5 ways to keep busy during chemo

January 20, 2016 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health

It’s natural to feel a little nervous as you leave the comforts of home and head to your chemo treatment. Once there, it can be difficult to relax and keep your mind off your treatment.

You may not always be able to bring along a family member or friend for company, so it helps to have some ideas in mind for keeping busy. Fortunately, many infusion centers have wireless Internet, so you can pack your laptop, tablet, iPad or Kindle and have endless possibilities at your fingertips. But what are some other ways to pass the time?

Here are 5 things to pack in your to-go bag to keep busy during chemo:

  1. Adult coloring books. Who says coloring books are only for kids? They are the newest trend in relaxation techniques for adults, and can bring comfort and ease stress. There are coloring books available for every interest and personality.  A handful of them are even on Amazon’s best seller list!
  2. Latest new release movie or TV series. Need a good laugh? Now is the time to catch up on all those movies and TV shows you’ve been meaning to see. You could also go on a Netflix binge and watch more than one show in a sitting. Your treatment will be over before you know it, yet your eyes will still be glued to your tablet or laptop!
  3. Crochet kit to create a scarf, hat or blanket.  All you need is a few favorite colors of yarn, a right crochet hook and a pair of scissors to get started on creating your own personalized accessory. This activity can be very calming, and when you’re finished you’ll have a gift for yourself, a family member or friend.
  4. Favorite book or magazine. Whether you prefer to read electronically on a tablet or the old fashioned way of a chapter book, now’s your chance to dive into a new series or read up on a certain topic. Reading a good book not only makes time fly, but focuses your attention on something else. If you’re not a bookworm already, you could be one before you know it!  
  5. Puzzles and games. Board games, crossword puzzles, and puzzle games like Sudoku can help you focus and keep your mind sharp. When your mind drifts to the negative, these activities can also be a great distraction to get you thinking about something else. From games with unique, intricate designs and shapes to ones with sports or entertainment themes, there is something for everyone.
How do you keep busy during chemo? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the below comments.

Learn more about cancer services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.

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