Managing Stress

Stress is a normal reaction to pressures in our daily lives — from routine responsibilities and demands to serious life changes, such as illness, death or trauma.

A cancer diagnosis is often a huge source of stress that impacts your personal relationships, work and finances.

Although it is normal to experience stress from time to time, prolonged stress can cause physical and emotional problems. Research shows that chronic stress can cause digestive issues, weakened immune systems, headaches, sleep problems, depression and anxiety.
 
There are several things you can do to help manage stress, including relaxing activities such reading, meditation, yoga or taking a walk. Exercise can also help, and your doctor can recommend and program that works for you.

Set goals and priorities by sorting out what needs to be done and what can wait. Focus on what you have accomplished during day, not on what didn’t get done.

Stay connected with family, friends and your community. Their emotional support is important when coping with stress, and they can lend a hand with your to-do’s.
 

Do I need help? Ask yourself:

  • Am I feeling easily angered or irritable?
  • Am I feeling depressed?
  • Do I have low energy?
  • Am I having trouble sleeping?
  • Have I been using alcohol or other substances to help cope?
     
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s important to talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling. You can also talk to a social worker by calling the Division of Clinical Social Work at 626-256-4673, ext. 82282.
 
Helpful information, education and support is available at the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, including support groups, education classes, music and art therapy, and more.