Cancer treatment (although necessary) can take a REAL toll on your body. If you’re a cancer survivor or someone who has just finished cancer therapy and treatment, you know that rebuilding your body can be a daunting task. But don’t worry – there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel strong and healthy again. Here are four ways to get started.
Once people go through traditional cancer care they often come out the other end feeling tired, drained, and not at all like themselves. While this is expected and normal, the sad truth is that many people also have a number of post-treatment issues like sleep problems, neuropathy, and gut health complaints.
Even though this is the reality, it doesn’t mean that you can’t rebuild your body if you have the right knowledge and help. This is what I would tell anyone who wants to have optimal health, but it becomes even more impactful if you want to prevent cancer. You can’t afford to allow the inflammation to go unchecked in your body!
If you’ve had cancer, you’ve already had mutated cells that have led to a diagnosis. That means change has to occur in your lifestyle if you want a different outcome in the future.
One of the most impactful ways to change your lifestyle for improved overall function and prevention of disease is by optimizing your sleep. Creating structure and intention around sleep and bedtime leads to more predictable hormone release during the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). Once this is established, you will find that you’re sleeping through the night and have restful sleep. Always go to bed and wake at the same time, and try to be asleep by 10 pm at the latest.
There is a reason for that.
One of the things that people may not realize is that between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am is the time of day that our body repairs and regenerates. If you’re up to during those hours, or you can’t sleep during those hours, it’ll be very hard to recover and prevent inflammation. It’s really important for the immune system and your metabolism.
Waking up throughout the night, and not being able to get back to sleep means you haven’t delved into the deeper theta waves necessary for sleep. Theta waves are strong during internal focus, meditation, prayer, and spiritual awareness. It reflects the state between wakefulness and sleep and relates to the subconscious mind.
If you suffer from insomnia, are having hot flashes that wake you up, and can’t get back to sleep — you likely have high cortisol. This is an abnormal response to stress that means your fight or flight response is out of balance. This is going to impact your ability to detoxify the body and repair tissue damage, which happens mainly during the night.
Another side effect is weight gain because cortisol stimulates sugar release. We don’t need more of it at night so it turns to fat and leads to more insulin insensitivity. So, yes, you can gain weight even when you’re not eating!
Consistent, intentional routine (especially for mealtimes)
The second way to rebuild your body is to have a consistent routine during your day. Meaning you eat at the same times of day, generally speaking, so your body knows what to expect and when it’s time for nourishment. You eat enough that you’re going to nourish the body. and there is no question “you are what you eat”.
If you have a routine with what you eat, your digestive system will work better for you so you don’t have to take extra supplements or medications.
The third is meditation, which I put at the top of the list. There are different types of meditation. If you increase your self-awareness, your body will be in a more relaxed state. This means you will not always feel stressed out and like you have to do things.
You want to be in a calm mode, where your heart just beats normally, as opposed to it beating faster because our hormones are now being secreted. Meditation is the fastest route to changing your physiology and your mental and emotional health, and you have to practice it every day.
The fourth one is realizing that you will have to focus on yourself, giving yourself grace. We often feel guilty about things we should have done, and things that happened to our body that we didn’t want. We also feel bad about things we did before that might have caused this. But giving ourselves grace and looking at what the opportunities are for you now, because you’ve been given a second chance. It’s time to take action.
Remind yourself of what gift you’ve been given. How are you going to make the next phase of your life? The best that can happen may not be for just yourself, but everybody else in your life. Take action. Do you know that action is what kills overthinking?
Don’t just sit back and tell yourself: “ Okay, that’s over. Now, I’m just going to go back to my normal way of living.” It’s up to you to create a new normal.
Although cancer treatment can be tough, there are things you can do to help rebuild your body. You can start to focus on sleep, building a mealtime routine, meditation, and self-care. This will surely set the tone for a new thriving life after cancer treatment. If you’re looking for more information on how to rebuild your body after cancer treatment or want some help putting together a plan tailored just for you, schedule a free discovery call with us today. We would be happy to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.
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