3 Ways to Help Children With Cancer Manage Stress

little girl smiling in waterA childhood cancer diagnosis can create a great deal of stress for both child and family. This stress is a natural reaction to the situation, and there are a number of ways to address and manage it.

Here are three ways you and your child’s cancer treatment team can use to help cope with both diagnosis and the necessary treatments.

1. Art Therapy

For many of us, it can be difficult or impossible to express feelings in words. Art therapy works by setting a child free to explore their thoughts and feelings through drawing, painting, clay modeling or other expressive art forms. This activity is effective at reducing stress in children experiencing trauma or a serious health condition such as cancer.

Art therapy can also help your child increase their self-awareness and develop healthy coping skills for the stress caused by childhood cancer.

Engaging your child with art helps you to understand their specific fears, allowing you to address the fears and offer reassurance.

2. Visual Relaxation

From exercise to controlled breathing, there are many techniques for promoting physical and mental relaxation. Guided imagery is one technique that can offer your child a good way to cope with stress.

Your child will be able to use guided imagery on their own when faced with stressful situations as they become more familiar with using this relaxation method. For instance, using guided imagery during chemotherapy treatments can help improve the experience.

3. Being Supportive

Regular comfort and support from loved ones is the best way to reduce and manage stress.

Sometimes children can be overwhelmed when faced with the challenges of cancer treatment. Take the time to listen to them and understand their concerns so you know the best way to help them during their cancer treatments.