If you don’t have a lot of opportunity to go outside, here are some tips for keeping yourself active.
Breast cancer can feel isolating. If you’re recovering from surgery, undergoing treatment, or simply not up to going outside, you may find yourself spending a lot of time in your home. Here are some ways you can keep yourself healthy – both mentally and physically – even if you don’t have much opportunity to venture outdoors.
Keep a regular routine
If you’ve had to take time off work or disrupt your usual schedule in some other way, you may find yourself feeling lost. Help yourself by keeping to a routine. Get up at a regular time, get dressed every day, make yourself your morning coffee – all these little things will help.
Get some exercise
This might not sound easy to do if you’re stuck inside, but there are ways. If you’re in active treatment, something gentle like yoga could be a huge help for you. There are plenty of resources for classes and routines online, and we’ve got some easy yoga poses to help get you started.
If you’re not a fan of yoga, you can look on YouTube or visit your mobile app store to find an exercise that suits you best. Again, if you're not sure where to begin, why not try our eight exercises to get you started after breast cancer?
If you’re looking for reading material that is related to breast cancer, we have several recommendations you may want to check out.
If you’re looking to branch out and find something new, goodreads is an excellent source of inspiration. You can also download Kindle to your phone or computer if you do not have the option of buying paper copies of books.
Tune in to music or podcasts
We don’t always have the attention span for books, which is why having something on in the background is helpful if you want a gentle distraction.
If you want to quieten any unpleasant thoughts, zone in with a podcast on a topic you like. You can listen to our podcasts featuring the stories of people affected by breast cancer.
If you want to completely disengage and relax, zone out with a playlist of your favourite songs.
Even if you can’t see people face-to-face, you can still talk over the phone or via the web. Try your best to encourage positive conversations and set clear boundaries about avoiding topics that might make you uncomfortable or upset.
Keep track of your thoughts and feelings, both good and bad. This is especially good to do if you don’t want to feel like you’re ‘burdening’ others with your worries.
Avoid negative opinions
If being on social media too often makes you feel anxious, stay away from it. If you find the news too depressing, don’t watch it.
Don’t rely on distractions that make you feel worse – there are plenty of positive things you could be tuning into.
Get fresh air
If you have a garden or a balcony, try to spend as much time out there as possible. If you don’t, try to get enough fresh air and natural light by opening the curtains and windows in your house. Even a little bit can make all the difference.
It can be difficult to still eat properly if your routine is disrupted, especially if food shopping is tricky for you. Wherever possible, do your best to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, eat at regular times, and stay hydrated.
Be kind to yourself
What you are going through is extremely difficult, so don’t feel guilty if you have a bad day here and there. If you need a break from exercise or an indulgent snack, go for it! Listen to what your body is telling you that you need.
If you're unsure if you need to self-isolate, you can read the NHS advice on self-isolation.
For more specific guidelines relating to coronavirus, you can read our Q&A on breast cancer and coronavirus with our Clinical Nurse Specialist and Breast Cancer Now's response to the coronavirus crisis.
If you are struggling right now, Breast Cancer Now is here to support you.