As the pandemic kept everyone indoors for much of the past 18 months, many women who have recently been diagnosed or are currently living with breast cancer are looking for ways to take charge and improve their quality of life. The good news is, there are many ways to treat yourself at home. Here are some easy beauty, wellness and exercise tips you can try that may help alleviate some of your breast cancer symptoms.
Achieve pain relief with household products
Through illness and health every body remains unique. You may experience different levels of pain, tenderness or itching depending on the type of breast cancer you have and its particular stage. Luckily, you can get pain relief with everyday household beauty products that are in your kitchen pantry or bathroom cabinet. Here are several easy home remedies you can try to ease the possible side effects caused by the illness or cancer treatment:
- Take a bath with Epsom salt whenever your skin gets irritated or itchy. While a soothing bath can help alleviate stress and anxiety, the essential minerals in Epsom salt contain beneficial properties that can provide instant relief for dry, irritated skin. The salt, which is made of magnesium sulphate, can also treat skin rashes and flush out harmful toxins that are inside your body.
- Check to see if you have a cold compress or instant cold pack in your first aid kit. Apply the cold compress to your breast area to ease the pain, swelling and tenderness. (However, you never want to place ice directly on skin.)
- Go to your kitchen and search for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Dilute it with water in a bowl and a cotton ball in the mixture. Gently rub it onto your skin until it alleviates itching.
Revise your beauty routine
When you are buried under a mound of paperwork or running to appointments, it is easy to forget to love yourself. Chemotherapy and other breast cancer treatments can be hard on your body. The following beauty tips are a great way to pamper yourself and maintain the health of your hair, skin and nails:
- If you experience hair loss due to chemotherapy, keep your scalp moisturized and shielded from the sun with a mixture of coconut oil, carrot seed oil, shea butter and Zinc oxide. These ingredients have a natural level of sunscreen protection that can protect your scalp from the sun.
- Avoid hot showers whenever possible. Instead, take warm or cool showers and moisturize your skin immediately afterwards to reduce your chances of developing itchy, dry skin or a rash.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking at least 2 liters or 9 cups of fluid every day.
- Use unscented laundry detergent and avoid harsh fragrances and dyes, which can further irritate your skin.
- Carefully clean your makeup brushes, nail equipment and other beauty items before and after use to reduce the risk of infection.
Strengthen Your Immune System with A Well Balanced Diet
A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can leave you feeling happy and healthy. It can also be your best defense when you are living with breast cancer and receiving chemotherapy treatment. If possible, try to incorporate the foods listed below into your diet while you are quarantined at home:
- Whole grains (ex. wheat, rye, oats)
- Leafy greens (ex. kale, arugula, spinach)
- Fatty fish protein (ex. salmon, mackerel)
- Lean protein (ex. chicken)
- Berries (ex. strawberries, blueberries)
Similarly, you should do your best to avoid or limit your consumption of the following foods:
- Fast food
- Processed meat (ex. bacon, lunch meat)
- Refined carbohydrates (ex. breakfast cereal, white rice)
- Fried, fatty foods (ex. french fries, fried chicken)
While it can be tempting, many of the items listed above can increase inflammation, boost estrogen levels, or encourage the growth or spread of cancerous cells.
Self-care is very important, especially if you are living with breast cancer during a global pandemic. Regardless if you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or are currently undergoing treatment, you can take several immediate steps to improve your quality of life and general well being by improving your diet, revising your beauty routine and using household items for pain relief.