It’s been an eventful few years to say the least.
We’ve had unpredictable COVID lockdowns, isolation from friends and family, floods and terrible news all around. It shouldn’t be a surprise that more and more people are coming to see GPs with concerns for their mental health.
Firstly, know that it’s ok to feel down or anxious – you’re far from alone in that. Even before COVID, depression and anxiety were two of the most common reasons people came to see their GP. Feeling down or anxious is just the tip of the iceberg- fatigue, insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, withdrawing from friends and family or lack of interest in hobbies are just a few of the other symptoms that you might notice.
Here are a few tips to help:
** Be kind to yourself- being self-critical doesn’t help.
** Reach out to friends and family- even if you can’t see them in person, talking with someone can help lift a weight off your shoulders.
** Try to avoid vices- smoking, alcohol and too much food can all feel good in the short term but often leaving us feeling regretful or worse than before.
** Exercise- you don’t have to hit the gym or run 5km, even short walks will release endorphins which can help improve your mood.
And of course, please see your GP. Your GP can help you access counselling, therapy, medication or other services to help support you on your journey.
If you are experiencing severe mental health concerns, suicidal thoughts or self-harm or are worried for your or someone else’s safety please seek help urgently via 1300 MH Call.
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