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What's the one thing that got you through lockdown?

Our blood cancer community have come together to give you some advice on how you can cope with your physical and emotional health during this second lockdown.

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We know that the first lockdown back in March was an incredibly difficult time for a lot of people, especially in our blood cancer community. We understand that many of you will be feeling anxious as most parts of the UK enter or remain in a second lockdown.

We asked our community to share what coping strategies helped them last time, to give you some inspiration on the different ways that you can look after yourself. This includes how to deal with your emotional and mental health as we head into a winter lockdown. Here’s what they had to say…

Keep your mind occupied

Getting creative or discovering a new hobby can help to take you out of your head and into the moment.

"Audiobooks. I’m normally an avid reader, but something about having another voice reading to me through the day was incredibly calming." – Ceri.

"I knitted, crocheted and gardened my way through the last lockdown." – Cleo.

I did knitting and adult colouring to keep my mind occupied.

- Linda

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Keep active

Going outside for some fresh air or to be with nature can be calming and refreshing. If you’re worried about being out in public, you could try exercise videos at home or going for a walk first thing in the morning when there’s likely to be fewer people around.

"A daily walk. Just to get out, and a socially distanced “good morning” occasionally makes all the difference when you live alone." – Pat.

"Easier in the sunshine I know, but going out for a little walk each day was literally a breath of fresh air." – Susan.

I started doing Wii Fit sessions and found some online choirs to sing along with.

- Joanna

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Keep a structure to your day

Why not try creating a timetable for yourself, as you may find that having a routine helps to give a sense of normality. You could also start a diary, so you can record your goals, things you've achieved, things that have helped you, and how you're feeling.

“Only plan for each day. Wake up and decide what you will do that day. Then do it. Keep your focus on that one thing rather than worrying. Aim not to sit watching the news. Switch off the TV and enjoy your favourite music” – Sylvia.

“ACE (Achieve, Connect, Enjoy) gave my days structure and purpose. Achieve: anything from a simple chore or something you've been putting off doing. Connect: staying in touch with friends and family by phone and other electronic means. Enjoy: reading a book, being creative, or playing a game with the kids” – Joanna.

"Have something that you do each and every day, even if it's something really small like sitting down with a cup of tea or reading a few pages of a book - it helps with having a sense of routine." – Jo.

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Keep in touch

It’s important to share your worries with your family or friends, as talking to people you trust can be really beneficial to your wellbeing. You could also talk to other people with blood cancer in our online forum coronavirus thread, or speak to us on our free and confidential support line.

“My daughter would video call me every morning so that we could exercise together.... it helped set me up for the day” – Veronica.

I spent lots of time working in my garden, also read lots of books. I stayed in contact with my children and grandchildren on FaceTime.

- Kay

“My wonderful husband, daughters, son-in-laws and granddaughters got me through. Without them, I think I would have given up. Now, I think I'm the lucky one having them in my corner.” – Judith.

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Keep a positive mindset

Remember to plan things to look forward to – it could be as simple as a video call with someone you haven’t seen for a while, having a film night, or doing an online exercise class at the same time as a friend.

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"Keep hold of hope that this pandemic will end." – Nicola

You’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home.

- Linda

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