Freaking out about COVID-19 and your cancer history? We’ve got your back, bud.
We’re sick of hearing about the terrifying realities of COVID-19 on those of us with a
cancer history. Like, as if cancer didn’t suck enough now we’re at high risk for coronavirus, too? If
you’re anything like us, you want to feel better (Hint: Don’t watch the news or check CNN.com
Besides social distancing and protecting yourself as best you can (Need a mask?
We can help with that!),
here are some ways you can keep your mind right until this shitstorm passes.
1) Make Time For Mindfulness
Worry does no good. We all learn that in our own time after receiving that other crummy diagnosis
starting with a capital ‘C’. How can anyone stop at a time like this, though?
One word: Mindfulness.
By learning to focus your mind on what brings you joy, you’ll find a little peace- even in lockdown! Not
sure where to start? Several times a week,
The Big Quiet is hosting group meditations live on
Downloading the Shine app will also
get you motivational good morning texts, quick affirmations, and a
convenient gratitude journal.
It’s more than a social media buzz-word: Self-care is super for managing stress. What makes you feel
warm? Fuzzy? Safe? Do as much of it as you can.
Here are a few humble suggestions:
• A long nap under that old quilt from your nan.
• Escaping intrusive thoughts about COVID-19 and your cancer history for a few hours via a great
• Taking a few minutes to sip a soothing herbal tea all alone. (Pass that parenting baton to your
partner for a bit!)
• Slipping into your fancy pajamas. You know the ones.
• Just giving yourself time and space to name and acknowledge what you’re feeling about the extra
difficulty COVID-19 adds to being a cancer patient or cancer survivor.
3) COVID-19 Protection in Your Pantry
Roll your eyes if you want, pal, but you really are what you eat. Better nutrition = higher immunity. You
can take that a step farther, though, by adding foods featuring immune-boosting, virus-butt-kicking
flavonoids to your Instacart.
According to functional medicine expert Dr.
Mark Hyman, you’ve got a lot to choose from:
• Citrus fruits
• Chili pepper
• Leafy greens
• Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil
• Green Tea
You can read more about the ideal diet for reducing high-risk for coronavirus in his blog titled, “A
Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19” here. Then, take a sec to check out Parsley Health for some
personalized wellness coaching and telemedicine.
4) Stay Connected
Repeat after us: “I am NOT alone!” Say it until you mean it.
“When I connect with people, it gets me out of my own mind full of problems & fears, & helps me stock up
on compassion.” -Jackie Cantwell, Director of Medi Club
Whatever sweet device you’re reading this on connects you to video chats, Insta & FB Lives, 1:1 peer
support... You name it. Even if it’s just a meme that made you snort or a quick, “How are you
up?” text, staying connected to your buds is the best reminder that even though both COVID-19 and cancer
SUCK, we are all in this together.
Feeling lonely? We’re here for you! Slide into our DMs @hibuddhi on IG/FB to say hi.
5) Moving & Grooving
We don’t need to tell you that daily movement makes a major difference in every aspect of your health. We
just want to offer a gentle reminder that exercise is like an espresso for your immune system. It’s also
worth mentioning that it improves mental health. Don’t dare try to claim you can’t use a few extra
endorphins right now! There’s no need to need to channel Tony Horton. Just choose something you love:
• Way too much TikTok
• Walking (*If you can maintain safe social distancing practices where you live.*)
BONUS: Combine this with the last tip & take one of the many fitness classes or watch a DJ set on
6) Finding Joy
Things feel dark. Find what lights YOU up.
If you love to write, check out thriver Suleika Jaouad’s 30-day challenge, The Isolation Journals. You
can still find art supplies on Amazon if you need to scratch the urge to create. Virtual Twistshops can
take the catharsis even farther by connecting you with those who understand the extra stress you’re
under as a cancer thriver. You don’t have to be Pablo Picasso--just put pen to paper and express
yourself! If you enjoy music, maybe it’s time to learn a new instrument. Try asking your friends to
share their favorite songs, and spend some time exploring new genres, too.
If all else fails and you just need a laugh, Netflix has a ton of stand-up comedy specials. And remember,
there is literally NO shame in plopping on the couch to binge watch a new series right now. In fact,
it’s the responsible thing to do.
We want to hear from you! What are some of the ways you’re taking care of yourself through
the coronavirus chaos? Slide into our DMs @hibuddhi on IG/FB.
Let’s get well, together.
When it comes to getting well, we all need a little help.