Stay connected, keep yourself occupied and look after your mental health during the pandemic
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Available 5 days a week, 9am – 5pm
020 8973 3530
Here are some tips to keep connected to your family and friends when practising social distancing or self isolating:
- Without putting your health (or anyone else) at risk you could speak to your neighbours from over a fence or across balconies at 2 metres apart
- Try the old-fashioned way of writing a letter and posting it, get your one exercise a day by walking to the post office or post box. Make sure to practice the government guidelines on social distancing
- If you have access to technology, you can use a smartphone, tablet, computer or a laptop to stay in touch. If you have a smartphone you can make video calls to interact with your loved ones. Find out how to connect digitally and make video calls with Age UK
Staying at home for long periods of time can be overwhelming, using this time to be occupied can break the day and give you a new focus. Why not explore a new hobby, there’s a lot of inspiration you can find on Google or on YouTube on baking, sewing, painting, drawing, crocheting and writing to name a few.
If you are missing the outdoors, culture and social events, there are virtual tours you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Try a virtual tour of the National Gallery located in Trafalgar Square, London or try streaming the Metropolitan Opera.
One of the many ways to keep occupied is to get busy reading. Hounslow online library has a large collection of books and magazines you can borrow for free. You could also join an online story time session. You can also listen to audio books for free through Hounslow online library or Audible.
Why not do a free course with the Open University? Topics include History and the Arts, Society, Politics, Law and Languages.
An important way of keeping occupied is through moving more. As many of us are following the government advice to stay at home, it is important to keep moving throughout the day. You can find some excellent online activities to do on our Move More page.
Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home. Staying at home may be difficult, but you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it. Our Ever Mind Matters page has tips and advice you can do now to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home. Make sure you get further support if you feel you need it.
The Mind for better mental health website has a wealth of information on how you can adapt, adjust and cope during this period of staying at home. Visit their website to find out all of their tips and helpful advice.
Age UK has also put together helpful advice, information and tips for older people on various topics on how to stay well at home.
If you are experiencing anxiety and feeling like you need support then The West London Trust Single Point of Access (SPA) is a 24/7 helpline which provides telephone-based support and access to urgent care and treatment for people in a mental health crisis. Visit their website for more details.
MECC LINK also has both local and national organisations who are able to support adults, parents and children and young people needing support.
An important way to understand how we are feeling is to assess our mood. The NHS web page on mindfulness has useful tips such as taking the mood assessment test, doing yoga, tai chi, breathing exercise or taking up meditation.
Another excellent resource is the Good Thinking website which has many approved mental health apps such as mindfulness courses for looking after your wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety.
Mental health and money
Unfortunately for many people there are financial uncertainties during these times which are worrying and stressful. The mental health and money advice website provide helpful advice, information and signposting for support.
Beware of scams relating to money through unprotected websites, unidentified telephone calls or text messages and phishing emails. Don’t share your bank details and credit card details if you don’t know the person or the company contacting you.
Many of our partner organisations in Hounslow are offering advice and support during these challenging times:
Healthwatch Hounslow are offering information and signposting, and guidance and support to residents worried about the current outbreak of COVID19, through Whatsapp and Zoom.
Speak Out in Hounslow offer information and support for those with learning disabilities on general advice, how to cope and staying safe during COVID19.
Heston West Big Local are supporting local residents who are self isolating with picking up groceries, medicines and a friendly phone call.
The Hounslow Community Information Guide provides guidance to all of the voluntary and community groups across the borough providing support, advice and important services to residents.
If you live locally in the Feltham Community which includes Feltham, Hanworth, Bedfont and Sunbury have stepped up and are working together to try and help those in need across their community during the COVID19 crisis. Visit their website for more details.