I like a cup of tea in bed each morning, taking it slow for a while and reading some news. It’s something I learned to do a long time ago as I often wake up feeling achey and weary, so I start with some kindness, to myself.

Today, a BBC article caught my attention as it was all about the benefits of exercise to our mental health. 

This is is big one for me. I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, twice, and have experienced very difficult times in my life when anxiety and low mood have been utterly debilitating. I read on. 

The news article referenced an article published in the Lancet Journal about the optimum amount of time we should aim for in order to protect our mental wellbeing. It reports that exercising for 45 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week can reduce the number of days each month that people report they “feel low”.

I pondered for a while, then threw it out to Twitter. I’m fortunate to be part of a fantastic community of women who share their experiences of breast cancer, and the long lasting impacts it has on our lives. We’re mums, writers, doctors, business folk, teachers, and all better for seeing cancer off (mostly).

Like many women I’ve met, I’ve experience problems with my physical and mental health as a direct result of what’s happened to me, so I find much reassurance from friends I’ve made in the social media world that it’s not.

Always curious, and looking for more answers to my repeating question, “Is it just me?” I shared the article, asking, is it achievable after a cancer diagnosis?

The thread took off quickly with women (and some men) sharing what they do to counter some of the impacts of a cancer diagnosis. So far we have cycling, open water swimming, Nordic walking, yoga, climbing, dancing, and “staying off Twitter”. 

Answers came back with humour, inspiration, openness, and realism, all the things I’ve come to expect from this amazing bunch of humans. We even had Adam Peaty’s mum sharing that she’d just ironed his trousers! I replied humbly saying what a smashing lad he is, and how much he inspires thousands of people to get their backsides into the swimming pool!

Each tweet instilled hope and joy in me that I am never alone in feeling some of the thoughts and feeling that follow a cancer diagnosis. Someone, somewhere, will always understand. Thank you.

It’s ironic that I’ve been stuck to my phone for a while and not moved much for a few hours, fascinated as I am by the replies and sharing of what other women like me to boost their health. Best get myself moving now.

The thread is still going, join in?