Encore Care Homes believe that everyone deserves to feel safe and cared for in their own home. Due to the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus, we have been following the government advice and restricted all visitors from entering the care homes, along with ensuring that daily life has continued as normal as possible for our residents.
We understand that it can be an unsettling feeling for friends and family to not have close contact with loved ones and you might be feeling nervous, worried, or sad but it’s important to know that we are on hand to offer care and support to residents, employees, family and friends.
To read our official coronavirus statement please visit https://encorecarehomes.co.uk/coronavirus-important-update/
There’s no doubt we could all do with slowing down and relaxing sometimes, but forcing yourself to just ‘be in the moment’ and incorporate mindfulness into everyday life, doesn’t always feel that easy.
Here are five tips to help you stay mindful and positive whilst at home:
Stay in touch
There’s one that we all seem to have forgotten about, that’s now coming to the fore as people self-isolate: the ‘old fashioned’ telephone. For some, the idea of a landline at home might seem laughable, but for those who have one, it is now proving to be a hotline to hope amid growing uncertainty.
If you have access to the internet, now is the ideal time to set up video calling so you can still see each other. At Encore, we have set up video calling for each of our residents to contact their family. You can even consider signing up to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you haven’t already – it can be a great way to stay in touch and find out what’s happening in your local community.
Keep a routine
It seems very tempting to switch off your alarm and have an extra hour in bed but try not to. Start your day as normal and keep up with your hobbies and activities as far as possible. If you love to knit or enjoy a daily crossword try and set yourself a challenge to finish the activity in a quicker time. This will help your mind to remain active and will encourage you set more goals.
Self-isolation and social distancing can mean it’s easy to stop working out entirely, but your body and mind will hugely benefit from exercise. Exercise is now more important than ever. Not only will you need to keep your body moving to stay healthy while inside, but the endorphins rush from working out will do wonders for your mental health – particularly in these anxiety-inducing times.
And just because you don’t have loads of fancy gym equipment doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself, you can use your household items to help with your workout. Why not try gentle chair exercises or use your cupboard tins as weights?
Do some spring cleaning
With time on our hands and products in the cupboard, a spring clean is on the to-do list. But it’s about more than just sprucing up your home. It can help your mental health, too. Psychologist Natasha Tiwari explains: “The visual distraction of mess and clutter, combined with the inner eye’s vision of a dirty environment, leads to a cognitive overload on the brain which will add up to anxiety and stress.”
So if you’re wondering whether it’s time to get scrubbing the oven or vacuuming under the bed, know that it is helping your energy flow, help you sleep better and lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
It’s often said the most powerful tools for taking care of our wellbeing are the ones that already exist within us – and breathing is prime example.
Breathing techniques feature in countless therapeutic forms and practices, from yoga, mindfulness and meditation, to self-help exercises for managing anxiety, insomnia and overwhelm. How we breathe can have profound physiological effects, triggering changes in our heart rate and brain chemistry and in turn our conscious state.
“When we are under pressure or in the midst of a high-stress situation, the breath naturally becomes fast and shallow, and more centred in the chest. This happens as a result of the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response, which is crucial in times of imminent danger, but not helpful in other everyday situations,” says Dominique Antiglio, a sophrologist at BeSophro clinics and author of The Life-Changing Power Of Sophrology.
“To relax the nervous system, use a technique called abdominal breathing to shift the breathing from your chest down to your tummy, where you can breathe more deeply, slowly and calmly. This in turn helps to relax your muscles and slow down any racing thoughts, so you can think more clearly. The next time you experience an intense or anxiety-inducing experience, engage this form of deep breathing and notice how much calmer and controlled you feel after only a few minutes.”
To do it, she suggests finding a seat if possible, although it can also be done standing up or lying down if needs. “Place one hand on your chest, the other on your tummy, and close your eyes. Breathe in and out naturally a few times to establish your rhythm and as you do so, notice the movement of your hands,” Antiglio adds. “Then, when you’re ready, imagine you have a balloon where your tummy is, and as you inhale, the balloon starts to inflate, then as you exhale, the balloon deflates.
“Count the length of your in-breath and breathe out to twice the length – so in for three counts and out for six. Repeat this process mindfully for two to three minutes and you will notice your breath naturally starts to shift from the chest to the tummy. You can also continue to do this for as long as you need in order to feel calm and re-centred again.”