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A day at a time, Prioritizing self-care, 15/5/2020

16 May 2020

A Day at a Time – A Daily Blog of Life in Lockdown

I was coughing a lot last night and being woken up by it – not Covid-19 – but a reaction to the dogs who have been choosing to hang out on my bed all day. I must do something about that. We’ve been out of our bedroom since before lockdown because of building work. Today, I let 7.00 am pass and enjoyed a further sleep until 8.00 am with lots of vivid dreams about flying and the feeling of really enjoying it. Now I am downstairs, with yesterday’s blog sent, husband at work in another area, son still in bed and I am resting in moments of silence and beauty – the sun is shining, the garden looks beautiful and lambs are frolicking past the fence at the end. All is alright for these few moments resting in presence. And yet 30 minutes ago, listening to a scientist on the news talking about the risks and the severity of the illness for certain groups of people, I was momentarily tipped into fear. The thoughts rising again about how to keep safe when living with an 18 year old who makes his own decisions, does not go along with the fear pandemic and takes his own approach to lockdown rules. It feels like a balancing act of looking after his mental health and protecting myself. I know I am not alone in this. Many families are coping with young people and teenagers who are finding lockdown measures really challenging. I also found myself reflecting on friends who have recently been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and how they barely had time to adjust to the grief of loss of health and the accompanying uncertainty before being thrown another challenge.

I took my temperature out of curiosity, 34.7 degrees again. It suddenly struck me that this isn’t just weird but potentially fatal as the rare autoimmune disease I have wreaks havoc in the body and specifically to organs at low temperatures. So, I shot off another email to the rheumatology department – not in much hope of a response as the one I sent over a month ago has gone unanswered. But it feels good to be taking some control. Next thing, I researched how to raise my body temperature and exercise came up strong. Remembering Lizzie Davis’s excellent online forum on Wednesday on exercise (soon to be available on www.wigwam.org.uk) , I decided to get out my rebounder. When I had cancer 14 years ago, I discovered re-bounding through Jason Vale master juicer. It is a fun, easy way to get a quick cardiovascular workout. I found one online – not Jason Vale but good. Temperature afterwards 36.1 – an improvement, yeah! So many benefits to rebounding – it builds physical cellular strength, improves the vascular system, is good for the heart and great for lymphatic drainage. So, another health stimulating activity to add to my morning routine …he he! I remember how time-consuming managing one’s health is. Foods that raise body temperature include coconut oil, ginger and cayenne pepper so I will add these to my breakfast smoothie. Brown rice is beneficial too and I could quite happily live on short-grain brown rice. Mmmm just remembering now this wonderful spicy rice served for breakfast on one of the meditation retreats I go on.

Later on in the day, I asked my husband and son to take their temperatures. There was a niggling doubt in my mind that my body temperature could really be so low. They both had low temperatures. What a relief! Interestingly, I also registered a slight pang of disappointment knowing that I would have less motivation to rebound. Why is it so difficult to do life enhancing and health boosting activities all the time rather than when needed? Why does self-care and looking after personal well-being come last for many of us? Often it is because we’re feeling stressing with work or taking care of everybody else. However, this is just the time to stop and remember what we need to do to maintain our own well-being and yet, we feel it is somehow selfish or unimportant. But really, speaking from my own experience, I think it all comes down to low self-worth and the key is learning to accept and love ourselves.

Hint: Make self-care a priority