Your feedback is important to us only with your input can we ensure that the NiceDay-app fully supports you on your way to recovery. That is why every quarter, we ask a group of active NiceDay-app users to complete a questionnaire and provide feedback on the app. What functionality is missing, or what do you really like to use? What works well and what can or should be improved?

Questionnaire

More than 30 active clients completed our questionnaire in the past quarter to provide insight into your experiences with the NiceDay-app. Again we have received a lot of great feedback! For example, our technical support is now easier to find. We have improved this based on feedback from the previous questionnaire. In addition, you would like to read blogs or psycho-education directly in the app. The good news, we are currently working on adding this to the app!

“NiceDay is an accessible way to explore and ultimately improve your mental health.” NiceDay app user

Are you curious about further feedback we have received? Check it out in the infographic below (Dutch only):

client-feedback-infographic

Let’s get started

Thank you for your valuable feedback and input on using the NiceDay-app. We will keep working on it and of course, keep you informed of any new functionalities. Via the app and this blog!

The NiceDay app

Do you feel that you are stuck and not feeling well? Don’t want to wait for help but want to get started right away? With NiceDay, help is always close at hand. No waiting list, no travel time, and personal support where and when you need it.

Read more information about an online treatment via NiceDay here, or download the app to use it independently and find out what it can do for you.

Tiny van Hees and Tom Rusting started their collaboration 15 years ago, based on a shared motivation to help family members of people with psychological complaints. A strong combination of Tom as a family experience expert and Tiny as a Social Psychiatric Nurse. With their foundation ‘Stichting Naastentraining’, they help people to better understand their loved one’s mental illness and teach them communication methods to better deal with it. Feeling empowered instead of powerless is an important result of this because feeling powerless is a common problem among family and friends of people with mental problems. They offer valuable training for family and loved ones, that also has an indirect and positive effect on the client.

Tom as a family experience expert

Tom first came into contact with mental health care when his son started dealing with mental complaints at the age of 20. He was diagnosed with psychosis sensitivity or, as it was then called, schizophrenia. Tom and his family went through rough times; their son has been hospitalized several times, forced or in crisis, but also ran away again. Ultimately, his son ended up seeing a psychiatrist who saw the importance of involving the family in their son’s recovery. She saw that they were driven, motivated and competent enough to guide their son. This creates a leverage effect: if you, as a therapist, spend time with the parents, they then can continue to put into practice what they have learned.

His son is now 41 years old and he has been doing well for quite some time already, but Tom felt like he needed to do something with the experience and knowledge he had gained. Experience that he would prefer not to have, but which nevertheless gives him comfort knowing that he can do something good with it. He learned to use his experience to coach the family and loved ones of other clients.

Tiny as a Social Psychiatric Nurse

Tiny is a Social Psychiatric Nurse and has been working in health care for over 40 years, of which 30 years in mental health care. Tiny has been providing family counselling and support to the family at Altrecht in the Prevention Department for over 15 years and she has been doing family coaching with ‘Stichting Naastentraining, together with Tom, for 2 years now. In her work at Altrecht, Tiny noticed that there were very few relatives of a non-Western background in her family groups. “Some people do not participate because they cannot follow the session well, but also the explanatory behaviour for psychoses can differ. When you think differently from others in your group, this can be difficult,” says Tiny.

Tom and Tiny

Tom and Tiny found each other in their shared concerns about involving families in treatment; both from their own different experiences. They first started with training for non-Western families, but they soon expanded their target group to include Western families. Together they now train and coach families from all over the country with their ‘Stichting Naastentraining’. They do this free of charge and without any personal interest.

The support of family is something that, according to Tiny, should happen much more and should be the standard: “When someone is in hospital with a heart attack, the family is extensively informed about the disease and the options for treatment, but this is not the case in mental health care”. The privacy reason is often assumed here: the client may not want it, so we won’t do it. But according to Tiny and Tom, this should change: things will improve when you include family!

Why family and loved ones?

But why focus on family and loved ones? A prevailing feeling of anger and powerlessness among the parents or family, says Tiny. “During my work, I noticed that there is so much suffering in families and that they experience so much powerlessness when their family member suffers from mental complaints. As a therapist, you have twenty minutes or an hour a week or every two weeks to be in contact with your client. But very often, the family is in contact with their relative every day. This can make it extremely difficult to deal with a family member with mental complaints.”

Tom also agrees that the current mental health care can no longer meet the demands of the family. Many parents feel desperate when, for example, they cannot always participate in treatment, while they do get the child at home when it is released from a hospital setting. There is so much evidence that the client’s prognosis improves when attention is paid to his or her family. If they learn to deal with it better, the future will look better, also for the client.

How do you coach family and loved ones?

It’s mainly about communication, according to Tom. How do you deal with a psychologically vulnerable person in your environment or family? Tom talks about his own experience with his son, who at the time had psychosis and suffered from delusions. “When that started with my son, I thought: I have to talk this out of his head. Come on, do you really think that the fire detector on the ceiling is a camera? That there is a big conspiracy? Don’t be such a fool, use your common sense! I think that’s a fairly normal reaction for parents, but it has the opposite effect and creates distance. We give parents tools and training to have that contact in a different and better way. We teach them to deal with this in a respectful, compassionate and judgment-free way. Then the relationship improves and the parents feel less powerless. They have learned something that they can do to help their loved ones. This works both ways: less conflict means that the parents feel less powerless and can tolerate the tensions or situations better. If you also see that you are helping your family or relative, you help each other on the road to recovery”.

“We call our work training, but it is actually a mix of training and coaching. That seems to work well: the combination of Tiny’s professional knowledge and my personal experience. We work according to clear programs with the help of Tiny’s knowledge, but sometimes you can explain certain things to people a little more convincingly if you say: “I understand you, I’ve been through that as well”, or “I tried it like this once and it didn’t work, but when I approached it this way, it did.”.

Tiny: “The training or coaching of family or loved ones is not about the diagnosis of the client, the family can sometimes tell us but sometimes they can’t. We teach them communication methods to deal with the situation and to learn to accept it”.

What are the positive results?

“We especially see powerless parents change into parents that know how to deal with the situation”, according to Tiny. “They let us know how the mutual understanding in their family has improved. But in addition, we also see that they understand more about how the mental health care system works and how they can best relate to it.”

What would you like to tell therapists about the Stichting Naastentraining?

“Inform clients of the training of family and loved ones and realize that we position ourselves as allies of therapists. We are here for support and will never contradict therapists. Our work hopefully makes it, but we actually know that for sure, easier for the therapist to do their job effectively. We make sure that the family has a better understanding of what is going on and how they can contribute. We are allies of the client, family, but also therapists.”

More information?

Stichting Naastentraining offers free, professional and individual training and coaching, in both English and Dutch, via Zoom. Would you like to know more about what they can do for you or your clients? Take a look at www.naastentraining.nl/.

11 procent of the Dutch population (16 years or older) has indicated that they have been a victim of sexual assault (source: CBR). That’s 1.6 million people. An alarmingly high number, the majority of which are women. Despite it happening not as much as to women, men also experience sexual assault. In addition to the general taboo surrounding sexual assault, men who have experienced sexual assault also feel shame about their ‘masculinity’. This is also the case with Bas*. For a long time he was silent about what had happened to him; for 15 years. He didn’t tell anyone until he decided to seek help in the fall of 2020. Now he’s opening up about his story.

Trigger warning: this article contains stories about sexual assault

My relationship

I’m more of a skinny type and have never really been a macho man. I work out, but have never focussed on working out to become more muscular. My girlfriend was really fit. She was a personal trainer and practiced martial arts, so she was a lot stronger than I was.

I have never been bothered by her being physically stronger than me. We even joked about it: “If something happens, you’ll be the one to defend me!”. We had a good relationship. One time, after a few glasses of wine, she pushed me against the cupboard during an argument. But, we talked about it and everything was fine after that . However, in the Spring of 2005 things were different. After we got into a fight at a party, I decided to go home by myself. When the bell rang some time later, my girlfriend was at the door. Things got out of hand and she eventually raped me. Shortly after, she left my house and ended the relationship via text message.

I didn’t even know this could happen to me

Rape… I didn’t even know a woman could rape a man. That was something I struggled with for a long time. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, afraid they would laugh at me. So, I kept my mouth shut. It’s true that sexual assault happens to women a lot more often than it does to men, but it probably happens more often than you think, because a lot of men don’t talk about it. My ex used to send me text messages, laughing at or insulting me. I was scared that she would come back, but I didn’t have the guts to go to the police. They probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, I’d be laughed at. I had extremely low self-esteem, I thought I was the problem and I decided that I had to put myself and my feelings aside. I threw myself into work and did so for years on end.

The confidence to talk

At work I developed a good friendship with a coworker. It was easy to talk to her and she shared a lot of her personal problems with me. She was a mentally strong person, which inspired me but also made me feel safe. We had a strong bond, so strong that after all those years I felt confident enough to share my story with her. Finally, I lifted some of the weight of my shoulders that I had been carrying by myself for all those years.

My story shocked her, but also the fact that I had been dealing with it by myself for such a long time. She advised me to look for professional help. I decided that I had been fighting this battle by myself for long enough. I have tried to fix it, but this was the time to search for help and so I did.

Eventually, Bas ended up at NiceDay, where he received treatment from NiceDay psychologist Maaike. 

Help from NiceDay

Maaike ended up being my assigned psychologist for an online treatment. Being treated online was not something that surprised me; we were in a pandemic and the whole world had moved on digitally. At first I had trouble talking about all the details, but Maaike quickly put me at ease; she asked the right questions and created an environment where I could be myself.

Using the app

During my treatment I regularly used the NiceDay app. Of course for my video calling sessions with Maaike, but also for using the diary or registering my feelings each day. Although it was sometimes difficult to write down my feelings, I was happy to be able to see progress. When I noticed the registrations became more positive over a longer period of time, I could see that I was making progress.

Don’t wait to get help

I’m glad I sought help and received treatment from NiceDay. I’m not there yet, but for anyone who struggles with mental health problems or has dealt with sexual assault, my advice is: don’t wait 15 years to seek help, don’t bottle up your feelings. If you think you are on your own, know that you are not and seek professional help. Bottling up or hiding your feelings won’t work. The feeling will remain dormant, it will not stop. It is not your fault and you should not be ashamed to seek help.

Help via NiceDay

Are you looking for professional help for your psychological complaints and would you like to talk to someone? You can follow an online treatment via NiceDay at various organizations, click here for more information.

*Bas’ real name hasn’t been used in this article, but is known to the editors.

You can keep track of all kinds of things within the NiceDay app; think about your feelings, your thoughts in the Thought records, or the amount of steps you take each day. But, did you know that it is possible to keep track of many more things and to add new trackers to your overview?

Custom trackers

In addition to the standard trackers in the app, there are also custom trackers. These are trackers that you can add to your overview yourself and thus personalize the app.

What are the things that you could keep track of in this way? Maybe you use the app independently and you want to get a little more insight into your health. Or maybe you use the app together with a professional, who will tell you which trackers are important for your treatment or who will add them to your app. With the new trackers you can keep track of all kinds of things, such as physical subjects such as your weight, your energy level, headaches or fatigue. But also mental complaints such as insecurity, worry or nightmares.

Get a grip on your progress

Tracking in the app gives you more control over your progress. For example, you can see that you have headaches more often during the week when you do certain activities. Or that you suffer more from nightmares during periods when you suffer from stress. You can view graphs of most trackers, with which you immediately have a clear insight into the course of your complaints. These graphs are not yet available for all trackers, but we are working hard to make this happen as soon as possible!

Add trackers

To add custom trackers, take the following steps:

  1. Go to “Track” in the menu of the NiceDay app
  2. Scroll down and press “Add new tracker”
  3. Search for a tracker or scroll through the list
  4. Select the tracker you want to add, for example “Nightmares”
  5. Click the “Add” button at the bottom of the screen
  6. The tracker has now been added!

Questions?

Do you have questions or need help? Send a message to the NiceDay Team via the chat in the app, or email team@niceday.app. Would you like more information about (online) help via NiceDay? Click here!

Have you ever thought how easy it would be if you had an overview of all your registrations, in a graph? So did we! That‘s why we have some good news for you; as of today you will find graphs in the NiceDay app version 1.19 or higher!

Trackers

In the app you can use trackers to register many different things. You can use the standard trackers, such as feelings, steps, thought records or the diary for example. But, you can also add custom trackers. These trackers allow you to track things like backaches, how much cigarettes you have smoked, when you suffered from nightmares or panic attacks for example.

Graphs

As of now, it is possible to view graphs of all of these trackers. The graphs provide an overview of all the registrations you have made for this specific tracker. You can view the registrations in the graph per day, week, month or year. In one glance you’ll be able to see how your complaints are progressing!

How do I view a graph?

  • Go to “Track” in the bottom menu of the app
  • Select one of the trackers for which you’d like to view the graph, for example “Alcohol intake”.
  • Tap the tracker. On the overview page you will find a graph icon on the right side of the screen; tap on it
  • You can now take a look at your graph!

NiceDay chart  NiceDay chart

Why are graphs valuable?

Graphs give you insight into your progress! For example, you can see that you start to feel less and less sad or anxious during the therapy, or you see that you use less and less substances. In addition, you can clearly see that you not only have bad days, but also experience good days. This provides a sense of control over your progress. You can then discuss your progress with your professional, even if you feel that you are not making sufficient progress.

Questions

Do you have questions about using the NiceDay app? Please feel free to contact us at team@niceday.app, or send the NiceDay Team a message via chat.

When you’re confident you dare to stand up for yourself and at the same time respect others for who they are. Building self-confidence isn’t always easy; a lot of people struggle with it. When you have a disability it can be even harder. I too am disabled and found it difficult to be self-confident. But why is it this hard for disabled people to build a good self-image?

Confidence

You start developing self-confidence at a young age, for example by having loving parents who support and encourage you. But also by having positive experiences with other people: classmates, friends or kids from your sports club, etc. Self-confidence is like a stone foundation on which you stand; every positive experience adds a stone, but negative experiences cause other stones to slowly crumble. Unfortunately, it is far more difficult for people with physical disabilities to build self-confidence. Sometimes we lack good experiences that contribute to that self-confidence, such as participating in a sports club or having a nice job. In addition, I have personally also had negative experiences.

How come I feel less confident as a disabled woman?

You might wonder what those negative experiences are, that happened to me and caused me to feel less confident about myself. You might think, it’s probably not that bad. Below I am sharing some of these experiences:

  • You can feel that you are different from other people. You can’t do things that other kids can do. You cannot or may not always play and you often feel like you do not belong. As a child you are often approached differently by adults. Sometimes they favor you out of pity or good intentions. That often doesn’t go well with the other children, which makes you even more of an outsider and gives you the confirmation that you are different from others.
  • Sometimes people talk about you as the disabled child. You can hear people say: “Isn’t it terrible, being disabled like that? Also for their parents! Imagine having a child like that, I can’t even bear the thought! Must be hard”. It makes you feel like a burden and that doesn’t have a positive effect on your self-confidence. This feeling is often confirmed by commercials about caretakers for example, saying how they should be supported with their hard work. You feel like you’re the ‘hard work’ they’re talking about.
  • Your body is never your own. At least, not if you have a serious disability. You have to be washed and dressed every day. Physiotherapists and doctors, they all work with your body.
  • You fall in love. But soon you notice that you’re not seen as a possible candidate for a relationship. You look different from everyone else and it seems like you’ll never get the chance to get into a relationship.
  • You go to college and graduate, but people still reject you at job interviews. They even confuse your physical disability with a mental disability sometimes. Or, your physical ability asks for too much adjustment from the employer, which is too much of a hassle.
  • It feels like you are not always appreciated. Many people do not know how to deal with your disability. They are shocked because you are different and don’t dare to speak to you. Or, they will go out of their way to prove that they have no problem with the disability at all, and aren’t afraid to bluntly say so.
  • The hardest thing for me are people who act like they know what is good for me. Or people that do something for me with genuinely good intentions, without me asking for it. In those situations I have to be assertive in order not to get walked over, and I find that very difficult.

It is hard to be confident if you don’t have a positive self-image. You get fewer building blocks to build a good self-image and that makes it more difficult to be assertive in life. It’s not all doom and gloom; otherwise life wouldn’t be worth living. But it can be difficult sometimes.

A ghetto for people with a disability

In society there is also the idea that we have to feel sorry for people with a disability. In November 1962, a fundraising program was broadcast on Dutch television to build a special village in the west of the city of Arnhem. People with a physical disability could live in this new village, with adapted housing and an adapted infrastructure. The AVRO program was presented by Mies Bouwman and Dutch television viewers raised a total of twelve million guilders. They created a ghetto for the disabled.

In 1989 the NCRV broadcast the Dutch television program Drempels Weg; to raise money for people with disabilities. This action yielded approximately 5 million guilders. Fortunately, the approach of this program was different; its aim was to make existing buildings more accessible for disabled people. Through this program, the program makers did their best to genuinely show that people with disabilities also want to and can participate in our society. And that it is up to everyone to contribute to that!

Progress

Finally, on December 13, 2006, in the United Nations General Assembly, a treaty was signed that protects the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities or disabilities. It took until 2008 for the treaty to enter into force, but it was not until 2016 that the Netherlands started actually working on it. The great aim is that disabled people are allowed to participate in society. In any field!

A long way to go

But, there is still a long way to go. Every two years, The Support Fair is held in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. During this fair fantastic and innovative aids for people with a disability are introduced. All of these new developments would certainly benefit the emancipation of people with disabilities. But, unfortunately, practice shows that these fantastic inventions are out of reach for ordinary people. Disabled people are usually unable to afford these aids themselves and municipalities, which are responsible for this, go for the cheapest solution.

Help

It is very important that every disabled person has enough self-confidence to participate in every aspect of this society. That’s why I’ve taken the step to seek help; to work on my self-confidence, to discover that I can be seen, heard and show myself. Also to get an answer to the question “do a disability and self-confidence actually go together?”. This help has brought me a lot: every person, disabled or not disabled, has the right to be seen. And YES, self-confidence and a disability certainly go hand in hand.

NiceDay

Do you find it difficult to build your self-confidence, and would you like to receive some help with that? Click here for more information about online and accessible help via NiceDay

Do you suffer from burnout symptoms, or do you think that you are currently dealing with a burnout? Help and guidance in your recovery from burnout is extremely important! This way you ensure that your symptoms don’t get worse. But where can you go when you are looking for help for your burnout? And what happens during the treatment? Below, we have listed the answers to these questions.

Where can you go?

  • The general practitioner and assistant practitioner (POH-GGZ)

You can schedule an appointment with your general practitioner to discuss what the assistant practitioner can do for you. An assistant practitioner can get a good picture of your complaints, guide you and investigate whether / what help is needed.

  • Psychologist

You can get a referral for a psychologist through your doctor, who can guide you more intensively during your recovery process. During the treatment you will actively work with your complaints, pitfalls and recovery. In addition, you draw up a together, to prevent you from ending up in a burnout again in the future!

  • Coach

You can also recover from your burnout with the help of a coach. A burnout is uninsured care, which means that in many cases (but not always) a health insurance company does not reimburse the treatment of a burnout. That is why you can also choose to independently engage a coach who can help you.

  • Company doctor

If you have reported sick at work, you are probably already in contact with the company doctor. The company doctor will discuss with both you and your employer, how you can gradually start working again. Your employer is legally obliged (by the “Gatekeeper Improvement Act“) to help you with your recovery. The company doctor represents both your interests and those of the employer. He or she will also think about what you need to get back to work.

  • Social worker

Are you in debt, do you have housing problems or problems raising your children? Then a social worker can help you make an action plan. You can get in touch with a social worker through your doctor’s office.

How does the recovery from a burnout proceed?

During your recovery or the treatment of a burnout, you go through a number of phases. You learn to understand and accept that you have a burnout and that you do not know exactly what to expect or how long your recovery will take. The balance between effort (movement) and relaxation (rest) is made. Rest is essential in a burnout! It is also important that your environment knows this. You will investigate the causes of your tension, look under supervision how you deal with situations and how you want to tackle certain situations differently in the future.

At some point you will start with reintegration at work; for example, you start with a number of hours. You will apply all the knowledge you have acquired in your daily life and work. This is done gradually, so that you do not get back to work too quickly and to reduce the chance of you relapsing in the future.

Responsibility for your recovery

You are largely responsible for your recovery process. If you feel that too much pressure is being exerted on you, for example at work, please let them know! Listen to your body and be patient with yourself. Treating a burnout is a process and that includes falling back into your old patterns. Discuss your burnout with your friends and family and have a professional involved in your recovery.

NiceDay

Do you have a burnout or do you know someone close to you with a burnout? You can get burnout treatments via NiceDay! Would you like to know more about online treatments via NiceDay? Click here for more information.

My name is Iris, I am 30 years old and I have moved back into my parents home. For three and a half years I was in a relationship with someone who showed the behaviour of a (covert) narcissist. Everyday I dealt with possessiveness, paranoia, jealousy, manipulation and situations in which I felt unsafe. It was a difficult time in my life, which wasn’t easy to get out of. After I did end my relationship, I felt disbalanced and got in touch with a NiceDay professional, to share and process my experiences.

It all seemed so wonderful

Our relationship started out great; we met each other in the gym, started talking and after a few times he asked me out on a date. Our first date was wonderful and we soon fell in love with each other. He paid a lot of attention to me and, like me, was looking for a serious relationship. This really appealed to me and, due to circumstances, we quickly moved in together.

After a while I started to notice that our happy place was changing. It started with little things that showed that he had a hard time trusting. I didn’t look much into that; after all he had some bad experiences and we had only known each other for a short time. Maybe he needed some time to build that trust, and I assumed all would be fine. After all, I am very reliable, loving and serious. Surely that should also become clear to him?

Jealousy

Time passed, but his trust issues only got worse. He got more and more jealous and didn’t want me to be friends with men, for example; he was convinced that this was not going to end well. Whenever I wanted to talk to him about this, he pretended I was missing things and was just being naive. That really confused me; my gut told me it was wrong, but it was very difficult to refute his arguments. I am not easily jealous or suspicious and I have never cheated on anyone. Still, he made me question my loyalty.

For the first time in my life I felt afraid

Anxious

As his jealousy and lack of trust grew, his reactions became unpredictable and intense; he was even violent in some of his excesses. For the first time in my life I felt afraid. He increasingly asked me to prove that I was trustworthy, for example by asking for pictures of an empty passenger seat, when I drove back from work. He also checked my phone, looking for signs that I was being unfaithful. When I would speak to him about this, he would always regret his actions and promise that this would not happen again. Everything would get better.

I tried to get out

I have attempted to get out of this relationship a number of times. It always failed in the end; we had a fairly expensive house together and my family lived too far from my work. I wouldn’t be able to stay with them, if I had to leave home. The threshold to take the plunge felt too big. Plus, he always begged me to take him back, until I was so tired that I finally gave in. I loved him and also wanted him to heal and learn to deal with things in a healthy way, so that we could be happy together.

It’s now or never

At one point I got him to go to relationship counseling with me, so that we could work on our relationship and his trust issues. He agreed to this; he wanted to do anything to save our relationship. I felt hopeful; maybe things would work out this time. But, unfortunately I was disappointed again. This time, I decided to gather evidence for myself of promises that had not been kept and responses that went too far. I started reading about narcissism to better understand what was happening, and came up with a plan for when I would end the relationship.

Eventually I had made the decision. I doubted until the last moment, but it didn’t feel like we would be able to solve this together. I had all the evidence I gathered to make the good decision. Plus, we were assigned an affordable home, and as a result we were no longer stuck with our overpriced house. It was now or never.

Be kind to myself

When it was over and I finally got the space to experience and feel my emotions, I found myself feeling out of balance. You have been on an emotional roller coaster for such a long time. When you finally have time to get out, only then you realize what happened to you. I had lost my relationship and my house, but also myself.

I thought I could work it out by myself, but I needed a helping hand in my recovery. So I decided to do something nice for myself; something I had not done for a long time, since my life was dominated by my ex. I felt the need to discuss the most intense experiences with a professional, so that I could work on processing them. In addition, I had to accept that I had become a victim. Beforehand, I never thought that this could happen to me, but it did.

I had to accept that I had become a victim

Writing helps

NiceDay helped me to cope with my intense experiences and feelings. The unique combination of the conversations, chats and diary and feeling registrations helped me to progress with my recovery. I used the registrations almost every day through the app. When you write, you process your feelings. You try to describe exactly what you feel, which creates peace and helps you to objectively look at your own situation.

Not only did writing my feelings down help at that moment, but it was also very good to look back on. This gives you a lot of insight into your own process. For example, when I felt good one day, but didn’t feel good for the following three days. I could see in my registrations what I did that made me feel better that day. For example, did I visit family or did I look for distraction? I also really liked that your practitioner reads along. This way she could respond to my registrations right away, which allows you to focus on the process during the conversations, instead of the incidents.

Don’t hesitate to seek help

Are you in the same or similar situation as I am, or do you need help for another reason? Then don’t hesitate to seek help! What I would like to share with you from my own experience is:

  • Take care of yourself and accept help. If there aren’t people around who can help you, there are many other places online where people share stories and experiences. Talking about it with a coach or therapist can also help you process your experiences.
  • You may feel weak because of everything that has happened, but you have a strength inside of you that you can speak to.
  • Give yourself permission to put yourself first.
  • Write, especially if you can’t get a grip of feelings. It helps to understand your feelings and the situation. If you are still in this situation, writing can also help you regain confidence in your own feelings and memories.
  • Go through your feelings. This is difficult, but it’s also the only way to really leave everything behind you and to get your strength back.
  • Go outside every day, keep eating and drinking healthy and get plenty of rest. If things are not going well, make sure you also set your boundaries in the workplace.

Are you in need of help, and would you like to know more about help via NiceDay? Click here for more information.

Feeling a bit sad or down, losing interest in going outside or in hanging out with your friends; maybe this is something you recognize, maybe not at all. A lot of people occasionally have to deal with periods in their lives where they aren’t feeling their best. Still for many, reaching out for help from a psychologist is too big of a step; “I’m not doing that bad, am I? I haven’t experienced any terrible or traumatic experiences in my life, I’m sure I’ll be fine”. Esther (30) did look for help and encourages everyone to do so: “Just a few sessions can already help you sort things out. It’s such a shame if you spend your time feeling this way, when it can really help to talk to someone!”. Read Esther’s experience story below.

I hadn’t been feeling well

For a few weeks already, I hadn’t been feeling well; I felt down, tired and didn’t have the energy to see my friends. I locked myself in my home, worked there and didn’t leave the house as much. Naturally I knew that things weren’t going very well, but I also didn’t think it was that bad. I didn’t talk to my friends or family about my feelings. Probably because there is still a bit of a taboo around the subject. I’m not doing that bad, right? It felt so dramatic to look for help just for not feeling well. Don’t we all have days on which we feel a bit down? But, when my friends told me that they were worried about me and wondered why I didn’t talk to them, I decided to take the first step.

It’s probably because of the pandemic

I called my doctor to tell her how I felt. Because of the corona crisis, I wasn’t allowed to go to the doctor’s office at the time. So, my doctor scheduled a telephone appointment in which I had to tell her what’s going on. I found it really hard to describe how I felt over the phone. But, I told her that I didn’t feel well and that I felt very down and didn’t feel like seeing anyone. “Ah, but you’re not the only one feeling like this; a lot of people do! It’s probably because of the corona crisis, it’ll pass”, she told me. I’m not a pushy person, so I decided to leave it at that. “She’s probably right, it’s not that bad. This will pass”, I thought to myself.

What can I do?

But the feeling didn’t pass, so I decided to start looking for answers on Google; what can I do to feel better? I ended up on the NiceDay website and read about the app. I saw that with this app you can start working on yourself, by setting goals or registering feelings for example. This seemed like a great first step, so I decided to go with it. I started to register my feelings, and to challenge myself to go outside every day. But after a while I did get the feeling that it would be nice to talk to someone. So I started an online treatment.

It’s not at all strange you feel like this

I started my online treatment and was assigned to NiceDay psychologist Sarah. Before treatment began I was a little bit sceptical. How can a treatment via telephone be just as effective as a face-to-face treatment? And how can I express my feelings over the phone? However, during my sessions with Sarah I was pleasantly surprised. She understood me, comforted me and told me that it was not at all strange that I felt like this. That it is totally normal to have periods in which you don’t feel well, but that you can do something about it. She told me that she was happy that I decided to look for help, and so was I.

Online treatment via NiceDay

What I really liked about the online treatment is that it’s from my own home, my own safe environment. Sarah and I had our sessions via telephone (without video), which also gave me a sense of anonymity. I didn’t have to see anyone and could comfortably tell my story.

Next to that, being able to register some thoughts or feelings in the app before the start of our sessions, felt very good and effective. I would write about how I was doing, what I had been through or the things that I had to deal with. Sarah was able to view my registrations at any time, after which we could discuss them in our session. Next to that she made a summary of all the things we talked about, and then she would send it to me via the chat. The summary wouldinclude links to articles that applied to my situation and that I could read through.. These were short and clear articles that often provided me with useful tips and information.

Don’t wait too long to reach out

The talks I had with Sarah over the phone have been incredibly helpful and I feel a lot better now. If you are feeling down right now, please reach out for help! Look at the things you can do to improve your situation. It’s totally normal that you go through periods in which you don’t feel god, so don’t be ashamed about looking for help! You’ll notice that after only a few sessions, it’ll help you to sort things out. I would definitely recommend NiceDay; I actually already have!

Are you not feeling well, and would you like to know more about an online treatment via NiceDay? On this website you can find more information about the treatment, and how you can start it.

My name is Denise, I am 23 years old and I have been chronically ill for a few years. That means that I can be found in the hospital regularly. It is a place where I know my way around quite well. Yet I noticed that I was very dependent on others to go somewhere or to do things. Someone always came with me, including to my hospital appointments; I never did anything alone. During the treatment of my illness, this question came up: “Don’t you feel like it would be good to work on this, before we continue with the treatment?”.

Anxious

This question got me thinking. What if one day I can do everything I would like to do again, but I’m too afraid to do it? What if I finally feel good again, but don’t dare to take a walk and still stay at home? What if I find doing something on my own worse than spending my time sick at home? Then this might get in the way of my physical recovery.

The next step

Knowing it was time to do something about my anxiety, I made an appointment with my doctor. I was soon referred to the Parnassia Group and was told that I would be treated online. I found this a bit nerve wracking; I don’t find it very comfortable to talk to strangers on the phone. Still, I wanted to try and take the plunge. If I really didn’t like it, I could always request to see a psychologist face-to-face.

Video calling

I started my online trajectory and found out that I actually liked it. I found video calling a lot less scary than calling. Because you can still see the other person’s reaction and facial expression during the conversation, it quickly feels normal and familiar. It was almost as if I was on the phone with a friend.

Yet many people around me were curious whether it was not very impersonal, but I have never experienced it like that. In addition, I think it also helps that you are in your own environment; this makes it a lot easier to talk than somewhere in a random room.

Always at hand

In addition to video calling, I also made extensive use of the diary in my NiceDay app. I kept track of my thoughts and feelings, and it was a nice idea to know that my therapist was always looking out for me. After that,I started working with the Thought records. It could happen that I suddenly had a terrible panic attack on the subway, which is very annoying with all those people around you. But, I grabbed the app and started filling in a Thought schedule. I went through the questions, “What’s going on?” or “Why are you anxious now?”. That way I could try to calm my panic right away.

It’s going better

I am happy to say that I am now doing very well. I did have a relapse recently, but thanks to the tools I have been given, I can now deal with this. I can convince myself that I can and that I must continue. I still sometimes read articles on www.niceday.app. And if I am to have another relapse, I will just open the NiceDay app again!

Would you like more information about an online treatment via NiceDay? Click here for more information. Would you like to use the app independently? Of course you can! Click here to download the app.