Gentle Recovery

Learning To Be Gentle With Ourselves

Learning to be gentle with ourselves; the impact of a cancer diagnosis on our mental health.

Learning to be gentle with ourselves; the impact of a cancer diagnosis on our mental health.

I have witnessed the mental health issues that may arise as a result of cancer and sadly how little support people often receive in managing these symptoms. They say 1 in 3 people affected by cancer will experience a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety at some stage of their cancer journey.

Being given a cancer diagnosis can take a huge emotional toll, a cancer diagnosis is very frightening in itself, suddenly people are bombarded with lots of new information about treatments, side effects etc without time to process it. Having to make big decisions in a short space of time, attending countless medical appointments and then going through, often multiple treatments and surgery(s). Feelings of fear, isolation, loss of self-esteem and
loss of independence can all have an impact.

A study by the mental health foundation in Scotland found that mental health issues often arise when the active phase of treatment is over, when patients often hope to recover and move on with their lives. Although, in reality patients often describe it as a ‘false summit’ when treatments end. Once treatment stops cancer survivors report feeling suddenly alone, isolated and abandoned at the time when they need most support.

I myself have struggled with anxiety and eating disorders during my lifetime and I know first-hand the supportive and nurturing benefits of mindfulness, yoga, walking and relaxation in supporting my mental well-being. I also know that being connected to others who are on a similar journey can be hugely supportive, helping us to feel less alone and heard.

The Gentle Recovery concept is founded in the notion that for true healing to occur we need to take care of our physical and mental well-being equally. I believe that people who have had a cancer diagnosis need ongoing support, especially after treatment is over. Learning self-care strategies and true self-compassion is an essential part of the healing process. A Cancer diagnosis and its treatments can most certainly leave people feeling traumatised and it’s so important to take the time and space to nurse their wounds, both physically and emotionally. For those of you who join one of my online cancer-specific programmes you will be invited to the “community tree” an online hub where you can connect with other people on the course, a place to ask questions, talk to others about how you are feeling and be each others cheer leaders, why? because I believe we are stronger together!

If you, or someone you know would like support in your recovery and rehabilitation from cancer then please do reach out. You are in the right place. Follow this link to the Gentle Recovery homepage to find out the many ways I can support you; http://www.gentlerecovery.co.uk.

I am so looking forward to meeting you!
Warmest wishes,
India

India Gooderham

India Gooderham’s background is as a Specialist Physiotherapist working in oncology and palliative care in the UK. She is now working as a Cancer Exercise Specialist and Cancer Yoga teacher and is founder of ‘Gentle Recovery’, an online rehabilitation and wellness platform for people affected by cancer. Her mission is to serve, educate and empower people at any stage of their cancer journey through exercise, yoga and wellness online programmes and 1-2-1 online coaching.

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