Phil Day By Superintendent Pharmacist Published:

As the UK’s coronavirus lockdown continues, many of us are understandably feeling anxious at the continuation of social distancing and self isolation, concepts which were unfamiliar to us until recently. The restriction of contact with other people has also left many of us battling feelings of boredom and loneliness, which has been recognised by the NHS. So here, we’re going to look at what you can do to help keep your mind stimulated and active. 

Looking after your brain

Keeping your mind active can help you manage the stress of these unique circumstances. There are a variety of ways you can occupy your mind including education, social engagements and leisure activities.

But you also need to look after yourself properly. 

  1. Eat a balanced diet and keep hydrated – to learn more visit the NHS Eat Well page
  2. Get regular exercise, for at least half an hour, 3 times a week. If you are shielding at home, there are exercises you can do without leaving the house.
  3. Sleep properly. You should aim for 8 hours, and be consistent. It affects your mood, concentration, decision making, emotional processing, memory, and almost every aspect of your general health – for the worse, if you don’t get enough.
  4. Keep your brain stimulated…

Keeping your brain active

Even with our usual everyday freedoms stripped back, with a little bit of improvisation you should be able to keep your brain alert. 

Spend time reading

Research has shown that reading can improve connections in the brain in a way that digital media can’t, so if you’re keeping busy watching box sets, you should consider picking up a book instead, or even join (or start) a book club online. It’s also worth noting that reading is more likely to improve the quality of your sleep, especially if you put your phone and gadgets away an hour before bedtime and read instead.

Do a daily puzzle

Challenging your mind with a daily puzzle is a great way to keep your brain firing. Websites like Suduko.com offer a great place to start, with lots of different options available at different difficulty sessions; and app stores have a huge range of challenging games for your phone or tablet.   

Take an online course

Another great way of keeping your mind active is through learning. Now is a good time to challenge yourself and finally pledge to learn something new. Online resources like Future Learn have hundreds of short courses available for you to dive into, including courses on computer programming, graphic design and history. Many museums are also offering virtual visits. For example, you can now take an online tour of the Natural History Museum

Organise a social event

Having our social interaction significantly limited is unnatural and can be difficult to manage. Maintaining contact with other human beings has been made more difficult by the lockdown but there are some innovative solutions available. Online services such as Zoom and Houseparty, or even a Whatsapp video call, are a popular way of keeping social interaction alive. You can meet friends for dinner, or have a quiz – all without leaving your home.

Pharmacy2U can take care of your prescriptions

In these challenging times, Pharmacy2U can help ensure you continue to receive your essential medication, relieving the stress and worry that this may be causing at the moment. You can order your NHS repeat prescriptions online, and when they receive the prescription from your GP they deliver the medication to your home – for free. You can find out more here.