Coronavirus update: A message from Handicare about COVID 19

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Simple ways to keep positive during Coronavirus

24th July 2020

Isolation and loneliness isn’t something that has just happened during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is something that many people experience at some point in their lives for many different reasons.

Many older people who suffer from mobility problems and struggle to get out of the house or are restricted to where they can go in their own home can often suffer from loneliness. Fortunately, with aids such as a stairlift or a mobility scooter, this can help them get around their own home and gives them the ability to go out and see their friends or family.

During the recent lockdown and with recommendations to socially distance, it has brought a number of emotions to the fore. This guide looks at ways people can stay positive and keep stress at bay.

The best ways to stay positive during COVID-19

•Try Yoga

•Go on a mindful walk

•Look to the past

•Spend quality time with your loved ones

•Send gifts to family or friends

•Learn a new skill

Try Yoga

Yoga is one activity you can try if you are feeling down. The goals of yoga range from improving your health to achieving enlightenment and the different exercises involved are designed to release internal tensions and to bring out happiness.

There are some key principles to yoga that can help you relax, and these are listed below:

  • Yoga Asanas: asanas are exercise poses and they are known to help improve your circulation, leaving you refreshed and rejuvenated as they trigger the release of ‘positive hormones’.
  • Pranayama: this helps you breathe the right way and creates awareness about the pattern of breathing as well. This type of rhythmic breathing paves way for a better-detoxified body and will help you feel more refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • Relaxation: Practicing asanas along with learning to breathe properly will help you get rid of any stress and anxiety. A stress-free body helps to relax the mind and can create space for positive thoughts.

On the Bad Yogi website, you can join millions of yogis and enjoy free yoga classes. There are hundreds of free yoga classes that range from beginner to advanced and the different classes are made so that they are accessible, fun and non-intimidating.

Go on a mindful walk

Mindfulness is about learning a set of skills that can help you bring awareness to the current moment rather than focussing on your worries or the future. Mindfulness can help you to remain calm and increase your focus, which is something that has become increasingly important during the coronavirus pandemic.

Something that Rachel Tomlinson, a Registered Psychologist who is behind the Toward Wellbeing site, recommends is taking a ‘Mindful walk’.

“Arrange a trip to somewhere quiet (with minimal people around) that has beautiful views/scenery. It could be a local park, river, beach, forest/bushland. This activity can be done with either comfortable walking shoes or bare feet, depending on the terrain and safety of the area.

“Please know that there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Instead, set yourself the goal of paying attention to your thoughts, letting them go and bringing awareness to your body during the activities. This is how we become ‘present’.”

According to Rachel, these are the different steps you should consider during a mindful walk:

•Start by focussing on your feet and consider the sensation of your socks if you have shoes on or wiggle your toes if you are walking barefoot on a beach.

•Take slow steps as you walk and think about how your feet move when you take a step.

•After 10 or 20 steps of concentrating on your feet stepping, you should consider the movement of your knees when you walk.

•Then you should put your hands on your stomach (between your belly button and rib cage) and pay attention to the way your stomach rises and falls as you breathe. Take deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth.

•Take 10/20 slow steps and continue this pattern of breathing. For your next 10/20 steps, you should take faster steps and notice any difference to your breathing.

•You should then repeat these steps for as long as you like.

Look to the past

For some, another way to stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic is to look to the past. You can get great hope from your past resilience.

You have undoubtedly experienced unforeseen major disturbances in your life. Whether it is something like the credit crunch from August 2007 or something personal within your family. You will have come out of that stronger and by looking at these bad times from years gone by could help you get through this pandemic as you remind yourself of the resilience you’ve shown in the past.

Spend quality time with your loved ones

Whether you have been in a family lockdown or have been socially isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping in contact and spending time with your loved ones is another way to stay positive.

If your family live quite far away, then you can call them regularly for a chat or plan to meet up with friends and family that live close-by.

Speaking on the phone and meeting up promotes closeness and it can also boost your oxytocin, which is a hormone that bonds people and also has a calming effect on your body. If oxytocin levels increase, they tell your body to switch off cortisol, which is the stress hormone.

If you have mobility problems and struggle to walk long distances then you can plan an accessible day out now that the restrictions have been loosened in the UK or, alternatively, you can invite your close family or friends to your house for a catch-up.

Send gifts to family or friends

If you are still trying to shield during the COVID-19 pandemic or you have a friend or loved one who is, then sending gifts via post is a great way for you and them to stay positive during this difficult period.

Unexpected treats can be a huge pick-me-up during stressful times, and this can be especially valuable to older people who might be living at home alone.

If you live far away from your loved one, then it shows them that they are still very much in your thoughts and this will help put a smile on their face.

Learn a new skill

They say that you are never too old to learn something new and if you have newfound time as a result of the coronavirus pandemic then you should take advantage of this.

You can look to play an instrument if you have always wanted to, learn how to sew, study a new language or paint that room which you’ve been meaning to do for months.

If you are working from home you can look to use the time you would have spent commuting and invest it into learning something new or if you are part of a group that would meet up on a regular basis but are unable to during the COVID-19 pandemic then you can use this time to focus on something that previously you had no time for.

Whatever your goal was for this newfound time, you will find it liberating once you have achieved whatever you set out to do.

The coronavirus pandemic has been stressful and lonely for many people, but these are just some simple ways to keep positive during the coronavirus pandemic. All these ideas are accessible so no matter if you have limited mobility and need aids like a walk in bath, you can still use any of these tips.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.