Self Isolating at home: Tips on Keeping Busy, Staying Positive

March 27, 2020

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

I think we have all quickly come to realise that two things are essential to maintaining some sense of wellbeing during these very strange times. 1) limit our consumption of the news and 2) keep a structure to our day. Keeping busy helps us stay positive by giving us a sense of achievement. So here are a few more self isolating tips you might find useful to add to your day…

Helping the scientists beat coronavirus

Self Isolating Tips: Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Free app which, with your help, will help scientists understand the spread of Covid 19

One of our lovely readers, Linda Walton, told me about the COVID 19 app. You can download it for free and all you have to do is take 1 minute to self-report daily, even if you are well. By using this app you’re contributing to advance vital research on COVID-19, led by Dr Tim Spector at King’s College in London. The data will be used to study the symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads by identifying high risk areas in the UK, who is most at risk by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions, and how fast the virus is spreading in your area. Read more about the app.

Doing your weekly food shop – safely

Self Isolating at home: Tips on Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Grace from Annabel and Grace Magazine gets a lovely message from her parents after delivering food to them

I mentioned volunteering in my first self isolating tips post but have quickly realised that immediate family will probably need our help too. In my case my 90 year old parents rely on me to do their food shopping as supermarket delivery slots are impossible to get at the moment.

So what should you bear in mind if you have to go into a store? Use a sanitising wipe to clean the handle of the shopping trolley or basket that you are using. Avoid touching your face as you walk about the store. To find the quietest time to do your shopping, Google the name of your supermarket / it’s location and a graph will appear on the screen (see above). Less people in the store = easier social distancing.

Self Isolating Tips: Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Quietest times to do supermarket shop

Avoid handling cash – easier now that the contactless limit in the UK is to be increased from £30 to £45 beginning 1st April. And, of course, use another sanitising wipe when you leave the supermarket. I’m also disinfecting food packaging to be on the safe side when unpacking my shopping at home. And then, of course, singing Happy Birthday twice as I wash my hands and have a well earned cup of tea.

Watching fantastic drama

The National Theatre has announced plans to stream NT Live shows for free on YouTube. From Thursday 2 April, a number of productions previously screened in cinemas globally as a part of National Theatre Live will be made available to watch for free at 7pm UK time.

Self Isolating at home: Tips on Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Watch NT Live from 2 April 2020 absolutely free
The brilliantly funny James Corden

The first will be One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden. If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly recommend it – very funny indeed and, let’s face it, we could all do with a good belly laugh right now.

On 9 April there will be a streamed performance of Sally Cookson’s Jane Eyre, Bryony Lavery’s Treasure Island adaptation starring Arthur Darvill on 16 April and Twelfth Night with Tamsin Greig on 23 April.

Releasing your endorphins

Self Isolating Tips: Keeping Busy, Staying Positive

Walking in the fresh air

Although I’m enjoying the novelty (and luxury) of having lie ins, I’m starting every morning by doing the 10 minutes yoga routine for beginners, and a daily walk in the fresh Spring air. You get a dose of Vitamin D and, of course, exercise releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in our bodies.

Which is probably why a spot of exercise has become the favourite part of our day – especially as Spring is firmly on its way and there are gorgeous little lambs in the fields where we live. Whatever exercise you prefer – cycling, running, batting a tennis ball up against a wall – it is definitely worth the effort.

Saving yourself some money

Self Isolating Tips: Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Good time to save money

For so many of us, keeping an eye on our finances is pretty crucial right now. With more spare time on our hands, now might be a very good time to see if you are getting the best deals on your overheads. You may well save yourself a considerable amount by switching suppliers. Phone your local council and mortgage provider to organise ‘payment holidays’ for your council tax and house repayments.

Storytelling – escape to other places, other times

Self Isolating Tips: Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Relax as you listen to an audio book

Put your feet up and relax as the mellifluous tones of a narrator read you a great book of your choice. Annabel’s post explains how you download.

Getting out into the garden

Self Isolating at home: Tips on Keeping Busy, Staying Positive
Grace from Annabel and Grace Magazine in her garden

So therapeutic. You don’t have to have green fingers… just giving a flower bed a good weed provides an enormous sense of satisfaction. Although garden centres are now closed, you may find your local branch is offering a delivery service. And if you still have a few daffodils, check out our flower arranging video and make a free arrangement that will brighten up your home and lift your spirits.

More ideas about how to keep usefully occupied in Annabel’s lockdown post

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