Looking after yourself
The mental health charity Mind has some really useful advice for looking after yourself at this time, particularly when you may not be getting out as much as you used to.
We have taken some of their advice to share with you here:
Eat well and stay hydrated
- Find out about getting food delivered. For example, you might be able to order food online for home delivery. Or you could ask someone else to drop food off for you.
- Think about what you eat and drink water regularly.
Keep taking your medication
- You might be able to order repeat prescriptions by phone. Or you may be able to do this online using an app or website, if your doctor’s surgery offers this.
- Ask your pharmacy about getting your medication delivered, or ask someone else to collect it for you.
Continue accessing treatment and support if you can
- Ask about having appointments by phone, text or online.
Take care of your living space
- If you are spending a lot of time at home, you may find it helpful to keep things clean and tidy, although this is different for different people.
- Cleaning your house, doing laundry and washing yourself are important ways to help stop germs spreading.
- Your energy costs will probably rise if you’re at home more than you usually would be. Think about how you can manage your energy use, or how to cover any higher bills.
Connect with people
- Make plans to video chat with people or groups you would normally see in person.
- You can also arrange phone calls or send instant messages or texts.
- If you’re worried that you might run out of stuff to talk about, make a plan with someone to watch a show or read a book separately so that you can discuss it when you contact each other.
- Think of other ways to keep in contact with people if meeting in person is not possible. For example, you could check your phone numbers are up to date, or that you have current email addresses for friends you’ve not seen for a while.
If you are worried about loneliness
- Think about things you can do to connect with people. For example, putting extra pictures up of the people you care about might be a nice reminder of the people in your life.
- Listen to a chatty radio station or podcast if your home feels too quiet.
Try to keep active
- Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as:
- cleaning your home
- dancing to music
- going up and down stairs
- Seated exercises
- online exercise workouts that you can follow
- sitting less – if you notice you’ve been sitting down for an hour, just getting up or changing position can help.
Get as much sunlight and fresh air as you can
- Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed.
- Spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air.
- Arrange a comfortable space to sit, for example by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky, or watch birds and other animals.
- Look at photos of your favourite places in nature. Use them as the background on your mobile phone or computer screen, or print and put them up on your walls.
- Get as much natural light as you can. Spend time in your garden if you have one, or open your front or back door and sit on the doorstep.
Find ways to spend your time
- Try having a clear out. You could sort through your possessions and put them away tidily, or have a spring clean.
- You could also have a digital clear out. Delete any old files and apps you don’t use, upgrade your software, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
- Write letters or emails, or make phone calls with people you’ve been meaning to catch up with.
- Do any admin tasks that you haven’t got around to, for example changing your energy provider.
Find ways to relax and be creative
There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:
- arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling, colouring
- playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
Keep your mind busy
- Keep your brain occupied and challenged. Set aside time in your routine for this. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles.
Take care with news and information
- Stay connected with current events, but be careful where you get news and health information from.
- If news stories make you feel anxious or confused, think about switching off or limiting what you look at for a while.
- Social media could help you stay in touch with people, but might also make you feel anxious including if people are sharing news stories or posting about their worries.