TOYL TIME WEEK #5

July 12, 2022

TOYL TIME WEEK #5

HEALTH

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

Well, I thought we’d start on a cheery note and talk about dying.  You and me are twice as likely to die from CVD but we fear breast cancer more – why?  Has breast cancer just done a better job of getting the message across?  Is it because that particular cancer is so tied up with a part of the body that is so important to women?  I don’t know, but what I do know is that we should fear CVD twice as much.

How to prevent?  Well, it’s the usual suspects of being the right weight, watching what you eat (no junk, little sugar, no ciggies etc), exercise, sleep and destressing.  Not only this, as women, we are less likely to survive a heart attack than men and do you want to know why?  Partly, it’s our own fault, we’re too stoic but it’s not totally our fault.

A research paper by the British Heart Foundation found the following:

  • women having a heart attack delay seeking medical help longer than men because they don't recognise the symptoms
  • a woman is 50% more likely than a man to receive the wrong initial diagnosis for a heart attack 
  • women are less likely than men to receive a number of potentially life saving treatments in a timely way 
  • following a heart attack women are less likely to be prescribed medications to help prevent a second heart attack. 

So, what are the signs?

  • chest pain or discomfort in your chest that suddenly occurs and doesn't go away. It may feel like pressure, tightness or squeezing
  • the pain may spread to your left or right arm or may spread to your neck, jaw, back or stomach 
  • you may also feel sick, sweaty, light-headed or short of breath.

Other less common symptoms include:

  • a sudden feeling of anxiety that can feel similar to a panic attack
  • excessive coughing or wheezing

If you think you're having a heart attack, call 999 for an ambulance immediately.   DO NOT WORRY ABOUT CAUSING A FUSS!!!

 CREATIVITY

Quite often, creative hobbies can be solitary.  Now, that’s not a bad thing with Covid on the rise again, but it’s not who we are as humans.  This week I want you to think about joining in a group, creative activity and here’s why.  Women are much better at seeking out collaborations than men, which often makes us more creative.  Sometimes the act of seeking a collaboration is the creative thing in itself.  Men – apparently – are less likely to collaborate creatively as they see it as a weakness, like “asking for help” according to Michael Mauskapf of Columbia Business School, Noah Askin of INSEAD, Sharon Koppman of UC Irvine and Brian Uzzi of Northwestern, who were studying the music industry.

Now mostly, creative collaboration is thought of in a workplace situation, but we’re thinking of it as a hobby, so we can kick back.  Ideas include:

  • Foraging
  • Acting (or dance or music) improvisation
  • Dancing
  • Acrobalance
  • Ice Skating
  • Chess

There’s also increasing evidence that if you are not part of a community it can adversely impact your physical health with creativity giving a focus to conversation as opposed to a regular social situation.

Try it – see how you get on.

 

VOLUNTEERING

This week, it’s not for us, but it’s for under 16’s.  Many of you have kids or grandchildren who are breaking up from school next week and you need to keep them occupied.  What about volunteer work?  There are load of opportunities and it could count as part of their Duke of Edinburgh awards. 

Get them involved with a reputable organisation that has proper child protection policies and they can do so many different things from looking after injured pets to learning to cook street food to helping welcome visitors to the superbloom garden at the Tower Of London.  Clearly, it depends on their age and ability but most are free, they’ll meet new people, get some great experience and have bragging rights at school when teacher asks what did you do over the Summer?

The best place to look for ideas is this page from the DofE awards:  https://www.dofe.org/thelatest/volunteering-ideas/

 

DREAMS

I was reminded recently that quite often I think about “when I’m a bit older my life will look like this” and then there are thoughts of walking on the beach every day in sunshine, cooking outdoors, relaxing outdoors with a book etc.

But why not now?   Why can’t I do those things now? Of course, I can, so this week I want you to take some aspects of your dreams and live them this week, within the next seven days.

We are right in the middle of summer so every night this week I’m taking a book outside and reading it in my swinging chair (i.e. a garden chair that swings, I don’t know what you thought it was) while the sun goes down and the evening cools.  It’s light pretty late at present so I’m going to enjoy it and rather than pretend I’m living my best life I’m going to actually do it – what are you going to do?

BEAUTY

Staying cool is the order of the day this week and isn’t it lucky that the TOYL July box is super geared up for this weather!  However, we’re looking at generic things we can do to stay cool so let’s go with cooling showers and baths. 

Cold showers and baths are a thing.  They are brilliant at improving circulation, people claim they help their thinking and at least one of the TOYL Wise Women advisory Board only ever takes cold showers whatever the time of year.

Now, given we’ve just talked about heart attacks cold baths/showers are something to be worked up to so start by simply lowering the temperature of your water to tepid. Don’t go for full on cold as it’s like Wild Swimming, you need to build up to it.

Cold showers are meant to improve your immune system but I’ve also read articles where they weaken your immune system so who knows?  However, in this current hot weather try it.  Once out, pat yourself dry (don’t rub, you stay cool longer) and then if you can, lie down.  What absolute bliss.




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