Stay connected This can be difficult during physical distancing, but connection is more important than ever. Numerous studies have shown how human connection impacts both emotional and physical health.2 Phone calls, texting, video chat, and social media are all ways to connect with your loved ones while staying safe. These connections can feel just as authentic and meaningful as being with loved ones in person. They are also a reminder of the wholeness of our lives and can help reconnect us to the things we find most important.

Connect with your spirituality Whether or not you adhere to a specific spiritual belief system, each of us has a spiritual dimension. Everyone holds certain beliefs and values about what makes life meaningful, one’s purpose in life, and feeling connection beyond oneself. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, remember that spirituality is always something that can be accessed. Connecting with this part of ourselves can help nurture inner strength and increase hope.

Self-Care Resources


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Calm is a popular mindfulness app offering free meditations to ease tension and aid sleep.

COVID-19 Navigator Toolkit is a free toolkit for healthcare professionals who work with oncology patients available through the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators website.

Headspace is a popular mindfulness app, currently offering free meditations including Weathering the Storm and Headspace for Healthcare Professionals.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) offers free meditations audio/videos and a Tai Chi video series.

Mindful Awareness Research Center, available through the UCLA Health website, offers prerecorded and live online classes, as well as a meditation app

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently published a toolkit specifically created for oncology healthcare professionals to use during the pandemic.

Videos on mindfulness (Tools to Cope With Anxiety) are available on the CancerCare website.


Sarah Kelly is social work internship program coordinator at CancerCare.


References

1. Neff KD. The science of self-compassion. In Germer CK, Siegel RD, eds. Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy: Deepening Mindfulness in Clinical Practice. Guilford Press; 2012:79-92.

2. Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Baker M, Harris T, Stephenson D. Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: a meta-analytic review. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2015;10(2):227-237.