Tips for emotional wellbeing

Tips for emotional wellbeing

We have put together some tips to support your emotional wellbeing during your period of self-isolation. We hope they provide you with some guidance.

During the pandemic, we will send you text messages that focus on your emotional wellbeing. If you are very distressed, please contact the transplant team for a referral to the psychological Medicine team, who will offer you telephone consultation. We are here to support you. 

Sleep hygiene tips

Sleep hygiene tip #1

Good sleep is important to your wellbeing. Try to set regular bed times and waking times. Make sure to begin preparing for sleep at least one hour before bed time. 

Make sure your bedroom is comfortable for sleep. Make sure the room is well-ventilated, that you will not be too hot/too cold. 

Think about how to relax at the end of your day.

Sleep hygiene tip #2

Try to avoid having caffeinated drinks after midday. It might also be beneficial to gradually reduce your overall caffeine across the whole day. 

Avoid using electronics such as your phone or laptop at least 1 hour before going to bed.

Try to avoid eating a 2-3 hours before bed time, as digestion can disrupt sleep.

Sleep hygiene tip #3

Consider keeping a sleep diary. Write down the times you go to sleep, wake up and if you woke up during the night. This will help you identify any behaviour patterns that might be unhelpful or disrupting your sleep. 

Aim to sleep for 7-9 hours every night. 

Sleep hygiene apps

Recommended apps that may help you with sleep hygiene:

  • Sleep better: tracks your sleep, looks at things that may be disrupting your sleep and tracks if you’ve had a good night’s sleep
  • Sleepio: advice from experts on good sleep patterns
  • Sleep Station: advice from experts on good sleep patterns

Self-care tips 

Self-care tip #1

Start a gratitude diary. Take time each day to write down something that you are grateful for e.g. positive interactions, acts of kindness, opportunities or something simple that you appreciate.

Catch up with a friend. Send a text message, call them or arrange a video call. They will appreciate your effort.

Self-care tip #2

Treat yourself to your favourite TV show, listen to your favourite song or buy yourself a small treat. 

Introduce a daily schedule to add structure to your day and help to make best use of your time. Set goals for yourself that you hope to achieve during this time e.g. learn a new skill or practice a skill you already have.

Self-care tip #3 

Take some time out for yourself and let go of your worries. Explore some useful ways to relax that works best for you and try to use them regularly into your routine. Explore how you can exercise while shielding. Climb your stairs, walk around your garden, use handheld weights.

Self-care tip #4

Eating well is important for your physical and emotional health. Prepare your favourite meal. You could also try to teach someone else how to create the meal, within your household or online. 

Self-care tip #5

There is a lot of information available about Covid-19. Take a social media/news break to avoid information overload. Make sure to engage in activities that you enjoy. Set a regular time slot for catching up on news and stick to reliable sources/media. If you have questions, contact the team at Harefield Hospital.

Self-care tip #6

Engage in an act of kindness. Examples include: message someone who is living alone, organise a care package for a vulnerable person or let someone know that you are willing to support them.

Apps to help with anxiety 

Recommended apps that may help you deal with anxiety:

  • Mindshift: an app that allows you to choose a specific area you are concerned with (e.g. sleep, worry, etc.) and then build a plan on how to manage it that works for you
  • Pacifica: an app that allows you to track your feelings each day and gives suggestions on how to help you with the issues you may be facing that day
  • SAM: this interactive anxiety toolkit allows you to create your own anxiety profile where you can try different techniques to reduce the anxiety
  • WellMind: this app was created by an NHS Trust and helps with stress, anxiety, depression and general wellbeing. There is also advice if you feel you may be in crisis
  • What’s up?: an app that helps you find the right emotional support for your difficulty
  • Beat Panic: overcome panic and anxiety, wherever you happen to be
  • Silvercloud: an 8-week course to help you manage stress, anxiety and depression at your own pace.

Grounding tips

Grounding tip #1

Play the “54321” game: name five things you can see in the room; four things you can feel; three things you can hear; two things you can smell (or two smells you like); one thing you can taste. It may be useful to go through the steps a few times. Try the technique in different situations to see how effective it can be.

Grounding tip #2

Play the category game: think of as many things from that category that that begin with a particular letter of the alphabet e.g. types of dogs, countries, songs, TV shows or famous people. Or, describe an everyday activity in great detail. For example, you could describe how you cook a meal, going through every step in detail.

Grounding tip #3

Eat something in a savouring way; fully experience the food; describe the sights, aromas, textures, flavours, and the experience in detail to yourself.

Think of favourites: think of your favourite colour, animal, season, food, time of day, TV show.

Remember the words to an inspiring song, quotation, or poem that makes you feel better.

Grounding tip #4

Say kind or positive self-statements to yourself. Imagine what you would say if you were speaking to your best friend. 

Think of things that you are looking forward to doing over the next week such as activities you have planned or a time you have arranged to speak to a friend or loved one.