Doctors and stress during the pandemic

During the pandemic many people have put off going to their GP’s for routine checkups and other things that needed to be done.

Photo by John Finkelstein on Pexels.com

Doctors are trying to fight this pandemic and so they are feeling the stress of it all. In Germany doctors have had to deal with the influx of patients due to the pandemic. But they all had each other who motivated them to work hard.

Many are experiencing burnout at the moment. They don’t know what’s coming next. They work long hours just to keep us safe.

How can doctors and nurses manage their stress?

They can make sure that they are not working long hours, eat a healthy diet, exercise and get enough sleep. And no that does not mean in the waiting room in the hospital. It means a proper bed.

And doctors and nurses need to make sure that they get their rostered days off. If you don’t you should speak up about this.

How you can help doctors to manage their COVID stress!

We recognise that the pandemic is long and therefore we encourage everyone to be patient and not put off a routine visit or a normal visit. If you do that your chances of getting Covid19 would be higher.

Also do practice social distancing and staying at home when you can. I know this is painful but we will get through it. Just be patient. Don’t go out to the shops and buy unnecessary things.

Do go out for exercise each day. Exercise helps to soothe the mind.

Eat a healthy diet and don’t skimp on medications and other supplements that you need. The chemist is always open. If you skimp on the things that you need just because you’re trying to save money, you’ll hurt yourself in the long run and who knows? you might even get Covid19.

Advertisements

Fears about reentering our lives post COVID19

I am writing this as we reemerge from lockdown.

I am excited to see people but yet I am fearful of getting the Coronavirus from someone on the train. I have heard that the cases in the US has spiralled out of control and there are fears that it could happen here too. My friend is also in the same boat. He is scared of going into the city just in case there is another wave. But I trust that everyone will do the right thing.

I went out for lunch for the first time last week and I was generally happy to go out after being lockdown but I’m scared that the Coronavirus would put people out of business if we don’t support them. If Scott Morrison ends the Job Keeper and Job Seeker payments really soon businesses can collapse and it would be another great depression.

And what would happen to the gyms and my gym friends? Whilst I’m excited to see them, I’m scared that they would lose their jobs and their money. Classes will be a lot smaller due to social distancing measures. Most of my friends are group exercise instructors who are keen to talk and usually happy people. Some of my friends might be suicidal due to money worries. Some of my friends I do talk to on Facebook and Instagram. However I did bump into my friend on the weekend who says she is really excited to be going back.

And I wonder what the city would be like post Covid. Would it be quiet or people be really crazy about going back and there’d be another wave? We don’t really know. All we know is that the fallout from the Covid19 will be massive


The riots in US and racism

Over the past weeks we heard about the the riots in the US that talk about #blacklivesmatter! It started when a police officer kneeled on a black guy called George Floyd. He kneeled on him so hard that he died.

From then onwards people were outraged and that’s how the riots started. Day and night in Minneapolis these riots are out of control. In Australia and New Zealand the protests have been peaceful. But they attracted over 5000 people everywhere you turn. The Aboriginals have been discriminated against by the white people in Australia. This week we learned that an Aboriginal woman was thrown out of hospital and was lying on the ground.

Is that ok? NO

What we can learn?

We can learn to treat people, especially those with a different skin colour with respect. Everywhere around the world people are talking about the George Floyd incident. We will never forget him. He used to work for the Salvation Army

On Facebook racist and bigotry comments is not tolerated in any of the groups that I’m in. Out on the streets we can be educated in racism and that’s its never ok.

So far on Instagram and my blog I have been sharing the #blacklivesmatter message. Whether people believe it or not its up to them

Racism- its stops with me!

This is so true. We all have a part to play in keeping everyone safe and free from Racism. What is racism? Its defined as being prejuidiced and discriminatory against people of different skin colour.


Bad mood and productivity

I got the idea from When Women Inspire. At times just like everyone else I get so overwhelmed with tasks and family life. Right now during Covid19 there is so much uncertainty around life, fitness, work and everything else.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

In a dream scenario everything goes to plan. You would get everything done on time and without hitches. But in real life it does not happen. Things change and they don’t always go to plan. Which is why people are in a bad mood sometimes. But its how you handle that bad mood and your productivity. For some people it goes out the window.

I don’t let bad mood get the better of me as that’s so unprofessional. But its ok if you’re not feeling ok.

Here are some ways that I found useful with dealing with bad mood

Divide tasks up into smaller tasks. Thus this will help you handle your procrastination.

Have some structure in your day. When you wake up in the morning get yourself organised for the day. Outline what you will do each working hour and have some breaks in between.

Reward yourself every time you complete a big task or a project

That could be going out for a meal or just enjoying a wine or two. Or it could be going shopping. Whatever things you like to do in your downtime.

Focus on the task and block out anything that is happening around you

As Nike’s motto is, “just do it”, you should just focus on the task at hand. And if anyone is giving you grief in the family you can just ignore them whilst you get the task done. Just tell them you’ll get back to them later. Just learn to say no to them.


Anxiety

We all have anxiety in some point of our lives. Some people have it more than others. I for one am lucky not to have a lot of anxiety. But my anxiety comes around Christmas times and times of celebrations. That is normal.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

But for some like my friend Kristian he has social and gym anxiety disorder which prevents him from losing weight. In the Covid period he has been staying at home and has felt a bit bored

But during the Covid times people have been anxious about what is going on in the world with all the riots and people dying. There are some people that feel anxious about everything in their lives whether it is covid or not.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is the worry and stress that one feels from some event that has happened to them in the past. It is usually all in the head. In the end it will be all ok.

Here are some ways to cope post Covid19

  1. Find some time for just self care. That could be watching your favourite Youtube video or doing a crosstitch. Or another craft.
  2. Dedicate time for listening to the bad news and keep it at that. If you listen to it all day, I find that it will only make your anxiety worse
  3. Exercise outside- don’t be stuck indoors all day. Seeing green and nature relaxes you.
  4. Now that the cafes and restaurants are open why not try and support a small business? They are feeling just as much stress as you
  5. Support your favourite charities, whether that would be giving them time or money.
  6. Eat a healthy diet which has a range of nutrient dense food.

May is National Mental Health month

And we need it more than ever due to Coronavirus pandemic and people being stuck indoors.

Please note that the personal trainers are not mental health professionals. It is outside of our scope of practice but we can help you to stress less. But we will write up how we spent that month even though we are isolated.

So here’s how we spent our month. We spent most of the month at home but we’re able to go outside for some fresh air each day. On some of the days it was really sunny so I had a good run in the park and was happy. I did an awesome crosstitch for Mothers day. It took quite a while to do it but once I got there I did not stop.

May was also Mother’s day. We had to spend it in a very different way. Normally we would spend it with family. Instead we had to forget about it and spend it on our own. Which is what I did for the most part. Most people felt a bit stressed about not seeing their Mum’s for Mother’s day.

During that time I participated in the 3046 push up challenge which felt awesome. At times I felt sick of doing the same push ups but I knew it was for a good cause.

Like you I worried about my finances but that didn’t stop me from not having an awesome May. I was a bit anxious about waiting for the gyms to reopen and the announcement as to when. But no such thing came until late May where gyms can reopen on the 22nd of June.

But then a week after we were able to see family and we spent that time going up to the country to see family.

If you are having any mental health problems feel free to give Beyond Blue a call. They can help you 24/7 and its free.


Its Ok to not be ok during the Covid times

We are not alone. This article was produced for Mental Health Month in recognition of Coronavirus.

A Current Affair has posted a video about mental health and the support that you can get from it. As lockdown restrictions ease people are fearful of going out because the risk of Coronavirus is high for people that have chronic conditions. After lockdown Beyond Blue says that there will be more calls because people have lost their jobs.

Also the rate of domestic violence is up and Victoria Police recognises this.

In fact the Federal Government has put aside $48 billion for mental health. What they could have done right from the beginning is to close down all the fast food chains like they did in the UK and leave the gyms where they were pre covid 19.

It is ok to not be ok. A search done on Bing revealed 103,000,000 results as more and more people die from these disease. People are being isolated right now and many will be worried about getting the Coronavirus when they do decide to go out. The Independent says that the world will likely face a mental health crisis when this is all over.

If you want to go out, just go out at your own pace and don’t go to crowded places. It will take a while for society to get back to normal and it will take you time to find your feet again.


Why are we eating more during isolation

And how to avoid the need to

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Yes we all like to be Julia and Julie who love food and eating. But some people go way over the top during boredom. Yes we are all bored at home. But that doesn’t mean that we should eat all the time. Yes we enjoy home cooked meals

We overeat because we are stressed. For some of us we just love food too much

According to a Nine News report they say that many people have ordered takeaway in iso because we all love food too much

So here’s how to avoid the need to

Establish a regular routine. Once you establish that then it is easier to not overeat.

If you work at home this might be a bit easier to block out the times that you are working so that you won’t eat mindlessly.

Get rid of stressors- ie get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Talk to someone if you are feeling lonely. Organise your finances. Have you lost your job? Maybe it’s time for you to make a realistic budget. The Government only gives out a limited amount of money to those that have lost their job.

Do exercise

In Australia we are allowed out for a walk or a run. But if you can’t there is Les Mills on demand. Every week we should aim for 150-300 minutes of vigorous activity and two strength sessions.

Try some new foods

Now that we are in isolation we can try some new foods or cook a few new recipes each week. For example next week is Burger Day, have you thought about making a hamburger from scratch? What about making bread from scratch? It would save you money

Or if you have never tried Asian food, why not try that? Taste has so many recipes.

Are you really hungry?

If not then go and find some other thing to do like arts and crafts or write a blog. This will keep your mind off hunger and the need to binge on food just because you are bored.


Emotional eating and how to combat this

When Women Inspire had a great post on this so I thought that I would write about it too since everyone is locked inside of their houses due to the virus. At Christmas many people overeat due to stress and boredom. But during the Covid times this has been happening a lot due to the stress and anxiety that happens.

What is stress?

Stress is a feeling that we deal with everyday. Your cortisol levels go up and when they go up a lot each day you gain weight. But you don’t have to accept it as everyday life.

Is overeating ok?

No its not. We tend to reach for the high calorie foods and then we go for even more. These unhealthy foods increase our anxiety and stress levels even more. We should be able to say no to food in social situations such as a movie.

If you have that problem of overeating in social situations organise some other events that don’t involve food such as marathon running or going to the beach.

How to deal with stress that is not eating?

  • Exercise- do 150 mins of vigorous activity a week and 2 strength sessions.
  • Sleep well- we mean that you should sleep 7-8 hours a night. That is deep sleep
  • Hydrate- by that we mean drink 3-4L of water each day. Broken into glasses that would be 12-16 glasses.
  • Self care
  • Do something that is not food such as working on a project.

What foods are good for dealing with stress eating?

  • Fish and omega 3 fatty oils
  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Yoghurt
  • Vegetables
  • Chia seeds
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain foods such as whole grain granola bars and whole grain crackers

Don’t eat too much of those processed foods. Instead eat real foods. Don’t watch those dessert cooking shows if you have a sugar addiction that you want to get rid of. Tell your family if you are quitting sugar so that they won’t expose you as much.

Don’t bake people pies if they want it. You need to respect their wishes and we should be able to say no thank you to food.


Calls have increased for Lifeline and other mental health services

Calls have increased for Lifeline and Kids Help line during times of the Coronavirus. It was reported that Lifeline received 90,000 calls in the past month with 3197 calls on Good Friday. Kids Help Line has had a 40% increase in calls alone.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Most of the callers are young people

Young people are not used to being alone and the full time paid hours fell from 64% to just 56%. We’re used to doing the normal things like going out. But now we have to stay at home and see the same people that we live with day in and day out. And for young people like myself that would make me go bonkers. I have fights with my flatmates sometimes. It is ok to feel alone and depress, but remember we are all in this together

Also young people worry about not having a job by the end of this and money to support themselves. So they feel depressed.

So what can we do in the meantime to support our mental health?

We should:

  • Exercise- aim for 150 mins a week of vigorous training and two strength sessions during the week
  • Sleep well- we should sleep between 7-8 hours a night
  • Talk to somebody on the outside via Skype, Facebook, Whatsapp etc every once in awhile. And if you have not got Instagram now is the time to do so. On Instagram there’s lots of posts on staying home.

We cannot wait until the gyms reopen again with personal training. I know that doing mental health work is not within their scope of practice but they are trying to keep it together in these difficult times.

Please note that quarantine won’t be forever. We’ll be all out soon I promise. Just hang in there.