This has been an odd few weeks for so many of us, with the fallout from the coronavirus really starting to hit home in the UK.
At Tonic, last week we closed the office and all started working from home, so that was always going to be an adjustment. But for many, the adjustments for work is just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the water are concerns around money, worry for elderly or vulnerable friends and family members, missing big events like weddings or even funerals, rescheduling holidays and so much more. The risk is that this can all start to get a bit much.
To try to keep myself sane, I’ve been looking for resources and things to do online. The BBC has put together this useful advice for considering your mental health at this time, but being a very practical person I wanted some clear things to do when I was starting to feel a bit out of sorts. And thankfully with everyone coming together trying to help each other, there’s really no shortage of options.
In the hopes this could help you, please see my list below. If you have something to add - please send it our way:
Bringing the day out in
Some experience-focused businesses that have had to close their doors are responding to this crisis in the best way by sharing their experiences online.
You can explore London’s museums and galleries, take in the hottest theatre and dance shows or even listen to celebs perform concerts from their own homes. I watched Keith Urban perform an Insta-show the other day with Nicole Kidman dancing in the background - definitely uplifting.
Finally, combining a day-out experience with the happiness that comes from seeing animals and fish, many aquariums and zoos are turning on their webcams to share behind-the-scenes experiences. I challenge you not to feel happier after watching penguins.
We all know if we’re stuck indoors we need to try to keep our activity levels up. What’s great is seeing gyms and workout groups providing free workouts you can do at home. For those with children now at home, Joe Wicks’ 1hour PE in the morning seems a great idea (even for those of us that are just kids at heart).
Listening to something soothing
I’m a big fan of podcasts and usually would listen on my commute. Now I’ll try to incorporate this podcast time in the morning with a coffee before starting my day. Everyone has different listening preferences but I thought this list from Good Thinking was useful - bringing together various options ranging from sleep sounds, to brain music to the Live Happy podcast.
Staying connected to the community
I’ve always been a big fan of staying connected to the community and supporting local businesses. Right now that feels both harder to do, but more important than ever. My local cafe is normally a daily ritual of mine and I don’t want to see them suffer.
A good start is seeing if any of your local cafes, restaurants, grocers etc now do takeaways or deliver so you can keep supporting them. Another thought is buying vouchers for the future. I read about this great new website that’s trying to encourage this by mapping independent shops, restaurants, and cafes that offer gift cards. You can submit your business (or one that you love) to Help Your Hood here.
And we all know helping others make you feel good. Local Helpers is a great new website that is helping those who are having to self-isolate. You can offer to pick up prescriptions or groceries for those in need. Give back, and feel great.
And, of course, lean on friends, family and colleagues
On Friday, the team at Tonic made me laugh so much it’s insane. From virtual Friday beers, to the best hat competition, to seeing who can pull the silliest face on video calls - having colleagues like these will make all the difference.