Looking after your physical and mental health is more important than ever now. Healthy eating and getting regular exercise are vital for health. Lots of us are finding all the changes to our lives as a result of COVID-19 upsetting and difficult to deal with. Here are some tips to help you mind your mental health during this time.
Having a healthy daily routine is really important for mental health. during difficult times like this, it’s best if you can keep some structure in your day. This means eating well, physical activity and exercise, regular sleep habits, and things that you like or enjoy, such as reading a book or being creative.
Stay connected with other people in ways that are safe for you. If you are not able to meet a family or friends because of restrictions, stay in regular contact by phone, letter or email .
Try to listen only to the facts
Keep a realistic perspective of the situation based on the facts. Stay informed but set times and limits for news. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by the news, try to talk about it with someone.
If you smoke and/or drink, try to avoid doing this more than usual. Sport can affect your mood and overall health and won’t help you in the long term. If you would like help to stop smoking, free phone 1800 201 203 our visit quit.ie
Changes you may have noticed
Over the last few months, you may have noted some of the following changes or difficulties for you or someone you care about:
- increased anxiety
- feeling stressed
- finding yourself excessively checking for symptoms, in yourself, or others
- becoming irritable more easily
- feeling insecure or unsettled
- feeling that normal aches and pains might be the virus
- having trouble sleeping
- feeling helpless or a lack of control
- having irrational thoughts
if you need support
- GP’s are available and can help if you’re experiencing mental health problems . you can phone to make an appointment and they can arrange a phone or video consultation if that suits you better.
- mental health help line , including the Samaritans , can be a support to crisis or distress . you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 and calls are free from landline phones or mobile.
- Text support services are also an option. You can text HELLO to 50808 for a calming chat and immediate support if you are going through a mental health our emotional crisis. this is a HSE funded service
- Your mental health information line 1800 111 888
Suicidal thoughts and feelings can sometimes be a part of a mental health crisis. Please remember that if you are in crisis are feeling suicidal, or if you know someone who is at immediate risk of harm, you can call the emergency services on 112 or 999 for help.
Mental Health during Pregnancy
As many as 1 in 5 women have mental health problems in pregnancy or after birth. It can happen to anyone. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems in pregnancy. These affect about 10 to 15 out of every 100 pregnant women. Just like at other times in life, you can have many different types of mental illness and the severity can vary.
Perinatal mental health issues are those which complicate pregnancy and the first year after the baby is born. If anyone who is planning a pregnancy, is pregnant or is a new mother feels that they need some support with their mental health they can speak to their GP, their mental health midwife at their maternity hospital, or their public health nurse.
Lititia Janse Van Rensburg, mother of three children living in Limerick, said of her video: “It was so uplifting that someone listened to me, but not only listened, they made me feel OK not to be OK and that I will get there and there is no shame at all.
“My message to women is you don’t need to suffer in silence.”
Watch Lititia’s Video Here
Amy Byrne, mum of two from Dublin, said: “This project has given my PND journey a meaning and a voice. I want to use my voice to ensure no other woman feels alone. My message to women is that there is no blame or shame. Please don’t suffer in silence.”
Watch Amy’s Video Here
Michelle Daly Hayes, who has two children and is from Limerick, said: “This project has been so close to my heart because I know firsthand some of the stigma around maternal mental health and if it helps even one new mum or mum to cope and to ask for help it is worth any effort.
“I guess you could say I am one of those extroverted introverts who seems to have it all under control but in reality I found myself despairing and anxious. So for me raising the profile of services and removing the stigma around maternal mental health and post-partum depression is really important.
“There’s a lovely quote that says when a baby is born, a mother is too. We are all taking it a day at a time, sometimes the picture-perfect view we give the world belies our own fragile mental health. The best gift you can give any baby is a mum that is well in herself. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.”