- Spending a lot more time at home and apart from our family and friends. This will inevitably mean big changes to our normal activities and routines. As a result, looking after our mental and physical health is going to be very important.
- Stay in touch
Staying in touch with family and friends is very important. Making time for regular phone calls and staying in touch online if possible are great ways to keep in contact when we can’t meet face to face.
If you have a mobile phone or computer, now is the ideal time to set up Skype or video calling so you can still see each other. Consider signing up to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you haven’t already – it can be a great way to stay in touch and find out what’s happening in your local community.
Think about ways to get creative. Get Online and make the most of what the internet has to offer.
Could some of your usual social activities move online or to phone calls? Can you ‘meet up’ with friends or family by arranging a video chat over a coffee or a meal?
Try to keep up with your normal hobbies and activities as far as possible. Whether you’re a keen knitter, a gardening enthusiast or crossword champion, make sure you have plenty of supplies to keep you going. You can order what you need online or ask someone to pick up what you need.
Explore options for online alternatives, such as digital subscriptions for papers and magazines, e-books or streaming services for music and films. There are also lots of ways to play group games online as well.
It’s time to get creative. If you belong to clubs that can no longer meet face to face, can they still go ahead by phone or online? Now may also be a good time to set yourself a goal, learn a new skill, or take on a group challenge.
Take part in research
If you are looking for new things to do while spending more time at home, why not help researchers increase society’s understanding of the effects of coronavirus?
Staying active is hugely important – as the saying goes, ‘use it or lose it’, and this is particularly important around physical activity.
Now that restrictions are starting to be lifted we are able to spend more time outside, doing things like walking, jogging, or bike rides. We can also meet up with up to 5 other people from outside of our household, so long as we stay 2 metres away from them. If you have been advised to shield the guidance is a bit different. You can still spend time outside but you should only do this with members of your household or, if you live, alone, one person from outside your household.
But if you want or need to stay at home, the good news is there is plenty you can do in the house and garden (weather permitting, of course). Whether you’re a regular gym bunny or just getting started, advice and inspiration is available via our website or the We Are Undefeatable website today.
Look after yourself
It’s quite likely there will be times we all feel anxious or low in the days and weeks ahead. This is completely normal, so we’ve put together some top tips:
- If you are worried, talking really does help. Take time to chat about how you’re feeling with family and friends.
- Focus on the things you can control rather than the things you can’t. This might mean focusing on getting into a routine and taking small practical steps each day to do what you need to do.
- If you find the news is making you anxious and depressed, try limiting yourself to set times each day to check in on events. Also stick to trusted sources of information.
If you start to feel overwhelmed, some simple breathing exercises can help. Sit or lie down in a way that’s comfortable for you. Take a deep breath in and hold it, at the same time raising and tightening your shoulders, and clenching your fists. Count slowly to 5 as you breathe out. Do this several times.
Feeling anxious about coronavirus?
It's perfectly natural to feel like that in the face of all the news headlines. Here are some things you can doing to feel less worried during this confusing time.
Don’t neglect your physical health
It’s easy to neglect our physical health when we are worried or distracted, so keep an eye on how you’re doing and follow these simple tips:
- Stay physically active around the house and garden.
- Eat a balanced diet and try to get your five fruit and vegetables a day (tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables are just as good as fresh).
- Avoid drinking too much or smoking.
- Try to get outside for some fresh air. Just sitting in the garden, or on the balcony, or opening a window can help. You may want to consider a short walk if that’s possible (taking care to follow sensible precautions and official advice).
- Get plenty of rest and try to stick to your normal sleeping patterns.
- Carry on managing any other on-going health conditions. Make sure you keep taking your usual medications and keep doing any recommended exercises, even if it means changing your usual routine.
It can seem like coronavirus is the only issue which matters, but your health needs are just as important as before.
The NHS are urging people to get medical help if they are worried about their health. They are not too busy to provide support and they are putting in place extra precautions to help keep everyone accessing services safe. If you think you need help, you shouldn’t delay asking.
Your GP is still available to support you if you feel unwell, although this may take place over the phone rather than face-to-face.
If you need urgent medical help, whether or not you have coronavirus symptoms, you should contact 111 or call 999 in an emergency.
Having nutritious and varied food is important for good health and well-being throughout life. During this difficult time, making sure we are eating and drinking enough is essential for our health and wellbeing. If you're worried that you have recently gone off food or unintentionally lost weight, it may be a good idea to weigh yourself regularly so you can see if you are losing weight.
Help someone else
Lots of us like to spend time helping others and find that it improves our mood and gives us a sense of purpose.
If you're used to volunteering regularly you might be missing that feeling of being useful. Or if you're managing well yourself, you might be thinking of those who aren't coping as well.
The good news is there are plenty of ways you can pitch in to help others without leaving the house.
- Phone friends or relatives to check in and chat - particularly those who live alone. Even a short call can make a big difference to someone who's feeling lonely, and remind them they're missed and cared for. You could also send cards or small gifts to let people know that you’re thinking of them.
- Share your boredom-busters. Inspire your friends and family with ideas of crafts, activities or recipes that you have tried out. You could even try doing activities together over the phone, such as working together on a crossword or taking on a quiz.
- Get together virtually. Why not explore ways to hold your regular events using the internet? People have been hosting everything from quizzes to book club discussions online, and you don't need to be a tech wizard to get involved. Video calling can be very straightforward to use - take a look at our video calling how-to guide to get started.
- Support friends or neighbours to get online. Some people are taking their first steps into the digital space right now, which can be a bit confusing if you're not used to it. If you have digital know-how, see if you can help them over the phone with any issues they run into.
- Join the Big Knit. Try your hand at knitting or crocheting and make a tiny hat, just right for topping off an innocent smoothie bottle. Every hat sold raises 25p for Age UK. Find out more and get started.
If you are self-isolating and need support, or if you’re worried about a friend or family member during this time, please contact us on (01983) 525282 or email us direct today.