WELL-BEING

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, It has been an unsettling and strange time, with parts of ‘normal’ life returning and disappearing again. We have also been talking more about the inequality and unfair treatment faced by black people and people from other ethnic minority groups across the world, as well as right here in the UK. 

You may not feel like you used to, or have questions and worries. 

Reaching out and being in touch with others is really important. To find out more about the support available from CHIVA, click here.

Ideas for well-being

You all know about the importance of HIV medicine for your physical health, but how can you try and look after your well being more broadly? There are lots of things that can help. Please see the suggestions below.

Staying connected

Try to keep in regular contact with friends and family, and stay connected. CHIVA camp is a place for young people living with HIV to meet each other. If you have already taken part in CHIVA events, stay in touch with the young people you’ve met there. 

Limiting news

Being informed is helpful in order to know how best to look after yourself and others, but the news can be overwhelming. Try limiting how often you read/listen to the news (perhaps try keeping it to certain times of day).

Exercising

Exercise naturally helps to lift your mood. It can be difficult to find the energy if you are feeling low, but even a short bit of exercise can give you a burst of energy and will make you feel a bit better. You could also try an activity with friends or family members to help motivate each other. See the CHIVA Support Camp yoga sessions below!

Regular sleep

Sleeping too much or too little can affect your mood.  It is important to try and stick to a routine where possible as it will help you and give you more energy. More information on how to improve your sleeping habits is here.

Eating well

Trying to stick to a healthy diet and regular meals times will also help your mood. Of course it is ok to have the occasional treat and snack but sticking to regular meal times and having a varied balanced diet will ensure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay well. There are lots of cheap and simple recipe ideas around if you want some new ideas, try here.

Doing things you enjoy

Try to make time for the things that bring you joy, energy and make you feel relaxed. That could be all sorts of things such as dancing, computer games, reading, baking, drawing, writing or crafts. If you don’t know where to start, try 10 fun things you can do at home or the different games and breathing exercises on Calm Zone.

Feeling tracker

 Feeling trackers can help you to connect with how you are feeling, it can also help you to focus in on the present what are you feeling right now? Rather than being focussed on the past or maybe worrying about the future, focusing on the present can help when you are feeling worried or anxious.

Feeling trackers can help you notice how your feelings and mood change through the day and across a week, and it may also help you notice what is helping you to feel happy and calm, and maybe what triggers more difficult feelings. Colouring is also a calming and ‘mindful’ activity which can help you feel calm and relaxed.

Make a self-soothing box

This can be a great way to manage your feelings. Collect some things together that help you feel more grounded and relaxed (e.g, positive affirmations, fidget spinners, photographs, something that smells nice, momentos with good memories associated with them) These boxes can really help if you get a feeling of panic, anxiety or low mood. To learn how to create a self-soothe box, click here. 


What may work one day, may not work another. Whilst doing the above can help your wellbeing, it is important to be kind to yourself and go easy on yourself if you are not able to stick to a routine.

CHIVA Yoga and relaxation sessions

This is Liz our fantastic CHIVA Support Camp yoga teacher, who has especially recorded some short yoga sessions for you that can easily be done at home. 

Welcome to CHIVA yoga
Yoga explanation
Chair Yoga
Floor Yoga
Breathing Exercises
Guided Relaxation