Hi, I’m Eilidh Ferguson, I’m a coach, personal development enthusiast, mum and someone who has an insatiable curiosity for life! I also work as a public health nurse/school nurse in the NHS by day, like anything to do with people and psychology, and love to share my tips & ideas to help you live a better life.
Apart from the obvious big one of course: Stay Home. Underneath this, of course, there are all the other restrictions that we must adhere to if we are going to beat this virus and return to normality.
Shopping for basic necessities such as food or medicine.
One form of exercise a day such as a run, walk or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with.
Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. This includes moving children under the age of 18 between their parents’ homes, where applicable.
Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school.
Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
And you might like to add in ‘be kind’: don’t panic buy all the bog roll etc!
This is a unique situation that none of us have experienced before so most importantly be kind to yourself.
You might drop below your usual standards for a while but, hey, ‘Good enough is good enough’.
Have you ever had that wee voice inside your head that says you’re not good enough?
Maybe you didn’t get the dishes done that particular night or write the report you wanted to for work, maybe your kids missed a club or you missed an appointment.
Ask yourself, what other things did you achieve that day?
Maybe that was the day your body needed a rest or you made the gym, the day you made something creative, the day you spent on hold on the phone paying bills.
Whatever you were doing, I can assure you, when you thought you didn’t achieve much you were actually smashing it big time!
You are more than good enough, you are a god-damn legend.
And all that was before COVID-19 even existed. Before you were working from home while trying to teach your kids, and stand on your head at the same time!
So, legends, what are my top five tips for surviving these crazy times?
Here they are if you want to take a look:
Tip 1: Breathe, Laugh & Play…
→ BREATHE (and a little eye of the tiger)…
Diaphragmatic breathing is a simple technique to help relax you, ease any feelings of anxiety you may have and is great for your lungs too. It’s a really simple exercise with so many physical and mental health benefits.
1. Sit or stand in a position you feel comfortable in with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor
2. Inhale slowly through your nose, counting slowly to 4
3. Exhale slowly through the mouth, counting slowly to 6
4. Easy Peasy! Repeat several times.
Diaphragmatic breathing is a technique you may like to try in the morning before you start the daily routine. Your child has very likely been given work home from school to do and you might want to incorporate that into the day.
However, this is a unique situation so set yourself up however works for your wee family. Laugh with each other, read, do chores together, love, hug, make art, get Jo Wicks on the telly, keep some routine, and try to keep a sense of fun in a time of uncertainty.
Right now you are your child’s rock, their safe place and harbour.
And speaking of harbours takes me nicely onto anchors (or triggers). Create your own anchor. Find a song you love and get your mojo moving. Part of my morning routine is listening to Eye of the Tiger and now every time I hear it, it gets me up and on the move. Think of which songs light your fire and then get those tunes blasting!
Whatever floats your boat and gives you a fit of the giggles – get doing it. You might want to get the comedies out or have a big daft chat online with your pals, or do a make crazy faces competition at home with your family .
I’m a big fan of laughter yoga.
Laughter has so many health benefits too, mentally and physically, and let’s be honest who doesn’t need a good laugh?
So, in the UK, we can only go out for an hour a day. Yay! Fresh air rocks big time. It helps your body function and grow and it improves blood pressure and heart rate.
Think about how you feel once you’ve been outside, whether it’s for a walk, a run, or just sitting out there watching the world go by. We should all try to make the most of that time outside, feel how much better a sleep we get too after some fresh air and exercise.
Play is not just about jumping around outside; its about social connection too. Lots of our normal social connections are missing just now so finding new ways to keep them alive for both you and your children is great.
We have amazing technology at at our fingertips now. Keep in touch with your friends and let your children keep in touch with their buddies too.
My youngest daughter’s face lit up yesterday when she was able to see her wee friends and play games through a group chat. My face lit up when I could still have a cup of tea with my friends and talk a lot of nonsense and be there for each other.
Keep your child safe though, as the internet is a world in itself. So make sure you have parental controls set up and some grown up supervision.
It’s worth checking out this link. It’s a great educational programme that helps protect kids both online and offline.
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Boost your Immune System…
I’m not going to kid you on that I’ve found some miraculous cure for COVID19, I haven’t…yet. You never know with all this time at home now!
While there’s not a cure, we can all build up our immunity so we’ll be in tip top fighting condition.
So eat well with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and everyone should be taking Vitamin D supplements. This is available in most supermarkets and chemists and is known as the sunlight vitamin.
We do not get enough of his naturally here in Scotland due to the weather so we’ve been recommended by The Scottish Government to take 10 micrograms a day.
If you’re based in Scotland, check out the link below for more info:
Fresh air, play, laughter exercise, sleep and just generally looking after ourselves all help boost our immunity and help us feel much better day to day.
Rupture & Repair – and Reframe…
My wee Aunty Margaret – who was kind of like a second mum – used to say, “Sometimes we fall out but we always fall back in again”.
This is what rupture and repair basically means.
The falling out – rupture – is not the important part, the falling in is – the repair. If you want to read a little more, I think the following article explains it nicely:
Basically, you’re going to be with each other a lot more than normal for the foreseeable future so, inevitably, there will be a few ruptures along the way.
The key is to sort these out quickly rather than holding onto grudges for days on end.
Reframing means looking at something in a different way. For example, how many times have you said to yourself:
- I wish I had more time with my family.
- I wish I didn’t have to commute so much.
- I wish I had time for a hobby.
- I wish I had time to read my book.
While COVID-19 has taken away a lot from our lives, it means plenty of us now have a lot more time at home than we previously had. We can use this time to reorganise our priorities and take time to slow down and recharge.
Many of us have read how pollution has reduced recently and that swans and dolphins are returning to Italian waterways so spend some time reframing — finding the silver linings and thinking about what there is to be grateful for each day.
These are some tips that helped me. Implement them if you want, or structure this unprecedented time in a way that suits you.
Above all, you are now a member of the COVID-19 Fight Club.
And remember: keep talking about it!
All the best,