We can’t live without healthy fresh air. Vitamin D cheers us up and makes our bones stronger. Filling your lungs with fresh air is also a great way to clear your mind. But how do you get your daily dose of fresh air when you’re stuck indoors feeling drained from your chemo?
1/ Walk, even if you only go a few metres
Try to walk a couple of times a week. Walking is a good way to clear your mind, expand your horizons and give your body some much-needed gentle exercise. Don’t have the energy to take a long walk in the countryside? Then look closer to home. A short walk around your own neighbourhood can work wonders. Even if you only walk a few metres at a snail’s pace, it’s important to get out regularly. Exhausting chemo treatments can make your world feel very small, literally and figuratively.
Here’s a tip: don’t be too hard on yourself. Did you only get to the end of the street before you needed to stop and catch your breath for fifteen minutes? That’s fine. Did you find that a walk to the corner shop knocked you out for the rest of the day? It’s great that you made the effort anyway. Did you manage yesterday but not today? Don’t be disheartened, you’re not a failure. Remember, chemotherapy can be pretty harsh on your body. Who knows, you might manage it tomorrow or the next day!
2/ Transform your patio or garden into your outdoor paradise
Too tired to go anywhere? Do you have a garden or patio? Then find a nice spot and make it really cosy (ask someone to help if you can’t do it yourself). A comfy chair or bench, a side table, a colourful cushion, some extra plants, maybe a candle... Turn it into your ‘outdoor relaxation room’, where you can enjoy a nap or read a book.
What about winter? Why not spend five minutes in your garden or on your patio, wrapped up in a thick winter coat. You will have the feeling that you have ventured out into the world again and filled your lungs with fresh oxygen.
3/ Throw open your windows
Is going outside too much of an effort? Then open the windows wide three times a day. For a few minutes or longer, depending on the weather. On a cold winter’s day, wrap up in a blanket or slip on another jumper. Of course you’ll get much less exercise than you would if you went out for a walk, but at least you’ve aired the house a little.
Here’s our tip: take the opportunity to do some breathing exercises to open up your lungs and relax even more, both physically and mentally. Yes, that’s right: you can breathe stress and tension away!
4/ Bring the outdoors into your home with flowers and plants
Last but not least: if all the previous tips take more energy than you have but you really miss the outdoors, then bring the outdoors into your home. Do it literally with a nice bunch of cut flowers (or better still, get someone to buy them for you) or some houseplants.
Research has shown time and again that houseplants reduce stress and increase employee satisfaction in offices, so why not try it at home?