"So how's it been for you? It's coming up to a year since we have been subject to this latest pandemic and we have all had to dig deep. That's not easy if you already experience mental health issues.
I haven't had a lot of time to reflect: a busy job, attempts to homeschool and moving house due to a flood have kept me very occupied. However, on reflection my own experience of depression and coping strategies have actually given me tools to face the current situation and I wondered whether other Moodscopers have felt the same?
Much of the current advice given to people was already part of my toolbox:
1. Routine - A shower and porridge are a good start to the day...
2. Exercise - My twice daily dog walks enable me to get out in the fresh air and give me a good break from the screen. Brisk walks get the feel-good brain chemicals going and if I am lucky and the wind is blowing in the right direction the smell of chocolate from the local chocolate factory wafts in my direction.
3. Appreciating nature and the small things in life - This morning a beautiful pair of thrushes stood momentarily still on the playing field as I tramped round in my size 7 walking boots.
4. Rest - I am partial to an afternoon nap, where possible. I may have 17 years until retirement but I am getting in training! It does appear to help me recharge my batteries and prevent the fatigue which quickly slips into depression.
5. Entertainment - There was a great discussion on one of Leah's blogs a few months ago about TV programmes with people sharing their favourite shows. I have to say Radio 4 has been great company during lockdown. My children are not with me all week and, in the solitude, the radio is my company. There's something comforting about hearing Rev Richard Coles' voice on Saturday mornings or Jay Rayner on The Kitchen Cabinet, talking about weird and wonderful ways with food.
6. Reaching out - At a time when social interaction is limited, seeing a regular bunch of dog walkers has given me a chance for connection without the need to join a Zoom meeting. A chance to chat, socially distanced of course, and share a bit of humour whilst observing our dogs' antics.
7. Creativity - I have built London and Paris in lockdown....in Lego, I hasten to add. A childhood pleasure has become seemingly addictive in adulthood.
So my question to you is "what things have enabled you to cope during this time? Have you used anything you learnt from living with illness to help you?"
The sun is out, a profusion of purple crocuses are pointing their heads out in the back garden and I have had my first vaccine....there is hope.
I wish you well today, fellow Moodscoper...
A Moodscope member.