Nancy Priston is Cancer Support UK’s Health Ambassador and a personal trainer, who is passionate about health and fitness. Nancy’s approach and understanding of improving health and fitness by supporting both physical and emotional needs is aligned with Cancer Support UK’s ethos and services.
Anxiety and stress are emotions we all encounter from time to time. While I certainly wouldn’t claim to suffer from regular anxiety, I do undoubtedly get stressed and anxious about things and finding ways to deal with those issues is really Important.
Exercise is an amazing mood booster and stress management method, the release of endorphins and serotonin can instantly lift my mood.
It doesn’t matter how rubbish I’m feeling, as soon as I’m teaching one of my exercise classes I feel instantly better. It’s not just the exercise itself, but the social aspect of it, too.
The camaraderie of being with other people, doing the same thing and sharing the same experience, but without the need to actually engage in conversation, means my brain can switch off to a degree from everything else. It allows me to just focus on the people in front of me and what I’m teaching.
However, as I already exercise for over 25 hours a week for work, when I’m feeling extra stressed or anxious, I can’t really add any more exercise in. I don’t have the time or energy. So what do I do instead?
Well, they do say pets are a wonderful stress reliever and I certainly agree with that – having six cats (who are FULL of character) is a great distraction from other life events, which might be stressing me out.
Nothing beats being chosen to be cuddled by a feline companion and enjoying their comforting purrs. They’re also hilarious and always up to mischief, so they keep me on my toes.
Relaxing in a bath, with a light-hearted movie on the iPad, is another way I try to de-stress. A walk in the sunshine, listening to an audio book or podcast (non-work related) really helps, too, as does just enjoying the sounds of nature.
If you have completed cancer treatment and are experiencing low mood or anxiety, please consider joining our free Cancer Coach programme, which offers peer support, as well as coping strategies and exercises to help you move forwards with your life. You can apply to join online or you can contact our Cancer Coach team: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Cancer Coach please watch our webinar.