Liz Redmond is a neurogenetics nurse at the National Hospital and gave the first presentation of the day titled Looking After Yourself. Her presentation discussed trying to maintain a positive mental wellbeing.
Changes in mood can end up in a vicious circle. A low mood can give rise to poor motivation. Poor motivation can give rise to low self esteem. Low self esteem can give rise to low mood. 80% of people with chronic disease suffer from low mood at some point. Symptoms of low mood can include fatigue (being tired, lack of energy etc.) and anhedonia (a lack of interest in something you would normally be interested in). Feeling low for a few days may be OK but Liz advised that if you're finding yourself low for a period of weeks then its time to seek help, your GP or a specialist.
To look after your mental health you need to be mentally active. Things which you can do include:
- Make an effort to plan your time
- Plan a treat into your day
- Make time to spend with friends/family
- Recognise situations that upset you (and have strategies to deal with these).
- Specific - i.e. "I will lose weight" rather than "I will be more healthy"
- Measurable - i.e. "I will lose 1 stone" rather than "I will lose some weight"
- Attainable - this is about setting a realistic target (which in this example would depend how overweight you were to start with)
- Relevant - make sure the goal you set is worthwhile
- Time-bound - You to set a realistic timeframe over which you plan to do this.
Low mood is effectively another word for depression, and I've previously blogged that many people with HSP have mild depression. http://hspjourney.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/depression.html