20 Mar 6 Ways Breast Cancer Community Can Reduce Stress During COVID-19
On Thursday, March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a statewide stay at home order effective immediately and until further notice.
Gov. Newsom’s order mandates that Californians remain in their place of residence indefinitely, except for “essential” reasons (learn more about the restrictions and guidelines here).
This is an incredibly challenging time, but especially difficult for breast cancer patients.
If you are currently in active breast cancer treatment, a breast cancer survivor or thriver, live with someone who is currently in breast cancer treatment or a breast cancer survivor or thriver, or around people who are currently in breast cancer treatment or breast cancer survivors or thrivers, here are 6 things you can do to help relieve stress during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1) Advocate For Your Needs
You are your most important advocate.
If you are currently in active treatment or need to leave your home to get medical attention, please reach out to your doctor with any questions or concerns you have.
Also, make sure your health care facility is following the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines for health care providers during COVID-19. These can be found here.
2) Limit Your COVID-19 News Intake
If the COVID-19 pandemic is making you scared or nervous, you’re definitely not alone. While it is important to ensure you have the latest guidance and recommendations from local, state, and federal health officials to keep yourself and your loved ones as safe as possible, try to limit your intake of any other COVID-19 news if it negatively impacts your mental or physical health.
Our minds can run wild with worst case scenarios after reading scary headlines and articles.
Get informed daily then move on with your routine.
3) Be Kind To Your Body
Make sure you’re continuing to give your body what it needs.
Sleep well, eat healthy and well-balanced meals, and move your body as much as your health allows.
Gov. Newsom’s stay at home mandate not only allows people to go outside to walk, run, cycle, etc. but it encourages it (as long as you practice social distancing of 6 feet or more).
Also, avoid drugs and alcohol. Keeping your body strong can only help keep you as healthy as possible during this pandemic.
4) Maintain Social Contact Virtually
While local, state, and federal health officials advise social distancing of 6 feet or more, there’s no social distancing requirements for virtual communication! Please continue to maintain social contact with friends and family via phone, text, internet, video chat, etc.
Take advantage of virtual support groups as well during this time indoors. True North Treks will be hosting free, drop-in video mindfulness classes starting in April for young adults affected by cancer and their caregivers. Learn more here.
Your loved ones and virtual support groups can be tremendous sources of comfort and strength to help get you through this scary time.
5) Be Gentle With Yourself
We’re living in an unprecedented time. There isn’t a tried and true handbook on how to get through a pandemic emotionally, and most of us have never been forced to remain at home indefinitely. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be as gentle with yourself as possible.
Continue with your daily routine, cry, vent, make time to unwind, take deep breaths, meditate, stretch, and do any other activities you enjoy as much as possible.
Our hope and inner-strength are incredible tools to help us get through this challenging time.
6) Call Your Health Care Provider If Necessary
If your anxiety prevents you from being able to continue with your daily activities, call your doctor.
They can give you the most individualized recommendations and help keep you as healthy as possible.
If you are currently in breast cancer treatment, a breast cancer survivor or thriver, live with someone who is currently in breast cancer treatment or a breast cancer survivor or thriver, or around people who are currently in breast cancer treatment or breast cancer survivors or thrivers, please continue to follow these precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place (if soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol).
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
Guidelines are changing and evolving daily. To keep up to date on specific guidance from the California Department of Health click here.
For more information, please visit CDC.gov/COVID19.
Stay up to date on the latest breast cancer and COVID-19 updates here.