Body confidence is for everyone and anyone, but it is especially important during your cancer treatment journey.
At some point, anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer must face that their appearance may be changed during the short term or for the rest of their lives. I work with people throughout this time to boost their body confidence and self-esteem. It doesn’t matter whether you are newly diagnosed, currently in treatment, or post-treatment. At each step of the way everyone can benefit from a confidence boost.
My past clients have all told me that they often feel like they can’t be open with those around them about their body image. The truth is that most people struggle with this aspect of treatment. Even if your body doesn’t change, you may feel like others see you differently or that you can no longer relate to them.
Having high self-esteem and positive body image during cancer treatment is a gift and strength.
Below are tips on how you can boost your confidence or the confidence of a loved one during this time.
1. Be kind to yourself
During times like this your inner critic can be harsher than usual. Remember, just because you think something critical, doesn’t mean that it’s right. We spent all our time in our own heads, so make it a nice place to be. Make a point of thinking kind thoughts about yourself, saying kind words out loud, and being positive about yourself. Find kind actions that work for you. Write in a journal, go to a support group, talk to your loved ones, and take care of you.
2. Wear clothes that make you feel fabulous
Wear items that make you feel wonderful when you wear them. Remember, comfortable clothes can still be stylish. Wear colours, fabrics, and textures that you love. Add a splash of bold colour, wear a fun accessory, just have fun with it.
3. Ask around about local organisations
Check out what is in your local or surrounding areas. There may be different clubs and organisations for people going through cancer treatment such as Look Good Feel Better which is a global organisation hosting beauty workshops for cancer patients. Ask around!
4. Find your people
Reach out to other people who are going through the same or a similar experience to what you’re going through right now. If you don’t know anyone in person then check out online communities. If you are on social media platforms such as Instagram then follow the accounts of other people going through their cancer journey. Maybe even reach out to them by private message and get a conversation going.
5. Talk to your health care team
Tell them about your body image concerns. Remember that they help people in your shoes every day, they have a wealth of knowledge on the topic and can provide you with excellent advice and suggestions. Remember that your body image is part of the cancer journey, you’re allowed to discuss physical changes with your health care team.
6. Give yourself a boost however possible
Do the things that make you feel good. This could be staying as physically active as you are able to, surrounding yourself with positive people, and filling your life with humour. Now is a great time to create a self-care plan.
Seek out someone to talk to professionally. You are going through huge changes right now. It’s never a bad idea to speak to a counsellor, therapist, support group, or body confidence coach. You deserve all the support that you need right now.
Lover of curves, carbs, and colourful clothes, Cliona Byrne is a body confidence coach. She helps people to shush their inner critic and boost their self-esteem. Cliona provides in-person and online one-on-one coaching, workshops, and courses to people all over the world. Cliona helps people on their cancer treatment journey to accept changes in their bodies and boost their body image.