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.

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 still some restrictions in place. 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. You may also be worried as things start to open up. We have lived with restrictions for a long time, and you may still be worried about your risk of catching coronavirus, and anxious about going out.

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.
  • You can start seeing more people now – but make sure you follow local guidance.
  • 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. 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.

You can find more information about dealing with the emotional impact of coronavirus and looking after your mental health at:

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.

What can help?

  • Speak to your medical team about what coronavirus means for you and your treatment. They will be able to discuss the best options for you personally.
  • You can speak to our specialist nurses on our Support Line about what coronavirus means for you and your treatment

Updated 17 May 2021