Staying Calm during COVID

Welcome to our Wellbeing during COVID-19 resources blog. Each of our blogs links directly to one of our 6 rules for keeping calm during the COVID crisis.

Looking up: How the super moon has us all enraptured.

This week nature provided us with a spectacular show with a bright super moon. Thanks to the improved air quality around the world we saw some spectacular images.

One benefit of our lockdown situation is that many religious services from around the world will be available online. If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Vatican (or many other significant settings) for an Easter service, this link here will show you how you can!

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Self compassion is a necessity

So today won’t be a typical Easter Sunday. It’s easy for us to want to create something perfect for our families even in the best of times. 

Have you ever put such undue pressure on yourself that you find something simple, like breaking a dish or burning the roast potatoes has sent your emotions flying? 

We’ve all had those moments. Give yourself a break and remember to practice self-compassion. If you were a guest at your own table this weekend, would you be as hard on you as you are on yourself usually? Of course not, and remember - your family don’t expect perfection from you either.

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Keep calm and don't worry about the to-do list

It’s quite natural to start your day with a great ‘to-do’ list. But how often do you end your day feeling a lack of accomplishment, beholden to that never ending list and feeling like somewhat of a failure?

Lists can be great, but they can also be a burden. Personally I need lists and sublists for many areas of life, however - managing my lists so that they don’t manage me was something I had to learn the hard way. 

This article offers some great advice on lists and managing our guilt around them.

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Beat the isolation blues with bears.

If you have young children in your home, keeping them exercised and entertained may be a large part of your day.

One of our local communities has created a Teddy Bear hunt across their town, apparently inspired by the children's book, We're Going on a Bear Hunt.

Managed through a Facebook group, participants are assigned the next number in the series for families to discover as they take their daily walk.

If nothing like this exists in your neighbourhood, why not take inspiration to start your own Teddy Bear hunt? A great way to encourage your kids out of the house, but also watching their delight as they see someone notice their ‘bear’ and number in a window of your house.

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Manage your anxiety in 5-4-3-2-1

With spring now actively upon us, you may well have noticed more of the changing season around you - the reduction in road and pedestrian traffic has allowed the sounds of spring to become more apparent.

I was reminded this week of a fantastic coping technique for moments of anxiety. This is called the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. By focusing on each of your senses at a time and becoming aware of your immediate environment, you can reduce your heart rate, breathing and bring your mind and body back to calm rapidly.

In my outdoor space, practising this technique I realised quite how much of spring was around me and how much joy it brings.

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Is bringing food one of the basic roots of relationships?

Both exercise and sleep have been recents topics in looking after our biggest asset - don’t forget to continue to practice good sleep hygiene and make sure you’re active in some way everyday.

 But this weekend is one where we traditionally enjoy good food around the table with loved ones.

The simple pleasure of preparing and enjoying food is one that can never be overlooked. Shared eating rituals are a huge part of our social complex and reward system.

“I sometimes think the act of bringing food is one of the basic roots of all relationships” Dalai Lama (14th)

So rather than admonish yourself for a little indulgence this weekend, take the time to enjoy it. Plan, prepare and eat mindfully, see how much enjoyment others take from this meal (although you might need to watch quickly if you have teenagers!).

Forget food guilt and don’t make it too taxing; here’s a fantastic, easy no bake easter cheesecake that is as impressive as it is enjoyable....

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Keep looking up, unite in song.

The power of a choir won’t be belittled by lockdown.

Whilst there are thousands of great videos to enjoy on platforms such as YouTube (this one of the cast of Lion King aboard a flight is a personal favourite), many choirs have found ways to unite their sound and bring collective voice to people at home.

Popular contemporary group, House Gospel Choir have a great Instagram account if you prefer to watch rather than participate. 

The Sofa Singers was set up by James Sills as a result of lockdown. It brings hundreds of people together in real time for simultaneous singing.

And lastly, we’re excited to hear about Gareth Malone’s latest project involving professional and amatuer singers and musicians. You can find out how to take part here.

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Be kind to each other

A simple text, tweet or call can lift someone enormously. We mentioned a story on our Facebook group about how a tweet from an ICU nurse to a radio broadcaster reminded him that his work is keeping other people’s spirits high.

Struggling for words? Why not send someone a song that reminds you of them? Send them a e-card, there are plenty of free sites with a great list available on this post.

This poem from Hollie McNish reminded me how important that simple, “How are you?” is for both you and the other person.

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Keep calm and go off piste.

Trying to stick to a schedule that’s not working?

Don’t be bound to a sense of how things ‘should’ be done. Really, there are no hard and fast rules right now - and that goes for home-schooling too.

Lesson plans and online classrooms are a great resource, but our children are feeling the weight of incubation too.

If the day has been a struggle in terms of study, maybe share a lesson in a different way.

Explore science through meal planning and cooking. Go off-piste from the school reading list (note: George Orwell’s Animal Farm has been well received, 1984 might not be the uplifting read you or they need right now!).

The likelihood is you're already doing these things, the difference is being mindful of this as part of your children's home learning. 

So if you've not completed all of the prescribed assignments or ticked off all of the spellings - GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. You're doing a great job!

If you'd like an extra assistant with your...

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Isolate, but don't be isolated.

After the initial flurry of downloading apps and video conferencing software, we’re starting to understand what we can do with them all.

But instead of defaulting to inbuilt games to play with friends and family, why not spend some time creating a bespoke quiz for your circle (this does mean you take on the role of quiz master!). 

Hosting a game or quiz personal to your circle is more meaningful and engaging for everyone, but also the time taken to create this offers some great reflection on the attributes and memories shared with your folk.

Not sure where to start? This is one of many online quiz builders you can try this one.

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