Engage – Life during Coronavirus …cont’d
GET INSPIRED BY THE FIVE WAYS TO WELLBEING
Research by the New Economics Foundation identified the following Five Ways to Wellbeing.
- Connect: feeling close to and valued by other people;
- Be active: undertaking regular physical exercise;
- Take notice: broadening awareness of your experiences as they are occurring;
- Learn: being exposed to new information and mastering new skills;
- Give: offering acts of kindness.
While we’re self-isolating or practising social distancing, these ways to wellbeing can be adapted to help us look after ourselves.
Here are some ideas but you can come up with your own too and then decide how you wish to spend your days. This can help you when you’re planning your weekly schedule. It’s important to pick ideas from all the categories as altogether they may be more effective in supporting you. By taking these proactive steps to looking after your wellbeing, you can ensure across the upcoming weeks and months that the pandemic continues you can keep things together and avoid burnout.
How can you keep in touch with others?
- Arrange phone calls, send texts or video chat with other people or groups. Try the Houseparty app, which enables you to connect with friends and family in a virtual room without the need to make a call.
- Send emails.
- Make family videos to send to friends and family.
- Set up a virtual playdate for your child with one or more of his/her friends.
- Join social network groups that can act as informal support networks.
- Write cards or letters like the good old times!
- Make a photo album of people you care about.
- Put extra pictures up on your walls of those you love.
- Listen to a chatty radio station.
- Set up an online hobby group with your friends.
- Register for online community apps like these ones.
What kind of physical activity can you do in your home (or garden, if you have one)?
- Walk around the house.
- Go up and down stairs.
- Do some gardening.
- Dance! Try shuffle dance!
- Invest in inexpensive equipment, such as a kettlebell or skipping rope.
- Check out these 10-minute workouts.
- Find online exercise workouts that match your fitness level and interests.
- Get a yoga for beginner’s book, such as this one.
- Download a 30-day challenge app with a workout of your preference, such as this one.
- Try some seating exercises, flexibility exercises, balance exercises, strength exercises.
- If you have children tune in to Joe Wicks’ YouTube channel at 9am on weekday to watch3 0-minute exercise classes or follow this yoga video for kids.
How can you pay attention to your body, thoughts, feelings and the environment around you?
- Continue to eat and drink well.
- Have a spring clean so you can fully enjoy the different rooms in the house.
- Take some time to declutter your house.
- Keep the rooms in your house clean and tidy on a regular basis.
- Spend time in nature if possible – sit near an open window and look outside, grow indoor plants, spend time in any outside space you own, such as a front or backdoor step, balcony or garden.
- Go for a car ride.
- Keep a journal to help you reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
Spending more time at home is an opportunity to learn something new. What would you like to learn?
- Keep informed about current events but ensure your resources are reliable and up-to-date (e.g. NHS, gov.uk) and limit your daily news consumption.
- If you have children, share developmentally appropriate information with them if they have questions (here is a guide). But remember, children want to feel safe, so be mindful on your use of words and your own reactions.
- If you are self-employed, take this opportunity to rethink your business model and take action.
- Sign up for a paid online course, for example coursera.org, Shaw academy etc. or free ones like Open Culture, FutureLearn and OpenLearn.
- Read books, magazines, articles. Listen to podcasts.
- Try a new recipe.
- Research something you always wanted to find out more about but never had the time.
- Play games, do puzzles both offline and/or online.
- Watch films, series, documentaries, etc.
- Take on new responsibilities at work.
- Work on a DIY project.
- Download the app Duolingo and learn a new language.
- Try a new hobby.
- Go for a virtual tour on a museum or art gallery – search on social media under the hashtag #museumfromhome.
- Learn a new dance – remember the shuffle dance?
- Engage children in new activities – for inspiration look online, for example here, or here. Find online groups that share ideas for kids science experiments, and look for books like this one.
- Homeschool your child – Sign up to TedEd@Home for support. Read also this to help you with structure and this to access resources.
- Learn how to work from home efficiently (e.g. BBC worklife, BBC Business, The Guardian).
Is there anything you can do for others?
- Help someone pay a bill.
- Buy groceries for someone who needs it.
- Send money to someone in need.
- Shop online and post surprise gifts to others.
- Contact someone who needs support or company.
- Hang paintings or positive messages on your window for others to see.
- Ask others how they are and really listen to their answer.
- Say thank you in a special way to others for something they have done for you.
All product and service recommendations are personal and not advertisements; I receive no royalties or reimbursements for mentions of any products.
This guide will be updated as necessary, so please avoid quoting or summarising its content in case it changes; instead share a link to the page directly. If you are a colleague and wish to contribute to this guide, please get in touch. If you find this guide helpful, please send me your comments, questions or suggestions. I can update and add to this series of blogs accordingly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Patapia Tzotzoli founded My Psychology Clinic where she gained her reputation working as Clinical Psychologist with clients on one to one basis in London and worldwide via online therapy. She specialises in adult mental health and couples therapy. Studied at the universities of East London, Oxford and Cambridge and trained at the Institute of Psychiatry where she worked across world-renowned NHS Trusts.
Click here to book an online session or in person with Dr Patapia Tzotzoli at My Psychology Clinic.