through.