COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everybody’s life. At this time, when several months have passed after the global outbreak, many people are still confused and uncertain about the future. Maybe this is also your case. What is more, cancer patients have serious reasons to be even more concerned about their health. Many patients have spent most of their time being home-stuck in self-isolation.
Social-distancing from your dear ones may lead to boredom, anxiety, loneliness, and even depression. Emotional health is extremely important when dealing with cancer. But how can you keep anxiety away from your life and how can you preserve a positive attitude?
What COVID-19 guidelines should prostate cancer patients follow?
Social-distancing, self-isolation, and home shielding are the golden-rules for prostate cancer patients. Even though people have started to feel more relaxed during the last period, prostate cancer patients are being advised to follow stricter rules. This is because some prostate cancer treatments, especially those involving chemotherapy or stem cell (bone marrow), lead to the weakening of the immune system. This makes patients more vulnerable to various infections, including coronavirus. It is important to continue to practice social distancing to limit as much as possible the possibilities to get the virus from a surface or from another person outside your home.
Social distancing recommendations for prostate cancer patients
The following tips are beneficial for everybody who wants to stay safe, but especially for people who may be in a greater risk-group, such as prostate cancer patients. Set aside some time to think about how you can apply these pieces of advice in your own daily routine:
- When you decide to go out, follow the guidelines given by local authorities.
- Think beforehand to all the things you need to accomplish and try to do as many things as possible while being out. This way, you will avoid having to go out more times than actually needed.
- Choose wisely the type of transportation you will use. If you are compelled to use public transportation, respect social distancing rules. Keep at least 6 feet away from other passengers or transit operators. Avoid using rideshares as much as possible. Also, wear face masks whenever you are in public places, especially closed and low-ventilated areas.
- If it is absolutely necessary to go shopping or running errands, limit your contact with others. Choose to go early in the morning, when shops are not that crowded. If possible, use delivery services and maintain physical distance.
- Social distancing does not mean you should become anti-social. Use alternative methods of communication to keep socially active. Safe social interactions on phones, computers, and video conferencing can lift your spirits and keep your relationships warm and alive.
- Events and gatherings with a limited number of attendees can represent the type of entertainment you craved for. But be careful! Make sure the gathering is held outdoors, in a yard or garden, and keep yourself at least 6 feet away from people who are not living in your household. Even though is difficult not to be able to embrace or shake hands with your dear ones, spread love by means of alternative methods.
Tips to maintain a positive attitude during these difficult times
The global pandemic or how others behave are things out of your control. But your attitude is something you have full control over. The truth is that your attitude outlines whether or not you will be defeated by your situation. Here are some tips that helped many people overcome their anxiety and worries:
- Focus each day on the things you can still do, not on the ones that you used to do and now are impossible to be done the same way.
- Keep your daily routine as usual. This involves getting dressed and groomed as if you would have gone for a walk or for a gathering. This tip helped many people stay motivated and focused on their activities instead of feeling bored or upset.
- Do not be ashamed to ask for help whenever you need it. Call your family or friends letting them know about what necessities you have, including food or medication.
- Think about the light activities you can still do, such as small chores, gardening, or sports. Being physically active contributes to a healthier emotional state.
Other important tips
- Are there things you used to enjoy doing before the pandemic? Come up with ideas that can help you find satisfaction in the activities you are engaged in. Choose, for example, to read a good book, to watch old movies, to bake, or to listen to your favorite artists.
- Video conferences are the norm right now. Why not use them to keep in touch with your dear ones, especially if are living on your own? Try sharing a virtual meal on video calls and you feel as refreshed as when you had your friends around.
- Keeping a diary can be particularly useful, especially if you want to remember to do certain activities that brought you joy.
- Search for apps that are designed for promoting mental wellbeing. Also, contact support groups in your community where you can benefit from specialized aid.
- Consider going for a ride or walk in your neighborhood. If you decide to visit parks or other facilities, inform about special restrictions. If you know that there are certain daily periods when the places are more crowded, choose to go when there are not so many people. It may be inconvenient for you but it is safer.
Your mental and emotional health should be one of your top priorities. Practice social-distancing while keeping in touch with your family and friends by means of technology. Keep yourself physically active and do not cease to do things that bring you joy. Inform yourself whether your prostate cancer treatment is going to be affected by the social distancing restrictions. Stay motivated because this will bring you great benefits!
For more information on support groups, visit the International OCD Foundation or Mental Health America.