It goes without saying that coronavirus has caused major changes in how we live our everyday life. Little things, from going to the shops, to keeping in touch with family and friends, have changed and it can leave many feeling scared and anxious.

Create Oldham wants to remind our members that these feelings are normal and send a gentle reminder to take extra care of yourself in these times.

Here are some of our tips on staying healthy and keeping those butterflies away.

1. Staying connected

Keeping in touch with people you love and care about is one of the best things we can do for our mental health, and with advances in technology, it has never been easier to stay connected. From photo messaging, to video calling, there are apps to help you do almost anything. Whether it’s a quick 5 minute call to check-in, or an hour long call to let someone know you miss them, the power of staying connected is invaluable. Use this time to strengthen your relationships and reach out to others who may be lonely.

2. Hobbies

You have probably never experienced a period in your life where you have had so much free time, and may never experience this again. Cherish this. We live in a fast-paced world where we are constantly rushing from one thing to the next. Put your phone down and pick up a book/ a paintbrush/ a camera. Use it to find new skills and hobbies and add more meaning to your life.

There are thousands of videos on YouTube which can show you how to master almost anything and there are numerous website offering free courses.

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue

https://manybooks.net/

3https://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/new-coloring-pages/

3. Looking after your physical health

Never neglect the importance of a good night’s sleep, a healthy diet, and an active body. Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern of around 8 hours per night, at least 5 fruit and vegetables per day and 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. Limit your intake of sugar and caffeine, limit your screen-time and also your sofa-time! Your mind and body are connected.

https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#4.-Reduce-irregular-or-long-daytime-naps

4. Help others

Helping others gives you purpose and can equally help you as much as it helps them. Send a card to someone who may be struggling or volunteer your time to local organisations in need. 

https://www.actiontogether.org.uk/volunteer/search-for-opportunities

https://www.redcross.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer

https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteering?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnv71BRCOARIsAIkxW9FGe_kKdNR49F1LY5NfYqHmdhfXeIpAyj3e0vixKT9Enex9wNhZL7AaAhRNEALw_wcB

5. Limit your news intake

While you may want to keep up-to-speed with how the UK and the rest of the world is dealing with Covid-19, it can have a harmful affect on your mental health. News sources fixate on negative stories because those are the ones that sell. Reduce your exposure to news and only trust information from reputable sources e.g. government websites and the NHS.

If you, or anyone you know, need urgent help, please don’t wait.

999– if you are feeling suicidal or in an emergency.

The Samaritans– free 24/7 listening support. Call on 116 123.

CALM– available daily 5pm- midnight. Call 0800 58 58 58.

Crisis Text Line– free 24/7 text support. Text HOME to 85258.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline– 24/7 listening support. Call 0808 2000 247