Times are incredibly hard – we’ve entered a 2nd lockdown and are deprived of our normal day to day routine and social contact with our loved ones. I’m hearing on a daily basis the struggles of so many people – people unable to see their partners, elderly and vulnerable loved ones. People’s need for social contact is great – perhaps most importantly that element of human touch is missing – peoples need for a hug should not be under estimated.
We are reminded constantly in the media to take care of ourselves, our loved ones and neighbours. But for some, the loneliness of their own company is so great. So what can we do for our own self care and that of others?
Keeping ourselves busy is vital – keeping the body moving and the mind active should be a number one priority for us all along with regular healthy meals. Food has such an impact on how we physically and emotionally feel – it is too tempting to reach for the snacks and the processed meals – they are a quick fix in the moment but we pay in the long run. Regular contact with others – if you live in a part of the country where some social face to face contact is allowed then make the most of it, take walks in the park, countryside or beach depending on where you live and use video and telephone to keep in contact with those who aren’t able to meet with you.
I don’t claim to have all the answers but the following activities may inspire you to do something different:
-Write a letter to someone who you can’t visit: a handwritten letter is a real comfort to receive
-Learn a language: there are free online sites such as Duolingo that are fun
-Send flowers to others and buy them for your home
-Light candles at home (you know – those ones that have been sitting around for ages!)
-Start decluttereing that cupboard, sock drawer or garage – it can be very therapeutic once you start
-Do a jigsaw
-Get the board games out that only usually are dusted off at Christmas
-Try baking a new recipe
-Call someone who you havent spoken to in ages
-Challenge yourself with sit ups or press ups, increasing the amount daily
-Take long leisurely walks: daylight is good for keeping our brains healthy
-Do some crosswords or Sudoku
Whatever you do – stay safe and well and dont forget to reach out to others and if things get really tough call your GP or the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days each week 365 days/year.
The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123