Lucas Love Healthcare nurse Sanda Mitroi remains on the front line like so many other amazing essential service staff during the Coronavirus Pandemic and she has some timely advice for us all.
While one might expect Sanda and her fellow nurses to focus on their own well-being once they clock off their shift for the day or night, she’d actually prefer to share some lessons in mental health awareness.
When we caught up with her recently, she was incredibly upbeat about the whole lockdown scenario and credits the time and energy she puts into strengthening her own mental health and well-being.
What are some tips you have for everyone out there reading this article?
We’ve got to listen to the advice given to us by health professionals and the government. We need to wash our hands regularly. We need to stay at home. We need to self-isolate if we experience any of the relevant symptoms.
However, self-isolation can contribute to mental health issues. This can be depression as well as other mental health challenges. There is still some stigma out there when it comes to talking about mental health, but loneliness can be a big issue for some people.
Sometimes for our patients to be in hospital and to be treated for something is better than staying at home and being lonely. We have a duty to take care of everyone’s mental health as well as their physical health.
We need to make sure we are following the guidelines for a healthy life and a healthy mind even though we are in lockdown or self-isolating.
On some occasions, while working in a nursing home for example, talking to patients and other staff about how they need to manage their own mental and physical well-being is another way of reminding them to take care of themselves.
We’re the masters of our own destiny
Only we can manage what we allow into our consciousness. So, be sensible when it comes to consuming news and ensure that you take breaks. Don’t allow yourself to slip into negativity. You need to be informed to keep up-to-date with what’s going on, but don’t allow yourself to be bombarded with fear and uncertainty.
My main focus when speaking with family and friends as to encourage them to see life from a different perspective and not be so caught up in what is a difficult situation. We can cope with all of this. It’s up to us to be powerful and change something. We can only change ourselves, so it’s up to everybody to make a difference.
Those who are able to positively manage their mental health are the ones who will give themselves the best chance of beating this virus. It’s not often said, but poor mental health does affect your immunity which can mean that you are more receptive to any kind of virus. Everything starts with your mental health and it’s one of the biggest challenges at the moment.
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What is your personal focus at this point in time?
Everybody has concern at this point in time. It’s about using that concern to build something positive and use that energy in a positive way.
The world will never be the same. We will never be the same. Everything is happening for a reason. We need to change and listen to the guidelines. We need to learn how to cope with this new situation. It’s definitely hard to deal with a complete change to a normal routine.
If we see it as an opportunity to learn new skills in your field or discover something new, we can use it as a positive change. From my perspective, if we cope well and if we learn from this period, it will be a better world.