Looking After Yourself Whilst Staying Home

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Looking After Yourself Whilst Staying Home

Due to the current situation we have all had to make changes to the way we live our lives. It’s completely normal to feel worried or low about what is happening at the moment. You may be worried about your own health, or the health of your loved ones. Isolation may make you feel lonely, you may be worried about completing essential tasks, or you may be forced to stay home with people you don’t get on with or are abused by. Here are some ideas and resources for looking after yourself in this difficult time.


Mental Health

Many people will be feeling worried and low about what is happening at the moment. It’s important to keep in touch with others – just because you are physically isolating doesn’t mean you can’t keep in contact with your friends and family. Try to phone a loved one every day, or use an app such as Skype to video call them.

If you don’t have many friends or family to contact or would just rather speak to someone else, the following services are here to listen to you:

Samaritans 24/7 listening support: 116 123 or jo@samaritans.org https://www.samaritans.org/

Shout 24/7 crisis text support – Text SHOUT to 85258 https://www.giveusashout.org/

Connect helpline open 6pm – 2am 0808 800 1212 https://www.lslcs.org.uk/services/connect-helpline

The OneYou website has lots of information about looking after your mental health at home or if you are worried about the coronavirus. It also has a lot of information to help you better understand your mental health. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

If you feel things get worse and you might benefit from seeing a doctor, call your GP surgery who will be able to provide a telephone appointment with a doctor.

Mindwell Leeds has lots of information on how to look after yourself and support other people https://www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/ They also have a page with information specifically relating to Coronavirus https://www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk/home/information-on-coronavirus

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service can offer support including virtual CBT-based classes https://www.leedscommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services-a-z/leeds-mental-wellbeing-service/home/


Physical Health

Just because you are at home doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Try finding Youtube exercise videos for you to use – there are thousands, so if you don’t like the first one you see keep looking! If you have mobility issues then try searching for videos for people with low mobility or with whatever particular issue you have – there is probably someone out there who has created a video doable for you.

OneYou has some home workout instructional videos as well as information on healthy eating and other ways to look after your health. It’s easy for your eating habits to change at home but try to ensure you eat well and maintain a balanced diet.

If you and the people you live with aren’t showing symptoms, you are still able to take part one form of outside exercise a day. You might want to jog or cycle or just take a slow walk around your neighbourhood to get some fresh air. Ensure you stay at least 6 feet away from anyone you pass.

Money / Employment

ACAS offer advice for those who have to take time off work due to coronavirus https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

StepChange can offer support around debt and have some guidance on how to deal with debt during the coronavirus crisis https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-and-coronavirus.aspx


You may find it difficult to contact others if you are trapped at home with an abuser. You can try using online services if you are unable to speak on the phone. Remember to keep yourself safe online by clearing your history or using a private browser. You can find more information on our ‘cover your online tracks’ page. https://www.womenslivesleeds.org.uk/cover-your-online-tracks/

Leeds Domestic Violence Service are contactable 24/7 – 0113 246 0401 administration@leedswomensaid.org.uk https://ldvs.uk/

Women’s Aid provide an instant messaging service as well as email support https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/

Getting medicine and food

Leeds City Council and Voluntary Action Leeds have come together to provide support to those in need, delivered by thousands of volunteers across Leeds. Telephone 0113 378 1877 to be matched with a local volunteer who will be able to do things like leaving groceries on your doorstep or staying in contact with you over the phone.

Many pharmacies are able to deliver medicines – contact your usual pharmacy to see if they can help or ask your GP.

Keeping yourself busy

It’s really important to keep yourself occupied and have a routine whilst you are at home. Here are some ideas for making the most of your time:

  • Free online boredom busting resources online including virtual tours, online learning, geography and nature, music, arts and culture, literature online, entertainment, anxiety/mental health, prayer resources and more


  • Stage shows, musicals and opera you can watch online for free


  • Duet yourself: A virtual community choir


  • Free Leeds library digital reading. You need to be a Leeds library member, but you can sign up online


  • Watch the animals at Monterey Bay Aquarium – They have 12 live webcams


  • Wake Up Shake Up: Every morning put the radio on and dance about in whatever way you can, with as much energy as you can for 15 mins. If you have kids or others around you can copy movements in time to the music, e.g. “Do the dinosaur, do the crocodile, wash the windows, stamp your feet etc (Silly, but very fun!)
  • Write letters to friends and family, or if you are isolating, you can send emails. Maybe attach photos from your phone camera or images online to send positive vibes to your recipients
  • Write a diary or journal. This doesn’t just have to be writing what you are doing or feeling. You could try these ideas: Write down three positive words to focus on today; write down 1 thing a day that you are grateful for; What are your top three things today?; Look online for your quote of today and write it down, then you could translate it into another language and write that down too; find out and write down a fun fact for the day. Include drawings, doodles and lots of different colours
  • Do some art or craft: sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, drawing, painting, colouring in, make something out of clay, make a sculpture out of rubbish, things you’ve found, do a collage etc
  • If you play a musical instrument, practice and learn new songs, or you could join an online choir
  • Games: jigsaws, card games, board games, dice games etc (or design and make your own)
  • Relaxation, self-care and wellbeing: take a bubble bath, paint your nails, meditation (loads are available online) listen to music, or sounds online (birdsong, soft drumming etc) Use candles and incense if possible to create a relaxing environment.
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