Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness can be terrifying. You receive the news from your doctor and begin to worry about your family, your friends, and your future. You begin to discuss treatment options, medical costs, and how your family will be cared for. It can all be extremely overwhelming, especially if you were not expecting a sudden diagnosis. Learning how to cope with your diagnosis could make a huge difference in your physical and mental health, as well as your family’s security. Here are five things to help you get through this challenging time.

A Healthy Diet and Exercise

Your diet and exercise could make a huge difference in how you cope with this diagnosis. Receiving news like this can make you feel depressed, lost, and worried. When you exercise, you relieve stress, increase your energy, and reduce pain. Continuing or starting a good exercise regimen will keep your body healthy and your mind relaxed. A good diet can also help you cope by giving you energy. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. You might be tempted to lie on the couch and eat junk food after your diagnosis, but try to keep yourself healthy during this difficult time.

Selling Your Home

Receiving news like this might inspire you to make a big change. If you’re inspired to move or make a little cash, consider selling your home yourself. It’ll give you something to do and keep your mind off your diagnosis. The family will have something to focus on that isn’t your health and you’ll love staying busy, researching a good sale price, and your home’s value. You’ll also benefit from having the extra money, so it’s a good idea to be your own realtor and start diving into the real estate business, especially if you’re now out of work.

Going to Church

For many, religion is a comfort after a serious diagnosis. If you don’t already attend church regularly, you might find that visiting every Sunday gives you more purpose. You can connect with other people at the church and volunteering to help out will keep your mind off your own situation. You can look into new bible covers for the church or help with the children’s ministry. Diving deeper into your faith will help you trust that everything will work out with your diagnosis, no matter what happens.

Seeing a Therapist

If there was ever a right time for therapy, it’s after receiving a diagnosis like this. An experienced therapist can help you process your emotions and deal with the complicated feelings you’re having about the future. You might be feeling several conflicting emotions at once: anger, grief, depression, denial, and more. A licensed counselor will work with you to develop more coping strategies and healthy ways to process your emotions.

Taking a Vacation

You may find that just taking a break from daily life is the best way to cope with this news. Pack up the family and take a vacation. You could head to somewhere you’ve never been so you know you’ve checked it off your bucket list in case your prognosis becomes grim. You could also just visit your favorite vacation spot and take comfort in the familiarity. Use the money you received from selling the house to go on an incredible trip. Your family will appreciate the extra time with you and you’ll have a chance to relax before dealing with treatment.

Dealing with a life-threatening illness is never easy and there’s no one right way to cope. Let yourself work through your emotions and do what you need to do to feel healthy. Spend time with loved ones and keep yourself healthy. You can get through this.