LOOKING AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WITH ASTHMA THROUGH COVID-19
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. During COVID-19, we’ve found ourselves physically distancing from friends and family, self-isolating for our own safety, out of work due to lockdown restrictions, and keeping our children home to partake in remote learning. All these scenarios have a deep impact on our health and wellbeing. This is particularly the case for people who have been affected by the recent bushfires or floods, which may be compounding on their sense of wellness.
The ‘new normal’ make some time to get used to, so it’s important you give yourself time to recover.
Remind yourself it is ok to not feel ok. You’re certainly not alone.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN YOU HAVE ASTHMA
We know asthma can be harder to manage or cope with if you have depression or another mental health condition. Several studies have reported an association between stress, anxiety, and extreme emotions and how they may trigger asthma symptoms and flare-ups.
In a recent survey by the Patient Experience, Expectations, and Knowledge (PEEK) research program, 78% of people with asthma reported at least one negative impact of asthma including reduced physical activity, emotional strain, and ability to take part in hobbies. The same survey showed that 46% of people described asthma as impacting their relationship in a negative way.
Having asthma can be difficult in a variety of ways. It’s important to acknowledge that managing usual strains plus a health pandemic can take an extra toll.
Finding strategies to manage stress effectively may help you lessen the impact on your asthma.
According to Beyond Blue, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australian’s mental health has been significant. They recommend:
- Acknowledging that it’s okay not to be ok. This is still a stressful and uncertain time.
- Rebuild your social connections
- Focus on what you can control
- Seek out support. Some helpful links are listed below.
WHERE TO GO FOR SUPPORT?
It is extremely important to seek out help if you feel you need it. Finding strategies to manage stress effectively may help you lessen its’ impact on your asthma.
Try giving these services a call:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14 operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Kids Helpline: for children that may need support 1800 551 800 https://kidshelpline.com.au
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 https://beyondblue.org.au
- Head to Health: provides links to trusted Australian online and phone supports, resources, and treatment options https://headtohealth.gov.au/
If your asthma is getting you down or if you feel anxious or overwhelmed, make a telehealth appointment and tell your doctor. Your doctor or health professional can assist you during this time.
- PEEK Study: International Centre for Community Driven Research, Asthma Australian Study, PEEK Volume 2 Issue 2, June 2019. https://www.cc-dr.org/wp-content/uploads/2019AUASH_FULL-REPORT_FINAL.pdf