9 WAYS TO LIFT YOUR STRESS DURING LOCKDOWN…

At the moment it is understandable that many of us (including me) are incredibly stressed right now. But one of the most powerful tools according to Paul McKenna in Woman & Home is making a daily list of things that we appreciate. So, I will kick of with number …

1. Get a notebook or open a file on your computer, and each day, add at least five things to the list. Then any time you are feeling really stressed read back through what you have written. I’ve ordered a notebook today and plan on trying this straight away.

2. Try and work it out, if you can’t manage an indoor workout then go out for a walk in the fresh air, or do some housework to take your mind off it.

3. Try breathing exercises, whereby you breath out for longer than you breathe in. There are a number of ones you can follow online. The theory is that when you breathe out you signal your nervous system to instruct your body to calm down.

4. During the COVID-19 lockdown it’s been easy to eat all the wrong things especially for anyone who is self isolating but this can have a negative effect on your health, so try eating more healthily. Last week I started a diary of the meals I had cooked during the week so I can look at what we had last week and go for something different this week.

5. Listen to some calming music. Just try and switch off completely by sitting or lying somewhere very peaceful and listen to some lovely soothing music.

6. Apparently we have been watching lots of nature programs during the last few months as they have found these have a very calming effect on children. So, do the same as the younger ones and get yourself in a comfy chair, relax and watch a nature program.

7. Make sure you are drinking enough water every day. Being dehydrated can cause a multiple of different problems. You should try and drink around 2.7 litres for women, and 3.7 litres for men.

8. Read a book, there are so many free and very cheap books to read online now or paperbacks you can buy for a reasonable price. I’ve become hooked on my books and find they help me go to sleep at night. If your having a really bad day there is no harm in binge reading, like binge watching a tv program. If it’s a good book just get yourself comfortable and read it from start to finish.

9. Finally, just laugh and I mean really laugh. It helps to relieve stress big time. If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh you can go online and find funny videos, in particular the animal ones which will definitely have you in stitches.

COPING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT WHILE IN PAIN…

This week has been a week where I seem to have struggled with whatever I have done. We all have them and I’m hoping next week will be much better.

I feel guilty in that I think I have brought some of my pain on myself by doing more than I normally would do during the COVID-19 lockdown. But, I’m sure I’m not alone and a few of us have ‘had a go’ at something over the last eight weeks.

Mine was my little shed in the garden which I have sat and looked at for the last twelve months and decided a make over with lots of help from the other half could be manageable.

The end product is just what I wanted but being a bit of a perfectionist at heart has meant more work for me. The edges and finishing touches were done by me which ended up taking longer than painting the shed. It’s not that I was holding anything heavy but it’s the position you get into to achieve what you want. We adapted a stool for me for lower areas and a big cushion for anything lower down but it just took time.

I’ve rested up a few days but it seems to have really stirred up pins and needles and pain down my arm, in fact it’s affected my hand so badly that I’ve dropped a few things. Now I know I’ve not done any permanent harm but I have obviously provoked a reaction. Injuries happen, it’s a part of normal life.

Because I write my blog so regularly I somehow feel expectations are high and I feel almost guilty if I don’t write my regular post. There are moments in the lives of many people when they are not even sure what brought the pain into their life, only that it is agonizingly there.

Pharmi Web wrote that the University of East Anglia researchers are launching a new study to see how Covid-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. The study will be of great interest to us all.

The daily sun dose we are having is beautiful and I am sure the last eight weeks would have felt like eight months without it but I am definitely ready to see my family for real as soon as I can.

SEEING YOUR GP DURING COVID-19 & HELPING WITH RESEARCH…

Dr. Sarah Jarvis MBE, and Clinical Director at Patient recently wrote how we must NOT ignore any concerns about our own health or a loved ones health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whatever you are worried about, be it a lump, pain or an ongoing health condition, you should seek help through your GP. GP surgeries across the UK are open via phone or video calls so check your GP’s surgery to see how they are making appointments.

You can also arrange a remote GP & Pharmacy appointment through Patient Access in many locations. The Patient also has details on how to get the most out of your GP appointment.

Also on Patient is a link to contribute to COVD-19 research by telling the NHS about your current experience of COVID-19. There is also the app which I previously wrote about and I check in on it daily.

Download the C-19 COVID Symptom Tracker App and self report daily. Help slow the outbreak. Identify those at risk sooner. 

Take 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well to help the scientists identify high risk areas in the U.K. who is most at risk, better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions. See how fast the virus is spreading in your area. 

By using this app you’re contributing to advance vital research on COVID-19. The app will be used to study the symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads. 

This research is led by Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of TwinsUK a scientific study of 15,000 identical and non-identical twins, which has been running for nearly three decades. 

The COVID Symptom Tracker was designed by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals working in partnership with ZOE Global Ltd – a HealthPost science company.

They say ‘We take data security very seriously and will handle your data with huge respect. Your data is protected by the European Union’s “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR). It will only be used for health research and will not be used for commercial purposes. You can read more about how your data will be used, your rights and the steps we take to ensure it’s protected in our privacy policy or in the FAQ‘ 

You can read more at King’s College LondonBBC NEWS, The Guardian, and The INDEPENDENT

Available from the App Store or Google Play.

SAY A BIG “THANK YOU” TODAY ON INTERNATIONAL #NURSE & MIDWIFE DAY…

There could not be a more fitting tribute to all the #Nurses in the world today on International #Nurse & Midwife Day. A big “Thank You” is what they have asked for and I am sure from the bottom of all our hearts we cannot “Thank You” enough especially during this COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Royal College of Nursing has put this message out for International Nurses and Midwife Day

“Today, we’re saying thank you to nursing staff everywhere for the remarkable contribution they make to the lives of millions of people.

International Nurses’ Day is celebrated around the world each year on 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. This year in particular it’s an extra special occasion because not only does it fall during International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, it also marks the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth.

Ordinarily this would be a time for mass celebration, but as nursing staff across the world stand united in responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we must use today to shine a light on the remarkable work all health and care staff are doing for the entire nation.

That’s why we’re asking the public and patients to say thank you to #nursing staff everywhere to show our members and their colleagues how their professionalism is truly appreciated.

You can read Florence Nightingale’s amazing story and legacy on The Royal College of Nursing Website.

They have asked us to share this video https://youtu.be/WJSiIhphvLwo to say thank you to nursing staff using #Nurses Day.

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT MELATONIN FOR SLEEP & YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM…

It’s Sleep Sunday so let’s talk this week about melatonin for sleep. You can see from the infographic below that it can help in many ways to help you sleep.

Pro Health also wrote on Melatonin for sleep and the immune system and explained that Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that your brain produces as a response to darkness. After sunset, usually around 9 pm, the pineal gland is activated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a control center in the hypothalamus that regulates hormones and body temperature.

Melatonin levels stay elevated through the night for roughly 12 hours, until our bodies are exposed to light at the start of each day. Most people produce enough melatonin on their own to induce rest. However, modern activities like excess travel, stress, screen time, and night schedules disrupt this natural rhythm, leading to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Supplemental melatonin may be a solution.

People who can benefit from supplementing their melatonin are people with limited day time light exposure, people with increased light exposure at night, people doing shift work or people suffering from jet lag.

Pro Health also say “ Research suggests that melatonin is not only a good sleep remedy, it might also play an important role as an immune buffer. One study examines how melatonin may act as a stimulant for immunosuppressed conditions, helping the body better respond to external threats like viruses and parasites. On the other hand, the study finds melatonin can regulate overactive responses as well, such as that found in septic shock, acting as an anti-inflammatory. “

Melatonin supplements are available in a few different formats and available from Pro Health and other good pharmacies. Always remember to check with your GP before taking any supplements especially if you are taking other medications.