Last week, I looked at the NHS web site for tips on how to keep active while staying at home during Covid restrictions, and found some really good resources. I was fascinated. I hadn’t realised that the NHS did this sort of thing, so I carried on looking. There’s a whole chunk on mental wellbeing while staying at home because of Coronavirus.
It starts with the basics. You may be worried about your finances, so it explains how to check your employment and benefits rights. It makes suggestion for sorting out the practical things, like getting your medication, and reminds you to carry on doing things you enjoy. And a video gives tips on how to get good night’s sleep.
It suggests talking about your worries, and staying on top of difficult feelings, with a series of videos that give advice on topics such as unhelpful thinking, low confidence, anxiety control, low mood, sadness and depression.
I particularly like the video ‘Reframing unhelpful thoughts’. Many of us are no longer talking face to face to people, instead using text messages, FaceBook messenger or other through the airwave devices. I find it is really easy to misinterpret what someone else means to say, when you don’t have their body language and facial expressions to aid the interpretation.
Then you start thinking ‘why did they say that?’ ‘Why did they take so long to reply?’ ‘Perhaps they’re messaging someone else instead of me?’ And you check if they’ve seen your message, or if they’ve been on FB today. And you can get in a tizz and think they’ve abandoned you.
Or you can think, nah, they’re probably doing the washing or having a snooze. And it may all seem silly when they message you to say, sorry I was out shopping, and you feel daft for getting upset, but in these strange times, it’s the little things that become mountains, and knock you off balance.
I spoke to someone who has tried the ‘my-possible-self’ app – link below. This encourages you to record your mood daily, and what you are doing that day, to see if there is a link between activities and mood. It also suggests exercises to help improve mood. She says it is easy to use and might be helpful for people who are uncertain if their low mood is something that needs further support.
I suspect most people are experiencing periods of low mood during these difficult times. Remember it’s important to seek support when you need it. Don’t feel you are a nuisance, or it’s not as important as Covid. It is, and everyone’s health is important, no matter what the problem.
Written by Portland Jones, PF Disabilities Liaison for the West Midlands