Looking after your wellbeing
This an anxious time for us all. With all the uncertainty around Coronavirus (or COVID-19) it’s completely normal to feel worried about how it could affect your life. You won’t be alone in how you’re feeling. Everyone reacts in their own way to challenging events and uncertainty. There are lots of steps you can take to help look after your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of people around you. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it. Just talking about what we’re worried about can be a massive help. Find a list of mental health services available in the county here.
Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. Keep connecting with your family, friends or colleagues even though you can’t meet in person.
Make time to talk to someone over the phone or video chat, or just send a text or email. Ask how someone’s day was and really listen when they tell you.
Here are some things you can use to connect
- Facebook community groups – find one that’s local to where you live
- FaceTime/video chat with friends and family
- Look online to see if you can join a virtual community choir
Do those DIY and gardening jobs that you've been putting off. If you don’t fall into one of the high risk groups, you are currently allowed to go outside once a day for some exercise. Remember to follow appropriate isolation and distancing restrictions and stay away from others by at least 2m. You can also do exercises at home – you don’t need any equipment, just some floor space.
Here are some things you can use to be active
- There are lots of home work out videos available online, everything from yoga to dancing!
- Use Active10, a free app developed by the NHS to track your walking
It’s important to try to calm your busy mind. Don’t stay glued to the news. Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you, and notice something you haven’t noticed before. Spend time outside in the garden in nature if you can. You could even try some mindfulness.
Here are some things you can use to help you take notice
- NHS Choices has an introduction to mindfulness and different relaxation techniques you could try.
Here are some things you can use to keep learning
- Explore Gloucestershire’s past - www.heritagehub.org.uk/lockdown
- Listen to podcasts or audio books (you can access free audio books from Gloucestershire Libraries)
- Read a book or join a virtual book club
- Find an online “how to” video
- Do a crossword, puzzle or Sudoku
- Learn a new skill
- Research something you’ve always wondered about
People who help others are more likely to be happier themselves. Small acts of kindness or larger ones, like volunteering can help you feel better too. There are lots of people who are feeling lonely or anxious at the moment, and your kindness, time or support could make a difference.
Here are some things you can do to give:
- You could consider some online volunteering projects: www.heritagehub.org.uk/lockdown
- Check in with your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues over the phone or social media
- Register with the Gloucestershire Community Help Hub
- Provide emotional support to those you come into (virtual) contact with
Get help sleeping
We all have evenings when we find it hard to fall asleep or we wake up in the night. You may also find this is happening more often during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel, mentally and physically, so it's important to get enough.
- Get into a daily routine
- Manage your worries
- Prepare your body for sleep
- Create a restful environment
- Confront sleeplessness
Look Again Mindful Photography – Are you anxious, fearful or feeling low about the coronavirus and all the uncertainty that comes with it? Would you like to improve your mental health and build resilience at this difficult time? Use mindful photography - a blend of mindfulness and photography - together with nature, to slow down, stay calm and connect in a creative way. Visit https://www.look-again.org/reframeyournow for a Free 7-day ‘Re-frame Your Now’ mindful photography taster or call: (00 44) 07789 958895 or Email: email@example.com
Wildlife and Nature
For some inspiration and ideas visit:
- https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/what-we-do/health-and-wellbeing/health-wellbeing - The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions to improve personal wellbeing. They include Connect, Take Notice, Be Active, Keep Learning and Give – they are particularly effective when practised outdoors.
- www.wildlifetrusts.org/webcams - Ospreys, puffins, peregrines, owls...and more! Watch wildlife on webcams provided by Wildlife Trusts across the British Isles. Webcams allow an unrivaled view of intriguing behaviours: from courtship, nesting, and hatching to a peep into the first few weeks of a chick's life. Be warned - it's addictive viewing.
- www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/spotting-sheets - Download our spotting sheets and take them with you when you go wildlife spotting.