The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.
In order to support you in this situation, we organised a webinar with a panel of 14 professionals from the Huntington’s disease (HD) field.
The Webinar covered the following topics: the specific risks for Huntington’s patients, update on consequences for the ongoing HD studies and trials, and some advice on how to cope with the new situation.
We have some tips from occupational therapists that include how to:
- Stay focused on what is in your control
- Acknowledging your thoughts and feelings
- Taking care of yourself
- Finding a Balance
1) Stay focussed on what is in your control:
It is easy to get lost in worrying about all sorts of things that are out with your control. Whilst this is natural, it is not helpful for you or others. Here are some tips for focussing on what you can control.
Develop an at home daily routine:
Try to include a mix of activities you enjoy, that give you a sense of achievement and help you connect with others. Avoid sitting on the couch for too long. Staying occupied can really help! More guidance here.
Focus on an activity you enjoy
Think about an activity that is important to you, can you adapt this to do
at home? More guidance here.
Set a goal/s for yourself each day
This could include working through a list of things you’ve been meaning to do or contacting somebodyyou haven’t been in touch with for a while.
2) Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings
We are all going to face challenges as a result of Covid-19 and it is normal to feel a range of emotions. Try to identify how you are feeling. Write these thoughts and feelings down if you find this helpful or talk to somebody you trust about how you are feeling.
3) Communicate and Stay in touch
Keep contact with friends, family and neighbours over the phone, social media platforms and Skype.
Talk to them about how you can support each other.
4) Take care of yourself
Try to take care of your health and wellbeing whilst at home.
Drink lots of water and try to eat fruit and vegetables to boost your immune system. Don’t use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. If you are feeling overwhelmed talk to somebody you can trust.
Draw on skills and coping strategies that have helped you to manage your mental health in the past.
Develop a good sleep routine:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
- Don’t spend the day in bed.
- Limit the amount of tea and coffee you drink in the afternoon
- If you’re having difficulty sleeping try some of the suggested relaxation activities to help you rest.
Limit the amount of time you spend watching or listening to the news:
- Staying up to date can be important but try not to get too bogged down in news and updates
- Try watching the news or reading the paper for only 30-60 mins a day
- It’s easy to get caught up in rumours so use a reliable source for updates such as NHS inform.
Take a deep breath and practice relaxation