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As I sit here in the sunshine in a comfortable chair, you wouldn’t know there was any problems in the world. The world as we know it over the last 6 weeks has changed vastly.
The worry of COVID-19 and the effects on society have been felt by everyone. This virus is a bit like mental health, because it doesn’t discriminate. It can hit anyone at any time, from the Prime Minister to a shop worker; we are all adapting to new advice daily and how best to keep ourselves going.
Everyone is effected by this but for people like myself who have suffered mental health issues and just got back to a daily routine this has a massive effect and I know I am not the only one thinking that.
Mental health is a huge factor during this uncertain period; cut off from friends and family, unable to go to work possibly,no gyms, leisure places open, no gigs or football matches to attend. Workplaces closed; changing routines or making your own home become a office, or the worry of not earning your regular wage.
Remember, if your mental health suffers during this time that your networks are still available to you, places like your crisis team and Samaritans are still there to support you. Texts lines are still available to people who do not like to talk on phones.
I have a few more tips for you. Use social media, if it doesn’t upset you. If your anxiety is high and you get worried about posts with the situation deactivate your account for a while or uninstall the app, or if one particular person is doing it remove or hide their posts. Use your daily exercise, go for that walk or run or bike ride it’s good for you to do, get out in the sunshine. Find distractions, tidy that cupboard you have been putting off; it gives you a goal and you have the feeling of achievement.
I myself have really got back into my reading and have invested in a Kindle recently and will happily post book recommendations on my Twitter for anyone that is interested.
Please keep up-to-date with your medication during this time. And if you are forced to isolation ring your doctors and they will arrange your prescriptions dropped off for you.
Use your network around you. Yes you can’t see your friends and pop for a pint but video call them, message them daily, reach out to people you haven’t in a while to see how they are doing. I myself have signed up as a volunteer for the NHS during this to make calls to vulnerable people to see if they need support think about volunteering.
Mental health is a ongoing struggle in this country certainly over the last few years but I hope in reading this you will try some of my tips and realise you are not alone in your fight but you have to make the first hardest steps yourself but you can do this and you can win.
A few months ago I couldn’t face getting out of bed, the world I once loved had gone and been replaced by darkness. I fought hard and stumbled few times now here I am almost a year up to the day I tried to end my life with pills. Now I am sitting here in the garden, writing this message to whoever is reading.
I know what people go through, I have been there you can do this. The world is pulling together to beat this horrible virus affecting us all. Remember it’s OK to not be OK. You are stronger than you think; reach out and you will be surprised who reaches back.
Image credit: Freepik
Michael Collins loves to write articles about mental health and well-being. You can connect with him on Twitter @mikemenhealth
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