Taking Care of Your Health


Self-Care During Your Hospital Stay

June 02, 2020

Breathe Relax

Empowering you with tools to support your physical and emotional wellbeing. 

Dealing with cancer can be overwhelming. Here are several suggestions to help you manage the symptoms and side effects that you may experience during your hospital stay.

Breathe to calm and focus 

Take five slow, deep breaths. Count as you go. Inhale 1…Exhale…1

Take another deep breath. Inhale 2…Exhale…2

Do this for a count of five.

Try to complete all five breaths and then return to normal breathing. Notice how you feel…

Relax the body and mind 

  • Choose a calming or meaningful word or short phrase
    Situate yourself quietly and comfortably
  • Relax your muscles
  • Breathe slowly, at a comfortable pace
  • Silently say the word or phrase with each exhale
  • When other thoughts come to mind, gently return to your word or phrase

Take 3-10 minutes a day to practice this skill.

Enjoy guided imagery

Create an image in your mind that is safe, peaceful and relaxing in order to distract from pain, anxiety, or problems.

Visit Bellaruth Naperstek at healthjourneys.com for more information and resources.

Meet yourself with kindness 

Pause and reflect on a difficult situation for a few moments.
Say to yourself: “This is challenging right now.” Reflect that you are not alone.

Place your hand over your heart and say to yourself, “may I be kind to myself in this moment, may I give myself the compassion I need.”

Let go of any self-critical thoughts and allow the feeling of kindness to soak in!

cancer patient sleeping

Settle into sleep 

Getting enough sleep is a common challenge when staying in a hospital. To improve your overall quality of sleep, try these strategies:
During the day:

  • Keep lights on or blinds open
  • Spend time out of bed
  • Avoid caffeine after lunch
Before bed:
  • Limit the use of TV and digital devices
  • Wear an eye mask and use ear plugs
  • Try lavender aromatherapy
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Practice breathing and meditation exercises.

Improve your wellbeing with these self-care exercises

  • Reflect or write about what makes you feel grateful
  • Journal about your thoughts and feelings
  • Nurture your spirituality through meditation or prayer
  • Read inspirational quotes, poems and stories
  • Watch uplifting and funny movies and shows
  • Practice affirmations for healing. Visit LouiseHay.com for more information.

Additional Resources:

Download applications (apps) to your smart phone or tablet:
• We recommend the apps of Insight Timer, Calm, and Headspace for relaxation and meditation exercises.
• Search for more Apps using the keywords “Mindfulness Meditation” or “Sleep.”

Access Moffitt’s Integrative Medicine Healing and Wellness yoga and meditation videos.

Moffitt’s social workers and chaplains are also available to provide support for relaxation and spiritual-based practices.