Advice and support for staying well
Isolation is a necessary part of life at the moment. It can make looking after ourselves feel more difficult so here are some top tips to help during this period.
Isolating at home
The NHS has a leaflet if you suspect you may have COVID-19, and you’re isolating at home and have not been admitted to hospital.
Look after yourself
If you’re caring for someone else, please remember you won’t be able to do so if you are not taking care of yourself!
Keep a routine
Plan how you will spend your time – it might help to write this down on paper and put it on the wall. Reflect on how much of your ordinary routine you want to follow and how you can use this as an opportunity to change some habits; for example going to bed earlier, cooking from scratch and exercising.
Set household rules
If you are isolating with others, consider a household routine that gives everyone a say. This is even more important if you have children at home with you. Respect that everyone is different and need privacy. For example, some people will want to talk about everything, others won’t.
- Try to maintain a healthy diet, with lots of fruit and vegetables. Many supermarkets now have dedicated hours to help older or vulnerable people with their shopping
- Stay hydrated- this means having around 2 litres of water per day
- Avoid too much alcohol
Keep in touch digitally with friends, family, colleagues via video chat, WhatsApp groups, or online messaging. You could use this as an opportunity to do things differently (watch a film at the same time) or get back in touch with people you have been meaning to.
- House Party App (face-to-face video and games to play together)
- Nextflix Party (watch a film together)
Get some sunlight and fresh air
Fresh air can benefit us physically and mentally. This could be as little as sticking a jumper on and opening the windows or eating lunch in the garden if you have access.
Try to keep active
Build physical activity into your daily routine if possible. This doesn’t require a treadmill, instead focus on basic activities such as cleaning the house, walking up and down the stairs, or try joining an online fitness/workout class. There are also a huge collection of home workouts and seated exercises that you can do. At the minimum, make sure you get up every 30-40 minutes.
- Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) on YouTube (opens new browser tab)
- Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube (opens new browser tab)
- Seated exercises (opens new browser tab)
- NHS Fitness Studio (opens new browser tab)
- Get Berkshire (opens new browser tab)
Find ways to spend your time
There are lots of different ways to keep busy during the day. You could focus on admin/clear out tasks around the house or more creative things such as puzzles, books, films, crafts, podcasts, writing, and yoga.
Mind & COVID-19
Mind have published in-depth advice and guidance about keeping yourself well mentally during this period.
Visit the Mind website (opens new browser tab)
Consider your finances where necessary
There appears to be a lot of support from the government but that may still take some planning. Advice from Money Saving Expert is updated regularly and pulls together different options that may be available for support.
Visit the Money Saving Expert (MSE) website (opens new browser tab)
FACE COVID is a set of practical steps for responding effectively to the Corona crisis, using the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
Read FACE COVID guide (opens new browser tab)
In the face of uncertainty, it’s natural to feel increased feelings of anxiety or worry, feelings that can be worsened by the constant stream of news and information.
We’ve put together some top tips to help you and those around you consume media more mindfully and protect your mental wellbeing.
Staying up to date
- Gov.UK coronavirus (COVID-19) website (opens new browser tab) - stay up to date with how the Government is responding
- NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage (opens new browser tab) - includes a wide range of health-related information
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice page (opens new browser tab) - if you're travelling abroad
- Follow Public Health England on Twitter (opens new browser tab)
- Follow Department of Health and Social Care on Twitter (opens new browser tab)
- There are daily TV briefings from the government and senior experts which you can access on the standard news outlets
If you see or need further information, make sure you check that the source is trusted and reliable.
Finally, if you’re sharing other information on social media or with friends/family, think about the impact it may have on others. If in doubt, follow the three rules – is it true (e.g. do you know the reputable source), is it kind, is it useful?
Limiting your exposure to online information
The media can be all-consuming and many of us may find ourselves constantly refreshing, reading and re-reading content. This can increase the focus and anxiety around the virus and uncertainty. Follow these top tips to limit your intake:
- Don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow people that are posting unhelpful information or that you find increases your anxiety
- Turn off notifications for media outlets and engage on a more planned basis
- If you feel you’re becoming consumed, try and practice some mindfulness. The app Headspace is a good place to start
Fill your news feeds with positive news
As the WHO has recognised, the kindness and compassion being shown by many in this crisis is fantastic. Many outlets are sharing positive stories and messages, including:
- Good News Movement (visit their website)
- The Happy New (visit their website)
- Action for happiness (visit their website)
- Headspace (visit their website)
- Happiful Magazine (visit their website)
Most people who work in offices are now suddenly faced with the reality of working from home, and if they have a family everyone is going to be stuck indoors together. Trying to juggle work commitments and a hectic family life can be very daunting.
- If you live in a two-parent household, it is important to discuss your workload with one another so that you can establish how your working days are going to run alongside taking care of your children
- If your child still naps, make the most of that time and schedule your work around them, or use it as a time to focus on your own wellbeing
- If possible, create a designated workspace, ideally a different room with a door you can close, to help boost your focus and help your children understand that is your working space
- If you need to home school your children, this can feel very challenging especially if there are subjects you know little about! Find out how much time your child should actually spend studying per day – it’s probably a lot less than you think. The rest of the time can be spent learning through play
- Don’t compare yourself to others - if a rigid home schooling and work schedule doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean you aren’t doing a great job
- Don’t feel guilty if they are on their screens more, but perhaps try to balance this with encouraging some more educational content
- Be honest with your team and your boss. Try and find a routine that works for you and share it with them so they know you are keen to make this work
- Remember to have some one to one time with your children, this is important for everyone’s mental health.
And always remember that you're doing the best that you can. It's a difficult time for everyone, and there is no single solution for everything.
Think about this time as an opportunity to try and look on the positive side of how you are able to spend extended, quality time with your family.
Read our COVID-19, Parenting, and Family Relationships leaflet (opens new browser tab)
Read the #Coping – family life during lockdown leaflet by East Berkshire CCG (opens new browser tab)
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have created a website to help you with your recovery after you’ve been discharged from hospital following COVID-19 treatment.
The website can also be used if you’ve remained at home during treatment and recovery.
The information is to be used as a guide only. It shouldn’t replace any individual advice you may have received on discharge from hospital. If you have any concerns about ongoing or worsening symptoms, please contact NHS 111.
Call NHS 111
Visit the COVID-19: Supporting your recovery website (opens new browser tab)