Dealing with the emotional effects of coronavirus
The last few months have been hard, and we know that this is still a very worrying time. This page explains where you can get emotional support.
Read all of our information about coronavirus
- What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- How will coronavirus affect people with pancreatic cancer?
- What does coronavirus mean for my treatment?
- Coronavirus information for people with symptoms of pancreatic cancer
- Information for families about coronavirus and pancreatic cancer
- Dealing with the emotional impact of coronavirus and pancreatic cancer
- Dealing with the practical impact of coronavirus and pancreatic cancer
- Coronavirus vaccine and pancreatic cancer
Dealing with pancreatic cancer is tough anyway, and the situation with coronavirus has probably caused further stress and anxiety. You may be worried about getting coronavirus and getting seriously ill from it. And you might also be concerned about its impact your cancer treatment.
Dealing with different feelings about coronavirus
You may be dealing with lots of different feelings about coronavirus. It is hard to get away from the news about it, and you may feel it’s still dominating everyday life. There are restrictions on who you can see outside your household or support bubble or extended household at the moment. Staying at home and not seeing friends and family may be difficult – especially as you may want to spend more time with those close to you if you have pancreatic cancer, not less. And as infection rates change across the country, you may be worried about your risk of catching coronavirus, and anxious about going out. You may also be worried about the current restrictions, and what these might mean for you. And if you live in a in England, shielding has been started again. This may all be particularly hard emotionally.
The last few months have been hard for everyone, but if you have pancreatic cancer, you will also be dealing with the emotional impact of that, as well as coronavirus. It is normal to have lots of different feelings, from worries and anxiety to fear.
What can help?
- Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. Sometimes just talking things through can help.
- You can also talk to our specialist nurses on our Support Line. They can provide emotional support as well as answer any questions about pancreatic cancer and coronavirus. The Support Line is free and open 10am-4pm.
- Some people find it hard to talk to people close to them. You can speak to others affected by pancreatic cancer and share experiences on our online forum.
- You can also meet others with pancreatic cancer through our online support sessions.
You may also find these tips helpful in looking after yourself and creating routine. This can help you feel more in control, and deal with different emotions.
- Stay in touch with friends and family. Although it’s not the same as seeing people in person, using phone, email, social media or online things like Skype or Zoom can help you feel connected to others. Depending on local restrictions, you may also be able to see others, for example, for exercise – although make sure you maintain social distancing.
- If you live alone, you could think about forming a support bubble or extended household, if you haven’t already. This will mean that you don’t need to worry about social distancing with others in your support bubble.
- Keep up to date with what changes to government advice means for you, but make sure you get information from reliable sources. Our information about coronavirus is regularly updated, and our nurse blogs explain recent changes. The government and NHS websites will also have up-to-date information.
- Try to keep active. Have a look at our blog about keeping active and our information about physical activity, or on the NHS website. There are online fitness classes available – just make sure you choose one that’s right for your level of fitness.
- Try to eat well. This can be difficult if you are feeling anxious, and pancreatic cancer can also affect your digestion, which can make this harder. Read our information about how to manage problems with diet and digestion, including pancreatic enzymes to deal with symptoms.
- Try to keep busy if you are staying at home – find activities that you enjoy that you can do at home. Some ideas might include reading, listening to or playing music, gardening, hobbies, jigsaws, online learning or watching films.
- Try to find ways to relax. This might include reading or watching the TV. Or you could try mindfulness, which uses meditation and breathing to change the way you think and feel about a situation. There is more information about mindfulness on the NHS website.
- Try to sleep well. If you are worrying about things, this may affect your sleep, and if you are tired, this can make it harder to cope with things. There are things you can do to improve your sleep. Read more in our information about problems sleeping.
- Try to limit how much you watch, read or listen to the news if it is making you more worried. You could try tuning in just once a day at the same time each day – and then focus on other things the rest of the time.
- Maggie’s have information about cancer, loneliness and coronavirus, and things that might help.
Worries about coronavirus and your treatment
You may be worried about the impact of coronavirus on your pancreatic cancer treatment. The NHS will try to continue providing treatment and care for people with cancer, but some things may change. Read more about how coronavirus may affect your treatment.
Read our blog about what treatment and hospital appointments may be like at the moment.
Updated 5 January 2021