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Supporting yourself and others in Step 4

While most legal restrictions have been removed, the virus is very much still with us and it is important we move forward with caution. Please remember that it's OK if you don’t feel completely comfortable going back to what we once considered ‘normal’.

Read our tips on how you can help yourself and others feel OK during this time. And please remember, if you are not feeling well, physically or mentally, contact the Social and Mental Health Support Services in your local area.

Small changes to your routine 

  • Some people find making a plan, either weekly or daily, a good step toward having a positive mental outlook.
  • If you have a plan, you could make small, gradual changes to your routine to help adapt to the new normal, for example, meeting one or two friends for a distanced walk or outdoor cuppa.
  • If you started a new hobby in lockdown such as cooking or meditating that doesn’t have to change; a lot of us have made positive changes during the pandemic that we can take into the future, keep these in your plan. 

Stay active 

  • Exercise and physical activity is proven to help with low mood, improve your sleep, and reduce stress and anxiety. Try to take some exercise where possible, even if that is a walk around the block.
  • If you have been exercising online through your gym, chances are your gym is now open. Going straight back to face to face classes could seem overwhelming but you could book a visit/induction and see how you feel. Remembering all gyms have to be compliant with Covid social distancing rules. 
  • Group exercise outdoors could be a great alternative to going back to the gym, look into whether your gym is doing classes outdoors or check your local community social media pages to see where else is. 

Socialising safely 

  • Socialising and maintaining relationships is vital to our overall wellbeing. Now we are allowed to meet outdoors and indoors, plan how you can do this safely. 
  • Host a garden gathering! If you don’t feel up to socialising at or in a venue but would like to see your friends and family, think about having them in your garden/yard for an hour or two. 
  • Organise to visit hospitality venues outside of busy peak times. 
  • Ensure you use the NHS Covid-19 app to check in to any venue you visit by scanning the QR code at the venue when you arrive.
  • It is okay to not say yes to every invitation you may receive. Go at your own pace.
  • The NHS Volunteer Responders can also provide a free telephone ‘check in and chat’ if you are feeling isolated. Call 0808 196 3646 to register for this service.

Help others

  • Think about how you could help those around you – it could make a big difference to them and can make you feel better too. 
  • It is important to listen to and acknowledge other people’s concerns, worries or behaviours. 
  • Could you message a friend or family member nearby? Are there community groups that you could join to support others locally or online?
  • The more you check in with others, the more likely you are to check in on yourself and understand your own feelings better.

The essentials

If you are heading out and about always remember to pack: 

  • A mask/face covering to wear in crowded areas such as public transport
  • Travel tickets, pass, contactless payment card
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Medicines
  • Disposable tissues

We will continue to update this information as the situation evolves. Together we can #BeatCovidNE

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