Many mental illnesses can be eased by keeping to a structured routine, therefore big changes to our lifestyles can trigger psychological problems. This means that people with mental health problems such as bipolar disorder have to plan very carefully if they choose to move home. Here are some tips to help smooth the process.
Friday, June 12, 2009
1. Take exceptional care when choosing a new home
It seems obvious that you would chose a new home that satisfies your needs, however house hunting can take time and quickly becomes frustrating which can lead to making rash, panicked decisions. If possible take friends and family with you when viewing properties because they will help to keep you calm and sometimes notice things about a property that you might miss.
Our surroundings have a massive impact on our psychological well-being so be clear on what keeps you healthy, e.g. plenty of daylight.
2. Consult your GP/CPN/ Mental Health Coordinator
If you have a mental health worker assigned to you then talk to them about your move, they will be able to suggest ways to smooth the process and, if you move to a new area, they should be able to help find you mental health provision in your new location.
3. Don't do it alone
Accept help from friends and family. Someone once told me that asking somebody for help is the greatest gift you can give them - I'm not sure that everybody agrees, but certainly the people who love you would not want to see you get ill if they could prevent it. So let them help pack, move boxes/furniture and assist you with paperwork and admin tasks.
4. Break the move down into smaller tasks and make lists
There is so much to consider when you move home that it can seem overwhelming. However if you sit down and make a list of everything that needs doing and break daunting tasks into smaller ones, the move will seem much more manageable.
5. Don't skip meals
Regular, wholesome meals have been shown to have a huge impact on mental well-being. Make sure that even when you are at your busiest, you still find time for meals. Consider healthy ready meals or easy cook pasta if you are too busy to prepare a meal from scratch.
6. Look after your sleep
It is very easy to have late nights when you've got a lot to do, or to lie awake worrying about the move. Make sure that you get physical exercise during the day, try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, and make sure that your room is dark when you go to bed. For supper, warm milk, a low-sugar wholegrain cereal or chamomile tea, might help you to sleep well. You could also try relaxation techniques like yoga.
7. Don't forget to keep your prescriptions up to date
It can be easy, in all the chaos, to forget to pick up a repeat prescription or neglect to make sure that you have enough to last you the move. If your relocation requires you to change doctor then don't forget that it might take up to two weeks to get registered with a new doctor, so ask your existing doctor for a prescription to carry you over.
8. Get your phone line set up in advance
Communication is very important for a number of reasons, perhaps you need social contact with your friends to stop you from becoming depressed or perhaps you just need to know that there is a means of calling a crisis line is, should you need it. You can usually get a phone line set up in advance by calling service providers. If you are planning on relying on a mobile then make sure that there is a network signal at the new property or nearby.
9. Be benefits organised
If you are unfit to work and so rely on welfare benefits then make sure that you find out how to transfer your benefits before you actually move to avoid losing money. Some applications such as for Housing Benefit need to be done very early during a tenancy so plan ahead. The benefits system can be very difficult to understand and if you have problems with this area then your local Citizen's Advice Bureau will be able to help.
10. Find time to enjoy your new neighbourhood
When you move to a new home it might be very easy to get swamped in unpacking and letter writing, however make sure that you set aside time to explore and enjoy your neighbourhood. Unpacking doesn't have to be done right away, looking after your health does.