How to stay positive in isolation #CroydonTogether

We are currently experiencing a unique and difficult situation regarding COVID-19 so we thought we would share five useful tips to keep you happy and healthy during this period

Scroll to the bottom of the article to find extra information on where you can find other support and help within the Croydon community.

1. Try to stay connected

During times of stress, being amongst others and with support can sometimes provide relief. Therefore it is important to try and keep in touch with your friends and family whether it's by phone, email or social media. Even so, be mindful when it comes to social media as it can sometimes provoke even more worry and insecurity.

Ask yourself whether some accounts or people you are following are increasing anxiety and consider unfollowing or muting them.

2. Keep yourself busy

Staying at home all day it is very likely you'll find yourself getting bored or frustrated. Try and create a schedule for yourself every day, this not only creates a routine for yourself instead of letting the days blend into each other in an abundance of Netflix and snacks but also keeps you feeling purposeful and entertained.

Set yourself miniature tasks to get done throughout the day, try and sandwich the things you are not so keen to do with enjoyable activities such as reading a book or watching a film.

This is also the perfect time to learn a new skill, luckily a lot of us have the privilege to access the internet which gives us a range of opportunities to learn new skills from our homes, free of charge. Platforms like YouTube are your north star for this, you can find tutorials for anything - makeup, dancing, walking like crab, pen spinning, anything!

3. Get your body moving

I'm sure you've all heard people badger on about the positive affects exercise has on both your physical and mental health but it really is true, exercise stimulates chemicals in your brain that help to improve mood, memory and learning. Again, sites like YouTube have a wealth of exercise routines you can follow along to with no equipment at all, whether these are quick ten minute work outs or a full power hour.

You will also find lots of celebs are heading to Instagram to share their workout routines, this is your chance to get your hands on the exercises your favourite A-Listers are using.

(Be sure to check out our post on the top 5 celebrity quarantine live streams to find out more.)

4. Manage how you follow the outbreak

Rumours and "fake news" are common in today's world and can sometimes fuel anxiety so it is important to get your information from reliable sources e.g. Gov and BBC.

It is also key not to spend all of your time refreshing news pages for updates, but what's most important is finding a balance. It's not necessarily the best idea to totally avoid the news (especially at a time like this) staying informed is fundamental nevertheless, if you find it is bothering you in any way, why not limit the amount of time spent looking at it, read a book instead!

5. Know it is okay to feel stressed

The outbreak of coronavirus may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about the disease as well as extra downtime sometimes leading to overthinking and negative thoughts. It is important to recognise it can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in anyone, adults or children. It is more important than ever to look after our mental wellbeing, whether that's through meditation, talking to friends and family, taking time to practice self-care or any other means you find work for you.

There is also a selection of apps we have checked out designed to help you maintain your mental wellbeing from home: Headspace, DistRACT, eQOO and Daylio Journal. The NHS website also has a list of suggested apps that you can check out here.

If you're a Croydon resident and feel you are in a particularly vulnerable position below is a support line and email address you can use to obtain extra help during these difficult circumstances.

If you're experiencing issues regarding paying your rent, paying council tax or you need benefit advice the Croydon Council website provides information on who to contact as well as updates on the changing situation and further information on additional help and schemes that have been put in place by the council.

If you are reading this and think you would like to help people more vulnerable than you can sign up here to join Croydon Voluntary Action's (CVA) army of volunteers to help out within the Croydon community. This could simply include delivering food and other essentials to those in your neighbourhood. Or if you know someone who is helping people out during this tough time whether they are NHS staff, a teacher, council worker or just good friend or neighbour use the hashtag '#CroydonTogether' on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag @YourCroydon as they will be sharing some of your pictures and stories of those making a difference within the community to show their appreciation.

What are you waiting for? Take this opportunity to let your loved ones know they are appreciated for their hard work.

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