Trying to maintain your regular routine where possible is extremely important when staying at home.
- Try to have a regular bedtime routine e.g. having a bath, brushing your teeth and going to bed at roughly the same time each night
- Avoid excessive alcohol
- Try and limit your use of social media - excessive use of social media can increase anxiety and cause people to worry more
- Sleep only at night time and try not to have day-time naps, no matter how tired you feel
- Try and wake up the same time every day, even if this is tiring to begin with
- Make a timetable or a to-do list. This will help you to 'tick off' things you have done and give you a sense of achievement
Dealing with "the blues" when stuck indoors
It can be hard to pull yourself out of bed, but it is important to make an effort to do so. Becoming active becomes easier with practice.
- Take time out of your day to go for walks and enjoy the outdoors in low populated areas
- Start that new hobby you always planned to do
- Have a declutter or finish the DIY you wanted to do
- If you start feeling stressed, try some breathing exercises e.g. count to 10 slowly to help calm you down
You can still connect with people but you will need to do this in different ways to adhere to social distancing guidance.
- Arrange a phone call with friends you haven't seen for a while
- Write a letter, note or email for a friend or family member
- Switch off the TV and devices, play a game with the children, or just talk
- Make the effort to phone people sometimes - it's all too easy to get into the habit of only ever texting, messaging or emailing people
- Try not to be tempted to stockpile food as this may not leave enough food for other people
- Use a recipe creator to make recipes out of the food you already have in your cupboards - Super Cook: Recipes
- Drink plenty of water or sugar free squash to remain hydrated
- Remember that fruit and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or tinned (in juice) and still count towards your 5 a day. They also have positive benefits for your immune system
- Healthy, cheap and easy family recipes can be found at NHS: Change4Life recipes
Take notice and be mindful
Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts, feelings and your physical body and the world around you. Some people call this "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. During difficult times it can be hard to focus on the positives. Take some time to remember what you are grateful for. It may help to write this down.
Stop smoking support
Smoking affects the immune system in the airways, lung tissue and throughout the body. This reduces your natural protection again infections, like coronavirus.
This means that if you smoke:
- you have an increased risk of getting acute respiratory infections
- you have a greater risk of the infection lasting longer
- you have a greater risk of the infection being more serious than it would be for someone who does not smoke
If you smoke and are self-isolating, please do so outdoors away from others and open windows. For further advice visit NHS: Second hand smoke.
For more information and support to quit, call 0191 424 7300 or visit Stop smoking.
If you're struggling to cope
Regardless of whether you are physically separated from people, you should never feel like you are lacking support. There are people who would love to hear from you and trained volunteers are there to listen.
If things get too hard for you to deal with:
- Talk to trusted friends and family, don't bottle things up.
- Seek help from the professionals at one of the mental health and wellbeing services that are available. Or call the Samaritans free on 116123
For specific information and advice on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, visit:
For more help during this time, see support for people in South Tyneside.
We're all now spending a lot more time at home than we might like, which is why staying as physically active as possible is more important than ever.
There are lots of fun and creative ideas on how to get active at home, regardless of age or ability, with exclusive offers and workouts available.