Updated: May 18
Throughout Mental Health Awareness week we will being focusing on Long Covid Wellbeing.
In this blog, we explore the importance of mental health awareness for people living with chronic conditions. Living with a chronic condition such as Long Covid can be a tough and often isolating journey, both for the person living with Long Covid and their family and friends.
The physical toll it takes on the body is well known, but the impact on our mental health is often overlooked. Recognising, and prioritising mental health can be a crucial aspect of managing and thriving with a chronic condition, but finding a balance between the two is never easy, especially as the tipping point is different for everyone.
By acknowledging and addressing our own mental health, we can cultivate a resilient and positive mindset, full of strategies for living and not just surviving. We firmly believe that by doing this and giving priority to our mental health, not only do we enhance our own wellbeing, but we also cultivate stronger relationships with those around us that sometimes lead to a compassionate and supportive community where individuals can thrive together.
Through listening to you, we have tried to capture much of what you tell us you need around you to enable to your mental health and physical health to be balanced. From this, we have created the Long Covid SOS ways to Wellbeing – five steps to enable you to always be the best version of yourself, especially when you feel rubbish. Let’s all acknowledge that we are on a journey of understanding, to enable us all to make a profound and positive impact on each other together.
Feeling connected and asking for help Long Covid can be very isolating, especially if you’re unable to leave the house or get out of bed. It can be difficult to ask for or accept help and even harder to feel understood by others. How have you found ways of connecting with others and feeling understood? Do you have any tips to share about the best ways to ask for and accept help? What is the best way someone has reached out or helped you?
Family and friends Trying to explain Long Covid and its limitations to family and friends is hard. Missing out on social opportunities and big occasions - or risking a crash by attending - can be devastating. Having to explain how LC affects you and your relationships can also be a strain. How have you talked about LC with friends and family? What worked for you? What has been hard?
Self-advocacy When you have Long Covid you often have to push for what you need - whether it’s asking for help, medical tests and support, or care. What has helped you advocate for what you need? Who has helped you?
Acceptance Accepting Long Covid limits us is hard, and finding new ways to be and to live can involve grief and sadness at what we’ve lost. Many of us find out the hard way that acceptance is a process, not a one-off event. What has helped you accept Long Covid and new limits? What advice would you give to others?
Little wins It can be hard to feel like you’re achieving things or finding beauty in the world when you have Long Covid. Focusing on the little wins or the tiny, beautiful things can make a real difference to our lives. What has been your best little win? We’d love to hear about and see pictures of your favourite tiny, beautiful things.
Below are links to established organisations who support positive Mental Health Awareness and managing chronic conditions:
Suggestions for further reading: