Scoliosis, Mental Health and the National Lockdown
The lockdowns of 2020 were a huge challenge for our mental health – this was exacerbated for those with scoliosis as our back pain was highlighted with restricted exercise only and inadequate set ups to work from home. It is so important to understand how your emotional health is impacted and affected by your scoliosis, to allow yourself some compassion rather than feeling frustrated.
The significance of well-maintained mental health, especially as we move out of lockdown, cannot be ignored and as we take steps to get back to normal, it’s crucial we’re maintaining our wellbeing.
Looking after your mental wellbeing as we move out of lockdown
Your wellbeing encompasses many different areas, all of which can be impacted by long periods of isolation, unsettling routines and uncertainty.
For example, feeling valued, feeling connected to our community, having resilience to cope with the inevitable ups and downs we will face during this period.
There are many ways we can take care of ourselves to maximise our ability to cope, and lots of helpful support online to guide us through. As a Pilates instructor, I have been focusing on the benefits of physical activity to help. I was asked to provide a series of webinars for Asthma UK as part of a series of wellbeing webinars released throughout the year and you can find these all on YouTube (www.youtube.com/AsthmaUK).
Physical activity is often talked about exclusively as sweaty HIIT workouts, however I find it more helpful to label it as ‘Movement’. Any movement can be beneficial to your mental health, whether it’s a walk outside in nature, playing with your pet, or of course my personal favourite, a low-impact Pilates session.
The low-impact and calming nature of these activities makes them great for both our physical and emotional wellbeing, giving us the chance to reset and come away from the stresses we may be facing day to day in lockdown.
If you’re not sure where to start, I have some beginner workouts on my Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBdasf1l1fj/?igshid=10ldistv5qzs0 or you can have a look through resources on my website: www.buildbreathe.co.uk
Slowing the day down
There are some things you can do for yourself each day as a little wellbeing habit – for me taking time to slow the day down has been crucial to managing my health.
It’s very easy to get caught up in stresses of work, childcare, and everything else going on in the world, so having scheduled time, even ten minutes whilst you drink your tea, away from your phone or distractions at the start of the day makes a huge difference.
Taking the time to slow down and separate yourself from stresses sets up the day differently, reframing your mindset and building that much needed resilience.
Connecting with those around you
This can be tough with stricter lockdown measures however we have to find ways to ensure we communicate and share our thoughts and feelings to our friends and family. Whilst we may have different levels of anxiety about being around people, trying to organise a catch up in a setting where you both feel comfortable is a great way to keep in touch.
It’s important you feel able to share your feelings with those around you and I would even recommend making a pact with a friend where you promise you will talk to each other if you’re feeling low.
If you do find yourself stuck there is always help available, with helplines provided by charities such as Scoliosis Association UK, Mind and CALM all linked below: