From the moment of a cancer diagnosis, it’s a life-changing experience that will continue on even after remission. The disease doesn't just affect your health, but it also affects your social life, your future decisions, and can even change your perspective on how you view the world. It may be hard to cope with such a drastic event, but it's vital to make lifestyle changes that will benefit your mental and physical health. If you've recently been diagnosed with cancer, here are 4 lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life for the better.

Eat Healthy

As your body fights cancer during treatment, it becomes more important to give yourself the best possible fuel for the battle. Avoid empty calories and processed snacks that provide little nutritional value. Your stomach may crave oily or greasy snacks, but they won’t do you any good. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and high-fiber foods. You may also have to follow a specialized diet required by your healthcare provider. Eating the right foods while battling cancer is ideal because good food supports the immune system, provides valuable energy, and helps with the healing process.

Make Time for Exercise

Regular exercise is more important now than ever. During cancer, your body can become weak, so maintaining your strength during cancer treatment is ideal. It helps you avoid the confounding issues that happen with weight gain, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and sleep apnea. Exercise also stimulates the production of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin, which are all neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel happy. Studies show that exercise is an effective remedy for depression, especially for cancer patients.

Develop Healthy Coping Strategies

Simply said, cancer is stressful. There will be more doctors to visit and more appointments to make. Instead of using bad coping mechanisms like drinking and smoking, channel your stress in healthy ways like exercising, attending support groups, therapy, and reaching out to loved ones. It’s important to feel good about yourself and know you are loved by others. It's especially important to receive comprehensive care at a cancer center. Not only are the staff educated on the medical aspects of cancer, but they will likely be well-versed in the emotional and mental needs of their patients.

Quit Smoking and Drinking

Smoking and alcohol consumption are two of the most preventable causes of cancer. Even after cancer is diagnosed, you should stop smoking and drinking if you regularly partake in either activity. Consuming these substances can make the side effects of cancer treatment worse. They may also contribute to recurrence. Even if you don't quit completely, cutting back on your drug use can benefit your health. Though, the best option would be to go cold turkey.

Think of these lifestyle changes as part of your cancer treatment. In short, you'll want your mind and body to be in the best possible condition. As long as you stay honest with yourself, your doctor and commit to positive changes, your mind and body will notice these changes and commit to healing itself. Keep a positive mindset, you'll be well-prepared for life after cancer.

Life will be great once again when the cancer goes away, but it’s important to keep these healthy habits in play because there is always a chance that the cancer can come back. You can be your worst enemy because temptations will come and go, but it’s your duty to stay honest and true with yourself. Trust the process, and you won't be disappointed with the results.

Author's Bio: 

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.