According to Public Health England Self-Isolation at home means:
“You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis. You cannot go for a walk.
You will need to ask friends or relatives if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication. Alternatively, you can order medication by phone or online. You can also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home.”
But what does this actually mean to residents living in Blackpool? If you have spoken to a professional regarding your symptoms and have been told to self-isolate, then first of all you need to choose a space to self-isolate. This would usually be your own home or a place you reside regularly so as to contain the virus. Once you are at the destination it is advised you stay there for 14 days and do not go to work/school/public spaces, do not use public transport and ask people you may know to carry our errands for you.
As we know already, being isolated can then lead to feelings of loneliness and being disconnected from our community can impact our mental health. With this in mind we wanted to offer Blackpool residents tips on staying connected during this time.
- Continue to work
Complying with business continuity plans your work may have in place, work remotely using laptops and mobile phones. Keep in a routine of starting at 9am and finishing at 5pm with regular breaks. Use all resources you have available to keep connected to work colleagues. Here at Empowerment we use Microsoft Teams to work on joint projects and internal messaging with the option to video call each other. This provides a great way to stay in regular contact with work colleagues.
- Keep Occupied
Having more time to spare can be frustrating and affect your mood. Keeping occupied can help take your mind off being isolated so maybe use this as a positive opportunity to learn a new skill with online training. Blackpool library service has various free courses that are run by Adult Learning such as digital skills or researching your family tree using Ancestory which can be accessed for free using your library card. There is of course the option to read online magazines and e-books using the ‘Libby App’.
- Practice Mindfulness
Being isolated can be quite a stressful time so be kind to yourself. Take time to de-clutter your house, run a bath, use the space you have to work out with the aid of YouTube tutorials or download the Headspace app and learn how to meditate. Using online shopping services (dropping groceries on the doorstep) it might be time to start practicing cooking skills or learn how to bake your favourite cake. You can enjoy this with a coffee while video calling friends!
- Stay Connected
Keeping in regular contact through social media is a great way to connect but limiting this time is vital. There is a lot of negative press around the Coronavirus out there and information overload can be more harmful than good. Alternatively, the bigwhitewall.com website offers free confidential support to Blackpool residents when you enter an FY postcode and there is nothing wrong with a quick text or phone call to lift spirits. Join the conversation with the Empowerment team using the hashtag #TalkToBESS