Text - Franc Gray Photos and Illustrations - Dom Read
So in these uncertain times there are many reasons to feel negative. Having to isolate and distance yourself from friends, family and your normal routines can be very difficult. We don't how long this will last for and that unknown is very hard.
The most important thing is to stay hopeful, be patient and be fair on yourself.
If possible try to reframe the situation in your head. Isolation doesn't have to be a hindrance if you can see it as an opportunity. Here are our top tips to help you stay positive during these turbulent days.
1. STAY CONNECTED TO FRIENDS, FAMILY AND NEIGHBOURS.
It is very easy to feel alone in isolation but we are very lucky to be surrounded by the technologies that we have available to us today. Stay in contact with your friends and family through social media, text, phone call, video call or email.
This is a perfect opportunity to check in with pals or relatives who you may have fallen out of contact with. Even just a short message, to let them know how you are doing, can mean the world of difference to them and make you feel less alone.
If you feel you don't have anyone to reach out to then drop a card or piece of paper through your neighbours letterbox. include your mobile number in the message and let them know you are there to chat to if they need it. We are all in same boat at the moment and communities are coming together in camaraderie. You might be surprised by the support you receive.
2. KEEP BUSY.
With such a drastic change to normal life and your daily routine it is easy to feel at a loss with what to do! Don't put pressure on yourself but remember now is the perfect time to make a start on things that your busy life doesn't normally allow.
Tidy the house. A tidy room is a tidy mind and allows you to focus on the more exciting things that you can get on with!
Do some gardening (if you have a garden of course). We have been having some lovely weather recently and gardening is the perfect thing to get you outside in the sunshine whilst also keeping your mind and your fingers busy. With it being Spring there should be lots of little flowers popping their heads up for the first time in a while. You don't have to be anything fancy just get outside!!
Read a book. A great way to help the time pass whilst also keeping your mind occupied. You can relax with a cup of tea and lose yourself in an interesting book. With a lot of delivery services still going you can order yourself a book online and be engrossed a couple days later.
If possible we would say buy from local, independent bookshops who will be struggling without customers coming into their shop. For example The Book Hive in Norwich is a great place to order from if you are local. They will also be able to help recommend a book if you don't know what to read!
Do some exercise or get active in some way. The endorphins released from doing some exercise are a great way to help raise your mood. Perhaps not during due to all the sweating but you will feel great afterwards.
Naturally what that exercise is depends on your interests and abilities. There are thousands of home workout videos on youtube. Or for example Arnold Schwarzenegger has put on his website his workout routine for staying fit without a gym http://www.schwarzenegger.com/fitness/post/stay-at-home-stay-fit you can find it through that link.
If you would prefer something more casual then I would say give some yoga a try! This is something that you can progress daily with, even with light practice. 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne is great place to start or check out Sarah Beth Yoga. You can find both of these yoga channels on youtube.
Start a new hobby. Now what that hobby is is completely up to you, you know better than us what you want to try. This could be the best time to get going on whatever your heart has dreamed of but you have never had the time to begin.
You could get started on that business idea you have had brewing, make some notes and start planning. Write that book, draw that picture, stitch that embroidery, pick up your guitar, learn to juggle. If you don't know where to start find a tutorial online to support you in your journey. Amazon truly is your best friend in this situation, they are able to bring you all the supplies you need to get your hobby started.
Flick on the TV and put your feet up. Whether that is with your favourite film, a brand new series or just some shite that is on Telly. If you've got one dust off your games console - beat that boss that you gave up of or start a whole new game saga.
Spend time on your cooking! Flick on your speakers, have a dance, pour yourself a glass of wine and pull out those cookbooks. Really cherish the process of creating yourself or your friends and family a delicious meal made with love and care. If you are veggie or just fancy a delicious change follow @cooking_with_matty for some tasty treats!!
Go for a walk and enjoy being outside. This is very important if you are feeling the cabin fever. Obviously be careful and make sure to follow the government guidelines on social distancing but don't feel trapped in your house. Go once round the block, walk to grab some milk or go for a stroll in the local country side where you are unlikely to come into contact with other people.
3. DON'T OVERLOAD ON NEGATIVITY AND SOCIAL MEDIA.
If you are finding the current situation a little overwhelming, then it is more than okay, to limit your intake of negative information. Keep updated and keep in the know but don't inundate yourself with doom and gloom. We recommend getting your information from the NHS website and the government website. Check these once a day to see how the situation is developing but apart from that turn off the radio, don't watch the news and don't listen to the people on social media saying how bad things are (most of them don't know shit). Links to those websites are as follows : NHS - https://www.nhs.uk/ UK Government - https://www.gov.uk/
These are dark days my dear friends but these times will end. If we stay calm and stick together as a society, obviously not literally - social distance people, we will make it through! We will beat this together and we will come out the other side.
We would love to hear how you have been beating the boredom and what you have been up to during isolation. If you have any tips that you think we have missed then let us know!!
Keep Swimming and Keep Smiling.
Keep Calm and Carry On.
Thanks for reading.