Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month 2020
by Amber Henson, on Apr 20, 2020
April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. This April, things look a little different than they did last year. So we thought we would take a look at how those with amputations and congenital limb differences are experiencing unique challenges during this COVID-19 crisis.
Many working individuals, especially those in the service industry, have been laid off during this time. We have been in contact with some of our patients that have experienced job loss due to this crisis. This can be devastating to those with a limb difference, as people with disabilities may already feel that they face an uphill battle to employment (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with a disability are about three times less likely to be employed than someone without a disability).
Lack of employment, combined with social distancing and the loss of a live support system (such as a support group or a night out with friends), can lead to some serious mental health issues.
If you are experiencing job loss, depression over the current world situation, or sadness due to isolation, the first step is to acknowledge that all those feelings are valid. This is a tough situation. You don’t have to put on a strong front. As someone with a limb difference, you may already feel challenged every day, living in a world that caters to those with two sound upper limbs.
Our team has found this Facebook post from psychologist Betsy William Briggs to have a concise list of helpful mental health wellness tips that are specific to the quarantine. We’ll post the top three here, but we recommend checking out her full list on Facebook.
- Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.
- Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.
- Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned about contact, try first thing in the morning or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
Please also be sure to check out the Amputee Coalition’s page about Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month. They’re hosting Daily Dares and have lots of great resources.
Do you have any advice to give? Please leave it in the comments below!
For more Arm Dynamics articles, see related resources here:
- Celebrating Limb Difference Awareness Month 2021: Five Things That I’ve Learned
- Why Do We Have Therapists On-Site at Each of Our Centers?
- Bathroom Routine Hacks for People with a Limb Difference
- Organizations That Provide Financial and Emotional Support to People with a Limb Difference
- The Lived Experience: Peer-to-Peer Support by Arm Dynamics Patients