Self-Care During The COVID Pandemic
There has never been a better time for us to start thinking about what we can do as individuals to ensure what measures we can take to help to protect ourselves from COVID-19.
I must admit that my anxiety levels were high when the pandemic started but I realized that it wasn't going to change anything so I decided that I needed to take a proactive approach to feel more in control.
Malabsorption issues with lupus
I suffer from malabsorption issues and as a result, I have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, some of these include iron, folic acid, and zinc. I take supplements for this although I know it has been suggested in the media that certain vitamins and minerals can help to keep our immune systems stronger especially zinc and vitamin c although no studies have proved this however I would probably still choose to take them regardless.
I have low vitamin D and my doctor told me that she has seen so many of her lupus patients have the same issue and that she feels there is a connection - perhaps it's because we spend more time indoors due to our mobility and fatigue issues? Regardless she advised me it's very important to have adequate levels in the body and a good quality supplement to be taken.
It has been reported that there seems to be a link between vitamin D and COVID-19 and an article published in the Irish Medical Journal by Professor Rose Anne Kenny suggests that optimal levels can reduce serious complications arising when catching the virus.1
As well as taking supplements another important factor is making sure we get enough sleep as this can be harmful to the immune system. Researchers say that adequate sleep helps the T cells in the body to fight off infection. When my daughter was born in 2017 I was extremely sleep-deprived and I felt very run down all the time and I started catching a lot of colds and a chest infection that took months to shift!
The practice of frequent handwashing is important along with social distancing measures, etc., but I feel another crucial aspect that needs to be talked about is our emotional well-being too. The effects of long-term isolation for people that live on their own can be hugely debilitating.
Self-care tips for overcoming isolation during the pandemic
I have put together some tips that may help to overcome social isolation.
- Set a routine. It's quite important to set a routine and depending on how you feel physically set your alarm for the same time each day and try to have a rough structure to the day such as eating etc.
- Keep in touch. If you are unable to leave the house to meet up with people in person try to keep in touch using video chat. Perhaps schedule a time in the day so you can look forward to it.
- Find support. Find out if there are any support groups out there that do an online chat where you can share your experiences.
- Explore creativity. Arts and crafts such as painting and drawing or listening to your favorite music can be beneficial.
- Get outdoors. If you are physically able to manage a gentle walk outside it can be a great healing tonic.
- Practice meditation/mindfulness.
It's so important to keep in touch with the outside world but you should never suffer in silence if you are struggling mentally and please always remember to reach out if you need to talk to someone.
Who do you turn to first for emotional support? (choose up to three)