Staying well during coronavirus

Keeping and staying well is an important aspect of all our lives. Whilst, we as an organisation work tirelessly to help transform the lives of people, like you, with a wound or swelling [lymphoedema] we are wholly dedicated to taking you on an important journey from illness to wellness.

What is Wellness?

Wellness is not about being totally free from illness, it is about you, as an individual, understanding how you feel when you are at your best and also understanding ‘triggers’ that are early signs which mean you are not quite as well as you could be. This knowledge helps you to take better control of your choices.

Physical wellness during coronavirus

We understand that living with lymphoedema or a lower leg wound can be challenging, however, it is still important to be active each day to prevent your condition getting worse. Taking control of your daily exercise, a good diet and a sound night’s sleep are some vital components in you reaching your overall feeling of wellness. Exercise can boost your immunity and your confidence whilst supporting your sleep pattern, so why not get started?

* Remember at the moment, under the lockdown rules we are allowed unlimited exercise in open spaces or at home and we must at all times ensure we are using the 2-metre rule for social distancing. Accelerate are offering gentle exercise videos for all to complete at home or indeed, in the garden.

We recommend keeping a record of your chosen daily exercise plan allowing you to feel good about your achievements and keep check on your progress. Keeping pictures of your affected area can also help you see improvements from exercise and motivate you further to achieve your long-term wellness goals.

Below are some exercise videos to start you on your new wellness path. If you have any further ideas or wish to form a group with like-minded people at Accelerate, we would love to hear from you? Technology could even allow us to do that now, we don’t have to wait!

VIDEO – Seated exercises

VIDEO – Exercises with a TheraBand

WEBSITE – NHS guide to mild to moderate exercise

 

Please always take advice from your health professional regarding what is best for you, and above all enjoy it!

If you are interested in specific exercises for your leg or arm swelling you will find links to useful videos produced by Cancer research.

VIDEO – Leg exerciseS for Lymphoedema

VIDEO – Arm exercises for lymphoedema

When you think you can’t do something always remember to try, you may be surprised at the result.

Healthy Eating: sensible eating during coronavirus

Eating well can help us feel our best – and it can also make a big difference to our long-term health. Remember what you put in your body can support your immune system which can help healing and boost your mood and energy levels. Public Health England have produced the Eatwell Guide to direct you on which foods and portions are best. Cutting out that one biscuit a day is a great start but for further support please see the below advice

WEBSITE – Public Health England Eatwell Guide

Always seek advice from your GP if you have food allergies/ intolerances.

WEBSITE – PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND FOOD ALLERGIES / INTOLERANCES

If you are currently struggling to obtain essential food items during lockdown, Tower Hamlets Council can support you. Please contact them if you need help.

Bow Food Bank

Bow Food Bank supply and deliver food to people who can’t get out, either because they are self-isolating or are considered at high risk of coronavirus. You can email them on info@bowfoodbank.org or visit their website

WEBSITE – Bow Food Bank website

First Love Foundation

First Love Foundation supply and deliver food to people who can’t get out, either because they are self-isolating or are considered at high risk of coronavirus. You can call them on 020 3069 9877 or visit their website.

WEBSITE – First LOVE FOUNDATION

Getting a good night’s sleep during Covid:

Getting a good night’s sleep may be difficult for some of us but it is a vital part of your overall wellness. Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Here are some tips which may help you.

  • If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed. We understand at times getting into bed and keeping your legs elevated can be difficult, but it is an important part of your treatment that will reduce swelling and support healing.

VIDEO – HELP WITH SLEEP

  • At the end of the day after wearing your compression garments your legs may ache, this is quite normal and means your compression garment is working well. To ease that aching feeling we recommend elevating your legs. The best way of doing this is going to bed at the end of the day, allowing your legs and feet to rest in a position that will ensure good blood flow and a good night’s sleep.
  • If you struggle lifting your legs into bed and this is why you sleep in a chair, there are ‘leg lifters’ available to support you if you do not have help. Take a look at some of our videos

WEBSITE – MANUAL LEG LIFTERS

WEBSITE – leg lifters

  • Remember to tell your nurse where you usually sleep because sleeping in a chair with your legs on the floor can impact the reduction of swelling and healing time. Remember better conversations with your Nurse ensure better outcomes.

VIDEO – Better conversations on self-management of your wound

VIDEO – Better conversations on self-management of chronic swelling/lymphoedema

Taking care of your Mental Health during coronavirus

The COVID-19 outbreak means that life is changing for all of us for a while. It may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated. It is OK to feel this way and remember that everyone reacts differently to situations and it is likely the feeling will be temporary and will pass. Having some helpful tools can support being able to better cope with feeling anxious or stressed.

Anxiety is normal, but tough to deal with, and it can affect us all in different ways and at different times. Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the trigger causing it (be it a work, relationship or money problems, etc.) comes and goes, anxiety is something that can persist even if the reason for it is not clear to you.

Anxiety UK

WEBSITE – further information on anxiety conditions, support & therapy

Anxiety UK Helpline: 03444 775 774

Anxiety UK Text Service: 07537 416 905

NHS – Every Mind Matters

WEBSITE – looking after your mental well-being while staying at home

Mind, mental health charity

WEBSITE – help with staying at home and coping with feelings of anxiety

Headspace

WEBSITE – mindfulness & meditation app

They have hundreds of guided meditations on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise and physical health. They have made some of their meditations free for everyone.

NHS LiveWell

website – resources to help you make the best choices about your well-being

If you’re in danger, please know that you’re not alone

website – If you or someone you know is at risk of or suffering domestic abuse, help is still available.

Tower Hamlets is committed to protecting the support given to victims of domestic abuse. Please also be reassured that the Government’s household isolation guidance as a result of coronavirus does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999. If you’re in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to local police who will assist you without having to speak.

If you are concerned that a friend or neighbour is experiencing domestic abuse, always call 999 in an emergency, otherwise call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report it anonymously.

Keeping social during Coronavirus

There are many ways you can continue or even begin socialising with others during Coronavirus. How we connect and interact has had to change rapidly over recent weeks to protect each other and frontline staff, however it is still important to have social interactions with friends, family and loved ones. We are relying more on technology such as video calling (Facetime, Zoom, Teams etc). Below are some ideas to get you started on your social wellness journey so why not put the remote down and begin connecting.

  • Plan a telephone call/ video chat daily. We can all feel lonely during Coronavirus so now is the time to connect or reconnect with people in your life
  • Here is guidance on how to sign up for Zoom, one example of video software

website – Request a demonstration, how to sign up and use zoom for family chats or meetings

  • Organise or take part in an online quiz. Why not give it a try?

website – Register and take part weekly in an online quiz

  • Connect with Neighbours as they too may be feeling isolated. Join in the Clapping for Carers every Thursday at 8pm, strike up a conversation and see where it may lead
  • You may prefer the written word to communicate. Perhaps finding a pen pal is more up your street. Here are some links to give you a good start in finding a suitable pen pal.

website – Find a pen paL on interpals

website – find a pen pal on global pen friends

Age UK

If you are feeling lonely and would like to connect with like-minded people over a telephone conversation, then Age UK offer a befriending and support service that is currently working differently due to social distancing but still has experienced volunteers to chat, listen and support you at this time. Please watch their video and give them a call if this would support your wellness.

website – Befriending & support service