During times of crisis be it a personal critical illness diagnosis such as cancer or watching the COVID-19 virus turning into an epidemic, our minds and bodies can suffer from heightened levels of stress, anxiety and feelings of loss of control.
There are things we can do during these unsettling time, that help us to regain a sense of control, by knowing that on an individual basis we are doing everything we can for ourselves and our family.
The aim of these actions is to increase our wellbeing; physically and mentally by following a prehabilitation plan.“ Prehabilitation is the practice of enhancing a patients functional capacity”.
It’s predominantly used before surgery and has started to be adopted before some cancer treatments start.
The fundamental elements apply to us all to improve our strength and wellbeing now as the world faces this health crisis.
On a personal level I’m acutely aware that my immune system may still be compromised, as I previously received cancer treatment. I’m following these steps as I need to be able to feel that I’m taking control of the things I can positivity influence.
This is keeping me mentally strong and positive, and I hope you may benefit from it too.
Let’s fight this 🙏
i. Increase physical activity levels, (whilst maintaining a degree of social separation). Walking, running, cardio and dumbbells (which you can buy online). All weight bearing exercises will increase bone density and strength. If you are new to exercise it’s advisable to build up slowly. Even brisk walks will be beneficial. If you’re new to working out at home, download an easy cardio class and take it at your own pace. Ideally building up to the government guidelines of 150 minutes (2 1/2 hours) of moderate intensity activity (such as brisk walking or cycling); or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (such as running) a week. I don’t advice going to gyms at this time.
ii. Eat a well balanced diet; plenty of whole grains, homemade soups, lots of protein, fish, white meat and beans. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake and reduce consumption of processed foods. See the healthy recipe section.
iii. Reduce your alcohol consumption, the no/low market has increased massively over the last couple of years and provide many great alternative to alcohol. Ghost ship is a great pale ale with very low alcohol, seedlip is a great alternative to a G&T.
iv. Good quality sleep is vital and can be comprised during times of stress and anxiety. Go back to basics; go to bed earlier, turn off digital devices a couple of hours before bed, take a warm bath, use Epsom Balt salts, drink Chamomile tea at bedtime or warm milk. Practise rhythmic breathing.
v. Work on reducing your levels of stress and anxiety. I like to use mindfulness. Check out the mindfulness section of the site
vii. I would highly recommend downloading a mindfulness app and using their free services. Such as Calm, Headspace or Breathe.
I think it would be really inspirational to see the world responding to this crisis by prioritising our individual health and wellbeing, by taking positive actions such as those listed above. #COVID19FIGHTBACK
Disclaimer; This document and my shared views are a personal opinion, based on good practises to improve wellbeing, following my own experience recovering from a cancer diagnosis. It should not be taken as medical advise. If it doubt about your own abilities or health follow the government guidelines.