Monday 19th April 2021

 

Monday: Start with a stretch

You might have found ways to exercise at home, but it can be easy to forget to stretch too. That’s especially important when you’re moving around a bit less than usual. Bupa shared these simple stretches you can do first thing in the morning to get your body feeling more flexible throughout the day. 

 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

If you’re starting to go out of the house a bit more, you’ll also be washing your hands and sanitising them more too. If, like many people, that’s making your hands sore, try these tips from the British Skin Foundation. And remember to always check with your GP if you’re having problems with existing conditions like eczema. 
 
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

You might have started thinking about money a bit more recently, whether that’s making the most of your weekly shop or saving for the future. The Prince’s Trust have some great tools for getting confident with money and can help you make some positive changes to your finances.  
 
 

 

Thursday: Try something new

Drying flowers

If you’d like to make your spring flowers last a bit longer, why not try drying them at home? Stylist has an easy guide for how to microwave or air dry flowers, and how to style them too. 
 
 
 
 

Friday: Watch this

Amend: The Fight for America is an easy to understand history lesson on the US Constitution’s 14th amendment. Narrated by Will Smith and helped along by a whole host of his celeb friends, the series explains how America has fought for equality to exist in reality, not just on paper, and the progress that is still to be made. Please note: The age certificate for this series is 15. 
 

Isolation life hacks - 13 April

Monday

Download our guide to bullet journaling – get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday

Resource of the week: How to sleep better – cancer can make it difficult to get enough rest at the best of times, so check out Professor Jason Ellis’ top tips on how to sleep better. 

Plus, take a trip using Treks on Google Maps, and get exploring from the comfort of your own home.

Wednesday 

Book/podcast club – this week’s recommendations are: 

Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Podcast, where Fearne interviews celebrities about how they look after their mental health. 

Staying In with Emily & Kumail (Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/show/7dC7wJHJdDrZpJl6jEZxoc), where the couple share their experiences of isolation including some great tips and advice! 

Thursday

Time to try something new: this week, find and make a new recipe (this might mean getting creative with what you already have in the house!) 

We’d love to see what you come up with – share the results on your Insta stories and tag us in @teenage_cancer 

Friday

Film Friday: This week’s theme is your favourite childhood film. Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched? 

Isolation life hacks - 20 April

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling (with new tips and templates included). Get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Nutrition and cancer: eating a healthy and balanced diet. Get expert advice from our friend Monika, a specialist dietitian, and plan your meals for the week.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

This week’s recommendation is Trekstock’s excellent Afterthoughts podcast, which shares the stories of young people who’ve been through cancer.

Thursday: Try something new

Every Thursday, the National Theatre are uploading recordings of live theatre productions to their YouTube channel, available for a week. And

The Shows Must Go On! is also making full recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals available for 48 hours every Friday.

Or if theatre really isn’t your thing, how about a game of ‘No rules Scrabble’? You’ll just need a regular Scrabble set – as long as you can justify your word it’s fair game! Play at home or with a mate over video chat.

Friday: Film club

This week’s theme is your favourite Disney movie. Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 27 April

Monday: Plan your week

We’re regularly adding tips and templates to our guide to bullet journaling. Get started on creating your own if you haven’t already, and plan your week ahead!

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Our friends at MOVE Charity are experts in exercise and cancer rehab. They’ve kindly shared three 10-minute workouts you can do at home.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

Audible’s new lockdown podcast Locked Together is available for free and features comedy duos including Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney and the Kurupt FM crew.

Thursday: Try something new

Check out Google Arts & Culture and take virtual tours of some of the most amazing museums, galleries, sites around the world.

Friday: Film club

This week’s theme is your favourite action movie. Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 4 May

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling (with new tips and templates included). Get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Top tips on protecting your mental wellbeing and coping with anxiety and isolation – by Kirsty, Aggie, Ammarah, Nat and Abi from our Youth Advisory Group.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

The AfterThoughts podcast, created by Toby Peach and Alice-May Purkiss and supported by our friends over at Trekstock, shares the stories of young people who’ve been through cancer. We can’t recommend it highly enough!

Thursday: Try something new

Tune into our Instagram live @teenage_cancer at 4pm this Thursday (7 May) for a very special live performance from the amazing New Hope Club!

Friday: Film club

Since Monday is May the Fourth, this week’s theme is Star Wars (sorry… see here if that pun means nothing to you. But also, watch the films!) Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 11 May

Monday: Plan your week

We’re regularly adding new tips and templates to our guide to bullet journaling (with new tips and templates included). Get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

In case you missed it first time round: The Social Sketchup is a series of daily sketching challenges to calm your mind, boost your mood and get your creativity flowing.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

This week’s recommendation is Harry Potter at Home – watch and listen to Daniel Radcliffe reading the first chapter, with more special video readings in the upcoming weeks and loads more great stuff to check out on the site!

Thursday: Try something new

Need more quiz-spiration? Virtual Pub Quiz is a YouTube channel with a wide variety of quizzes you can do individually or as a group. The National Theatre quiz is also great – with questions read by famous actors on a variety of topics.

Friday: Film club

Sticking with a theme, this week it’s time to watch some Harry Potter films. Perfect nostalgic comfort viewing for these times – or if you’ve never seen them before, now’s your chance! Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 18 May

Monday: Plan your week

We’re regularly adding new tips and templates to our guide to bullet journaling. Get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

This week we’ve got a new video from our friend, psychologist Martin Burder. He explains the ‘negativity bias’ and how you can overcome it by starting your day with a few simple, positive thoughts.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

Check out the excellent Table Manners podcast hosted by Jessie Ware: ‘a podcast about food, family, and the beautiful art of having a chat’.

Thursday: Insta live

Tune in to our Instagram live at 6pm for a cancer and exercise Q&A with cancer rehab specialist Gemma from MOVE charity and personal trainer Eddy!

Friday: Film club

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and we could all use some kindness right now – so choose and watch your favourite feelgood film. Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 25 May

Monday: Plan your week

We’re regularly adding new tips and templates to our guide to bullet journaling. Get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Try our 30-day drawing challenge and get tips and ideas for creating art with other people.

Wednesday: Insta live

Head to our Instagram at 6pm for a LIVE drawing workshop with renowned illustrator Pete McKee, and amazing young artist Jessica whose art helped her through cancer treatment.

Thursday: Try something new

Always felt like you should give Shakespeare a try? Check out this amazing free resource which gives you access to the full text and audio recordings of all the plays, sonnets and poems for a limited time only.

Friday: Film club

Since there’s a bit of an illustration theme going on, this week it’s time to watch your favourite Marvel or DC Comics movie – we’re talking Batman, Superman, Avengers or anything from those worlds! Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 1 June

Monday: Plan your week

We’re regularly adding new tips and templates to our guide to bullet journaling. Get started on creating your own bullet journal and plan your week ahead.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Are wigs an option for young guys having chemo? What are the best skincare products to use during treatment? Check out our hair and beauty advice for top tips.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

Listen to the new podcast from our friends at Sketch Appeal on the power of everyday creativity, with episode 1 featuring the awesome Holly chatting about her music, art and cancer diagnosis.

Thursday: Try something new

Give Life Kitchen a follow on Insta for live cook-along sessions and delicious recipes specially created to help you rediscover your love of food during and after cancer.

Friday: Film club

This week – pick a film from the year you were born. Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 8 June

Monday: Mental wellbeing check-in

It’s been an eventful week and an overwhelming few months. Take a moment to remind yourself of our young people’s top tips on protecting your mental wellbeing. Especially the bits about being kind to yourself and taking regular breaks from the news and social media.

The NHS’s Every Mind Matters is another really useful resource if you need more support.

And Metro have compiled a list of online mental health resources for Black people which you may find helpful right now.

Tuesday: Recommended reading

As Black Lives Matter protests continue worldwide, you might be feeling like you want to educate yourself and learn more about racism and injustice. There are some great lists out there to help you get started and keep those important conversations going – here are just a few.

Bustle: Books About Race In Britain To Add To Your Anti-Racist Reading List

The Guardian: Anti-racist books for all children and teens

Wednesday: Podcasts

Stylist: 12 podcasts that focus on compelling discussions around race in 2020

Thursday: Instagram accounts

Bustle: Instagram Accounts To Follow For Self-Education On Black History & Anti-Racist Action In The UK

Friday: Films and TV

Evening Standard: 19 Netflix movies, shows and documentaries about race and racism

Isolation life hacks - 15 June

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. This week we’ve added a lovely new reading tracker template.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Chef Ryan Riley shows you how to make pineapple tacos: a quick and easy recipe that’s especially good if you’re struggling with taste changes as a side effect of cancer treatment.

Wednesday: Book/podcast club

Keeping with the foodie theme, Pandemic Pantry is a new weekly podcast all about food in the UK at the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thursday: Try something new

The BorrowBox app enables you to access e-books and audiobooks through your local library. You’ll need to sign up for an account through your local library to get a login code, but you can do this easily online. Give it a try!

Friday: FYSOT special

This weekend, we would have been holding one of our much-loved Find Your Sense of Tumour events. We’re gutted we had to cancel, but we’re working on exciting new ways to offer support instead, so check back in soon.

For those missing out, here are some video versions of the fab talks and workshops from previous years:

If you’ve been before, why not use this weekend to get back in touch with a friend you made at FYSOT and reminisce?

Isolation life hacks - 22 June

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. This week we’ve added a TV show tracker template.

Tuesday: Resources of the week

June is Pride month, and while this year’s celebrations are a bit different from usual, it’s just as important to show we stand with the LGBTQ+ community – this month and all year round.

If you’re an LGBTQ+ young person with cancer:

More resources for LGBTQ+ young people:

And here’s a great article on how to be an ally with lots of helpful links:

Wednesday: Read/listen/follow

Thursday: Insta LIVE

Cancer and body image. Natasha, who was supported on our Cardiff unit, joins beauty expert Trish for a chat and skincare demo. Head to our Instagram at 6pm to tune in!

Friday: Film and TV

Isolation life hacks - 6 July

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. This week we’ve added a new planner to help you set and achieve goals.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Our friends at Cancer Hair Care are kindly offering FREE hair loss support packs and expert advice for young people with cancer who are unable to access their services in person.

Wednesday: Webinars coming soon!

Want advice and support on creating a CV, covering letter or interview skills? In the next two weeks our partner Morgan Stanley are hosting webinars, CV checking and mock interviews – find out more and sign up.

Thursday: Try something new

Write your future self a letter. Tell yourself how you’re feeling right now, what life is like and what you hope for yourself in the future.

Friday: Film club

Seeing as we’ve just had July 4th aka. Independence Day, your theme for this week is sci-fi. Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 13 July

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. This week: why not set yourself the challenge of growing and nurturing a plant over the summer? Keep track using our lovely new plant observer template.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Kaleb from our Youth Advisory Group shared this fantastic blog on his experience of visiting hospital for a brain tumour MRI and check-up during the coronavirus pandemic, and his advice if you’re anxious about a hospital visit of your own.

Wednesday: Watch/read

Michelle’s currently having treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and shared her insights about going through cancer as a young person from the LGBTQ+ community in these brilliant videos.

Thursday: Try something new

Create a self-portrait in one continuous line. Don’t take your pen/finger/cursor off the paper/screen at any point!

Friday: Film club

Under ‘normal’ circumstances we might be enjoying the end of the school/uni year around this time – so how about a classic high school movie instead? Why not get a group together and arrange a video chat afterwards to discuss what you’ve watched?

Isolation life hacks - 20 July

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. This week we’ve added a speed cleaning checklist – great if you’re starting to have visitors again or just want to feel a bit more organised!

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Lisa, who was supported through treatment by our team in Edinburgh and is also a qualified nutritionist, explains how her eating was affected during chemo and radiotherapy, and shares her top nutrition advice.

Wednesday: Read this

Ever given yoga a try? Yoga teachers Anna and Kat, who both used to teach classes on our unit in Edinburgh, talk about the mental and physical wellbeing benefits of yoga if you’re going through cancer.

Thursday: Try something new

Self-esteem sentences. Complete the sentences below and keep revisiting them. Do your answers change over time? How do they make you feel?

  • This week I will enjoy doing…
  • I have always wanted to…
  • I often look forward to…
  • I get my strength from…
  • One person I would like to talk to is…
  • I would never…

Friday: Listen to this

James, a young person we’ve been supporting in Leeds, created this excellent podcast episode with the help of the hospital team, sharing his insights on getting through treatment in the time of coronavirus.

Isolation life hacks - 30 November

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. It’s ok if you’ve fallen out of the habit of keeping up with your journaling – it’s never too late to pick up your notebook and pens and get back into planning your time and writing down your thoughts.  

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Breathing exercises can help you manage anxiety and relax. Complementary therapist Helen shared some exercises with us. Listen along and give them a try! 

Wednesday: Read this

Coping with lockdowns and national restrictions over winter can be tough, especially if you’re also dealing with cancer. Check out Mind’s information about coronavirus and your wellbeing. We love the section about adapting your isolation routines for the winter months and making sure you get enough daylight.  

Thursday: Try something new

Christmas baking. Is there a baking-shaped hole in your life now GBBO has finished? Maybe it’s time to put on your apron, dig out your wooden spoon and pre-heat the oven! BBC Good Food has loads of Christmassy baking recipes to get you in the festive spirit. 

Friday: Listen to this

The AfterThoughts podcast is back for series two! Toby and Alice started this podcast to share the stories of what happens to young people after they’re diagnosed with cancer. This series we’ve teamed up with them to tell the complex stories of 13-24 year-olds with cancer. Our first storyteller is Bhav, who was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma at the age of 13. Check out the first episode via the link above or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Isolation life hacks - 7 December

Monday: Plan your festive season

The UK guidelines for Christmas restrictions are now available online. Christmas is an important time of year for many people, but it’s also important you feel safe during any celebrations. Check out what you’re able to do, and maybe put aside some time to think about what kind of Christmas would make you most comfortable.
 
And remember, you can always talk to your GP, clinical team, and your friends and family to find the right balance for you.
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week 

Eating can be tricky when you’re on treatment and you’re not feeling well. Lisa, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is also a qualified nutritionist, explains how her eating was affected during chemo and radiotherapy, and shares some top nutrition advice for other young people.
 

Wednesday: Read this (for free!)

Chef Ryan Riley, who’s previously spoken at our Find Your Sense of Tumour event, has written a Christmas cookbook with Life Kitchen, especially for people going through cancer and treatment. Tastes and appetites can often be different during treatment, but this free hardback book can help you enjoy your favourite festive feasts without compromising on the flavour. Order now via the Life Kitchen website.  
 

Thursday: Try something new

Dried fruit Christmas decorations
Fill your house with that yummy Christmassy smell while making some plastic-free decorations! You can use dried fruit to make a wreath, a garland, present decorations, or even just to pop in a bowl at home.
 
To make dried fruit decorations:
1. Get some citrus fruit – oranges work really well and smell great!
2. Finely slice them
3. Pat both sides of each slice with some paper to remove the moisture, and then lay them on some baking paper on a tray
4. Pop them in the oven on a very low heat (60-80 degrees) for 8-12 hours
5. You’ll know if they’re done by checking if the peel is hard and there is no moisture left in the middle
 

Friday: Listen to this

It’s time for episode two of the new series of the AfterThoughts podcast! Toby and Alice started this podcast to share the stories of what happens to young people after they’re diagnosed. This series we’ve teamed up with them, and this week, Caitlin shares her story after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia age 17. Check it out via the link above or wherever you get your podcasts.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 14 DECEMBER

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead.  Why not try putting your notebook and pens somewhere that helps you remember to complete it? Maybe where you eat breakfast, or somewhere in your room.
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week 

You might have seen our cancer conversation cards in the back of our Young Person’s Guide to Cancer book. Well, now you can use them online too! Check out our digital cancer conversation cards and let us know how they help!
 

Wednesday: Read this 

Actor Elliot Page announced last week on social media that he is trans and uses the pronouns he/they. We really loved this article on Glamour about how to be an ally to trans and non-binary people.  It’s a great way to learn more about how to support those around you.
 

Thursday: Try something new

Meditation
Always wanted to try meditation but not sure where to start? DownDog are making their meditation app free until July 2021, so now is the perfect time to give it a go. You can even customise the voice and music. 
 
 

Friday: Listen to this

It’s week three of series two of the Afterthoughts podcast with Toby and Alice. We’ve teamed up with them to tell the complex stories of 13-24 year-olds with cancer. This week, it’s Jake sharing his experience with a cancerous brain tumour, the surgery he went through and the invisible side effects like short-term memory loss. Check out this week’s episode via the link above or wherever you get your podcasts.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 11 JANUARY

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. In this new year, you might want to set yourself some goals for the months and year to come, too. Whatever that means for you, it can really help to write them down to get you started. 
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Holidays can be a great break, but when your normal routine starts again, you might start to feel uneasy or anxious. Try these grounding techniques from Young Minds - they might help you when things feels overwhelming. 
 

Wednesday: Read this

With more restrictions in place, you might be finding it hard to navigate the winter months now that Christmas is over. We liked these five ways to stay positive in January and beyond.
 

Thursday: Try something new

Small green switches.
Even if you’re staying home a lot, you can still make some eco-friendly changes this January.
 
Try:

Checking your local recycling collections and sort what you can recycle from what goes in the bin

Getting a food waste caddy if your local council collects this kind of waste. You can use some food waste in your garden to help things grow!

Trying some eco-friendly beauty switches, like washable cotton pads or biodegradable wipes.

Thinking whether you need something before you buy it. Is there a way you could recycle something you already have, or buy second hand?

 

Friday: Listen to this

It’s time for another great episode of series two of the Afterthoughts podcast with Toby and Alice. We’ve teamed up with them to tell the complex stories of 13-24 year-olds with cancer. This week, it’s Debora sharing her experience with a brain tumour, the surgery she went through and impact that had on her mental health. Check out this week’s episode via the link above or wherever you get your podcasts.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 18 JANUARY

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. Maybe you have a goal you want to achieve, or a routine you want to build into your isolation time. Or maybe you just want to get something onto paper and out of your head.
 
Whatever it is, writing it down and setting aside time each week to review it can help. 
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Having trouble sleeping? That’s understandable right now.
 
NHS Choices have a great top tips page on how to sleep better. And remember, always talk to your clinical team if you’re regularly finding it hard to sleep. 
 

Wednesday: Read this

When you’re not able to see other people in person, it can feel like you’re the only one going through what you’re facing.
 
Take a look at our young people’s stories section to hear from other’s facing cancer. And if you’re looking for stories similar to yours, you can even filter the list by cancer type. 

Even though we’re separated right now, you’re not alone.  
 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Getting the benefits of nature can be hard when you’re in isolation, especially during winter and if you don’t have a garden.
 
But houseplants can be really easy to look after and give you lots of benefits. Check out the RHS guide to getting started with a houseplant collection, and how even a small plant in your house can help benefit you. 
 

Friday: Listen to this

It’s time for another great episode of series two of the AfterThoughts podcast with Toby and Alice. We’ve teamed up with them to tell the complex stories of 13-24 year-olds with cancer. This week, Gloria talks about how she’s approaching her ten-year anniversary since being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. Check out this week’s episode via the link above or wherever you get your podcasts.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 25 JANUARY

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. How has the first month of 2021 felt for you? Maybe you want to reflect on how it’s been and look ahead to some goals you want to set for February.
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Not sure how to begin achieving those goals? Life coach Steph Davies covers how to set achievable, meaningful goals to get you where you want to be in our latest blog post.
 

Wednesday: Read this

Coronavirus has made education more challenging for everyone – but for young people going through cancer, a lot of the disruption is nothing new. English teacher and Teenage Cancer Trust volunteer Bethan has shared some brilliant tips to help you keep learning and keep up with school work.
 

Thursday: Try something new

Mindful walking

Getting a bit bored of doing the same walk every day? It’s understandable as we all have to stay local right now.
 
We really like this list of 20 ways to reimagine your walk, from looking out for wildlife,  listening to a story as you walk, calling a friend, or even trying to get lost. 
 
 

Friday: Listen to this

It’s time for the final episode of series two of the AfterThoughts podcast with Toby and Alice. We’ve teamed up with them to tell the complex stories of 13-24 year-olds with cancer. In this final episode, Borys tells us about being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma aged 21, and his experiences with fertility treatment.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 1 FEBRUARY

Monday: Plan your week

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your week ahead. How does it feel to look ahead to a new month? Maybe you have some goals you can start to put into place this week. 
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Language and how we use it changes over time, and that's a sign of great progress. If you want to be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community but don't always know what word is the most accurate to use, the charity Stonewall has made a great list of terms used in the community and what they mean. 
 

Wednesday: Read this

Keeping up with the news can feel really negative right now. So how about switching to The Happy News? It’s a platform to share good-news stories from around the world. Subscribe to receive your print newspaper, or follow The Happy Newspaper on Instagram for regular feel-good stuff in your feed. 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Cooking on a budget

Want to rustle up some tasty and nutritious food but feeling a bit skint? Check out Jack Monroe’s website Cooking on a Bootstrap. There’s loads of new recipes to try whatever your budget (also, follow Jack on social media for inspiring activism to end poverty and help people to cook and eat well on a low income). 
 
 
 

Friday: Listen to this

Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle The Duchess of Sussex launched their new podcast series Archewell Audio, featuring the audio diaries of activists, poets, athletes, writers, teachers, artists and many more, sharing what they learnt from 2020.
 

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 8 FEBRUARY

Monday: Get inspired

Creative expression was hugely important to Cressi when she went through treatment for leukaemia. She’s been inspired to launch an arts magazine, featuring beautiful art and photography from young patients and creatives affected by cancer and coronavirus. Read her story here. 
 
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Are you spending a lot of time studying or working at home these days? It’s really important to make sure to take breaks and stretch to avoid pains and injuries. Check out Bupa’s guide to desk stretches for everyday exercises to help keep you pain-free. 
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus are starting to be offered the vaccine. Whilst you’re waiting for your letter or your appointment, read up on the vaccine. And if you have any questions, you can always talk to your GP or clinical care team.
 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Creative writing

Have you always wanted to try creative writing? Or maybe you’ve already started your own writing projects. Wherever you’re at, The National Centre for Writing have loads of free online courses for young people to try out new kinds of writing, or to practice skills. There’s everything from character development, creating superhero stories, writing in the times of crisis, poetry, and writing lyrics. You can also find more writing tips in our blog post. 
 
 
 

Friday: Watch this

My Octopus Teacher on Netflix tells the story of a filmmaker who starts an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world. It’s a good watch if you want to escape to somewhere totally different and learn about how these creatures live.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 15 FEBRUARY

Monday: Get inspired

Kaleb from our Youth Advisory Group shared this blog post about how to manage your mental health when different times of the year bring back difficult memories after cancer, something lots of people like to call their ‘cancerversary’.
 
 

Tuesday: Try something new

Make some pancakes!

Today, 16 February, is pancake day, so grab your apron and spatula and get practicing your flipping skills!

BBC Good Food have loads of recipes, from crepes to fluffy American style. And the great news is you can make pancakes savoury or sweet, depending on what you fancy on the day.  
 
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

Matt Haig has written openly about his own mental health, and now he’s written a novel on the topic too. The Midnight Library takes place in a world where, between life and death, you get to go back and make different choices, to see how life could have turned out differently. It’s a powerful story of how to handle regret, how to see the beauty and potential in the life you’re in, and how to live authentically. Please note: This book has themes of poor mental health, suicide, death and dying. 
 
 

Thursday: Resource of the week

February is LGBT+ History Month, so we’ve created a list of resources like TV shows, films, documentaries, books and accounts to follow. Learn more about the history of the community, the progress that’s been made and what still needs to be done. 
 
 

Friday: Watch this

Meditation and mindfulness can feel a bit intimidating at first if you’re not sure what it involves. So Headspace’s new Netflix series helps to explain the basics, giving you some tools to help calm your mind in stressful moments, and give you a good grounding to get you more familiar with meditation and how it can help you.  

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 22 FEBRUARY

Monday: Get moving

Moving your body and getting energised can be a great way to start your week. It doesn’t have to be a full-on Joe Wicks – anything that gets your heart rate up and gets you a bit sweaty can make all the difference, like a walk, or a dance around your room – whatever you can manage. Check out the ‘Young people and fitness’ section of the NHS Get Active Your Way scheme for more ideas. 
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

Cancer can change your skincare and beauty regime, and it can be hard to get info about what’s best to use after diagnosis and during treatment. That’s why leading beauty industry expert Lisa Potter-Dixon and Helen Addis, who previously had cancer, created The C-list – a place for people with cancer to get beauty and skincare tips and advice, and to buy products to suit their needs. 
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

Been meaning to write your first CV, or need to update your existing one? The Prince’s Trust have great info on CV writing, with advice on how to structure it, what to include, and how to make it stand out. 
 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Make your own facemask. 

Could you do with a few more face masks, but don’t want to fork out for new ones? Try making your own! This BBC article has patterns that don’t even need sewing, and can be made from old t-shirts or other materials you may already have at home. Reusable masks are also a great alternative to disposable ones when it comes to the environment. 
 
 
 

Friday: Watch this

Want to watch something that lets your mind switch off? Abstract on Netflix follows industry-leading designers in a variety of different disciplines and shows us how design influences our everyday lives. It features everything from how Instagram works behind the scenes, to how new fonts are designed. Please note: The age certificate for this programme is 15.  

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 1 MARCH

Monday: Plan your month

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your month ahead. If you set yourself goals for February, maybe use today to reflect on your progress and see what you’ve achieved this month. Remember, achievements don’t have to be really big things. It’s important to celebrate achievements of all sizes!
 

Tuesday: Listen to this

 Vez and Liv got together to create ‘Can’t Stomach This, Getting on My Tits’, an honest and witty podcast about their experiences with cancer. Find out more on Instagram, and listen now on Spotify
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

Feeling guilty for not being productive in lockdown? You’re not alone. But it’s helpful to try and change your mindset. YoungMinds published this blog post from Eve, 20, who helps explain why we might be feeling this way, and how we can take the pressure off ourselves.  
 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Grow your own herb garden

If you don’t have lots of outdoor space, you can grow your own herb garden in containers indoors! Check out this guide from the RHS about which herbs to go for, how to plants seeds, and how to look after them. 

Greenery in your home is great for your wellbeing, and herbs are great for your cooking too!
 
 

Friday: Watch this

Watching nature can really help wellbeing, but that’s easier said than done in lockdown. But thankfully BBC iPlayer have loads of David Attenborough series ready to watch for free. It can help give you a sense of perspective and help you switch off from what’s going on around you.  

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 8 MARCH

Monday: Get inspired

Today is International Women’s Day – a time to celebrate the many and varied successes of women around the world, throughout history and today. It’s also a day to call for greater equality for all. So why not take this week to start some positive action? A good place to start is the International Women’s Day website to read about what this day means around the world. 
 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

 Originally led by Emma Watson, the United Nations HeForShe movement is a global initiative to encourage men and all genders to stand with women in the fight for a more equal future. Check out their male allyship campaign for this year and read about their many success stories around the world. 
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

From classics like Jane Eyre to modern autobiographies by Michelle Obama, Penguin surveyed readers for their favourite books written by women. The list gives us a great place to learn more about the often-forgotten achievements of women in history, to celebrate female writers and to explore underrepresented stories.  
 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Move your body, however you want

Have you ever felt self-conscious doing sport or exercise? Maybe you’ve had insecurities about your body, or not felt like you’re good enough at PE at school.

This Girl Can believe there’s no ‘right’ way to get active. That’s why they’ve created an activity finder to help you find something that meets your needs, that you enjoy, and will help you stay active, in whatever way works for you.

Oh, and it’s not just for girls! All genders can use these resources.
 
 
 

Friday: Watch this

Period. End of Sentence is a multi-award-winning documentary about an amazing initiative in rural India to end the stigma around periods, make low-cost period products and help women reach financial independence. You can also read more about the The Pad Project, which started as a result of this film.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 15 MARCH

Monday: Have your say

The government have launched a national survey to help them build their Women’s Heath Strategy. They want to hear about the healthcare experiences of anyone over 16 years old (this could be anything from a GP consultation to a hospital visit) to see where women’s experiences may be different to others. Read more about the survey and find out how you can take part.

And remember, you should always be treated fairly and with respect during your care. So if you ever feel this isn’t the case during your cancer care, make sure to talk to your Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse, Youth Support Coordinator, or someone else on your care team.

Tuesday: Resource of the week 

The coronavirus vaccine is now being rolled out in the UK, based on priority levels. If you’re a young person with cancer, it’s natural to have questions about the vaccine. That’s why we asked Anniela Etheridge, a Senior Clinical Pharmacist for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, to answer some of the biggest questions you might have. Remember – if you have questions about your care, you should always speak to your clinical care team.

Wednesday: Read this

Ellie was 14 when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. When her treatment caused her to go into early menopause, she wasn’t aware of the different ways that could affect her and her health. So she shares the five things she wished she’d known.

Thursday: Try something new

Brush up on your spring flowers

Have you noticed spring starting to bloom near you? Maybe in your garden, local park or woodlands? Once you’ve read the Woodland Trust’s guide to spring woodland flowers, you’ll be able to tell your wild garlic from your cowslip a mile off!

Friday: Watch this

Is wearing your face mask making your glasses steam up?! Watch this quick BBC guide with three top tips to keep your lenses condensation-free when needing to wear a mask.

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 22 MARCH

Monday: Have a switched off week

The news and social media can feel really overwhelming. With everything that’s going on in the world, it can feel like you have to be switched on to it all the time.

But it’s totally fine to take a break or reduce the amount of time you spend on social media and the news – and actually, it can help you feel less anxious.

Have a look at YoungMinds’ blog on digital detox and give it a go this week to see how you feel.

Taking a break isn’t about never using social media or watching the news again – after all, being online has loads of benefits. But it’s good to understand what those benefits are for you and focus on those going forward. 

 

 

Tuesday: Change your routine

Our phones are glued to us these days, which can make trying to switch off tricky. Here’s some tips on changing your routine with your phone which can help:
  • Set a time limit for how long you can spend on certain apps each day. Here’s how for iPhone and Android
  • Do you keep it next to you at the dinner table or when you’re watching TV? Try leaving it in another room.
  • Do you use it for your morning alarm and end up scrolling through Insta before you’ve even had breakfast? Try switching it off at night and buying a cheap alarm clock to wake you up instead. 
  • And try to avoid scrolling right before bed. The light from the screen can affect your sleep. And sleep is very important. 
 
 

Wednesday: Share in a different way

It can be hard to process what we see in the news. We often turn to online spaces to try and get our head around it all.
 
If there’s something you’d normally share online, try writing it down in a journal or texting it to a friend during your switched off week instead. Or maybe chat about how the news has made you feel with a parent or other family member, a friend, a partner or someone in your clinical care team.

What’s different about writing it down or sharing it with just one person? What are you missing about being online? 

It might be helpful to write some of these feelings down to remember when you go back into online spaces.

And remember, if you’re really struggling with how you’re feeling, always talk to someone. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
 
 
 

Thursday: Reclaim your feed

There are ways to make your social media spaces more positive for your mental health, by doing things like following positive accounts, managing your privacy and knowing how to deal with online bullying. Check out YoungMinds’ guide for using these apps more mindfully and in a way that supports your wellbeing.
 
 

Friday: Read this

Comparing ourselves to others on social media can be really damaging to our self-esteem, and yet we all find it hard not to do. So check out Stylist’s guide on how to try and break that habit. 

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 29 MARCH

Monday: Get inspired

Tegan had just started at university when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She was treated on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at St James’s in Leeds. She shares how losing her afro had a big impact on her identity, and how she faced that. Read her story.

Tuesday: Resource of the week

This week marks the first stage of coronavirus lockdown restrictions lifting in England. It also sees the end of the official shielding guidance for people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have plans for when restrictions will be lifted.

Now things are changing again, albeit very slowly, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re on top of the latest guidelines and restrictions for where you live. The best place to get the latest info is via gov.uk. And if you’ve been shielding, make sure you talk to your GP or clinical care team before making changes like going back to work on school. It may still be best for you to continue reducing your contact as much as possible. And you don’t have to make any changes you’re not comfortable with.
 

Wednesday: Bake this

Easter egg brownies

With the Easter Bunny coming on Sunday, why not get ahead of the chocolate game and make these delicious-looking Easter egg brownies from BBC Good Food? No such thing as too much chocolate at Easter.
 

Thursday: Try something new

Easter egg hunt

If you live with others, bulk buy the crème eggs and plan your very own Easter egg hunt! You’d be amazed how well you can hide eggs indoors, or maybe in your own garden. Make sure you get a full-sized egg for the winner!
 

Friday: Watch this

Have you ever fancied yourself as an interior designer? Why not catch up the latest series of Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr? There’s loads of inspiration to be had, plus an inside look at how the industry works. 

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 5 APRIL

 

Monday: Plan your month

Check out our guide to bullet journaling and plan your month ahead. If you set yourself goals for March, maybe use today to reflect on your progress and see what you’ve achieved this month. Remember, achievements don’t have to be really big things. It’s important to celebrate achievements of all sizes!

 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

April is Stress Awareness Month, so maybe take some time today to look at where stress might be coming up in your life right now and read up on some tools to help manage it.

There’s some great information on stress from NHS Choices and Mind, as well as blog posts from YoungMinds and Time To Change
 
 
 
 

Wednesday: Get inspired

Dionne was 24, pregnant with twins and had two older children when she first started noticing pain in her leg. She was eventually diagnosed with osteosarcoma and had to have her leg amputated. Read how she got support for her and her children, and how she’s come to see her prosthetic leg as a really powerful thing.
 
 
 

Thursday: Try something new

Hot cross bun bread and butter pudding

Have you got some left over hot cross buns from Easter? Even if they’re a bit stale, they’ll be perfect for this easy bread and butter pudding recipe from BBC Good Food.
 
 
 
 

Friday: Read this

With coronavirus restrictions beginning to lift slowly across the UK, it’s totally understandable if you’re feeling anxious about the idea of doing more outside your home, especially if you’ve been shielding. You can read more in this Guardian article about managing social anxiety after lockdown. 

But it’s also really important to remember that you should go at your own pace. If you’ve been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, you should only make changes to where you work or study or how you socialise after talking with your clinical care team or GP. That’s true even if you’ve had your vaccine. 

ISOLATION LIFE HACKS - 12 APRIL

 

Monday: Show your pet some love

April is National Pet Month, a time to appreciate the love and support pets bring us every day. You might have a pet at home, or a family member or friend whose pet you like to pretend is yours sometimes. Whether they’re furry, fishy, or feathery, how about showing them some love today to say thanks for all they do (or send them an IOU if you can’t see them right now)!

(Quick reminder – if you don’t normally spend time with a pet, it’s worth checking with your GP or care team before you start hugging animals. Depending on your treatment and immunity right now, they could be an infection risk, so always best to check).

 

Tuesday: Resource of the week

 
Got a job interview coming up? Or maybe you’re thinking ahead to college or university interviews that might happen remotely. Here’s a great guide to how to nail online interviews. It’s got some info that’s relevant to meetings, too. 
 
 
 

Wednesday: Read this

If a friend opens up to you about struggling with how they’re feeling, it can be really hard to know what to say or do. YoungMinds have a great guide on how support a friend with their mental health. Reading this might help you know how to open up to your friends about how you’re feeling, too. 
 
 

 

Thursday: Try something new

Writing children’s fiction

Ever fancied learning about different genres of writing? Legendary children’s fiction author Jacqueline Wilson, most famous for her Tracey Beaker series, gives some tips to Stylist about how to write children’s books
 
 
 

Friday: Make this

Fancy a smoothie? Try searching for different recipes on well-known websites like BBC Good Food to see if any take your fancy. There are lots of swaps for dairy-free options, too. It might be a good way of getting some fruit and veg into your diet if you’re finding eating difficult right now because of treatment or nausea.