Are you suffering from low mood or snacking more in lockdown?

Many people are finding the third national lockdown really tough and it is hard to see when our lives are likely to get back to normal, says our Northiam dentist, Joanne Mason.

This can lead to feelings of low mood and when we feel unhappy, we can often comfort eat. As well as affecting our dental health, irregular eating patterns and unstable blood sugar levels can make a difference to our mood and energy levels too.

It is not so easy to snack when we are at work but for so many people working from home, the kitchen is just a few steps away.

Snacking could be the result of boredom, worry or anxiety and the need to find a distraction that gives us a short-term comfort. The problem is, explains Dr Mason, Northiam Dental’s principal dentist, that snacking can have serious repercussions for our health, both mental and oral.

Whenever we eat or drink anything, plaque bacteria builds up in the mouth. This produces acids that attack the teeth, causing tooth decay and erosion. Usually, the mouth can neutralise these acids by producing saliva, however, constant snacking does not give the mouth chance to recover. This leaves us susceptible to acid attacks.

Some helpful advice from Mind

We would like to highlight the following tips from the mental health charity, Mind, to any of our patients from across Northiam, Rye and East Sussex, who might be struggling with difficult feelings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Talk to someone you trust

It might feel hard to start talking about how you are feeling. But many people find that sharing their experiences can help them feel better. It may be that just having someone listen to you and show they care can help in itself.

If you aren’t able to open up to someone close to you, you can call Samaritans any time and free of charge on 116 123.

Find support

Mind’s coronavirus useful contacts page (link below) lists lots of organisations who can help with different needs during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes support for:

  • work and redundancy
  • money, benefits and housing
  • caring for others, including young people
  • dealing with grief

Look after your physical health

Try to get enough sleep. Sleep can give you the energy to cope with difficult feelings and experiences.

Think about your diet, as eating regularly and keeping your blood sugar stable can make a difference to your mood and energy levels.

Try to do some physical activity because exercise can be really helpful for your mental wellbeing.

If you have any concerns about your dental health, please get in touch.

Useful links

Coping with difficult feelings, emotions

Mind’s list of useful contacts

UK Government coronavirus guidance

Government guidance on shielding and protecting vulnerable people in England

Government coronavirus restrictions across England

NHS advice for staying well in winter

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