Coping with the recent changes and managing anxieties

Hi
After weeks of distancing, I just wondered how everyone was coping with all the changes going on at the moment? I have found it quite a mental challenge: mostly due to people believing the rules don’t apply to them and not wearing masks or keeping their distance. I had to take the tube to a hospital appointment, which was fine as public transport wasn’t that busy and the majority of people were wearing masks. However, one middle-aged lady didn’t have a mask on, who was sitting opposite me, I asked if she couldn’t due to her health and she told me that she chose not to as she was not being told what to do by biological terrorists!! Yet she sanitised her hands every five minutes! Her attitude really upset me and still plays on my mind.

That meeting left me thinking about my brother in law who has kidney failure and a compromised immune system and I can now see why he is not eager to leave home. Your health is reliant on others following the rules. Anyone else feel anxious about all the change we’re being hit with? What helps you cope and keep calm?

Lou

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Hi,
The change from shielding to pausing has happened without much fanfare for me. I have at last managed to see all 3 children, separately and distanced which has been a bonus but with their lives returning to a new normal and the weather here in the north changeable I’m confused as to how much we will achieve in the coming weeks. Many people here are blasé about the risks and I am still having to time my daily walks. I have been in 2 shops over the month so far. One was completely empty and the other was well organised with gel, gloves and distancing in place. A supermarket?? No not yet. I keep coming back to the statement that if I am unlucky to meet the person who has Covid I still have blood cancer and so my individual risk remains the same. I worry when everyone returns from their holidays and will it result in me back inside most of the time.
I have also heard it said that if we do not feel safe we should not go out. This makes me so angry as it makes me feel that my life is not worth the same as other people’s.

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Hi @Lou and @Lababe, I am still only going out for a walk a day, masked up and I distance myself from others.
I am not sure how I will feel about social interaction as I do not need to go out to where there are shops, Sainsbury’s delivers. Is it actually because I am anxious of going out into society??? I don’t know.
I haven’t driven since the beginning of March, am I actually anxious of doing so now.
I grew up hiding my emotions and it is a habit I have continued so I am still getting to know myself. I am sure neither is insurmountable and I need to get on that horse again and I will be fine.
I rationalise it as I am trying to keep my stress levels down. Since diagnosis I have not dealt with what personally stresses me well.
I get rid of my anger shouting at the TV over what I see as incompetence’s.
Music, walking and pilates keeps me calm.

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@Lababe I know this is how my kids feel as they are worrying about me all the time. My son hasn’t even moved into his new student flat as he didn’t want to come back and something bad happen to me. I get quite irritated about people not caring about others and thinking that it won’t happen to them. I feel safer at home, so still get shopping delivered and find myself getting more anxious around lots of people. Feels like it’s never going to get back to ‘normal’ whatever that means now!

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I have driven and actually it feels like an extra sanctuary. Mind you I haven’t had to fill up with petrol yet and I really have nowhere to go!!! Strange times indeed.
I made myself go into the empty shop as, like you, I worry about how long it will before I feel safe to do things. I had been exceedingly anxious going out for a walk and that can, at times, be hairy but I am managing as it’s kept me sane. We are all in this together but some of us are in a slightly different pot.

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Oh, the past month I have been out like 5 times… I went to my work place the other week wearing mask and gloves but for some people coming out of shielding seems to mean, it’s business as usual for me and no need for social distance… I know have my Blood Cancer ‘I’m shielding badge’ and hopefully that helps with those who don’t know that they should still keep their distance.
It’s hard to see others out and about with their daily lives, whereas I am still “shielding” myself as much as possible. Here up north even the local restrictions don’t seem to mean nothing. People are visiting others in their homes and big parties are done (as seen on the News). I am worried if further restriction are put in place that I am not able to do my face to face side of work that I should start to do more and more now.
I’m not using public transportation yet. Black cab is my new best friend when I go to the hospital appointments.
I don’t even know what keeps me sane any more. Maybe my current bloods being better they been the past 6 or 7 years, so I keep finding myself cleaning the house (which I’m known for not liking) or just admiring the birds, bees and trees in the garden.

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Hi all, I completely understand what everybody is saying.
I must say @Lababe, I have really enjoyed driving and having a look around to see what’s happening. I feel safe in my car and have driven further and further! I needed to do this to get myself ready to drive to work in a couple of weeks.
I think my children and husband have played a huge part in helping me get out and about a bit more. The girls were becoming extremely anxious and I needed to work on this with them. I have encouraged them to do more. They are careful, and safe and if they are uncomfortable at any time will call me and ask me to come and collect them. We have agreed that I will email their schoolS to make sure they know I have been shielding and that the girls are nervous. My husband panics on the two days he has to go into work by train.
On the negative side of all of this, I tend to put my own anxieties aside because I want to make sure they are all ok. Hence the thread on ‘How do you get a good nights sleep?’
I’m trying to be more vocal about how I feel and not to worry too much about what other people think. I find that difficult but if I don’t get better at this then it’s only myself who will suffer. I definitely need to do this more with a discussion about work!
@Lababe, it great you can now see your children - that must have been really difficult.
@Erica, I’m getting better at rationalising things too. I just need to try and do this at a sensible time of the day, not at bedtime.
@MoMo, I am glad I don’t have to use public transport yet. I definitely wouldn’t feel safe. It’s been lovely being able to take more notice of the littles things - birds singing, admiring the garden.
@Lou, your story of the lady on the train still infuriates me! I completely agree that our safety depends on others following the rules. @MoMo, I’m hoping my badge helps when I return to work!

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I looked on this month as a window of opportunity as even before coronavirus I was feeling more isolated because my hearing loss is getting worse. From being an extrovert I am becoming more introverted. Masks are another barrier to me being involved in conversation. It was important that I got out soon.
We went to stay with my daughter’s family for a few days before they return to school, which really helped. I don’t know when we will get to see the rest of the family. I am feeling slightly guilty for not visiting my elderly parents
I have done a few supermarket shops with my husband. I only go to ones with wide aisles, and during quiet periods.
A fortnight ago I started to go to my local church again. My parish priest has made sure that everywhere is safe, and Church is cleaned between each of the 4 Masses each week…sanitiser as we go in and leave, names taken, one person (unless from the same family) per bench, and only using every other bench. We are a small Church and usually about 20 there at the moment. It was also my chance to drive again. I do less than 500 miles per annum usually. I woder if I will hit 50 this year :joy:
Of course as things change I recognise that I might need to go into hibernation again. Figures in the Midlands are rising. Thankfully I am retired, and do not have children living with me, (just a grumpy old man LOL) so do not have as difficult a time as many of you. Take care

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I think my main anxiety is other people believing that everything is fine now; but with cases on the rise, it clearly isn’t!
My son went into a local small supermarket, there were four older teenage boys, without masks and loudly coughing over each other (joking); as my son came out there was a police car parked up with a policeman and police woman sitting inside; my son approached them and told them of the boys behaviour- what did they do? They said they would send a community police person round, started their car and drove off! If this is the attitude of people in authority what chance do we ‘shielders’ have?

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Yes, we can control how we behave but we certainly can’t control others behaviours, that is the scary part. I know I cannot stay cocooned for ever but I don’t need or want to go out into the town, I just don’t know how I feel.

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@CLL6 with lockdown parties and flocking to beaches I think it is the wrong age group being penalised. The authorities also need the backing of parents, many who themselves are flouting the rules. Over 70s are not the ones littering beaches and parks and holding raves. In places where covid rates are rising a curfew should be introduced like in Victoria, Australia, maybe then we will all stand a chance of returning to some semblance of a life.

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I agree. I can’t explain how I feel from day to day. I’m beginning to feel more like the vulnerable person I was told I was at the start of all this. I never felt vulnerable before but I do now. I describe myself as being like a rabbit in the headlights, internally not visibly, when I try a different walking route. As others continue with their lives I feel further away from feeling normal, as if we can’t access things the same as those not vulnerable to Covid since they feel no need to take precautions. Today somebody actually brushed past me when there was plenty of room to avoid that and they were dawdling not in a rush. All I could do was quickly turn my back on them but they were oblivious. At the time I was holding a conversation with an elderly lady socially distanced. It all feeds the idea that we should stay inside if we don’t feel safe, we’re becoming second class citizens!!!

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Hi Lababe, it’s horrible to feel that vulnerable again and I wish you’d had some better experiences when you ventured out. Have you driven anywhere else? I know you really enjoyed your last one?

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Thank you Nichola yes I have. To nowhere in particular but it’s lovely to feel that free. It is a little compensation for the daily feelings I have otherwise. How about you?

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Hi @Lababe. Yep - driven to some nice parks and the beach. I love driving around and seeing what’s going on. It helps me decide where I might be able to go and at what times. The beach is lovely late evening as there is not as many people around. Small supermarkets have been fine; I haven’t ventured to a larger one as yet. I did do the drive to work the other day and I must admit, I haven’t missed that!

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Hi all

I have hardly changed anything at all since 1 August. Had to go to local hospital for a blood test last week. It took all of five minutes and tbh it felt perfectly safe. Booked an early appointment and was in and out in no time.
I have found that I do not like wearing face mask its hot and I feel rather flustered all the time so I havent been in any shops yet. I feel a bit sorry for our local shopkeepers though. Hopefully not every one feels like me and is able to support them now!
Today I have thrown caution to the wind and been to the hairdressers! My local salon has opened a special shielding room and it was fine. Gritted my teeth and had to wear a mask but had cut and colour! My hair had grown a lot through lockdownand have been able toget it into a style rather like I used to have before all this cancer stuff kicked off two years ago!
Its been a great boost. Though the bill was shocking!! But as I pointed out to my husband as his jaw hit the floor when I told him the cost I have saved an absolute fortune on hairdressing bills over the past two years! Haha
Might try a meal out soon,
Sue

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What an adventure that trip to the hairdresser must have seemed. I expect they will have had to put up prices to cover PPE, time they have been closed etc
I have the bamboo bands from Seasalt which are multi use, but I can pull over mouth and nose and still breath, and it doesn’t interfere with specs and hearing aids. They do say it is not PPE, but I think something is better than nothing (and people give me a wide berth as I look like a bank robber)

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Hi @Lababe, you say you feel like a second class citizen and vulnerable, would it help you to share your thoughts and feelings a bit more with us, you might find you are not the only one. Otherwise don’t forget you can contact the wonderful Blood Cancer UK Support Services Team on 0808 2080 888 10am-7pm Monday-Friday and 10am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday or via email at support@bloodcancer.org.uk. Take care.

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Hello thanks for the tip about the Seasalt bands. I think I read about them recently. Im going to check them out. Think they sound like a more comfortable alternative to a mask. I do find the masks slip and move around so you’re touching them quite a bit which surely isn’t a good thing. I take your point about them not being PPE as such but compared to some of the ill-fitting grubby facemasks some people are wearing Im sure they fit the bill!

Sue

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