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  • Writer's pictureEmma Wright

How we can help ourselves and each other during this unprecedented time

Suggestions to help you relax, lift your mood, improve your immune response and strengthen your body and mind

-Focus on what you can influence and what you do have control over – yes, things are uncertain, and you can take control by focusing on what you can do

- Have a daily routine. Structure fosters a sense of control

- Every day get outdoors for exercise, fresh air and sunlight. Enjoy the sensory experience as the weather improves

- Connect with one person a day online or on the telephone. It can be a comfort to know we are in this together

- Be kind to yourself and to others. It takes time to readjust to change. Empathy and kindness release the hormone oxytocin, the ‘cuddle hormone’ and that feels good

- Do things for others. Shopping for an elderly person or checking in with someone by phone, or playing games with your children. This can help you to feel good and re-gain a sense of control

- Look for opportunities to do things differently. Now can be a creative time and an opportunity for healthy change, learning new skills, whilst stepping out of your comfort zone

- If you find yourself worrying, set aside a ‘worry time’ during the day (not just before or at bedtime). Write your worries down in a journal or diary. Keep in mind that thoughts are not facts or reality

- Make an intention to smile regularly during the day. Perhaps aim to smile every time you start a new task? Smiling releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, boosting mood and reducing stress

- Breathe! You can count in for 3 and out for 3 or whichever number of breaths feels appropriate. Imagine breathing in your favourite colour. Breathe in the word, ‘calm’ and breathe out any tension. Repeat for a few moments focusing on the breath. Notice how much more relaxed you feel

- Challenge a friend or family member to take part in a shared fun activity. Consider what you need to do to succeed. Set your SMART goal together and go for it

- Watch the news up to a couple of times a day only

- If you are affected financially, get clarity on your finances and start seeking support now if you think you might need it. GOV UK is a good resource

- Look forwards. Think positively about your future. Plan ahead for what you would like to be doing. This time WILL pass

If you are experiencing low mood, anxiety, stress or trouble sleeping then guided hypnosis online could help you:

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