Third time round is tough…especially when it’s cold outside and the garden is less of a refuge. However, we need to remember that the restrictions are keeping us safe at home rather than stuck at home. And one third of people with covid don’t have symptoms so we all need to act as if we have it. In Churchill’s immortal words, we have to keep bu**ering on so here are some tips to make it easier for us all:
Be Kind to Yourself
We are coping with unpredented circumstances so don’t expect too much of yourself. Avoid things, news and people that bring you down. Create a new routine for lockdown that works for you.
Ask for help
See our list of volunteer support groups across the local area (99% of people are genuine but unfortunately there will be a handful of scammers out there so please don’t give sensitive or financial information out or let complete strangers into your home. Please also be aware of coronavirus-related scams.)
Important reminder that anyone at risk of domestic abuse is exempted from stay at home restrictions.
If you need medical help, the NHS requests please call 111 first, not A&E
Exercise & Physical Health
It is important to keep as active as possible, for your physical and mental health. Walk up and down the stairs, squat against the wall, do push-ups in the living room etc Even when you are sitting down you can raise your legs or clench your thighs.
For online support at this time, Poppy Jackson offers 1-2-1 Move.Breath Personal Training tailored to your needs on zoom.
The therapists at West Berkshire Injury Clinic share Five Simple Tips for Working from Home.
If you can keep busy that will help pass the time. Here are some ideas:
- Knitting, jigsaw puzzles, drawing or writing a diary.
- Catch up with your reading (order any book you want for delivery from Hungerford Bookshop)
- Join the new local Bookends facebook group for readers to chat about their favourite books
- Sign up for an online course here
- Escape – almost literally – with this play-at-home escape game from Excluesive Escape Rooms in Newbury
- Learn how to make a stop motion movie for free
- Join the facebook art club group to share your creativity
- Sing along with the stay at home choir or stayinandsing
- Learn or improve your chess skills with chessable.com that is free to register
- Lexulous online scrabble
- Downloadable art activities for kids (looks good for adults too)
- Winter Fun for families
- Why not take a virtual tour of 12 famous museums (34 more here!)
- Start making eco-bricks – and join Newbury Ecobrickers facebook group
- Research your family tree
- Learn about the night sky
- Coin and Stamps – what treasures can you find in your attic?
Let us know (in the comments below) if you start a new hobby or revive an old one.
Working from Home
Andy from West Berkshire Injury Clinic shares 5 Simple Tips to Working at Home.
Food and Nutrition
You can pro-actively chose a healthy immune-boosting diet and make use of your time to try new ingredients and recipes. Listen to some great ideas here from nutritionist Sam Silvester on what to buy and cook at this time. If you are struggling financially at this time, contact West Berkshire Food Bank on 01635 760560
This Too Shall Pass – top tips for coping from local therapist Linda K Berkeley.
Take 7 Simple Steps – a soothing 7 week video and audio programme that is a ‘spa for the mind’. Currently offered FREE.
Online Yoga & Mindfulness – including FREE sessions at 6pm on Fridays with Sheepdrove Yoga.
Be aware of how the news makes you feel. The World Health Organization advises us to “Get the facts” but “minimise news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed,” and “find opportunities to amplify positive and hopeful stories.” Subscription to the Positive News Magazine is a lovely gift.
Staying Positive and Connected to Others
You can sign up for the Age UK Telephone Befriending service. Or maybe write a letter to a resident of a retirement home which isn’t allowing any visitors at the moment.
Technology can help you communicate with loved ones remotely. It’s not difficult but it can be scary setting it up if you’ve not it before so here is our guide to technology can be your new best friend during Coronavirus. If that still doesn’t work a good old fashioned phone call or letter in the post is much appreciated.
If you find yourself cooped up with family members this can be stressful if you are used to the kids being at school and the partner being at work! My two techniques over the years for not killing my sons were 1. pretend they are someone else’s (you soon modify your language) 2. talk to yourself about how much they are driving you mad (this stops you saying stuff outloud you regret and works with husbands too). If your relationship with your partner is very strained, friends of ours recommend The Marriage Course.
Tips for couples to cope in lockdown whether they have kids or need to work at home.
Support for Kids
Struggling with home schooling? BBC Bitesize has fun resources for primary & secondary students.
Words for Life is created by the National Literacy Trust which provides parents, children and young people with activities and support to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home
Word For Life – Zone In, part of the Words for Life site, but specifically for children 13+. It has activities, challenges and prize draws. Great for learning and literacy.
Don’t worry about how much screen time your kids have during lockdown. Here are some fun and constructive websites you can encourage them to visit.
Emotional support for 11 – 18 year olds is available from the Emotional Health Academy.
Joe Wicks The Body Coach has lots of workouts and has re-started his morning keepfit for school children.
Connect with Nature
Connecting with nature invariably makes people feel more grounded and relaxed. Find a comfortable place to sit near a window and make weekly counts of birds and wildlife in your garden for the British Trust for Ornithology.
See our Guide to Local Walks (including tips on getting kids outside in the winter)
Our video here of the beauty in the Lambourn Valley pays tribute to the reassuring power of nature during difficult times.
Help with Finances
If you need support with your energy bills, or advice on which benefits you need to claim, contact the National Energy Action’s Warm and Safe Homes Advice Service by calling 0800 304 7159 for free Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, filling out their referral form (nea.org.uk/advice/wash-advice) or messaging them through Facebook chat via their dedicated Facebook page.
Get Creative and Take Some Risks
Likewise, have a go at some new recipes and use yourself as a guinea pig. You have a while to practice before you will be able to have anyone over for dinner… Like everyone else on the planet, I tried sourdough in Lockdown 1. The results were far from perfect but it was an interesting new experience…see our video here of how you are not supposed to make sourdough.
Laughing is proven to be good for the health, relieving stress and boosting the immune system. So as hard as it might feel right now, try to find something to smile or laugh about or watch your favourite comedy show. And here are some substitutes for loo roll should you run out…
Here is our collecton of bad jokes:
I never thought my hands would consume more alcohol than my mouth.
My chiropodist has cancelled all appointments. She said she was advised to observe the distancing rule by keeping two feet away.
I’m giving up drinking for a month. Sorry, bad punctuation. I’m giving up. Drinking for a month.
My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant that when I pee it cleans the toilet…
It’s only ‘quarantine’ if it comes from the quarantine region of France. Otherwise it’s just ‘sparkling isolation’.
Midges coming out for spring: We’re starving! Where the f*** is everyone..?!!!