Rock Pool’s top tips to stay calm and connected



30th March 2020


Sue Penna

In this strange and unprecedented time, it is so important to remain grounded and at peace. Here are some ideas we’ve put together – Let us know if you have any great techniques of your own – We’d love to hear about them.

Pick up the phone

It’s an obvious one, but an essential one. 

At a time when visiting loved ones should be considered unnecessary (unless absolutely vital for critical care) it has never been more important to pick up the phone and speak to your family and friends, particularly if they live alone or are considered vulnerable. 

Likewise, if you are the one considered vulnerable and have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks, make sure you are reaching out to family, friends, neighbours or local services (i.e. Age UK), even if that makes you feel a bit out of your usual comfort zone.

Of course, you could write an email / send a text message, but we would really encourage you to pick up the phone instead; voices are so much more personal and could really soothe feelings of loneliness for someone. 

You could even go one step further and schedule a group video conference. Thanks to modern day technology, you can do this as easily as making a phone call, provided you have a smart phone / tablet / computer and an internet connection. This is a great way for people unable to use the phone – i.e. for grandparents wanting to see young grandchildren, or for pets that are being temporarily fostered. 

Some ways to do to this include Skype, Zoom, Facetime and the Houseparty app for smart phones. These are all really easy to download and get started. Please let us know if we’ve missed any good ones!

Put down your phone

On the contrary to our above point, it’s important to recognise that there will be times where it will be beneficial to put your phone away for a few hours.  

If you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media aimlessly, at the expense of connecting with your family or partner sitting in the same room, it’s probably a good idea to pop it away for a while. Although social media is a great way to stay in touch (particularly passively) it can often breed negative stories or feelings and can add to anxiety. If you find yourself addicted to news apps or news websites, taking a break from these will have no detrimental effect on what’s going on, and may make you feel liberated from the uncertainty. 

Make the most of any outside space

If you’re lucky enough to have some outside space where you live, we encourage you to take advantage of it. Whether you have a large garden, courtyard or balcony, make a conscious effort to go outside and make some time for yourself. Having a run around is a great way for children to burn off some energy and be independent in a contained space and some Vitamin D is good for all of us. 

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have an outside space, it’s even more critical to get out for your one form of exercise a day, which is currently still permissible by the government. You don’t have to go far, seek out anything particularly scenic or even go out with a purpose – just try and enjoy that valuable fresh air – especially if the sun is shining.  

Seek the good news

We appreciate that the news at the moment is cluttered with frightening headlines, statistics and photographs. Whilst it is important to remain abreast of the current situation, seeking out some good news stories may bring you temporary relief from the chaos. 

Back to basics 

Hopefully the covid-19 pandemic, will be a once in a lifetime situation. In with this in mind, it’s a good opportunity to get back to basics with connecting to our loved ones. If you have stamps at home, and can easily get to a post box, write a letter to a family member, or find a pen pal for your children. 

Use this time to play board games, do a jigsaw puzzle, look though old photo albums and recall distant but pleasant memories. 

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a natural quality that we all have. It’s available to us in every moment if we take the time to appreciate it. When we practice mindfulness, we’re practicing the art of creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions.

  • Take a seat. Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
  • Set a time limit. It can help to choose a short time, such as five or ten minutes to start with.
  • Notice your body. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, in lotus posture, you can kneel—all are fine. 
  • Feel your breath. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes out and as it goes in.
  • Notice when your mind has wandered. Inevitably, your attention will leave the sensations of the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing this—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath.
  • Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. 

Helpful numbers and websites

The National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247

The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327

The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428

Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

Remember that there is also online support available:

You can, phone, chat online or email Womens Aid – https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/

Victim Support have a live chat helpline – https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/support-near-you/live-chat

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