As of Monday 23rd March, Boris Johnson and the Conservative government brought in new measures in an attempt to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the UK.
Those new measures are, in a nutshell, to stay home. Other advice includes:
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
These new measures are expected to be in place for three weeks, but could well be our reality for much longer.
What’s more, people classed as being in the vulnerable category are advised to social distance themselves for 12 weeks. The vulnerable group is classed as:
- People over 70 (regardless of medical conditions)
- People under 70 with an underlying health condition
- Pregnant women
With our freedom of movement so restricted, many people will already be struggling with the very real loneliness that goes hand-in-hand with self-isolating, especially if you are in the vulnerable group and therefore limiting your social interactions even more.
At Surewise, we know that many of our customers either fall into that vulnerable category or are carers or Personal Assistants to people that do. We want our customers to know that we’re here for you in whatever way we can be – and in this post, we’re starting with some resources, ideas, and activities you might find helpful for tackling loneliness and keeping yourself occupied while staying at home.
Connecting with your local community
There has been a huge outpouring of compassion in many local communities across the UK, with people volunteering to help those in the vulnerable group, as well as NHS workers who are struggling to get access to food etc.
The #viralkindness campaign aims to connect people who need help with those offering to give it – so whatever side you fall into, it’s well worth looking into and finding support from within your local neighbourhood.
Things people are offering to help with include picking up shopping, posting mail, getting urgent supplies, or even just a friendly phone call to help those who are alone feel less isolated.
Looking After Your Mental Well-Being In Self-Isolation
Already, people are reaching for technology to find new ways to stay connected with friends and family. Below are a few great ways you can look after your own well-being – and watch out for others – while still adhering to the government’s advice.
Schedule calls & video chats with friends and family
Reaching out to friends has been shown to be crucial in protecting our mental health, so maintaining your friendships is important even if you don’t know when you’ll actually see them face to face.
Schedule calls and video chats with your friends and family throughout the week as you would appointments. Even when you’re feeling isolated and a little lonely, you’ll have a call to look forward to and lift your spirits.
From Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach offering a free daily PE lesson every morning to countless personal trainers, fitness studios, and yoga teachers offering online classes, there has been an outpouring of offerings to help people stay fit and active even when shut inside. Head over to Instagram and see what your local gym or favourite fitness star might be doing to help people keep active during self-isolation.
Alternatively, the Telegraph has released this useful guide to staying active for elderly people over 65.
Get Outdoors – But Be Safe
Even with the new and stricter measures the Government brought in earlier, medical professionals recognised that taking exercise outdoors is an essential human need. Unless you are self-isolating because you are symptomatic, you can still get outside once a day for a walk, run, or another form of exercise.
If you are going outside, just make sure you adhere to the social distancing rules by keeping a minimum of 2 metres (6 feet) between you and anyone else, avoid touching your face, and make sure you thoroughly wash your hands when you get home.
The overwhelming medical advice from experts is to stay home. So find ways to use the time you’re at home creatively.
A few ideas could include:
- Do some puzzles, crosswords, and brain-teasers
- Re-read some old books you have
- Do some baking
- Create some new recipes (with what you have already in the cupboards!)
- Have a movie day or rewatch an old box set
- Do some meditation. There are plenty of guided meditations available on YouTube for free.
- Declutter and tidy your home
- Get some DIY projects on your To-Do list ticked off
- Listen to some audiobooks
Stay in a routine
Even if your normal day-to-day life has been thrown upside down, attempting to maintain some kind of daily routine has been proven to help many people stay grounded.
It could be a good idea to start creating a to-do list with all the things you’d like to achieve the next day each evening, giving your day a structure to help pass the time without feeling at a loss!
For the most up-to-date official advice for dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please head to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.