Receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment on their own are difficult enough... feelings of apprehension, worry and stress are the norm. But dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic adds another layer of insecurity to an already difficult situation.
After all, you're probably already thinking about how to deal with side effects from treatment, or wondering how a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis may affect your day-to-day activities. Throw concern about staying extra safe from COVID risk into the mix — and that's a lot for anyone to handle.
These coping tips can help you navigate cancer treatment during these difficult times.
Even though the pandemic has imposed a degree of social isolation, you can still stay connected with your loved ones. The support your family and friends provide is invaluable, so pick up the phone and call them. Online meeting technology makes video calling easier than ever before, so reach out to those you love, via Facetime, Zoom or Skype. Those interactions will lower your stress levels and help you remember how much support you really have.
Informed, Not Overwhelmed
Of course, we all like to follow the news and stay informed about what's going on. But when it comes to the pandemic, there's a lot of information floating around out there... and not all of it is accurate. Attempting to sort through it doesn't help your stress levels.
Instead, get your information from reputable, scientific sources, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer Society. If you start to feel overwhelmed, limit your information consumption.
Relax With Mindfulness
When your mind is racing a mile a minute, relaxation can feel like an elusive gift. But practicing a little mindfulness can help you breathe easier and regain some peace of mind.
Mindfulness simply means focusing solely on the task at hand. Whether you're playing with your pet, planting flowers, watching your favorite movie, or even washing dishes, bring your attention back to where you are in the moment. This simple practice can help stop those racing thoughts and lower your anxiety level.
Give Yourself a Break
During these times, remember to be nice to yourself. If you're having a bad day, that's OK. Give yourself permission to feel exactly what you're feeling and, especially, to take a break when you need to. When you're feeling down or overwhelmed, reach out to the positive people in your life for support.
Think of the way you would treat a friend who was going through cancer treatment, and then focus on treating yourself with that same level of care and kindness. A little pampering can go a long way. The My Girls line of calendula care products offer that special touch. From calming aromatherapy lotion to cooling sprays, delicious Calendula & Green Tea to uplifting note cards crafted by a cancer survivor, it's a simple way to experience comfort and care.
Dealing with a cancer diagnoses and treatment during COVID isn't easy. But coping through self-care, mindfulness and keeping safely connected can help you find the support you need.