Spending time with other people
When it comes to wellbeing, other people matter. Good relationships – with our family, friends and the wider community – are important for our wellbeing.
During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government has introduced social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. People who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus need to be particularly stringent in following these measures.
Social distancing measures mean that you should only leave the house for very limited purposes, including one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household. The government has published guidance on what you can and can’t do.
However spending time and connecting with people who are important to us is important, as our relationships affect both our physical health and mental wellbeing.
Although we are not able to meet up with our friends at the moment, there are ways in which we can build stronger and closer relationships during this period of social distancing, for example:
- If you are well and not self-isolating, take time each day to be with those you live with, for example, try arranging a fixed time to share a meal and talk.
- Arrange a time to talk with people you are used to seeing so you can structure your day.
- Connect with old friends, by phone, email or social media, or phone a friend or family member who needs support or company.
- Stay in touch with your colleagues or organise a group chat with friends.
If you’re not sure where to start, give your local Wellbeing team a call for more ideas.
The Silver Line helpline is a dedicated telephone service aimed primarily at tackling loneliness in older people. It is a confidential 24 hour freephone service offering advice, information and friendship. The number is 0800 470 8090.
Your usual ways of keeping active may not be available at the moment if they involve getting out and about with other people. This doesn’t mean you can’t be physically active though – physical activity is important for maintaining your health and wellbeing.
You are still able to go out for a walk, run or cycle from your home, on your own or with a member of your household. You can enjoy your local park or countryside as long as you stay at least 2 metres (6ft) away from others. If you have a dog, you can still take it out for a walk every day.
Being physically active in your home or garden will also be good for your health. Get up and walk around regularly, make a cuppa, do some light housework, or do some gardening if you have a garden. There are also lots of options for online exercise which you can do in your living room. You could try:
- Ways to keep moving
- NHS low impact exercises at home
- Sport England - How to stay active while you are at home
Contact your local Wellbeing team for more information about how to stay active at home.