With the government closing schools from Friday and recommending all but essential social contact, most of us will be spending the majority of our time at home and indoors. We’ve put the following suggestions together, inspired by Pooky Knightsmith’s YouTube video (see below) to help you stay mentally healthy and feel less isolated and alone.
It’s important to stay informed, however there’s lots of different sources providing varying accounts of what is happening. This could be adding fuel to your Anxiety/worries so we suggest going directly to a reliable source such as GOV.UK and to Stop refreshing your feeds.
If you’re at home with family members/roommates or friends you should talk to them and do things together. If not then you should utilize the tools you have. Social Media is one of our greatest tools for keeping in touch with family and friends from anywhere. Apps/websites such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat all have messaging, calling and video calling features which can be used as a group or one to one. Alternatively, texting and calling or even reaching out through our online chat and helplines such as The Samaritans by calling 116 123 are good ways to connect with others.
Create A New Routine
We’re probably not following our normal routines. By creating a new routine you’ll be boosting your mood and keeping yourself busy. Although it’s tempting to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day, getting up at a certain time each day and doing a range of activities will actually make you feel good. You should do things such as shower, get dressed (even If you’re not leaving the house), work/online classes, exercise (inside or out), eat 3 balanced meals a day, connect with people and have plenty of down time.
Exercise releases serotonin (the happy chemical) so continuing to exercise will help boost your mood. Currently we’re not being asked to quarantine so we can go outside and exercise but should stick to the social distancing criteria. Gyms are off limits but there are exercises and circuits you can do at home without any gym equipment required.
This mainly involves creating a new routine of things you’d normally do plus a few extras. It’s within the downtime that people may feel the most isolated as there’s no specific task or purpose. Things you could do to fill this time are:
- Read a book
- Listen to music – if you have a Spotify account you could create and share new playlists with your friends
- Watch a film or series – This could be on TV, Catch up or any streaming service. If you don’t feel like watching things alone and you have a Netflix account then you and your friends should download the Netflix party google chrome extension. This allows you and your friends to watch the same thing at the same time and provides a chat box for you to talk in throughout watching.
- Play games – There’s a vast amount of games both traditional and online. If you’ve got an XBOX or PS and have the ability to play online then you could connect and play with your friends.
- Learn something new – YouTube is a massive platform with content on a wide variety of topics so why not take this opportunity to learn something new. If you’ve always wanted to learn to play that guitar sitting in your room but never had the time then look up tutorials on YouTube and start learning.
Marie Kondo Your Social Media
Marie Kondo is famous for asking ‘Does this bring me joy?’ when decluttering her home. So, as your social media usage is at an all time high, why not do the same with all of you’re Social media accounts. Go through the people, pages and tags your following and ask ‘does this bring me joy?’. If they’re actually negatively effecting you and not bringing you joy then you should unfollow them. You’re effectively cleaning your feed of negativity so the next time you open up the App you won’t be brought down by the content your seeing.
For more tips you should check out this video created by Pooky Knightsmith and Headstart Kernow: