Anxiety during lockdown

Being advised to stay indoors more is going to be tough for most of us, but if you’re living with cancer we know that you may be feeling particularly anxious. If you can feel your mind racing, we hope some of these tips might help during your time at home.

Routine is key

Follow your usual routine as much as possible so you have a structure to your day. If you don’t like your usual routine, this could be an opportunity to change it! Get up earlier, spend more time cooking, ring friends or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read for months.

Keep it moving

Incorporate physical activity into your day. Exercising at home can be simple and there are things you can try whatever your age or ability. If you feel you’ve been sitting for some time, getting up or changing position can help. If you’re able, you could clean your home, dance to music or simply walk up and down the stairs. There are lots of online exercise and seated workouts you can follow too.

Get crafty

Find ways to relax and be creative. There are all sorts of things we can do at home – like arts and crafts, writing and singing.

Soak up the sun

Sunlight, nature and fresh air are really important to our mental health. If it’s possible and safe to do so, try to get outside for a few minutes each day.

Stay social

Connect with people as much as you can, whether it’s on the telephone or online. You could join our online support group and talk to likeminded people. Join here

Keep your mind active

Tackle puzzles, read books or watch a films. You might have a cupboard that needs clearing out or jobs to do that you’ve been putting off for ages. Tackling these can be really therapeutic and satisfying.

Take care with news and information

Stay connected with news and advice, but if it’s making you feel anxious or confused think about limiting what you look at to once a day and to just a couple of sources. For up-to-date advice in English, visit the NHS and Gov.UK coronavirus webpages.

Find your safe space

If you start to feel panicky, it might help to find a ‘safe space’ at home that you can go to. Be aware of your breathing – there are exercises which can help. Think about what might help to calm you down. Could you do a puzzle or speak to a friend?

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has more information.

Remember, be kind to yourself. Things are changing quickly at the moment and this is new for all of us. Everyone will be worrying about some aspect of their life and it’s normal to be anxious when things change, so try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

If you need to access remote support during the Covid-19 pandemic please contact your local Cancer Support Centre.

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