As the UK Coronavirus Lockdown begins to ease, Wellspect Ambassador Evie Toombes shares her top tips for living life to the full and coming out of lockdown.
Here in the UK, lockdown slowly lifting (again) means more freedoms, living life more freely and seeing friends and family at last. Whilst most of us are looking forward to this (especially those who have been shielding), the easing of restrictions can feel overwhelming when you’re living with health conditions that make getting out of the house that bit harder.
If you’re a little unsure of how to adjust to the next ‘new normal’, you feel worried about leaving the house properly again or just aren’t quite sure how you’re going to juggle life and health- you’re not alone. I’ve put together some of my top tips for living life to full, whilst using a catheter that will help you make the most of what we can do, and ease any of your worries along the way.
These few tips are a foolproof way to help you move forward from any anxiety and make the most of every moment.
Organise and set up a ‘just in case’ bag
With so much time at home, it’s easy to get out of practice for your routine. Something that is really useful to do is pack a small bag of your essentials to keep with you at all times when away from home. I call this my ‘just in case’ bag.
Going out should be all about fun, a great way to make that possible is by being organised and ready. If you’re already packed, this helps reduce the stress of going out, and if you’re a last-minute person (like myself) can make life so much easier too. By doing this, there’s one more thing already done and one less thing to worry about, you’d be surprised at how much this helps to make outings more enjoyable and less stressful!
Your bag might have items such as…
- Small black bags
- Hand sanitiser
- (and any extras such as continence pads, painkillers etc.)
*For me, the LoFric Elle fits perfectly into small handheld bags, which is great for travelling and keeping things discreet
Trust the experts
This brings me onto something that not many of us think about, have you ever thought about how much research, expertise and engineering goes into these devices? Hint: it’s a lot more than what you might think.
Continence devices such as Wellspect catheters are designed with people like us in mind, how we want to live our lives and what matters to us when we’re using the catheters. From the grip and shape of the handle to the colour and outer packaging being as discreet and easy to use as possible. This means that by the time catheters and additional items reach us, they’re ready to not only keep us healthy but also boost our confidence and help us to live our lives to the full.
On a personal level, the knowledge that Wellspect has designed these catheters with people like us in mind means that I have the confidence to live my life to the full (without worry), knowing that they’ve already done the hard work, and I can have the fun.
Make plans with people you trust
We want to be able to fully enjoy going out and seeing friends and family, but it can be a real struggle if we’re filled with worry. Choosing to spend time with friends or family that already understand your health can help to build confidence, in the beginning, should you have any problems along the way. Having supportive family or friends is a huge part in beginning to thrive again, whilst it’s scary at first- it’s also one elf the most important steps. Here are some tips below for meeting with friends or family:
- Meet with friends that would be willing to help/support you with your health if necessary if you’re worried.
- Plan to go somewhere that you know (i.e if you are familiar with where the toilers are this helps a lot) Being in an unfamiliar place can make any health-related problems a lot harder to manage. Opting to visit somewhere familiar really helps for any emergencies as when we’re rushing or struggling, being in a familiar environment can help us cope and turn the situation around quickly and get back to enjoying time again.
- Take your ‘just in case’ bag- the clues in the name as to why!
- Plan a short visit for the first time, such as a coffee or drink. When you’re ready or feel comfortable then you can consider planning a meal that could last a few hours longer. Small steps help to build our confidence, you don’t need to dive straight into a full day away from home if you don’t feel ready.
- Most importantly, set your sights on something fun, that will genuinely make you happy, that’s the most important thing about coming out of lockdown and how we spend our time- make sure you enjoy it.
No matter which end of the spectrum you sit at, super confident or very worried (I’ve been at both stages in my journey so far) these few tips are a foolproof way to help you move forward from any anxiety, and make the most of every moment.
These are the tips I use in everyday life, they’re tried and tested for socialising with friends, staying away from home and have also helped me excel in my sporting journey as a Team GB athlete. However you choose to use these tips, I hope your confidence continues to grow and you enjoy the fun, memories and adventures these tips help you to experience.
(I’m looking forward to going for a coffee with my Dad and competing again too!)
Evie Toombes BCyA, Wellspect Ambassador
To learn more about Evie's catheter of choice, LoFric Elle, you can use the button below: