Looking after your mental and physical health

Written By Ozias🐧

When we think of physical and mental health, we often jump to the more serious end of the spectrum, diabetes, Cardiovascular disease etc, and overlook the impact even a minor illness can have.

Growing up, I never really got sick, it’s only been since my early 20s that my immune system has started slacking. So when I’m unwell, even just a cold, I become the most miserable person you’ll meet, because I never learnt how to manage feeling unwell. This past fortnight, I’ve been hit with a mysterious illness. I was getting angry at Drs not knowing the exact cause, and then when they blamed poor wound management, I got angry at myself and them. I’ve felt trapped at home, paranoid I’m infecting everyone within 3 metres, and even more irrationally “what if this never goes away?”.

Its not the first time I’ve been unwell, and as its becoming more frequent I’m learning ways to manage.

Here’s a few top tips for managing being physically poorly*

  • Have a small amount of remedy meds, like decongestant, anti-diarrhoea, back up inhalers for asthmatics, cold & flu relief, vitamins etc
  • If its not a chronic condition flare up, remind yourself that this will pass, and that your body will fight for you 💪
  • If it is a chronic condition flare up, mindfulness can really help, and remind yourself of previous flare-ups you’ve survived. 
  • It’s probably an old wives tale, but keeping your feet warm apparently helps (and it’s a great excuse to wear fluffy socks!)
  • Have your favourite film on standby with a blanket, sometimes a duvet day is just what the Dr ordered
  • Know your limits; do you have enough energy to manage a work day including commuting? Are you likely still infectious?
  • We know we can’t always prevent illness, but the obvious washing hands and sneezing into a tissue etc will significantly help. And if you self-harm, it’s so important to get appropriate treatment to prevent infections & complications (whether that’s home care, or at an A&E/GP).
  • If you’re given medication – particularly antibiotics – follow Dr orders and take as prescribed

*I have an “emergency man flu survival kit” with some of these things in so I’m always prepared. Having a box with things all in one place means you don’t need to go searching for things when feeling run down.

How do you cope with being poorly?


Published by OT Trauma Tools

Founder Mental health Advocate; Phd Candidate; Occupational Therapy Teacher and Researcher Australia “As an occupational therapist diagnosed with BPD I will use this page to share about the various interventions and strategies that are helpful to those with BPD. I will also share about the positive and sometimes challenging approaches that health professionals have used in my treatment in emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community settings. I hope that by sharing my lived experience I can help improve the experience of those struggling to understand Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD) and also support those living with BPD and other mental health challenges Most importantly we will share how occupation can powerfully help change lives!" Laura

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