Tip Sheets to Support You

HeadwayHealth Tip Sheets

Managing Stress
Looking After Yourself
When Feeling Down or Lacking Energy
Identifying Values in Life
Managing Unhelpful Thoughts
Thought Monitoring Diary
Getting a Good Nights Sleep
Enhancing Intimacy
Dealing with Hair Loss
Helping Children Adjust
Managing our Limits of Coping
Maintaining Health and Wellbeing
Accepting and Managing Offers of Help
Emotional Side Effects – The impact on those having treatment for brain cancer
Communicating Effectively with Your Care Team

A number of tip sheets are reproduced with permission from Ausmed from Psychosocial Care of Patients: A Health Professional’s Guide to What to Say and Do – 2006, Hodgkinson K, Gilchrist J, Ausmed Pubs.

Relaxation Tools

Clinical Psychologist’s Jessica Medd and Sue Bulter have developed a series of audio recording of relaxation exercises and breathing skills to help you to learn and refine your relaxation and calming skills. We appreciate Jess and Sue’s generosity in sharing these recordings free of charge and also acknowledge Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the Sydney Cancer Centre Foundation for their assistance and funding of the production.

Track 1: A Brief Introduction to Learning Relaxation Skills (3 mins)

With thanks to Jessica Medd Senior Clinical Psychologist

Track 2:  Learning to Slow Your Breath (5 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Track 3. Breathing to Relax (7 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Track 4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Active Tense and Release (16 mins)

With thanks to Jessica Medd Senior Clinical Psychologist

Track 5. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Passive Release (12 mins)

With thanks to Jessica Medd

Track 6. Relaxing with Guided Imagery (11 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Track 7. Relaxation Using Your Own Personal Imagery (11 mins)

With thanks to Sue Butler Clinical Psychologist

Please consider trying the different strategies offered above to see which are most helpful for you. Please remember that learning to relax and achieve a sense of calm is a skill that takes patience and practice, so take is slowly and celebrate your progress in learning.  There are many APPS and online learning tools to help you continue to learn and reinforce and expand your skill set.  Enjoy!

Online Resources & Webinars

…with contributions from our team:

“Communicating with your treatment team, children, families, and others.”  Dr Katharine Hodgkinson, Denise Firth, Ovarian Cancer Australia 2016
Open communication with those around you can often be helpful in navigating and coping with a cancer diagnosis. Dr Katharine Hodgkinson discusses communicating with your medical team and offers some strategies for discussing cancer with your family, including talking about cancer with the children in your life. Denise Firth has been living with Ovarian Cancer for years and shares her personal experience of communicating with her treatment team, family and friends. Katharine and Denise also discuss the issue of how much to share of your cancer experience with your larger network and how best to respond to comments or advice which may be hurtful or discomforting.

Webinar – “Bowel Cancer at Work: How will I Cope Going Back to Work?” Cancer Council NSW 2015. Panel Biographies : Ben Bravery, Dr Katharine Hodgkinson and Naomi Houston

Returning to work after treatment for bowel cancer presents many issues not faced by other cancers. This webinar will provide some practical information and strategies regarding how to cope and also communicate with your employer and colleagues. Click on the link to listen to the webinar.  Please note you have to register with Cancer Council NSW using this link to gain access to the webinar.


Webinar – Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster, presented by Dr Katharine Hodgkinson at a Melanoma Institute of Australia (MIA) Patient Information Day.

Before watching the video you agree to open and read MIA video disclaimer


External Resources

HWH Service Relationships

Headway Assistance Program.  Employee assistance program to support Melanoma Institute Australia, North Sydney NSW.

Preferred Psychology Service Provider, DEBRA Australia. DEBRA provides support for those living with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare disease whereby the skin blisters and peels at the slightest touch. Living wth EB is very painful, and sufferers must be bandaged every day with dressings to protect and medicate their wounds. www.debra.com.au

Preferred Psychology Service Provider, mcCR Monaro.  Telehealth support for those affected by a cancer diagnosis in the Monaro region of NSW, Monaro Committee for Cancer Research, Monaro NSW. www.mccr.org.au

Inpatient Psychology Services, rehabilitation ward services. Sydney Adventist Hospital, Wahroonga NSW. www.sah.org.au


There is a lot of information available on the internet – both helpful and unhelpful – so only search reputable sites. Information offers general suggestions only; always consult your doctor on matters that affect your health.  HeadwayHealth is based in NSW Australia so please also note that some sites are based inter-state and overseas and therefore information and services are not relevant in other contexts.  All care was taken to ensure accuracy of the links listed below at the time of compilation.

The Cancer Council information helpline on ph. 13 11 20 can direct you to relevant sites and general information for your personal situation. Some links to generic sites are offered below. Please see HeadwayHealth’s full Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.