Disconnection noun – The state of being isolated or detached. The act of detaching one thing from another.
Right now we are all being asked to socially distance and socially isolate. We are told that the only way to survive the Covid-19 crisis is to stay at home; to remove ourselves from friends, social groups, college, work colleagues, non-immediate family, and sports clubs. We are social creatures, pack animals, but now we have to disconnect and separate ourselves from most of the people that support us.
All the normal daily activities and social contacts that help us to feel resilient to distress are now off limits. The daily coffee shop visit, the gossip over a sandwich at lunchtime, the drinks after work, the evening in the gym letting off steam, the Sunday morning yoga class – all of them are out of bounds. But we still have a basic human need for connection – and while the online ‘virtual pub quiz nights’ are not the same, that’s all we’ve got at the moment. So here’s some ideas for keeping sane in these distressing times:
The Social Distancing Festival – https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/ – Free streamed events showcasing visual art, music, dance and theatre from all over the world.
The Sofa Singers – https://www.thesofasingers.net/ – The Sofa Singers brings together hundreds of people in real time for 45 minutes of group singing, learning a classic song with some optional harmonies and backing parts.
Online Book Club – https://onlinebookclub.org/ – Get reading that book you’ve been meaning to. Join a book club online.
Gardening – https://www.rhs.org.uk/ – Good for your mental and physical
health. The Royal Horticultural Society offers lots of tips and advice, from beginners to experts.
Workout and Yoga Videos – https://www.youtube.com/user/thebodycoach1 / https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene/featured– there’s lots of freely available YouTube workout videos, such as pilates, cardio and strength training online. Most can be done at home with no exercise equipment needed. No excuses.
Couch to 5K – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-runningwith-couch-to-5k/ – The NHS ‘Couch to 5K’ will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks.
Mindful in Minutes Podcast – https://mindfulinminutes.blubrry.net/ – Take time out to practice mindfulness. 20 minute guided meditations.
Cove – Music App – http://www.cove-app.com/ – Improve your mental health by making music on this app, which encourages self expression through sounds instead of words.
Free Books, Films and Music – https://www.openculture.com/ – Huge library of free historical children’s books, films and music. Includes hundreds of free audio books.
Reflectly – Journal App – https://reflectly.app/ – Journaling is a good way to reflect, collect your thoughts and improve your mood.
TED Talks – https://www.ted.com/talks – Choose from over 3,300 x 18 minute video presentations on a range of topics.
Open Learn – https://www.open.edu/openlearn/education/freecourses – Provided by The Open University, 1,000 free courses across 8 different subject areas. Courses are available to start at any time.
Get Self Help – https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/pandemic.htm – Free online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) self help and therapy resources, including worksheets, information sheets and self help mp3s to help you through the pandemic.
Random Acts of Kindness – https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindnessideas – Acts of kindness promote empathy, compassion and sense of connection with others.
Local Community Volunteers – https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/ – Offering support to those who are feeling most isolated, anxious and vulnerable. Sign up to help those in your area.
Share Poetry – http://www.wordstositwith.com/home – The ‘Words to sit with’ collection of contemporary mindfulness poetry and stories – poetry to read, as well as share your own online contributions.
Surviving the Outbreak – https://www.mind.org.uk/informationsupport/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/ – 10 ways you can help improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the Coronavirus outbreak.
Stop, Breathe & Think – App – https://www.stopbreathethink.com/ – Guides you through meditations for mindfulness and compassion, to help with stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Lots of free content including a series on ‘Calm Coronavirus Anxiety’.
‘The OCD Stories’ – podcast available on iTunes and Spotify – They have an episode about managing OCD in relation to COVID-19.