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Mindfulness: Dealing with Fears During COVID-19

Woman with grey hair sitting on the couch, closing her eyes

During these days of COVID-19, fear has gripped so many in our world. For all of us, trying to get away from these fear feelings can lead us down some pretty destructive paths

When we’re living with cancer, it is a pretty normal and common experience to have feelings of fear. Though, we have to figure out how to manage these feelings so we don’t get paralyzed into maladaptive behavior patterns or just stay stuck.

There are many ways to deal with our own fears. Here are two options you could choose in using mindfulness:

Focus on Positivity or use a Mantra (1 to 2 minutes) 

  • Get quiet, comfortable. Be still and pay attention to your breathing.
  • Breathe in slowly with a count of five, then exhale with a count of five. Keep repeating this for about a minute.
  • As you breathe in repeat a mantra such as “breathing in”. As you breathe out repeat a mantra such as “breathing out.
  • You will know what works best as you practice this meditation of breathing.

Be with Your Fear for a Short Time (2 to 3 minutes)

  • Breathe with it and say, It’s okay. It feels lousy but emotions are like the ocean—the waves ebb and flow. Just keep breathing in and out, allowing the fear to be with you. Image those waves flowing in and flowing out. Fear comes in. Fear goes out.

After Meditating 

  • Do something nurturing immediately after your breathing meditation period is completed.
  • Call a good friend waiting to hear from you
  • Immerse yourself in an activity you know is enjoyable and engrossing
  • Take a brief walk
  • Sit in the sunshine while being aware of nature’s sounds and beauty around you.
  • Allow your fears to be, but not take up residence.

“Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ And the warrior whispers back, ‘I am the Storm!’”

To learn more about mindfulness meditation or other supportive services available at Pennsylvania Hospital, call 215-829-6466. For services at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, call 215-615-0534.

About This Blog

The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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