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?

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