Mind Yer ‘Ed: Disengaging from social media and keeping busy helped my mental health

Here Jean Friend, from Chadderton, shares her experiences of adapting to the ‘new normal’ over the last few months and how she tries to keep her spirits up as part of our new Talking About My Generation mental health series: Mind Yer ‘Ed

“Myself and my partner created a social bubble as soon as we could. I asked her this weekend what had helped to keep her mentally well. Cheekily she said ‘well I have not had you pecking my head’!

“But her serious comments were very similar to mine. We both agreed keeping busy was important. I have done lots of jobs around the house that have needed doing for ages. Not having the usual demands from others has helped us both to relax.

“I would describe myself as a depressive (probably not the best word to use) – by that, I mean I get down easily. Since leaving work 11 years ago I have been able to keep a watch on this and slow, if not stop, the downward spiral.

“Unfortunately, this weekend I wasn’t quick enough. A particular political issue has been upsetting me and I engaged in a discussion on social media that sent me down the spiral. Disengaging from social media is a good idea and avoiding negative news reports also.

“When I am down the advice of getting some exercise really doesn’t work for me. Just getting out of the door is almost impossible. So having a reason such as meeting a friend or going for my prescription has helped. Before we made our social bubble we would cycle to a meeting place and go for a socially distanced ride. We were lucky with the weather so finding green spaces was a great help.

“I am lucky enough to have a garden and lockdown as given me the chance to grow more this year.”

For more information on how you can keep well in both body and mind, visit: https://www.independentage.org/get-advice/health/mental-health


  1. Well done Jean. Mental Health is a topic that doesn’t seem to get the news space that other health issues do, although it is just as important. We all need to keep this hidden illness on the social agenda to help as many sufferers as possible.

      • Thanks to you two. One thing I didn’t mention was my ability to laugh. When I was diagnosed and treated for cancer I found a lot of things, situations, that made me laugh and although I would not wish cancer on anyone it did help me to develop a more positive approach to life

        • Laughing is so important isn’t it Jean? And although you have been through a tough time with cancer, the perspective it provides is amazing 🙂 I really appreciate your openness and honesty.


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