Self Care; Staying Productive

When health conditions isolate you, it is important to keep yourself busy. I struggle with physically keeping busy due to my lack of mobility, so it is vital that I keep my brain as active as possible. One thing I have learnt is to keep working on yourself, as some people haven’t always been afflicted with illness and their lives suddenly change overnight.

For example; in my youth I lived an extremely physically active lifestyle, was surrounded by countless friends, was rarely home, studying, working or dancing constantly and just living life to it fullest. These days, I am much more of a home-bird and can be extremely limited at times in what activities I can and cannot do.

So as part of my journey to staying productive, I realised that working on myself couldn’t come soon enough and I went back to therapy. I have had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) many times in the past, but since becoming a victim if disability hate crime, my mental health hit another deep low and I wasn’t coping anymore.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy that helps people recognise and identify the role that some of their thoughts (cognitions) have on what they do (behaviours). By making links between what we do, think and feel, CBT can help us make positive changes to our cognitions and our behaviours. Making these changes can help us feel better. CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include: anxiety, depression, panic, phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia), stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis. CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.

– Ieso Online Talking Therapies Surrey

I did plenty of research to find an affordable service and couldn’t find one that worked around me and my needs. Then I found the Ieso Online Talking Therapies, they’re a free and online based service. Once you register and fill out the minimal online paperwork to assess you needs, you’re assigned a therapist and arrange appointments around your schedule. This means, you don’t physically have to phone or see anyone and using the Ieso’s instant messaging system, means you can have your therapy session anywhere. It also has an offline messaging service which you can use to message your therapist out of hours.

For me, it was extremely important to have reliable online therapy because I’m often too unwell to get to an appointment and many places are not disabled accessible. I also need someone to take me to appointments and that means organising appointments round the family schedule, which is already packed. Thankfully with the online service, if I’m admitted to hospital I don’t have to miss a session. Sometimes, when in hospital, those times are when I need to speak to a therapist the most and so far my experience with Ieso Online Talking Therapies has been nothing but positive.

For me, having good and sound mental health is a must. As someone who has experienced highs and lows in both physical and mental health, I feel that mental health and mental stability are sometimes more vital than physical health. For example; I can live a good quality of life without my legs working properly, but being trapped and unhappy in my own mind would take that quality of life away. That’s why, once I realised how deeply the disability hate crime incidents had affected me, I knew I needed to seek help urgently.

If you feel like you need extra support, please talk to a trusted friend and then contact your GP. The Samaritans are always there to help you in a crisis and please never be afraid to admit that you need help. It is by no means a sign of weakness, in fact it is a sign of strength. Or you can self refer for online therapy, just like me at Iseo Online Talking Therapies.

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Ella Hollis

Trying to find normality amongst multiple chronic illnesses.

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