How to deal with cancer, fear, anxiety during COVID-19
Being a cancer patient and dealing with different treatments is stressful. The current COVID-19 crisis only adds to the anxiety of people who are dealing with cancer diagnosis which makes them feel overwhelmed. If you are a cancer patient and are feeling the same thing, here are a few tips you can do to avoid anxiety from controlling you.
#1 Contact a professional if you really need it.
Are you afraid that you might get infected with the COVID-19 virus? Do you feel stressed about your diagnosis? Do you think that everything is already too much for you to bear? We recommend reaching out to a mental health doctor. You can contact your physician and ask for referrals or you can check out online therapy programs.
But, if you are currently under mental health treatment, you can ask for techniques and tips about managing stress from your support team. Make sure to contact your nurse navigator or social worker so that they can help you find the proper support.
#2 Look after yourself every day.
When you stay at home, you will have more opportunity to look after yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically. Below are a few tips on doing this:
- Get enough sleep every night. Getting a short nap every once in a while is not that bad. In fact, it helps your body relieve anxiety.
- Mind-body exercises such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are great ways to relieve stress. It makes you feel more mentally and emotionally centered. Don’t know where you should start? You can check out online sessions for mindfulness and stress management.
- Walk outside your house. Stroll around and appreciate nature. This is a very good way of healing your mind and body. But when you go outside, make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Normal surgical masks would be enough. You can go to https://www.somedicalsupplies.com/ for reliable surgical face masks.
- Exercise inside your home. Try online fitness classes like Zumba.
- Listen to music. Try to discover new playlists aside from your favorite ones. Check out online music performances.
- Try crafting projects such as making a scrapbook, painting, and crocheting. You can order your needed supplies online and watch instructional videos.
- Eat healthy food and avoid drinking alcohol. Eat whole grains and leafy greens containing magnesium, eggs and cashews for zinc, avocados for vitamin B, and salmon for healthy fatty acids. These types of food can make you feel relaxed. You can also try new recipes. Avoid alcohol and tobacco as well as too much coffee.
- Connect with your family and friends. Contact people whom you are comfortable talking to through video chat or phone call. Emotional connections are excellent ways of reducing anxiety.
#3 Take a break from social media and the news if they are making you feel stressed.
The news nowadays is often filled with stories about COVID-19. Updates are happening almost every hour and they can be very overwhelming and hard to ignore. If you feel stressed when watching or reading news updates, reduce your exposure to them and just check on the things that you really need.
You can check in with your local website for new restrictions and news updates once every day. Or, ask a member of your family to check news updates for you. Note that you will also find many misinformation on social media and other online sites. Only check out trustworthy sources like your government’s health department. Lastly, beware of posts being shared on social media that have not been verified by experts.
#4 Continue going to your appointments and treatments.
Do not be afraid of the COVID-19 virus. Do not let it get in your way of getting the treatment you need. It is normal to feel nervous and hesitant about visiting your hospital for your treatment like radiation therapy or chemotherapy. But, it is very important that you keep on going to your appointments.
Doctors, nurses, and other health workers will be wearing masks as well as protective equipment to make sure that you are safe. You also need to wear a face mask to protect yourself from the COVID-19 virus.
Dealing with a serious illness is hard, but dealing with it in the middle of a stressful pandemic is even harder. Keeping yourself sane is important to avoid depression from taking over you. One of the most important things you can do is to connect with people whom you can share your thoughts with. Continuous communication is often the best way to make you feel that you are not alone. So, make sure that you stay connected with your close family members and friends.