Those living alone or self- isolating
Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important if you need to stay at home or you are shielding because of coronavirus . You may feel bored, frustrated or lonely. You may also be low, worried or anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or those close to you.
It's important to remember that it's OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. Remember, for most of us, these feelings will pass. Staying at home may be difficult, but you're helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.This can easily have an effect on our mental wellbeing. It is important to try and stay connected even if you can’t physically see someone. There are five simple things you can do as part of your daily life to build resilience, boost your wellbeing and lower your risk of developing mental health problems.
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 or video chat with friends and family
- Look online and see if you can join a virtual community choir.
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness, but it’s also great for your mental wellbeing.
Do those DIY and gardening jobs at home that you’ve been putting off. Remember to follow appropriate isolation and distancing restrictions and stay away from others by at least 1m. 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!
- Active10 – is an app that lets you keep track of 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. NHS Choices has an introduction to mindfulness and different relaxation techniques you could try.
Find ways to keep you mind occupied and active. Why not take up an old hobby if it’s something you can still do at home, or challenge yourself to learn something new.
Here are some things you can use to keep learning:
- 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:
- Check in with your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues over the phone or social media
- Register with the Gloucestershire Community 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
Gloucestershire Age UK
Offer information and guidance - call the Help Team on 01452 422660 or for older people who would like a listening ear and friendly chat call the free phone 0800 2980579. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 4 pm.
Reconnect are offering telephone befriending for current participants and those on their waiting lists for people affected by Stroke, Dementia, Aphasia, and other long-term health conditions, and their carers. People can still refer into the service but there could be a wait. They are offering a pen pal service where children, young people and adults can exchange letters with those who are isolating. There is no need for a formal referral for this and letters will go through CSCIC so there is no need for participants to swap addresses. Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Click here for more information.
Will support people self-isolating by providing a Stay Connected free helpline service, call 0800 048 7035 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm). Support includes Information, Advice and Guidance around with specific advice for carers/family members.
If you’re an older individual and don’t have any close friend or family you can call, this free helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 0800 4 70 80 90