Our Bury reporter, Lesley Downing, shares her experience of the coronavirus pandemic during the winter months and urges people to be kind to themselves and indulge in some much-needed TLC as we step into 2021.
“During the first lockdown, my husband and I made a concerted effort to lose some weight because we’re both overweight and we both got really scared by the fact that that it isn’t a good thing with COVID-19.
“We’ve just moved to the area and we set about exploring new walks and building on walks we already know about. We’ve both lost over a stone, which was really good and the way you lose a bit week by week is such an uplifting thing. That kept me going above lots of other things.
“My goal is to just keep losing weight and I am still losing it. It’s going slower but I’m not getting too despondent about that because I’m still losing and it and that’s good.
“Another thing I took up later in the pandemic was volunteering at the hospital, where I do a couple of days a week just on the main help desk. I think when you’re talking about mental and physical wellbeing, then volunteering has been really good for me because it’s also a bit of a physical thing.
“We walk up and down the hospital a lot, delivering care packages for people and we’re also advising people where they can go, when they can go and finding things out for people and communicating with anybody that comes through the door. Its’ quite nice that you feel like you’re interacting with people and you’re getting to help people in a really positive way in a really stressful situation.
“Everyone should give themselves a treat and look at their lives and think ‘what am I missing? What can I do better? What can I treat myself with?’ and it might just be that you have an hour on your own in the bath because the house is full of people, or I might treat myself by binge watching TV and that’s good for me.
“This is a rubbish situation that we’re in and we shouldn’t worry too much that we’re feeling sad, and we’re feeling stressed. We all have to cope in different ways, so find the way that works for you and if it’s just sitting on the couch watching Friends to make you laugh then you do that.
I never really liked Zoom or Skype and I found it a bit unnatural and difficult at first. However, my daughter lives far away from us and we don’t see our family all the time so we’ve had Zoom quizzes and various Zoom meetings and I feel much more comfortable with it now. It’s shocked me and it’s one thing I hope I will carry on doing. It’s given me a new appreciation for something I wouldn’t normally do.”
For more information on ways to help boost your spirits, visit: https://www.gmhsc.org.uk/news/silvercloud/