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    • #28776
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      People tend to have a lot on their minds these days: COVID and other health concerns, politics, finances, education, work, family issues, personal problems. Is there anything you are doing or not doing to protect your mental health?

      I do get on social media a few times a day but I am not spending nearly as much time on it as I use to. I skip past negativity and look for happy updates or non-controversial support that people need, such as a death announcement or health concern. I also limit how much news I watch. I watch enough to keep myself informed then turn it off. I like to take walks with my pets which is a relaxing distraction.

      What about you?

    • #28782
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      An excellent topic for our current situation, @colleensteele! I do not get on social media but a few times per week. I try and get caught up and get off. I usually miss so many posts, but I look for positive things, updates from PHriends, and family like you.

      The news is on more than I like here. Manny, my hubby, enjoys watching it. But even he has been burned out lately, so limiting news too.

      You mention walking with your pets. How is the weather there? Do you get out and walk them in the cold, too?

      As I am typing, I am watching “Meet the Browns” I don’t know if all are familiar with this sitcom. It is funny but after a while, too much noise for me. Since coming home, my mental health cannot handle too much of anything. I prefer to read and watch movies that interest me. My attention span is off since I returned home.

      I cuddle with Sasha and go on the patio with Manny on days when I can. The fresh air always gives me a little boost. The kiddos have been here to visit this week, and we played games on Tuesday night and ate soup and snacks. I have been doing a bit more laid back, and of course, they won’t let me help do anything usually. I also have been doing less and being OK with that. These all have helped my mental health this week.

    • #28786
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Great topic Colleen during these dark days. But, I do see light (even in the rainy NW).

      Neither my husband nor myself are on social media well… except this forum. No Facebook, Instagram etc. We do catch up on the news on our phones. We have not watched network news for nearly 2 years. We do catch The News Hour.

      To keep light in my life I find being with my husband who always makes me laugh, walking our Golden, Spirit, always puts a smile on my face. We tend to watch Prime, Netflix etc mysteries, documentaries with a happy endings.
      I read a lot historical novels. I also try and have at least 3 weeks between doctor visits giving myself a break. Sometimes it does not always work out but it sure feels good to take a break!

      • #28788
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @cdvol3gmail-com I appreciate your mentioning how you space out medical appointments when possible. I agree that this helps emotionally and physically too. I know when my son had PH just going to appointments zapped his energy. I haven’t made a mental effort to space out appointments but I know when it’s happened how good the break feels.

        Historical fiction is my favorite to read too. What have you read recently?

    • #28791
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Hi Colleen, medical appointments really do zap all your energy – not just for me but also for my husband as he goes with me and we are both wiped. I am sure it happens to you as well as Cullen.

      The book I just finished reading “A piece of the World” by Christina Baker Kline about Andrew Wyeth’s muse Christina. I love her writing and coming from New England and I love Wyeth’s work – it was a great read.

      What has been a good read for you?

      We just had our 1st vaccine shots. Dick had his several days ago just in case the 2nd one gives either one of us an issue, we can care for the other.

      We had our shots at Jefferson Memorial, had appointments and did not have any issues it all went smoothly.

      I could have gone to UW as that is where my Pulmontologist is, but this turned out to be very easy.

      Stay well stay safe hugs across the Sound!

      • #28802
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        I’ll add “A Piece of the World” to my book list. Have you ever read anything by Philippa Gregory? I haven’t in a while but she is one of my favorites.

      • #28879
        Jen Cueva
        Keymaster

        Hi @colleensteele and @cdvol3gmail-com, I know that medical appointments can be a huge way to wear ourselves and our caregivers down. I had labs this morning on my hubby’s off day. Tomorrow, we go down to the medical center for testing, so another one of his off days. Usually, I also like to spread my appointments out. Sadly, after a hospital visit, they all seem to be nonstop for a bit. Plus, it is a new year, so more out of pocket costs.


        @alfredjohn
        , I love it as both Colleen and Carol remind you that playing games are helpful. I can imagine not doing your usual activities is difficult, and when it is cold or wet here, I am so not motivated. Playing games is keeping your mind busy. That is better than sitting there worrying all day. Plus, I bet we all have some guilty pleasures, as @colleensteele mentions. Plus, I often find that I feel guilty if I am not checking my “to-do” list. I am learning, less is more, and that will be an upcoming column.

        Life is chaotic, and we all could slow down a bit. Big hugs to you all from Texas, which is cold for me today, 42 earlier, hehe.

    • #28848
      Alfred Gronroos
      Participant

      Hi from snowy Arizona-three days of snow, badly needed cuz no rain this last summer. I think I am not doing more for my mental health during this covid. I was doing projects but they seem to get difficult to do. Measure wrong, can’t hit a nail. Get tired very easy. Not walking enuf and can not get myself motivated. All my life I was motivated when needed. I have been doing picture puzzles on the computer. FREE msn games. A little small on the laptop but does not take up much room. They have 6 levels to choose from and many categories. There is much to think about being 74. Too much. What happens next? We’ll all find out in time. Enuf for today. Please everyone be SAFE.. Al

      • #28877
        Colleen Steele
        Keymaster

        @alfredjohn I love the message @cdvol3gmail-com left you. She makes great points about computer games, including them not being mindless. They are great for putting your mind to work while relieving it from worry.

        Since Carol brought it up I’m going to share two guilty pleasures of mine. I think it was about 8 years ago during a hospital stay that my son talked me into playing an app game called Hay Day. I have never stopped playing it! Cullen laughs at the very high level I am at. The other pleasure is Animal Crossing. My husband and boys bought me a Nintendo Switch about a year ago and all I play on it is Animal Crossing.

        It might sound crazy for a grown woman to play these games but I find them relaxing. And when I can’t make my real life perfect I can get on to Hay Day and Animal Crossing and make my little worlds there a happy little place. If you give them or something like them a try you might be surprised by how calming they can be.

    • #28867
      Carol Volckmann
      Participant

      Hi Colleen, no I have not read any of her book, but look forward to looking her up – thanks.

      Good morning Al, you sound pretty down, but, you also are doing something positive. Whenever I am just out of any energy or motivation, I also turn to some computer games. “They” say there are mindless. But, they are not. You are using your mind to figure out results,you are able to take yourself totally out of your self and not think about your struggles nor of what’s next or even how old or young you are. I also like the distraction while waiting to see the doctors. I think it’s really helps. Have you tried paint by numbers or word scape – even solitaire helps sometime. Try not to be so hard on yourself what you are doing is taking care of what you need right now. You can allow yourself just to be. Sending you good energy and vibes also hugs from the northwest!🙂 Carol

    • #28890
      Colleen Steele
      Keymaster

      @jenc good luck with your testing tomorrow. I’ll be keeping you in thought and prayer!

    • #28900
      Jen Cueva
      Keymaster

      Thanks, @colleensteele, I did not see this then, but I did get your text messages. I am grateful that the tests are done. I did not realize how that long day would set me back. I am grateful that today started better.

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