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Things to do during recovery

Keeping entertained without leaving the limited vicinity of the hospital or house can be a challenge during recovery from cardiac surgery. For individuals that are normally active, the prospect of staying at home for over a month can seem daunting, so why not utilise the time? While it might be tempting to spend days immersed in soap operas, watching old sport highlights or watching films you've seen, ultimately using the time productively is more fulfilling.

You should encourage your loved one to invest their time and mind in being productive and you should get involved too, and be a part of that recovery. A successful recovery isn't just a physical process - mental wellbeing is just as important. Spending time with loved ones and achieving goals leads to more positive outcomes.

For the Aspiring Bookworms:

Reading is a relaxing and enriching hobby that can take you on an adventure from the comfort of your own home. Pick books together, read them and then get together and talk about what you liked, loved or hated about them. You could even start a friends and family book club!The Guardian and Telegraph both have a list of 100 great novels that are waiting to be read, which should be enough to get you started!!

Alternatively, buy the audiobooks of these great stories and listen to them while you try the increasingly popular hobby: colouring books for adults! These can help reduce stress and keep your brain engaged.

Feed your creative mind with a jigsaw

Jigsaws are a brilliant way of enjoying time together. The topics and difficulties are so diverse now. Maybe start with a place you've been together, then move on to a painting you both enjoy and once you're feeling confident move on to the extremely complicated Wasgij.

Jigsaws are an excellent way of keeping your mind active and occupied whilst also being incredibly enjoyable and actually quite addictive. They're easy to manage and fun for all ages. An excellent activity to have on the go during your recovery period.

For the Travel Lover: Learn a Foreign Language

For the adventurers out there, one way to help you look forward to your life post-treatment could be to plan a trip together for once your feeling healthy again. But why stop there? Use this to drive your time together and start learning a new language. In the UK, Spanish is one of the most popular languages to learn, but you could try your hand at French, Portuguese or even British Sign Language!

Learning a new language is time consuming, and often leads to frustration and overexertion, but doing it together can make it fun. Set a target to learn the basics, and utilise the wealth of online resources available now to aid your learning. Resources like the Rosetta Stone help you develop a holistic education through visual and aural software, speech recognition technology and the social network Rosetta World.

Enjoy a Tasty Treat: Diversify your Cooking Skills

While heart valve disease is not specifically linked to any lifestyle factors such as diet or alcohol consumption, a healthful and nutritious diet is vital to recovery as it contributes to overall heart health! Why not experiment with the most delicious recipes out there? Try out recipes you wouldn’t normally eat, like Asian dishes, vegetarian or vegan meals and a few sweet and low-fat treats for special occasions. The internet is filled with a wealth of recipe inspiration, and cookbooks are common place in bookshops and supermarkets.

You could even challenge each other Masterchef style, or have a family and friends Come Dine With Me.

Green Fingers: Plant a Flower or Vegetable Bed

Once your loved one begins to feel comfortable moving about a bit, why not embrace the outdoors and invest some time in the garden together. Gardening is a productive, stress-relieving activity that can instantly add an air of freshness to your home and having the raised element ensures you don’t overexert yourself by stretching too much. Here are two sites that might inspire your further:

Make sure to invest time watering and caring for your plants, since nurturing another living thing can contribute positively to your own recovery. At the end of the recovery period, you'll have a beautiful lasting memory of that time together.

It’s important to plan for everyday activities during recovery to limit the exhausting feeling of idleness or discomfort. A rule of human nature is that we wish for free time when we’re busy, and then wish for responsibilities when we have free time. Take the recovery period as an opportunity to better yourself and your loved one in more ways than one, rediscover an old hobby or learn an entirely new one! Let us know via our Facebook or Twitter pages what you did to help pass the time!