Cancer awareness day
Written by: Freyja Hanstein, Wholesome World health and wellness app creator and book writer
The fresh season of spring is pulling into our worlds, the moment to realise and push that classic reset button.
The seed to this for me was strengthened through being hit by cancer. In 2016 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour, just a year following the heavy hit of losing my husband to cancer, which opened my path to supporting my love and experiencing first hand, the isolation and physical challenges that come with a diagnosis.
There are 3 main aspects that I find important to break down in life and share through support with a friend are to reflect on what CAN benefit your life, and realise how they interlace, so every tiny little effort will positively spread. Encouraging the feeling of being in control of your health is incredibly empowering. By finding out what you can do, mentally, physically and nutritionally, can help ease anxiety and re-build confidence.
- Mental health. There is nothing more beneficial than to realise what you appreciate in life. I’d find out what this is and help your friend achieve them on a manageable scale. Consider that every step counts and start with small and simple tasks to satiate your mind. It’s essential to understand that everyone is different, so try and crack the door to see what fits. Music is one of my favourites, it is one of the easiest paths to ease one’s headspace as it is an outlet for emotion. Writing a diary, gardening, book reading, calmly cooking, opening your mind to a friend or a consistent therapist are all strong steps to placating stress.
- Physical health followed by the physical aspect of daily movement such as walking, yoga or stretching. Any movement that can be realised is a boost to not just your body but your mind. I think that personally, my best friend (yes it’s a dog) pulls me out daily to start the path of satisfaction.
- Nutritional health. By choosing fresh produce you have the nutrition from the recipe. Mentally, you will benefit from the acknowledgment of knowing what you are putting in your body is good for you, a simple start to this is hydration to satiate your body(ref 1), as ‘water is life’. Many treatments can result in a lack of appetite, nausea and distaste, so I find that every bite should be worth it. The simple step towards aiding your body is by removing processed sugars and carbohydrates to enrich what your body receives from each moment of effort.
Having a friend to help you through any of these factors is a huge benefit, and embellishing those moments together is a positive path to be on, realising life is weirdly normal, and your health relies on similar paths to those looking to maintain their general health.
Thinking of helping a friend; Maybe they’re an avid gardener but feel unable to get out. Maybe you could help to create a simple kitchen herb garden. This would be accessible and give them a little window into their ‘normality’. A simple way to be there for a friend and to keep the ball rolling, is helping them give something to their body in the morning like homemade granola(ref 2),or simply stuffed datesref 3) scattered throughout the day; which you can give to enhance the daily satisfaction, and maybe enjoy the creation together weekly to reset the mind. A keen wild swimmer could benefit from a sandy stroll or light paddle, maybe your friend loves to read but struggles to focus so finding a library of audiobooks and podcasts for them could help.
The Wholesome World app has a whole section dedicated to podcasts, TED Talks and digital health links that can point you in the right direction.
Wholesome World Cookbook & Life(ref 3) was just launched to share health recipes and life paths to progress your health, both mentally and physically.
READ MORE through SHEERLUXE from more minds and souls: How To Support A Friend With Cancer, According To Survivors.
(ref 1)Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-importance-of-hydration/
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