Are you finding it hard to adapt to your new living circumstances? You’re not alone. All over the globe, people are scratching their heads trying to come to terms with a disrupted day-to-day existence.
From cooking our favourite meals to staying fit, the little things we took for granted now pose problems in a way we could never have imagined.
Luckily, we’re a resourceful bunch. Across the web, companies, charities, media outlets and individuals are sharing useful, interesting and inspiring advice to help us stay healthy and maximise our time behind closed doors.
Further down, you’ll find our latest round-up, but we start – as always – with a reminder of key government sources.
Public Health England
- Find guidance about Coronavirus for health professionals and other organisations, including employees, employers, businesses, those working in educational settings and more. (LINK)
- Guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK, and on protecting the elderly and vulnerable adults. (LINK)
NHS coronavirus overview
- For an overview of the illness, the latest advice on social distancing and what to do if you are showing the symptoms. (LINK)
GOV.UK action plan
- What the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak and what it plans to do next. (LINK)
Official campaign resources
- Downloadable resources such as leaflets, posters, guides and resource packs featuring information about how the public can help protect themselves and others from COVID-19. (LINK)
IN THE NEWS
Scientists at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital have launched a coronavirus tracking app and are urging people in the UK to use it to help us track the spread of the disease.
The COVID-19 Symptom Tracker app can be downloaded for free for both iOS and Android devices. It asks users to put in details like their age, sex and postcode and then take one minute each day to report on whether or not they feel healthy.
The importance of myth-busting
The Guardian’s science correspondent Hannah Devlin gets to the truth of claims that have been doing the rounds on social media.
Amongst others, she analyses the following:
- ‘Face masks don’t work’
- ‘It is no more dangerous than winter flu’
- ‘It only kills the elderly, so younger people can relax’
- ‘A vaccine could be ready within a few months’
It is more important than ever to check you are getting your news from a reputable source and that you don’t fall into the trap of sharing incorrect information.
To help, Wired magazine has set up Infotagion: a free to use, online, independent, fact checking service for coronavirus.
The BBC explores the range of measures introduced by the government to help prevent mass unemployment. It was confirmed by chancellor Rishi Sunak that companies can receive grants to pay their workers 80% of their salaries – up to a limit of £2,500 a month.
A similar package has been implemented for those who are self-employed. Details about who is eligible are available here.
Foreign travel has been heavily disrupted by coronavirus with the Foreign Office now warning against ALL non-essential travel overseas. If you’re unsure whether you’re due a refund or if you’re covered by your travel insurance, be sure to check out the advice on MoneySavingExpert.
HEALTHY MIND & BODY
Dealing with stress
The Mental Health Foundation has a number of articles aimed at helping you through these difficult times. Their guides cover:
We particularly like the ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ tips which include:
- Send someone you know a picture of a cute animal
- Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling
- Donate to a charity
- Arrange a video lunch with a colleague
- Offer to support vulnerable neighbours
The NHS Every Mind Matters campaign outlines six key tips for maintaining good mental health. These include reframing unhelpful thoughts, getting good sleep and connecting with others. We thoroughly recommend taking some time out and watching the short videos.
Sport England have launched the #StayInWorkOut campaign to encourage people to stay active within the current rules.
Taking daily exercise is one of the four reasons the government has advised that it is fine to leave your household for. This could include walking, running or cycling, either alone or with members of your household. You just need to remember to stay at least two metres from anyone else.
If you’re able to make a bit of space at home, the NHS has three home workouts that can each be done inside 15 minutes
Joe Wicks (a.k.a The Body Coach) has been running online PE sessions on his YouTube channel aimed at kids. You can either tune in live or watch them on repeat – and he’s donating every single penny he makes to the NHS. Our Parks and SweatyBetty offer similarly entertaining classes
If you’re currently using your daily exercise allowance to take a stroll, you’ll no doubt have noticed a huge number of people out jogging. Perhaps you’re tempted to join them. All you need is some comfortable clothes, a pair of trainers and an open mind.
The NHS Couch to 5K programme (available as an app on iOS and Android) will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just nine weeks. The biggest step is the first one: getting out and giving it a go. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can improve.
If you want to keep tabs on your progress and track your runs, you can download free apps by Strava, Nike, Adidas.
If running really doesn’t appeal, This Girl Can highlights the benefits of walking.
LIFE AT HOME
For music lovers
From learning an instrument to joining a virtual choir, Classic FM shares eight activities to keep you entertained in self-isolation.
Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t continue to be creative. Artists have shared their lockdown tips in the Guardian.
For film fanatics
Technology has revolutionised the way we consume movies and TV series in the last decade. If you’ve signed up to a streaming service subscription, the choice can sometimes be overwhelming. Thankfully, the Radio Times lends a hand with its rundown of the best movies (Netflix | Amazon) and TV series (Netflix | Amazon) currently available.
In the kitchen
As we get used to breaking bread with close family members three times a day, every day, it’s never been more important to take satisfaction from meal preparation.
Of course, when supplies are low and your time is in demand, there’s a great need for super easy recipes. These are the best from the BBC, Guardian, Jamie Oliver and Mob Kitchen.
The NHS also has a free ‘Easy Meals’ app you can download on iOS and Android.
Working from home
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it was estimated that around 1.5 million people in the UK worked from home. In recent weeks, that number has grown considerably. Working from home isn’t for everybody – especially if you have kids running around – but there are ways to make it more bearable.
To maintain productivity and to ensure the lines between ‘home’ and ‘work’ don’t blur too much, it’s important to establish a routine and to stick to it. From getting dressed (easy) to taking regular breaks (easier said than done), the BBC outlines five key rules to follow.
The Independent has further tips, including working in bursts and managing distractions.