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Self-Care on a Budget: A Guide for Women with Ovarian Cancer

If you are currently battling ovarian cancer, you aren't alone. This is the second most common gynecologic cancer in the United States, affecting upwards of 20,000 women in the country every year. Knowing that there are others in your shoes can help you find strength in your fight against the illness and give you the inspiration you need to succeed.

Teal Diva is a platform that offers a variety of resources for women dealing with ovarian cancer, from retreats to fundraising events, as well as a blog with tips on how to maintain your mental and physical health in the battle against cancer — providing valuable information for free.

One thing you can do to stay positive and thriving when facing a cancer diagnosis is to invest in self-care. That doesn't mean you have to spend large amounts of money. The below guide provides cost-efficient tips for taking care of yourself.

Make your home a healing oasis.

You will want a quiet place to retreat to when you're feeling overwhelmed by your diagnosis. Make your house an oasis of calm and healing. Give the space a thorough deep clean. Let in fresh air and sunlight and clear out bad energy using sage. Finally, add soothing scents like lavender and peppermint to the space to promote calm and relaxation. Candles and essential oils are a cheap and easy way to tap into the power of aromatherapy.

Make healthy eating a part of everyday life.

A nutritious diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help keep you mentally and physically fit. The American Society of Clinical Oncology offers recommendations for how to make food palatable during and after treatment. For example, if meals taste bland due to the effects of chemotherapy, you can try adding affordable spices like dill and garlic. There are also specific anti-cancer foods, from dark chocolate to leafy greens, that are known to be of great benefit.

Find renewed strength through regular exercise.

Exercise will help you maintain strength, coordination, and flexibility. If you're just getting back into working out after cancer treatment, opt for low-impact activities you can do at home, like yoga. Exercise also benefits you mentally. Research shows that physical activity results in a rush of feel-good endorphins in the brain, boosting your mood. You can find workouts online for free via YouTube.

Look for cheap ways to pamper yourself.

You have been through a lot mentally and physically, so make time to treat yourself. Take a luxurious bath or go for a walk with a friend. An adult coloring book can be a soothing activity that gives you time to calm your mind.

Meditation is another type of self-care shown to reduce stress. According to Psychology Today, meditation even leads to biological improvements, reducing inflammation and improving immune function. Download an affordable meditation app to get started.

Surround yourself with a supportive community.

A cancer diagnosis is often accompanied by anxiety and depression. Surrounding yourself with a supportive community of like-minded people can help you come to terms with these emotions and deal with them in healthy ways. Look for survivor support networks in your area. If you are still struggling, don't be afraid to seek professional mental health support. BetterHelp offers online counseling at more affordable rates than in-person sessions.

A cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly scary. Remind yourself that you don't have to go through this process alone. You have friends, family, and professionals to help. When your body is fighting a disease, it's more important than ever to invest in self-care. The above tips provide inspiration for affordable ways to nurture your mind and body. And to find the support you need, look no further than Teal Diva.

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