Beat The January Blues…

Posted: 15 January 2021

Blow the cobwebs away with a walk on Lincoln’s South Common

Monday the 18th of January (this year) is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, as if this year COULD get any more depressing! For those of us who suffer with depression and anxiety, we know it’s not a question of simply ‘pulling yourself together’. If only it were…

We’ve talked about mental health so many times on this blog, and the simple things we can all do (within the lockdown rules) to protect ourselves from sinking into those black holes that seem to be strewn around the pathways of our lives. If possible, regular fresh air helps, with even a passing nod at other likeminded souls as you go to give a little lift; the smallest interaction is valuable, even at a distance. Pets are a lifeline, if not yours then other peoples and at a pinch the ones you can find on YouTube or Facebook.

Perhaps the one place that ‘they’ can’t get to you is in your own mind. No-one can take that away, and the technique of finding a safe place where you can close your eyes and imagine yourself to be is really valuable. It takes practice – what doesn’t? – but your safe space can provide a real refuge for ten minutes or so against the worst that January can bring.

Sadly, there’s boring, practical stuff to do with lockdown that adds to the difficulties of the month. Can I just take a line to remind you how important shielding is, and to minimise contact with your loved ones unless they are expressly in your bubble? It’s social interaction that’s transmitting the disease and controlling that is how we control the disease, along with hygiene.

We all know the words by now and what they refer to – Hands, Face, Space! But what does it mean for us, as a community?

Well, our job at St Kath’s is to care! It’s a role we take extremely seriously, and we will continue to make our calls, care for our lovely customers (I do hate the more correct term of “Service Users”!) and do what we can to make everyone in our little world as safe and secure as they can be.

St Kath’s prides itself on going that extra mile for our customers, we can help out with shopping etc, set up FaceTime or WhatsApp video calls to help keep in touch within the family and a host of other things. I know from my own experience that, when loved ones are far away, these video calls can be a lifeline.

The vaccination roll-out in Lincolnshire continues and with the AstraZeneca vaccine, created here in the UK, approved for use, it’s accelerating. This means there are now three vaccines officially available, but the Astra Zeneca vaccine can be kept in conventional fridges (unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which needs ultra-cold storage) so as that gets rolled out in the coming weeks expect a call from your GP surgery to get vaccinated.

So there’s good news amongst the bad, and perhaps reasons to be cheerful as we head through the dark days of January.

The UK vaccination programme is steaming ahead and heralds a time, not too distant, when restrictions will be eased. Infection rates are starting to come down and eventually hospitalisation will decrease, even though this new strain of the virus is said to be much more infectious. Please, stay in your bubble and don’t take any risks. Hands, Face, Space!

Finally, do what you can to beat those January blues. Enjoy fresh air if you can, revel in what good news there is (and silly animal videos are a great antidote to the bad stuff) and find your safe place. The dreamscapes of the mind can be a refuge for us all, if only for ten or twenty minutes – but sometimes that’s all you need.

A Happy (and safe!) New Year to us all.