All Posts Tagged: psychology

Coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions - healthy habits

Struggling with coronavirus restrictions? Here are 4 ways you can look after yourself

It can be easy to slip into bad habits or lose sight of our health goals when times are tough.

That’s why maintaining some healthy habits during the the government’s coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions is more important than ever.

So, here are some practical tips for maintaining and boosting your health at home, and how you can access our services for support.

Perhaps we can help you find a silver lining to the current situation!

1. Keep exercising

As well as boosting immunity, exercise can have a calming effect, keeping our minds clear and focused, and our anxiety contained.

That’s why it’s super important to keep exercising during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions.

There are lots of creative ways to create your own ‘home gym’, and you don’t need to go out and buy expensive exercise equipment. Grab a couple of soup tins from the kitchen cupboard – they make for great dumbbells!

In fact, many activities don’t require anything more than your body itself. For example, push-ups, planks and burpees are great for getting the heart pumping.

Remember to get outside as much as you can. Playgrounds and barbeque areas may be closed, but you can still go for a jog or brisk walk. Now there’s really no excuse to keep the dog locked up all day!

We suggest scheduling your exercise sessions. This will make it easier to stick to and help you get into a routine.

Not sure where to start? You can get a personal exercise program from our exercise experts. You can book in for a free initial telehealth session with our exercise physiologist or physiotherapists.

If you find exercising easier with other people, group classes are still available. We’ve reduced our exercise physiology class sizes to 1-3 people maximum. This means you can continue to maintain a social network during isolating times while at the same time help build up your immune system.

2. Establish an eating routine

For those of you who spend most of your time out of the house (at work, running errands etc), your daily routine may have centered around set meal and snack times.

However, with most of us either working from home, taking a break from work, or just spending more time in general at home, your old eating routines may have disappeared.

Without this same structure to your day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. For example, having larger meals, extra snacking, or eating just for the sake of it! It’s easy to do, especially being so close to the kitchen.

To prevent overeating, and to promote healthier food choices, you could establish a new eating routine to match your needs at home. For example, consider these set times:

  • Breakfast: 8am
  • Morning tea: 11am
  • Lunch: 1.30pm
  • Afternoon tea: 4pm
  • Dinner: 7pm
  • Supper: 8.30pm

If you’re considering intermittent fasting as an option for weight management during isolation, an early morning black coffee could replace breakfast, while a herbal tea could replace supper at night.

You can take this a step further by planning what you choose to eat, and how much, at each set time. Always consider your energy needs – if you are less active at home, you may plan to eat less than usual (i.e. smaller or less frequent snacks).

If you would like some help establishing a new eating routine, or if you have other nutrition-related concerns, please speak with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller. Private health and Medicare rebates are available.

3. Balance your thoughts

Worrying about diseases is a normal reaction. But excessive worrying can affect both our physical and mental health.

Fortunately, there are practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety.

When we get stressed about our health or risk of infection, our thoughts can become dark, brooding and pessimistic. Thoughts like, “How will I cope if I get sick?” and “I can’t deal with this”, are often triggered by stress, but they don’t help us. Negative and dark brooding thoughts will stop you doing things that can help.

Our thoughts are not always true or helpful. Challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself what a friend would say in the same situation, or ask yourself what evidence do you have that you ‘won’t cope or can’t cope’? Whenever you recognise a negative thought, try to balance it with a realistic thought.

If you need help with balancing your thoughts, our psychologists Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts are here for you. You don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

4. Shut down the noise (do things you like instead)

Stress is infectious, and often unhelpful. People tend to talk about things they are worried about. This creates lots of ‘noise’, which can create even more stress.

Give yourself permission to switch off ‘noise’ such as social media, news and the radio for most of each day.

Also give yourself permission to excuse yourself from people who are creating stress. Keep checking in to reliable news sources once or twice a day, but otherwise, turn down the ‘noise’.

Instead, replace it with things that can help you, including doing things you enjoy, like listening to music, riding your bike, yoga or even meditation.

You could also schedule a regular ‘event’, like a games night with those in your household, or your own version of a Gold Class cinema experience, complete with ice-creams and cardboard tickets that your kids can make.

Need help managing your stress levels? Have a chat with your Pascoe Vale doctor or psychologist – we’re always here to help.

Here’s how consultations are working

All consultations are currently being carried out over the phone or on video. In some cases you may be required to come in to the clinic.

 Telehealth
(consult over the phone)
Telehealth video
(consult over live video)
In-clinic
PsychologistYesZoom
Facetime
Yes
PodiatristYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
PhysiotherapistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Exercise physiologistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
DietitianYesSkype
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Speech pathologistYesZoom
Facetime
No

*In-clinic option is only available if your practitioner determines that your health needs cannot be managed by phone or video, or for hands-on care like podiatry and physiotherapy.

We’re here to support you

In addition to things like staying at home and practising good hygiene, focusing on some healthy habits and routines during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions will hold you in good stead.

Remember the famous saying, ‘this too shall pass’. It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal.

 

Source: MindSpot

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 24 July 2020

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Happiness Pascoe Vale Melbourne

How can we be happier?

March 20 is International Day of Happiness. It’s about bringing us all a little closer to our happy place.

But what can we do to be happy? Here are 10 simple things to help you find your Zen.

As always, if you’re feeling blue our psychologists in Pascoe Vale are here to help.

1. Listen to music

Listening to melancholy music like Adele can help boost positive and peaceful feelings. This can be therapeutic and calming for the mind and body.

2. Speak to the person next to you

If you catch the train or bus to work, strike up a conversation – you could bring joy to both of you! Similarly, try chatting to the person behind you in the supermarket queue. Face-to-face human interactions are important for our happiness.

3. Know that money sometimes can buy happiness

You’ve probably heard of the saying “Money can’t buy happiness”. But it can if what you buy is extra time, or you pay to delegate tasks. So don’t feel guilty about ordering tonight’s dinner online or hiring someone to mow the lawn. Spending money to save time might make you happier.

4. Exercise and eat healthy food

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes in the mirror. And it goes without saying that eating well keeps your body and mind both healthy and strong (here are some of our tips for healthy eating).

5. Call your mum

Call your mum, your dad, a relative or a friend. Hearing a loved one’s voice can help reduce stress, which means a happier you. You’ll also make your loved one’s day.

6. Hang out with happy people

Yawns aren’t the only things that are contagious. The more you surround yourself with positive people, the happier you may feel. Go ahead and enjoy a round of drinks with your mates, grab a coffee with that woman at school pick-up who’s always smiling, or schedule a visit with your cheery hairdresser.

7. Daydream about your upcoming holiday

Going on a holiday may not necessarily make you happier. But thinking about leaving town is another story. The fact is that we get an extra boost of joy if we delay pleasure. We build positive expectations, imagining how amazing the experience will be. That warm sun or the frozen strawberry daiquiri by the pool? It’s just an added bonus.

8. Reminisce about fond memories

Dig up your old photos and reminisce about fond memories from the past. Then call or email your old friend or childhood bestie! Feeling nostalgic about the past can increase optimism about the future and make you happier.

9. Play with your pets

Playing fetch with your dog or cuddling up with your cat makes you feel good. Interacting with pets can release oxytocin, leaving you with a joyous feeling. Pets offer huge benefits for kids, too, like learning about responsibility.

10. Wake up a little earlier

With more time in the morning, you won’t be running around the kitchen spilling coffee and dropping toast as you frantically get the kids to school. Getting up a little earlier can make it easier to get a positive start to your day.

Stop looking for happiness

Perhaps the best way to find happiness is, ironically, to quit searching for it. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or set yourself up for expectations that you sometimes can’t meet. Instead, focus on finding meaning — by forging new friendships and pursuing favourite pastimes — and happiness may follow.

Need help? Our experienced psychologists in Pascoe Vale can help you work through any issues you have and find a happier you. To make an appointment, simply call 9304 0500 or book online.

 

Source: International Day of Happiness and Best Health Mag

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Healthy new year’s resolutions

5 healthy new year’s resolutions for you and your family

New year’s resolutions are a great idea. After all, what better way to start the new year than with a fresh outlook on life?

In reality, however, new year’s resolutions often don’t last because they’re unrealistic and poorly executed. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of achievable, healthy resolutions for you and your family to try.

Let us know how you go!

1. Say goodbye to fad diets

Losing weight is a common new year’s resolution. But instead of following the latest diet craze, focus your efforts on eating simple, healthy food like fruit and vegies as much as you can. Just one extra serve of vegies a day can make a big difference, says PVH Medical Dietitian, Jessica Fuller. “It can reduce your risk of mortality by 5% which is pretty impressive,” she says.

2. Find a gym buddy or do group exercises

We all know that going to the gym can be daunting. But what if a friend came along with you? Your buddy can keep you accountable for meeting your goals. You could also consider a group exercise class, like the one we run at our practice in Pascoe Vale. Qualified exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon runs classes every week. “Group exercise classes are a great way to prevent injuries and chronic diseases,” Mike says.

3. Ask for help if you need it

Life can throw us some curveballs, causing problems at home, work or school. Often the hardest step is the first step – asking for help. Family, friends and loved ones can offer a great support network. But if you feel like you’ve got no one to turn to, or you need extra support, you can always seek professional help. The team of psychologists at PVH Medical – Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts – treat each client with respect and dignity. “Every discussion is kept confidential,” Jenny adds.

4. Help your child with developmental delays

Do you have kids? If so, you want them to get the best start in life. This includes ensuring that they keep developing as they grow older. Developmental delays like speech and language problems can be addressed by working with a qualified speech pathologist. With 20 year’s clinical experience, PVH Medical Speech Pathologist Naomi DeNicolo can help your child with speech and/or language difficulties, and even with problems swallowing food or drink.

5. Get that niggling pain looked at

Life’s too short to put up with niggling pain. Whether you have a sore back, an injured knee or even a headache, seeing a physiotherapist can help. We recently welcomed Naveena Seethapathy to the PVH Medical team. For Naveena, physiotherapy has been a career where she has found her calling to help those injured or in pain. “It’s never too late to seek help for niggling pain,” says Naveena.

Are you ready for a healthy 2020?

So there you have it – five healthy new year’s resolutions anyone can achieve.

If you need help with any of them, we’d be pleased to help. Simply call 9304 0500 or make an online booking today.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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See a doctor in Pascoe Vale for mental illness

Look after your mental health

Did you know that one in five Australians are affected by mental illness?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t seek help because of stigma.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that affect the mind or brain.

These illnesses, which include bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and personality disorders, affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.

The exact cause of mental illness is unknown. What is known is that mental illness is not a character fault, weakness or something inherently ‘wrong’ with a person.

It is an illness like any other.

Mental illness is very common

One in five Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.

The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder.

Mental health or physical health?

Historically, mental health and physical health were separated. Currently, we understand that mental health and physical health are interconnected.

If we’re in pain, we could be distressed, anxious or depressed. If we have a panic attack, we might have difficulty exercising, sleeping or relaxing.

Whatever the primary health issue and its severity, other health factors often come into play.

There are many ways our health and well-being can be supported, including:

  • Breath work
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Self-talk
  • Sleep
  • Social connection
  • Purpose/meaning.

Is mental illness treatable?

Yes, mental illness can be treated. Many people who have mental illness can recover completely while others manage their illness very well.

The most important step is to seek help. See your GP in the first instance.

How to get help

A GP can provide treatment or refer you to a specialist, like a psychologist, for extra help. Note, however, that you don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

Effective treatments are available and early identification and care can reduce harm and improve quality of life. If you’re uncertain or nervous about speaking to one of our GPs, you’re welcome to take a friend or family member with you.

Let your GP know if you’re getting help from anyone else, such as other doctors, self-help groups, family and friends, or natural therapists.

Remember to provide your GP with your full list of medications (including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and natural therapies). Also, ask your GP for a general health check to see what else might be adding to the way you feel.

Raising awareness for mental health

October is Mental Health Awareness Month.

To help support the mental health of you and those around you, Black Dog Institute has come up with 10 different ways you can take action this October. That’s because there’s no single path to creating a mentally healthier world.

In addition to Black Dog Institute, organisations including Headspace, Beyond Blue and Dementia Australia provide evidence-based information, support, advice and research on a wide range of mental health-related issues.

Further reading

We’re here for you every day

If you need help, please make a booking with us. We’re open 7 days a week to give you all the support you need.

 

Source: Mental Health Australia, World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Foundation Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Get help from PVH Medical in Pascoe Vale, Vic.

Are you struggling with the day to day?

You can’t put your finger on it but you’re not in top form. You feel tired more often, you’re emotional and the things you used to enjoy doing now don’t hold the same appeal.

It’s hard to generalise how struggling to cope can make you feel or act, but if any of these symptoms sound familiar please consider having a chat with one of our doctors.

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired
  • Feeling restless or agitated
  • Feeling tearful
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people
  • Not wanting to do things you usually enjoy
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things

While our doctors have loads of experience helping patients with all sorts of issues, you may be referred to one of our in-house psychologists for specialised care.

You could be entitled to Medicare-subsidised counselling under the GP Mental Health Care Plan Scheme. Simply ask your doctor for details and a referral.

No referral is required for private consultations with a psychologist.

R U OK? Day – 14 September 2017

R U OK is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with friends and loved ones could save lives.

On 14 September we’re getting behind this charity’s special awareness day called R U OK? Day.

R U OK? Day is about staying connected and having meaningful conversations. That’s something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert, just a great mate and a good listener. So if you notice someone who might be struggling – start a conversation.

Some conversations are too big for friends and family to take on alone. That’s why we encourage you to speak to a doctor at PVH Medical Pascoe Vale.

If you need urgent support outside of hours, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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