The ‘winter blues’ is a phrase that we often hear at this time of the year during these cold and darker days when we tend to feel a little low. But, sometimes the difficulties we face can start to really take a toll and we find ourselves needing help.
Right now, the world around us tends to make life feel overwhelming, stressful and uncertain, especially for those who have not been able to see loved ones for some time, or for those who are self-isolating. This can understandably take a toll on your mental health and you might find yourself feeling worried, restless, bored, lonely or frustrated.
It is important to remember that it is okay to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently.
Although restrictions in the Bailiwick have eased in terms of on-island life, there are still people who have chosen to stay at home if they are vulnerable, symptomatic or a recent traveller.
There are a number of services and organisations available to help and support you and there are details of some on this page.
Additional things you can do include staying in touch with friends and relatives on the phone or by social media, re-connecting with a hobby or learning a new skill through an online course. There are also lots of resources you can use if you need to stay at home.
Here are some suggestions:
- Go for a walk outside in the fresh air (unless you are self-isolating) or try a home workout - Please do not leave your accommodation if you are self-isolating
- Try not to be glued to the news
- Think about how you can adapt your daily routine and set new goals
- Borrow an e-book from the Guille-Allès Library’s online selection or take advantage of their home delivery service for those who are shielding or self-isolating here
- Learn how to meditate
- Listen to a new podcast such as “Feel better, live more” with Dr Rangan Chatterjee, “Happy Place” with Fearne Cotton, Bryony Gordon’s “Mad World” or perhaps the TED Radio Hour Podcast
- Experiment in the kitchen with some new recipes
- Challenge yourself with a sudoku
- Pick up an instrument or new craft to help focus your mind and pass the time
- Try a free online course from Future Learn
Dr Russ Harris, author of the international best-seller ‘The Happiness Trap’, has created a video to illustrate how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to deal with the Coronavirus, and the fear, anxiety and worry that goes with it. Watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmvNCdpHUYM
If you are experiencing particularly low mood or high levels of anxiety or stress for a sustained period of time, we would advise contacting your GP to discuss how they can help and the support that they can provide. Contact details for the GP surgeries can be found at https://covid19.gov.gg/support/healthcare
Depending on your circumstances, your GP can refer you to the following organisations for support:
- Healthy Minds
- Bereavement counselling
- Private counselling
- Secondary Mental Health Services
Mental Health Services are accepting new referrals for urgent and emergency cases – where there is a risk involved – but GPs are asked to monitor and manage their patients and then consider if a referral is appropriate.
All of the different parts of HSC MHS have been aware of the potential impact on both our population as a whole and high risk groups such as those with existing mental health problems and our front line staff.
A psychological health group (cell) was established when these measures were put in place, in order to share experiences across the whole service. This includes a dedicated, senior member of staff from Healthy Minds, 2 care or Occupational Health allocated to different areas – public messaging, hospital, HSC community, private community staff. This group has reached out to the various sectors and have supported individuals and groups of staff who have been negatively impacted by their experience working with COVID patients.