Staying Well at Home
Staying at home can be a difficult, frustrating and lonely time, so it’s important to remember to take care of your body and mind and to get support if you need it.
It's natural to feel anxious during times of uncertainty, like during the current coronavirus outbreak.
Gov.uk has guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus. This includes information on what can help your mental health and wellbeing and staying at home, as well as guidance for those with specific mental health needs, people with a learning disability, autistic people, older people, and those living with dementia. Find out more.
Every Mind Matters offers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Find guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing if you need to stay at home as well as simple things you can do to maintain your mental wellbeing and deal with anxiety about coronavirus.
Be The One aims to reduce the numbers of lives lost to suicide in Rotherham. In this current situation, things may seem extremely worrying or stressful. Nobody should feel that suicide is the only way out of their current situation.
Everyone should have easy access to support and advice when they are feeling depressed, scared and alone, and we must all learn how to look out for one another and do our bit to help those in distress.
Visit the Be The One website to find the right support for you, or if you're worried about someone, advice on how you can talk, listen and care.
Five Ways To Wellbeing
We all have mental health, just like we have physical health and it’s important that we take steps to look after it, particularly during worrying times like the current coronavirus situation.
There are five steps, known as ‘Five Ways To Wellbeing’ which we can incorporate into our everyday lives to help with our mental health. You can find out more about Five Ways To Wellbeing here, and below are some ideas on things we can do whilst staying at home.
Everyone must stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Under government measures, you can go out for one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. Read the government guidance here.
It is important to keep active whilst you are working at home or self-isolating. There are some great tips on exercise that you can do whilst staying at home at:
Set yourself a challenge to get up and move about a least every hour. For your daily exercise session, try going for a walk or a jog down the street before you start work for the day – this can help you to feel like you have mentally ‘arrived’ at work. Doing the same when you finish your working day can help you to leave your work mindset behind and switch off.
Remember, you must follow government measures on social distancing by staying 2 metres away from other people, and follow good hygiene practice.
Children and Young People
There are lots of activities available online for children whilst they are at home. Why not try these workouts:
The Chief Medical Officer's physical activity guidance highlights the benefits of maintaining muscle strength, balance and flexibility. The NHS has several guides to gentle exercise:
10 Today is a set of fun 10-minute, audio and video workouts, designed by and for older people to keep you physically active, boost your wellbeing, and help maintain your mobility and balance.
If you’re working from home, adapt your working style to make sure you keep in touch with your colleagues. Make sure you keep communication open with your team, as often and frequently as possible.
Why not share a selfie with colleagues and friends to show what you are up to and start a conversation. It can help you feel connected even if you’re working remotely. Find out how on the MHFA England website.
Virtual social sessions
If you usually schedule time in the workday for an activity or exercising with your colleagues/friends, continue to make time for this over webcam or phone. Here are some ideas:
- Turning your morning or afternoon coffee break into a virtual coffee break
- Sharing photo updates of your lunchtime run/walk
- Video calling for craft session or cooking sessions
- Daily online quiz sessions with your friends/colleagues
- Say hello regularly to colleagues and friends on the phone, video messaging, WhatsApp
Give time to yourself. Have a bath, read that book you’ve promised yourself you will read one day, or maybe start to learn a new skill that you’ve been wanting to try.
Give yourself a good night’s sleep. Mental Health Foundation has ten top tips on getting a good night’s sleep.
Give your time to other people - call people who might be living alone.
Always be kind to each other.
Learning throughout life enhances self-esteem, increases confidence, encourages social interaction and generally leads to people having a more active life. This time staying at home is a great opportunity to learn something new. Why not take virtual cooking sessions with friends or grandparents; dig out that musical instrument that you have stored away and start learning again; or learn a new language.
If children are off school have a bit of structure to the day and introduce some fun learning activities.
Go out into the garden and grow some seeds. Learn the names of plants, build a bug house, make mud pies, make a list of the birds you have seen in your garden, camp in your garden, go star gazing at night, have a picnic in your garden.
Indoors, you could make a den, put chairs together and make a bus/boat, play shops, make things out of cardboard, paper planes, play musical statues or be super heroes
Get kids involved in making tea and jobs round the house, make cards for people, form your own musical band, have an indoor treasure hunt, play board games, finish that Christmas jigsaw, make a scrap book, create a time capsule or have a carpet picnic take pictures and share with friends. More ideas are available here.
Try and have a daily routine. Get up at the same time and try to have some structure, and try to distinguish between weekdays and weekends.
Although you may have some extra time in bed without a commute, aim to wake up around the same time every day. This helps stabilise your internal clock and improve your sleep overall. You’ll feel less tired, more refreshed, and find it easier to concentrate throughout the day.
Keep to your established morning routine if you can – get ready, washed, and dressed as if you are going to the office. This will help you get into the mindset that you are at work.
Try to set aside a work area separate from your sleeping area, as this will help to prepare you for work mode and make it easier to switch off at the end of the day. You don’t need a home office to do this – a small desk set up in a corner of your room, or a laptop at the end of the kitchen table can do the trick.
If you’re working with a small space, you could try setting up temporary ‘zones’ by hanging blankets or screens to visually separate your work area from your bed or living area.
Watch the sunrise and sunset.
With schools being closed, a change in routine and coronavirus constantly in the news, it can be a scary and worrying time for children. Mental Health Foundation has some tips on how to talk to children about what is happening here.
Tips and advice on how to look after your mental health during this time is available here.
Try to practice mindfulness regularly. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time
Support for children and families
A range of information and support available for children, young people families who are worried about the coronavirus outbreak is available from the Rotherham SEND Local Offer website.
Resources include: guides on looking after children’s physical and mental wellbeing; speaking with children about the outbreak; guides on supporting learning from home; guides for those with sensory impairment; support for parents; and activities and games when staying at home.
Government officials have recently advised that research into previous coronaviruses has shown that smoking makes the impact of a coronavirus worse. You can find local support to quit with Get Healthy Rotherham.
If you wish to stop smoking, advisors can provide personalised motivational support and access to nicotine replacement therapy.
Support is currently available by telephone only. Register now on the Get Healthy Rotherham website.
Support and advice is also available from Today Is The Day website, including a personal quit plan and the Smokefree app.
Help is also available via daily Twitter Quit Clinics with @QuitForCovid. Taking place 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm every day, you can ask a question on Twitter to help you #QuitforCovid.
Support for people with dementia and their families
Dementia UK have a series of webpages giving support and advice relating to the coronavirus outbreak. If families have any concerns about caring for someone with dementia through the coronavirus pandemic, they can call the dementia specialist Admiral Nurses on their Helpline on 0800 888 6678, or email [email protected]. The Helpline is open seven days a week, 9 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.
The Dementia UK webpages are:
- Advice for people with dementia and their families, regarding the coronavirus
- Coronavirus: questions and answers
- Leaflets and information - includes links to leaflets on Caring from a Distance, Dealing with Restlessness and Calming Techniques
Information can also be found at:
Promoting positive mental wellbeing for older people
Older people, including those living in care homes, often experience depression, loneliness and low levels of satisfaction and wellbeing. This quick guide will help managers of care homes to identify older people’s individual needs and to improve their mental wellbeing by offering personalised support. Find out more here.
These are unique times, frustrating and confusing for all of us. At these times those living with dementia are more vulnerable. Please remind your groups, supporters and families of the Herbert Protocol - a simple risk reduction tool to help police search for people with dementia who go missing. Find out more on the South Yorkshire Police website.