Keep your wellbeing in check

12:36pm - 15 January 2021

If you’re feeling pressurised and stressed since the new lockdown began, you are not alone.

Many people are feeling overwhelmed and anxious as they try to juggle various roles, whether working from home and home schooling simultaneously or continuing in a front-line job.

It’s important to take care of your physical and mental health over the coming weeks and months and there are some simple steps you can take to improve how you feel.

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach but many services are available to help people in a range of different situations.

North Somerset Council’s Five Ways to Wellbeing guide is a good place to start, suggesting five things you can do each day to improve your overall happiness and wellbeing.

The Independent Mental Health Network also has information about local services across North Somerset.


Staying active

Staying active is a great way to improve both physical and mental health and it’s important you take daily exercise during this new lockdown.

The NHS has lots of information about staying active during the pandemic, including how to beat the cold, dark evenings and get moving indoors.

Online fitness videos are also available to help you exercise in the privacy of your own home.

Under the new rules in England, you can exercise outside once a day in your local area, with one person from another household. It’s important you’re meeting to exercise though, not just socialise.

Making the most of daylight hours is important at this time of year but you might need to make some changes to your routine, such as taking exercise on your lunch break rather than in the evenings.

Children’s wellbeing

Children may be worried now that schools have closed and some may experience stress and anxiety as they try to understand what is happening in the world around them.

The government has published guidance for parents to help support children’s mental health and wellbeing.

Young Minds has also produced ten tips for parents to help them talk to children about the pandemic.

Many schools are providing more structured online lessons for this lockdown but this might increase feelings of anxiety, especially if parents or carers have to work from home too.

From this week, the BBC is helping children keep up with their studies by showing three hours of curriculum-based programmes on TV and online every weekday.

The BBC also has a parents’ toolkit with top tips for supporting your child.

As well as this, the BBC also has links to other home schooling resources.

The NSPCC also has lockdown advice for families.

The Facebook group Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas is also a great source of ideas.

Getting some fresh air and exercise every day is essential and the North Somerset-based Walks with Kids website and Facebook page has some great ideas.

Joe Wicks has also brought back his regular at-home PE lessons, live from 9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on his  YouTube channel.


Dealing with isolation

Everyone is having to stay home more than we usually would but if you are self-isolating or shielding, it might be even harder to cope.

Whether you need help with something in particular or just want someone to talk to, North Somerset Council has a list of services which offer support.

It’s important we check on our friends, family and neighbours and reach out where we can.

If you know someone who is self-isolating or shielding and you’re concerned they might be lonely, offering to make regular voice or video calls could help boost their wellbeing.

If you are concerned about the physical or mental health of a friend, family member or neighbour, there are many services in North Somerset that can help.

Working from home

New Government advice asks that anyone who can work from home to do so but a separation of office and home life is needed to improve our wellbeing.

You could mark the start and end of the working day with a ‘commute’, by packing your computer away, tidying your work area or going for a walk.

Use the extra time you have at home to do the things you enjoy, such as reading or listening to your favourite podcast. You could even pick up an old hobby or learn a new one to unwind.

Weston Artspace has developed some prompts to inspire art, writing and other creative work.


Library resources

The library is more than a physical space and many resources are still available online.

You could watch a weekly Rhyme Time session on YouTube, read a digital comic or research your family history through Ancestry, available through the LibrariesWest website.

Selected books to support mental health are also available under the Reading Well initiative.

Books have been specially chosen by experts to help adults, children and young people manage and live with a variety of conditions, as well as information and support for coping with feelings and worries, daily life and getting through a tough time.

Order a physical book through the non-contact click and collect service or borrow a digital copy or audio version, if available.