10 TOP TIPS FOR MENTAL WELL-BEING

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10 top tips for mental well-being
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10 TOP TIPS FOR MENTAL WELL-BEING

Tobias Becker and Santiago Yepes

By: Tobias Becker and Santiago Yepes

 

Health & Fitness

10 TOP TIPS FOR MENTAL WELL-BEING

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all watched the world seemingly turn upside down. The situation escalated rapidly, and in ways which were simply unimaginable before. However, one positive is that we may have time to reflect a little more and re-prioritize our mental wellbeing. As times change, it’s important we hold on to that introspective mindset by remembering to look after ourselves no matter how busy our lives may get.

10 top tips for mental well-being

Below are some of the tips that helped us most – we wanted to share these as we felt they remained just as relevant today. Of course, there is plenty more information out there and self-care can be different for each person, but these are some of the key things that we found particularly helpful.

Limit your online activity

If you find yourself spending an increased amount of time scrolling through social media channels, try to set a daily limit. Research has found that too much time on social media can increase feelings of anxiety and stress. Capping your social media consumption at 30 minutes a day can help reduce feelings of stress and depression, whilst also improving sleep quality. Use the saved time to connect with friends and loved ones instead!

Healthy body, healthy mind

Regular exercise can make you relax, as well as helping you feel and sleep better. Set some time aside each day for some form of exercise – it can be as simple as a short walk. Alternatively, if you want to exercise from home, why not tune into a free online workout? We’ve found that ‘The Body Coach’, Joe Wicks, offers particularly inspiring videos for people of all athletic abilities – just search his YouTube channel to find one that works for you.

Sleep is your superpower

Feelings of stress or anxiety can make it difficult to have a deep sleep. Brush up on your sleep hygiene to make sure your body is getting the rest it needs, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Screen time can also affect your sleep, so install a blue light filter on your phone and try to avoid using screens for up to two hours before you go to bed.

Connect with friends and family

If social distancing measures are still in place, ensure you still stay in contact with friends and family. Why not continue the virtual family quiz that you started? If you can, meet up with a friend and go for a walk so you can see each other face-to-face. Friends and family can be a great support network for your mental health, so make sure you schedule in regular catch ups with them.

Find your Zen

Did you know that just one session of meditation can improve your focus by 22% for the day ahead? Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be a great way to relax and destress. Try guided apps such as Calm or Headspace, which both offer free trial periods to help you get started. Headspace also offers a free collection on their app called ‘Weathering the Storm’, which offers meditation, sleep and movement exercises to help you relax.

Sense of balance

If you’re working from home, it can be difficult to maintain a work/life balance. Try to set boundaries on your working hours and communicate these with colleagues to ensure you don’t end up working into evenings or through lunch breaks. It’s also important to schedule regular screen breaks throughout the day and to try to avoid eating lunch at your desk – instead, go for a walk or sit away from your laptop to reset your mind and body.

Get outside and enjoy the sunshine

Getting outside in the sunshine (if possible) has many health benefits. These include improvements to concentration levels, as well as overall health. Enjoying the sunshine on your skin in moderation begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D, which supports the strengthening of bones and muscles, and helps to lift your mood too. Just don’t forget to apply suntan lotion if you’re outside for over 15 minutes!

Back to basics

With more free time at home than normal, many of us have taken up new hobbies or interests, like cooking or getting creative. It can be easy to pass the time catching up on all the latest TV shows but try to keep these newfound enjoyments going instead. Keep up the cooking!

Routine, routine… routine

It may feel a bit like Groundhog Day but stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Evidence suggests that keeping a routine helps people stay grounded and generally happier.

Pick a trusted source

With so much news flying around, both online and via social media, it can be easy to consume and become worried by whatever comes your way. However, it’s important to make sure you’re only gathering information from a trusted list of media and news sources.

These products are not affiliated with Bayer and no endorsement has been received for their listing

Please remember to consult local COVID-19 guidance before participating in any outdoor activities

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MANAGING YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH WITH HEMOPHILIA

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Managing your physical health with hemophilia
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MANAGING YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH WITH HEMOPHILIA

Pavel and Federico

By: Pavel and Federico

 

Health and Fitness

MANAGING YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH WITH HEMOPHILIA

Pavel
Federico

1) Who or what motivates you to be as healthy as possible?

Federico: Hemophilia truly is the best excuse to be healthier; if I am healthy, I won’t have as many issues in my joints.
Pavel: Wanting to be fit and healthy as well as good-looking!

2) How do you stay healthy overall?

Federico: Yoga has helped me for years. I recently started swimming, which has made me feel even healthier.
Pavel: Going to the gym 3 times a week, avoiding sugar, weight training and bike riding.

3) How does being physically strong help you better manage your hemophilia?

Federico: Being strong helps me avoid bleeds, because it gives my body has the power to do a lot of exercise.
Pavel: I have less bleeds due to strong muscles, and better balance which means less issues with my joints.

4) Can you describe the advantages of maintaining your overall health if you have hemophilia?

Federico: I only exercise when I am on prophylaxis, but the advantage is you are more aware of your limits.
Pavel: I have less bleeds and better overall body health. I think it’s important to judge situations well and try to avoid dangerous situations and sports.

5) What do you wish that young men diagnosed with hemophilia knew about taking care of their overall physical wellbeing, in addition to taking care of the disease?

Federico: Know your limits and don’t take risks.
Pavel: Being overweight can cause damage to the joints; staying fit reduces the need of factor and medication.

You should consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting any new physical activity

 

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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES WITH SPORT

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Santiago Yepes
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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES WITH SPORT

Santiago Yepes

By: Santiago Yepes

 

Health & Fitness

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES WITH SPORT

For many, finding the right sport can be difficult when living with hemophilia. I chatted to my good friend and fellow editor, Tobias, about his personal experience of becoming a keen tennis player whilst living with hemophilia.

Santiago Yepes

I know that you love to play tennis, but when did you start? Did you find it difficult to get involved in sports as a child?

I started playing tennis when I was around 6 or 7 years old. My dad enjoyed playing tennis and encouraged me to play with him. Hemophilia did play a role in which sports I could do – for example, all my friends played soccer and I desperately wanted to as I really wanted the matching club jersey that they all had! However, soccer was too high impact for me at the time, so I joined the same club but just played tennis instead.

I know what you mean. It’s so important to take hemophilia into consideration with training and sport, even if it is tough when you’re a teenager and want to fit in! Do you do anything else to adapt your activities to your medical needs?

When I was younger, you could hardly tell the difference between me and my peers, so I fitted in well. I played tennis once a week and just took my medicine on the day that I wanted to play. In my late teens, I started playing a lot more frequently and I also started coaching. To make sure my treatment matched my increased activity, I stayed in close contact with my treatment center, where I was monitored very closely and my treatment was personalized to suit the level of activity I wanted to do.

What is the one thing that you wish people with hemophilia knew more about when it comes to sport?

You can do a lot more than you think you can! Therapies and treatments can be closely personalized to suit the level of activity that you want to do, so your hemophilia doesn’t need to limit your activity. In fact, activity guidelines for people with hemophilia (PWH) highlight the many benefits of playing sport, including improvements in physical fitness and the development of increased flexibility and muscular strength, which may actually reduce the risk of injury. Several studies also report that physical activity can improve the effectiveness of treatments and decrease the likelihood of bleeding episodes in PWH.

In contrast to those studies, there are a lot of resources that advise people with hemophilia to stick to ‘low impact’ sports. Do you think perceptions of hemophilia and sport have evolved over time?

I think there’s been a big shift in thinking around sports and hemophilia. It used to be unthinkable for a person with hemophilia to play soccer, but it’s been made possible with the right therapy and treatment. There’s also more talk now about the need for people with hemophilia to stay active, especially in Germany. I do think it’s important to note, however, that we need to listen to our bodies and not push our limits too far. Treatment is expensive and not everyone has access to therapy, so these people do need to be a lot more careful when playing higher impact sport.

What advice would you give to someone with hemophilia who wants to stay active and get involved with different sports?

Go for it! Always speak to your doctor about therapy first, but don’t let hemophilia stop you from achieving your goals.

You should consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting any new physical activity

 

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Contact the Editorial Board

Tobias Becker

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