As we retreat temporarily into our homes, enjoying life’s simple pleasures couldn’t be more important.
We’ve put together a list of five tips to try and make this period a little less disconcerting, and hopefully help you stay happy both mentally and physically.
Keep up regular contact
Not being out and about in your usual social circles or being able to having family members pop round can have a huge effect on your mental health. Try and keep in regular contact via telephone or other means. Having a daily chat with a loved one can do wonders for lifting your spirits. If you do have a computer at home or a smartphone, platforms such as Skype are great for face to face connections.
Why not pick a friend or family member to call each day to keep your conversations varied?
Stay active at home
Even simple daily stretches or gentle lifting can help loosen your joints and keep your body supple. Try using tins as dumbbells to add some light resistance. Alternatively some light spring gardening can be very enjoyable and also help with getting a good dose of fresh air.
You can find a range of exercise ideas on Age UK
The Green Goddess also runs a light exercise segment on BBC Breakfast at around 6.55 and 8.55 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
Have a good clear-out
A lifetime of possessions can take time to sort through and this period seems like an opportune moment to conquer the clutter. Freeing up space can make rooms in your home feel both bigger and brighter. It can also be a lovely activity discovering sentimental items and photographs that you’ve collected over the years which can bring back many happy memories. Bag your unwanted items up and save them for the charity shop.
Keep your mind active
Staying mentally active is also very important. Keep those cogs whirring with daily quizzes, crosswords or puzzles – trying to increase your performance day by day can also become satisfyingly addictive. Quizwise provides a new quiz to conquer daily and it’s free to take part. Or perhaps you can learn a new skill that you’ve never had time for until now? Activities such as colouring in, knitting and learning a language can all be easily picked up from home.
Eat well and stay hydrated
The right food has an incredible ability to boost our mood. Eating right becomes increasingly important when you are out of your usual routine or less active than you usually would be. Maintaining a diet with a range of healthy fats, fruit and vegetables will keep your blood sugar levels stable and that will help you avoid dips in energy. For meal inspiration, you can find a range of recipes at BBC Good Food. If you are struggling to get out to buy food, an online ordering service is a good alternative – and many supermarkets are now prioritising slots for the elderly or vulnerable.
Although this is a challenging time, mindful changes in how you spend your days can help keep your spirits up. If you find you are struggling, there are a range of support services available, you can find useful information via both Age UK and GOV UK.
Your local council may also have services available or contacts of local charities and organisations that can help. Make sure you reach out.