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Keep calm & carry on

May 01 2020

Insecure accommodation and a massive pandemic? There are plenty of reasons to panic, even if we’re trying to stay chilled. Everyone deals with stress differently so here are some ideas to keep you calm

Create a routine by planning your day around mealtimes and sleeping. Then try at least one activity from each of the 4 categories every day

1. Do things you enjoy
Do something you find relaxing. Try reading a book, listen to a podcast, jigsaw puzzle, watching TV, drawing or writing. Swap books. See boredom-busters on p22. If you have internet access: 

2. Keep an active mind

  • Brick phone? Find a newspaper and try a puzzle or crossword.
    Try p32.
  • Many councils run free courses on their Adult & Community learning websites. Expect to find computer/digital skills, English, ESOL & maths lessons, family learning, preparing for work & personal development.
  • You can learn loads of skills online. Use Google to discover whatever you’d like to know more about.
  • Learn a new language with just a phone. The Duolingo app needs data or WiFi to download it initially, it’s free afterwards:

3. Keep an active body

  • As long as you don’t have Covid-19 symptoms, you are able to go outside once a day to have a walk, run or do other exercise. See p22.
  • Seeing trees, flowers and birds helps us feel calm. It’s a moment of normality.
  • Improvise: don’t have a skipping rope? Then replicate the movements!

4. Connect (at a distance)

  • You can call, text or write to friends and family. If you’ve got WiFi then video calls can be great.

To look after yourself you will also need to sleep and eat sensibly, avoid alcohol and aim to be considerate to staff you meet – who are also facing massive changes. Here’s a bit more detail:

A. Sleep

  • A regular sleeping pattern is key to physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Try to sleep during the night and be awake during the day to keep a routine. 

B. Eat regular meals and keep hydrated

  • Hunger and dehydration can cause us to feel anxious and agitated. Water is a great drink choice because it doesn’t damage teeth.
  • If you are in a hotel, they will be providing food. It is difficult when you get something which isn’t what you’d normally choose, but as time goes on the choice of food on offer is likely to improve.
  • If you are struggling to get food, ask a key worker or outreach worker for support. Also contact your local food bank
    Ask for support on a local Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group, or contact Citizens Advice:
    03444 111 444 (England) 0800 028 1456 (Scotland)

3. Avoid too much alcohol and/or drugs

  • Alcohol and drugs will affect your physical and mental health. It may also cause you to not be able to adhere to social distancing, putting you and others at risk of infection. See p12-16.

  • Being in active addiction or recovery may be difficult at this time. There are loads of online groups and forums phone numbers to call:
    – Smart Recovery
    – AA: 0800 917 7650
    – NA: 0300 999 1212