What are the things we need to consider to ensure we maintain good mental health as well as good physical health? And, as our day-to-day life changes is it possible that we might even discover hidden talents in the weeks ahead?
Isolation, even if it is just the time between unit dialysis sessions will affect us all differently. What can we do to help keep ourselves mentally well during long periods spent at home? Kidney Care UK counsellor Dee Durham explains.
“Having a routine for the day will help to keep us focused. The activities you chose are going to be specific to you, but try to include something practical, a hobby or a chore, something physical or something relaxing, perhaps mindfulness meditation or a hot bath.
It may also help to set yourself a goal for the day. This can be anything from writing that thank you letter to great aunt Alice to tidying up your wardrobe (remembering to declutter as you go). Also look into what local community activities require remote volunteers, maybe there’s a care home near to you asking for letters or drawings from children whose schools have been closed.
It’s really important to find that balance between structured routine and ‘down time’.
And don’t forget to reward yourself, even if it’s just a half an hour of ‘you time’, without the kids or watching your favourite show on TV. It’s really important to find that balance between structured routine and ‘down time’.
You could also try something as simple as writing a diary. This is an unprecedented situation and I am sure our descendants will want to know how we coped. Everyone has become so reliant on texts and emails, so ask yourself if there’s someone you know who would appreciate hearing your voice and sharing their news.
It’s important to speak to someone every day.
Finally, remember to get dressed every morning. It will give you a sense of purpose as you tackle your routine for the day.
It is also important to ensure you remain physically well. The old saying ‘use it or lose it’ has never been truer. For those brave enough, try a fitness DVD, join one of the many online or television fitness sessions which are being aired now and have been specially adapted to be done in front of the TV. If you are not up to leaping around your living room, start gently with some leg and arm exercises from your chair.
And if you’re still permitted to leave the house, try to walk for half an hour every day, even if this is around your own garden. Not only will this ensure you maintain a good level of physical fitness but exercise and a dose of fresh air will help you sleep more soundly at night.
Time to take up a hobby
If you’ve ever thought of trying a new hobby, but never had the time. Well, you’ve got plenty of time now! There are so many ways to distract ourselves through long periods in our homes and gardens. We already know that some of our readers are exploring hidden artistic talents and have taken to the watercolours and coloured pencils and started to create some great pictures - last year we created a giant colouring wall for the Transplant Games which is available for you to download.
For those who like to sew, knit or work with wood, perhaps now is the time to take on a project that always seemed too big for the odd few minutes you have spare during a busy day. You DO have the time now. For the gardeners amongst us, we’ve now got the time to potter in our potting shed and start the transformation of our garden. And for the budding chefs, now really is the time to perform in the kitchen along with Chef Ripley. We have lots of great video demonstrations and delicious recipes for you on the Kidney Kitchen.
Let’s start these projects together. Take photos of your completed projects and Kidney Kitchen dishes and share them with us on social media with the hashtag #selfieisolation.
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