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Self care in a time of quarantine

Self care in a time of quarantine
In this strange new world, it’s easy to feel alone. But the truth is we’re all in this together. As we navigate life indoors, it’s more important than ever to make the time to look after our minds as well as our bodies. Here are some top tips to help protect your mental health and well being. 

Connect with others – Maintaining relationships with people we trust is really important. So, let’s use other ways to connect while we can’t be face-to-face with those we love. Chat on the phone, use social media, try video calls to get the family together. If you need someone friendly to talk to, sign up for our telephone befriending service Silver Talk, just call 0191 223 8662.

Support others – Helping others around you could make a big difference to them and could make you feel better too. Could you phone or message a family member or neighbour to let them know you’re thinking of them? Check out our Karbon community kindness story for ways to support your local community. Make sure to do this in line with official guidance on coronavirus to keep yourself and everyone safe.

Look after your physical well being – Try not to be tempted to slip into unhealthy ways as this can have a negative impact on how you feel. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and take exercise.

Get some fresh air – Get as much natural light as you can. Spend time in the garden/yard if you have one, open your front or back door, sit on the doorstep or pull up a chair to an open window.

Limit time online and watching news – Installing a website blocker like Block Site will temporarily force you off social media and news websites, which can be a source of anxiety. Try checking the news at set times or limiting to a couple of checks a day.

Do things you love – It’s easy to stop doing the things you usually enjoy when you’re feeling low,
lonely or worried. But focusing on a hobby, learning something new, or just taking time to relax can boost your mood. Check out our Feel good free time page for lots of ideas. 

Value your sleep – Getting enough good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically. Feeling worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep so take steps to give yourself the best chance of resting. Avoid screens before bed, cut back on caffeine and create a restful environment. Check out the NHS Every Mind Matters website for more tips on how to improve your sleep.

Focus on what you can control – It’s natural to feel concerned about what’s going on right now but it’s important to try to manage that stress. Try to focus on the things you can control, including making sure you get information from reliable sources like the NHS or gov.uk, and taking action to feel better prepared. Try listening to the NHS audio guides on managing anxiety – you can find them at www.nhs.uk

Set daily goals – It feels great to tick things off a list. Setting and achieving goals gives a sense of control and purpose. Think about things you want or need to do that you can still do from home, whether that’s chores, something fun or learning something new.

Keep your brain busy – Read, write, play games, do puzzles, draw, bake – find something that works for you. Check out our Pen pal for the day challenge

Create a new daily routine – Life is changing for all of us for a while and we are all going to see changes to our normal routine. Think about how you can adapt and create positive new routines. Include useful activities (such as cooking, cleaning and exercise) as well as meaningful activities (such as calling a friend or reading). It might help to write a plan for your day or week or try using our self-care checklist above.

Talk about your worries – It’s natural to feel a little scared about the current situation. Sharing how
you’re feeling and the ways you are coping with family and friends will help them too. If you don’t feel able to do that, look up mental health helplines on the NHS website or find a support group online.

*Advice taken from Public Health England. For more information and resources, visit www.gov.uk
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4 May 2020

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