KBFRC Wellness Guide

Kees Duson

Wellness

The Covid-19 outbreak is an extremely difficult situation; many of us are struggling to maintain our wellbeing as we try and manage our concerns, thoughts and feelings during this challenging, uncertain time.

There have been many changes to life at home, at work and to our social interactions as we distance ourselves physically in order to protect each other. Everyone is finding this situation difficult and everyone reacts differently to the challenges of social distancing and staying at home. We may be feeling isolated, anxious, lonely or worried - about our health, about those close to us or about our finances. It is important to remember it’s OK to feel this way.

Staying healthy and taking care of mind and body is really important while staying at home and coping with mixed and changing emotions. The following offers some guidance on things you can do now to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and manage how you are feeling.

Hope

In order to stay well we need to believe that our circumstances will get better. Hope allows us to believe there is a future. At this time it may be a future where we feel more safe, a future where we can go out and meet our friends and neighbours, go back to work, engage in activities and go back to a more usual routine. Hope helps us to motivate ourselves towards our dreams and ambitions and allows us to feel positive energy.

Even during these difficult weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, when there has been such uncertainty, fear and great sadness. At this time when we are all being challenged, we have seen so many acts of kindness and generosity. Communities have been reaching out to help others; their family, friends, and neighbours and strangers. All these acts of kindness give us hope, even when we may feel scared or overwhelmed. Kindness also breeds kindness, it inspires us and makes us feel part of a wider, connected and caring community.

It is really important to remember our communities are doing a great job. We are showing great spirit and resilience during this time of social isolation. From every individual and family ‘staying home’ managing their own circumstances, to our Covid-19 volunteer groups and organisations co-ordinating meaningful responses; to our essential frontline services and healthcare providers and to all the genuine efforts being made to reach-out, connect and support people via social media. This spirit unifies us and this spirit gives us hope.

Whilst we know it will take time to a return to our usual lives, we have hope. Hope that this pandemic will be controlled and that our social distancing and stay-home actions will continue to help reduce infection and save lives.

Sometimes, when we are feeling really bad, we have to search for hope or we have to let others hold our hope until we feel better. So if you are feeling hopeless and distressed, you might consider talking to a trusted friend or family member, someone who you have found to be supportive and who will listen to your concerns and someone who you can touch base with over the coming weeks.

You might also seek support by talking to your GP or by contacting one of the services listed here. Alternatively, if you need to talk please contact us at Killaloe/Ballina Family Resource Centre and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Tel: 085 0570609 or email us at info@kbfrc.ie.

Things you can do to stay well

Staying healthy – Look after your body

Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel.

During challenging times, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that can make us feel worse. As most of us have been ‘staying home’ we may have not been getting the exercise we need or eating as healthily as we could and for many of us our sleep patterns may have been disrupted. The following are important to incorporate into your daily routine.

Think about the FAB-4

1. Exercise -

It is really important for our health to get regular exercise. You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for exercise each day as long as you keep a safe 2-metre distance from others. Think about what you feel able to do, and what you would enjoy. It could be a walk - even around the block to start with, or a run, a bike-ride or you might have exercise equipment at home you can use or an on-line workout that you can follow. Gardening and housework count too! There are lots of on-line resources and the following links may be a starting point.

 

2. Daylight -

One of the benefits of getting exercise outside is that we are exposed to daylight/sunlight. Whilst we have to take care in the sun, moderate sunlight exposure can help improve our mood and focus by boosting the serotonin levels in the body. Also known as the 'happiness hormone', it makes us feel calm and alert. The sun's UV rays also help our bodies make vitamin D, which is important for our bones, blood cells, and immune system. Spending time in green, natural space can benefit both mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make us feel more relaxed.

3. Nutrition & Diet -

Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Eating well is one of the most important things we can do for our overall wellness, for our body, mind and long-term health. A good diet provides us with the energy we need to keep active throughout the day and supplies the nutrients we need to stay strong and healthy. As well as boosting our mood a healthy diet can help prevent serious illnesses including heart disease, stroke, a range of cancers, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. (Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol).

4. Sleep -

We have to look after our sleep as good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel.
We all have evenings when we find it hard to fall asleep or we wake up in the night and can’t get back to sleep. How we sleep and how much sleep we need is different for all of us and changes as we get older but generally the ideal recommended amount is around 8 hour). But for all of us, lack of sleep or broken sleep can cause extreme tiredness, making us irritable and less able to function and making usually manageable tasks harder. Sleep problems are common especially when we are stressed and anxious, so it is very important to try and maintain a regular sleeping pattern and good sleep practices.

 

 

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