I initially had another idea for my next blog which I was eager to write about. However, this week I had a suggestion from a friend to blog about COVID 19. I was reluctant at first but then spiritually I felt that I should blog about COVID 19.
Over the last few weeks, I have taken extra care as I normally would do with washing my hands. Due to the extra care, my hands have become severely dry and I have small patches of eczema appearing on my fingers. My advice to anyone who has eczema on their hands is to ensure that you moisturise them regularly to avoid dry/cracking skin and to be very cautious about using hand sanitisers. I posted an article on the Facebook group last week about hand sanitisers, see below for more info: https://inews.co.uk/news/coronavirus-hand-washing-advice-hand-sanitisers-eczema-psoriasis
So, is being extra cautious about hand washing, keeping hands moisturised the only thing to be worried about alongside social distancing, having enough food and medical supplies? This is just physical needs. What about the mental needs such as fears and anxieties relating to COVID 19?
We all have fears at present e.g. becoming ill ourselves, our household, our family members in particular elderly and vulnerable ones, our jobs, children at home due to no school and not to mention limited supplies of food caused by panic buying.
Stress and anxiety is a trigger for eczema and I imagine at times like this, there is a greater risk of having eczema flare-ups. Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed changes with my eczema overall not just caused by increased hand washing but also my own personal anxieties. I’ve been commuting by train/tube to work in London and can only work from home part-time due to my role in the NHS. Last month I was offered a promotion at another NHS hospital and due to start there in two weeks. But just days after I handed in my resignation COVID 19 began to escalate around the UK so now have extra anxieties about my new role. I’ve also not being able to see family members or friends due to some of them being high risk. I’ve noticed myself becoming itchier around my body and have had to fight myself not to scratch and have been harsh with myself when giving in to scratching.
How do we deal with anxiety to avoid eczema flare-ups?
Most important thing is to remain in faith. At present as a nation and worldwide we are all in a trial. Below I have copied just a few things on what the bible says about anxiety:
2 Timothy 1: 7
7. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6: 25 – 27
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Secondly stay connected to people. Apart from phone calls other ways of communicating and seeing loved ones include WhatsApp groups, zoom conference meetings, google hangouts, house party, skype etc. Check up on people around you to make sure that they are OK and offer to help them if needed.
Thirdly, keep your mind occupied in doing activities so that our mind is not constantly worrying about COVID 19. Examples could include having a clear-out at home, entertaining self by watching films, take up a new hobby, learn a new skill and doing volunteer activities.
Avoid over reading the news and social media comments. Bear in mind we do need to be aware of what is going on locally, nationally and globally, however checking every minute on how many extra COVID 19 cases there and death rates will not help. Personally I have also found it mentally draining. If this is too much for you mentally, perhaps limit the use social media for come off it completely for a defined period. Another suggestion would be to block automated notifications from your phone, laptop or tablet so that the news is not in your face every minute.
Finally, remember the positive things in life and that some people are worse off than you. Although I have anxieties about my new job, I also remember that other people have been made redundant or cannot work due to the industry that they are in (e.g. restaurants, pubs, gyms etc.). I cannot see family, but can still talk to them. There are others who have lost a loved one or have family abroad and cannot fly out to see them.
I am now driving to work, but there are people who do not have the luxury of owning a car and have no choice but use public transport. A rota has been organised at work for us to work from home part-time but some people who cannot work from home.
We may be short on food supplies so having to make adjustments to our normal eating patterns, but there are people who are less fortunate and do not have the funds to purchase food at all.
I just take this time now to pray for all readers and followers that they are safe and well. Remember that this season is temporary and will soon pass.
Take care X