To see and talk to people face to face was something I never thought I would take for granted
As part of the Our Frontline campaign to support the mental health of all those out working to protect us during the coronavirus crisis, we’ll be regularly sharing stories, tips and other thoughts about what life is like for them at the moment, in their own words.
Leading Firefighter Nakita has been working on the frontline throughout the pandemic. She spoke to us about some of the challenges she’s faced and what is helping her get through it.
During the pandemic, our role has changed dramatically in some areas. We all became more aware of how easy it is to become contaminated, our best efforts made on the scene to minimise this. We are normally extremely active within the community; visiting peoples homes, giving talks in schools, visits around our fire stations and generally interacting with the public when out of the station. We have missed our communities and the regular faces.
Talking to others about how I was feeling really helped
I live on my own, and what made it even worse was my dogs live with my parents. I am quite happy in my own company but had never experienced it for this amount of time. When going in to work it was quite overwhelming; to see and talk to people face to face was something I never thought I would take for granted! It really made me think more about how it would be affecting others during this difficult time. Talking to others about how I was feeling really helped and hearing how others are coping. Some of the people I spoke to have families and opened up to me about the difficulties of homeschooling – teachers, you are amazing!
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve spoken more freely about how I was coping, and tried not to bottle anything up. I also have a great group of friends, regularly doing video chats, setting challenges and creating workouts to share. Fitness was a massive saviour for me – it gave me a structure to my days and made me feel like I had achieved something. When you could create a support bubble I was so happy; I had my dogs back and we were enjoying our daily walks again. I think animals are a great stress reliever and something that should be pushed forward more into the emergency services to help tackle PTSD.
Read more stories from workers on the frontline during the pandemic.