Mind Yer ‘Ed: online exercise helps with socialising and thermals help with the cold weather

Our Trafford reporter, Christine Duffin shares her experience of getting through the winter months during the coronavirus pandemic, and how she has used online gym classes to keep her body and mind in shape.

“I think everyone, myself included, had been trying to keep an active mind and active body during the first lockdown when the weather was good. As the weather started to close in and as it started to get colder, those opportunities have been limited.

“I’m an avid weather watcher and the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is to see what the weather office is saying and I plan my day around that. I might put on my thermal underwear and my waterproofs and wellies if it comes to it and I just have to force myself to go out. For me, I start to feel a dark cloud descending if I don’t go out and get some fresh air.

“Strangely, something I have turned to is doing more online physical activities. I’ve been doing a lot of exercise classes online, which I really hadn’t thought about doing before because I was being active and going about and doing my own thing.

“For me, it’s Pilates and what I found is, it helped me to be able to see another 10 -15 people on the screen. We would have the odd little chit chat and laugh back and forth whilst we’re doing our exercise, and it just gives you a purpose and focus.

“I don’t think the exercise online would have worked previously because I’d done so much physical activity myself and I didn’t feel as though I needed to plug in, literally, to something to get my kicks. I found that it actually worked and it’s a great opportunity to socialise, especially when it’s cold and wet outside.

“When I retired about three years ago, I took on loads of volunteer work because I was probably a bit afraid of being on my own and not being in a focused, regimented environment. A lot of that volunteering work I did was taken away when the pandemic hit and I had to turn in on myself and find a way of coping. I like having people around me but I’ve found that I can survive quite well without and that’s given me an inner strength I wasn’t aware I had.

“I think we’ve all learned to be a lot kinder and tolerant, but I don’t know how much that will survive once we come out the other side. I will certainly try and carry on with that because it makes me feel good and hopefully it makes others feel good, too.

For more information on ways to help boost your spirits, visit: https://www.gmhsc.org.uk/news/silvercloud/

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