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Neuro Café - how to cope in lockdown

Notes from the Neuro Café on 13 January 2021.

Conor led a lively discussion about how to cope in lockdown; what are the barriers and problems? Conor mentioned a report which says that since the emergence of COVID-19, people feel their mental health has generally shifted towards a poorer state. Conor asked participants to think about the last lockdown: what did you do the last time that helped? Suggestions from LEGS people included: 1. Positive living: phrase things in the positive. Look for the silver lining, not the cloud. Use this time to make more of your free time: catch up with those books you have been meaning to read, watch a TV series, exercise. Take action now, today, so later on when you look back at this time you will not be saying, 'I should have done that'. 2. Be grateful that your past life experiences have been useful in helping to put things into perspective; you probably have developed excellent coping mechanisms! 3. Resolve to exercise in your spare time. Think about your LEGS exercises; choose one and - improve one aspect - do that exercise for a few minutes each day. Skills: practise small steps to move from chair to treadmill to travellator to escalator. 4. Go outside at least once a day. What if you cannot go outside? Put on a hat, coat and gloves, open the windows wide, and sit by the window! (We realise that might get you some strange looks from passers-by!) 5. Self-care. Remember to pace yourself. Do not overdo things. Exercise, but do not forget to lie down and rest afterwards. 6. Look on a site like YouTube for something interesting you have been completely unaware of until now, eg Ancient Aliens.

7. Plant some seedlings and watch them grow. Draw them as they grow. Suggestions include mustard and cress, sunflowers, tomatoes; shade plants if you don't have much light, or cacti. Don't forget to buy pots with drainage holes. 8. Read some books, join an online discussion group? Join an online art/sketch group? 9. Learn a language - maybe with Duolingo or similar? There are plenty of foreign language videos on YouTube to help acquire language skills. 10. Watch travel programmes to learn about different countries, but be careful because those changes in your brain might cause you to feel too hot or cold depending on the climate of the country you are watching! 11. Keep connected with others. It is easy to do that online.

Do you have any other strategies or tips?

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