There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a tough year with all of us having been affected by Covid in some way. From our physical and mental health to social and financial problems, there’s no denying that it has been a struggle. However, there are some good things to have come out of the pandemic. It has taught us to be adaptable, to be resourceful, to connect with one another in different ways, to reach out to one another, to be kind, and perhaps most importantly to appreciate the simple things in life.
Despite becoming used to the new ‘normal’, life is still very strange and with the current restrictions in place it is essential that we make use of the many support networks and services out there to help us get through this tricky time. And just because we are being advised to stay within our bubbles, to socially distance, to only make essential trips, and to adhere to the other lockdown rules, that doesn’t mean we can’t reach out for help when we need it. Technology, the Internet and social media have all played a huge part in our coronavirus connectivity and in this article we’re going to show you 5 ways that you can continue to feel supported while safely keeping your distance.
The closure of gyms and the limitations applied to recreational sports has meant that we have had to reassess how we work out. And this has resulted in many of us turning to the online world to try and retain at least some degree of fitness. It is really easy to find an online personal trainer who can help keep you accountable through live online workouts, pre-recorded videos, or even personalised training plans to help you achieve your fitness goals.
At this time of year, when the days are wetter, darker and just downright gloomy it is tempting to fall off the exercise wagon and bin it off for an evening on the sofa with a box set and a box of chocolates – hey we’re all been there right!?! And that’s fine every now and again, but keeping some kind of routine in our lives and certainly making sure we keep fit and well is essential to both our physical and our mental health. Exercise release endorphins in our bodies that make us feel good and let’s face it at the moment we could do with as many feel good vibes as we possibly can.
Our mental health has seriously suffered this year, so much so that it has been declared a mental health emergency by the mental health charity Mind. Loneliness, isolation, anxiety, stress, disrupted sleep, and boredom, are just some of the issues that have arisen due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully we are much more open to talking about these matters nowadays and you can find online counselling to help you in your time of need.
The best thing we can do is to keep talking instead of storing away any negative thoughts or emotions we may be feeling. After all, they do say that a problem shared is a problem halved. You may decide that you feel comfortable talking to a family member or a close friend, but sometimes talking to a complete stranger, someone who can remain impartial, is way more beneficial and this is where counselling can be so beneficial. There is no longer a stigma attached to seeking professional help, it is not a sign of weakness, quite the opposite in fact. It is a smart option, a positive step forward, to give you the advice and support you need to get you through what may seem like a bleak and utterly helpless time. Just remember, you are not alone.
Remember home schooling? The mere mention of it makes us shudder with fear. It was awful. The kids had no stability, no classmates to socialise with and bounce ideas off of, and the standard of work produced was in most instances below par. And as for the parents, well they were manically trying to juggle working from home while trying to answer questions about long division and fronted adverbials. It was a nightmare. Thankfully lockdown version 2 has allowed kids to remain in school, but there is still that nagging doubt at the back of parents’ minds that their child has missed out on huge chunks of their education and the worry that they may never catch up.
Because of this, some parents have decided to find a tutor online to help their child in areas they may be struggling with. It is still uncertain as to whether exams such as SATs, GCSEs and A Levels will go ahead next year, but it is better to be prepared and ensure your child is ready for them, rather than have your child feeling stressed and anxious that they aren’t ready or aren’t equipped with the right knowledge. Of course the most important thing is for your child to be happy going into school and their mental wellbeing is at the top of the priority list right now. Supporting them at home will help make them feel confident in their abilities and know that you are there for them if they need you.
The pandemic hasn’t just affected humans, our furry friends have been indirectly affected by it too. Lockdown has seen a surge in puppy purchases, as people spend more time at home and are able to commit to the responsibility of owning a dog. If you’ve ever had a puppy you’ll know just how hard those early days can be. In much the same way as having a newborn baby, when you get a puppy you can expect lots of sleepless nights and plenty of ‘little accidents’ and then of course there’s all the training, which if you want a well behaved dog is well worth putting the time and effort in when they’re young.
With current restrictions in place, puppy classes and dog training are unable to go ahead right now, so you have two options:
Whichever option you choose it is important to train your dog early on in the basics of recall, lead training, socialisation, and other acceptable behaviours, otherwise you may end up with a dog that is difficult to handle and that’s not going to be good for either of you.
One thing that has kept us going throughout all of this is regular contact, albeit virtual contact, with our family and friends. Thank goodness for Zoom is all we can say, it has enabled us to see our loved ones and interact with them in ways that simply cannot be done by phone. And it is this social connection that has helped us through the worry, the stress, the lonely times. We have played together, laughed together, eaten together, danced together, perhaps sometimes even cried together but most importantly we have been together throughout all of this. We have kept our loved ones safe by keeping our distance, but have become more connected than we ever have. The times may be dark, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will get through Covid together.
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