Youth Cancer

Coping With Cancer

Everyone deals with things in different ways but looking after your emotional well-being is important.

A coping strategy is a fancy term for those thoughts and actions that help you deal with the tough stuff that cancer throws at you.

Do I need one? Yep – in fact you may need a few different ones depending on what you are dealing with.


Coping strategies can include:

  • Talking – expressing how you are feeling is better than bottling it up.
  • Asking lots of questions and writing the answers down.
  • Taking some time out from everything and everyone and just being alone.
  • Eating chocolate or treating yourself in whatever way you like.
  • Getting more information online – like you're doing right now.
  • Writing a journal, diary or blog.
  • Finding ways to have a laugh. (Tip: check out some of our funny blog posts)
  • Finding a safe place – somewhere you can go to get away from it all, like a friend or neighbours' place.
  • Wherever possible carrying on doing the normal things you like – playing sport, exercising, hanging out with friends.
  • Learning how to meditate – you will be amazed at how good this feels and how calming it is.
  • Tapping into your spirituality – not just traditional religion but anything that you connect with.
  • Always wanted to learn guitar? Find something new that you can learn to do. Then you have something to focus on other than cancer.
  • Getting organised, especially if you have taken on extra roles. Things like a weekly planner and a to-do list can make things a lot more manageable.
  • Eating more chocolate.
  • Offloading some of the things that you have to do by asking for help (really hard but really important).
  • Recognising when you're not coping, and being able to tell other people that you need support.
  • And finally, eating chocolate (okay, not too much, and get some fruit and veggies as well).