On World Mental Health Day I asked Katie to share with us her top tips for looking after your mental health when you are dealing with sight loss. Katie was officially diagnosed with Stargardts last year aged 32 but says she’s not letting it stop her and, in fact, it has helped her live a better life.
So here’s Katie’s top tips:
- Try not to think too far ahead and live in the moment – this is easier than it sounds but has helped me a lot.
- Seek support from others with the same condition – in fact I went a stage further and set up my own Blog www.katiesvision.co.uk and a ‘closed’ support group on Facebook (search UK Support Group for Stargardts and Juvenile vision loss.)
- Practice ‘mindfulness’ – there are a lot of good Apps to help you with this (try Headspace). If you’re not sure what ‘mindfulness is its where you achieve a mental state by focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
- Take 5 mins just to sit quietly and relax – this is linked to practising mindfulness but is such an easy step to take but so many of us don’t!
- Share with someone you trust when you are feeling anxious or worried – this helps me talk through my feelings and helps me clarify things.
- Write down your worries and thoughts – I have focused on doing this in my Blog but it’s just as effective if you write down on paper or in a diary!
- Try and have at least one nice thing a week to look forward to, even if that’s just going for a coffee or something.
- Try and find support groups and charities that can help you if you need it. Often you don’t need help but just knowing who’s out there really helps just in case.
- And remember it’s ok not to be ok! #WorldMentalHealthDay
If you, a loved one, or a friend is experiencing sight loss, please get in touch and find out how we can help and the services we offer: 01604 719193.
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