Supporting your mental and physical health during social isolation and social distancing.
There are lots of things that you can do to keep your mind focused. Listen to music – find something that makes you feel uplifted – dance around the living room if you can. Join an online choir, play cards, do jigsaws, solve a crossword puzzle, plant some bulbs in a pot on your window sill and look forward to them filling your room with colour, try something new - you’re never too old to learn a new hobby, try a craft you’ve never tried before (macramé is coming back in fashion now apparently!) or learn a skill or new language.
We’ve pulled together some resources we’ve found to give you some ideas in the links below. Page 7 in the self-help booklet has a few more.
Visit a virtual Museum
Read a book
Cumbria libraries have a borrow box scheme for downloading books.
For some customers, they offer a home delivery service and are working out if they can extend this service in the coming weeks. You can find out about updates at
Look at something new
A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources can be found here including:
• Virtual tours
• Online learning
• Periodic videos - Science-related YouTube videos
• Geography and nature
• Music and streamed concerts
• Arts and culture
• Literature online
• Miscellaneous & entertainment
• Anxiety/Mental health/loneliness
• Prayer resources for a variety of faiths
• Resources, information, and activities for families to support Home Learning
• Support, advice, and resources for families of children with: speech, language, and communication needs & special educational needs and disabilities
Keep yourself fit
Joe Wicks is running free PE classes every morning on his you tube site
If you need something a little more sedate, look at his Senior routines or have a look at the attached video from Debbie Jackman, a local Cumbrian fitness instructor.
or Age UK
Keep up to date
In times like these it’s difficult to get away from news that you may find distressing. This may add to your anxiety and confusion and you may find it difficult to work out what is real news and what is fake news. A useful way of doing this is to only use the news sources you know are reliable and check in just once a day. Don’t constantly be checking social media or news outlets as this will add to any anxiety.
The BBC is running coronavirus specials usually around 4 o’clock each day (times vary at weekends). A briefing from the government is held around 5pm live on television. You can also watch it on BBC iplayer as long as you have a TV licencing.
Information can be found on their news website
Keep in contact with your friends and family whenever and however you can.
If you can use Skype or Zoom and have grandchildren, arrange to do bedtime stories with them via the internet. Use the webcam on your laptop to have your usual coffee and a catch up. If you use technology, set up a whatsapp group for the people on your street to be aware and available for those people of an older age who may need support. Headway South Cumbria is running our meetings online through Zoom. Contact us to find out more.
Talk to someone if you need to, using these numbers.
For those seeking telephone support or just someone to talk to there are a number of organisations out there who can help. You do not have to do this without support.
AGE UK Advice Line 0800 055 6112 8am – 7pm including free Call in Time Telephone Friendship Service for anyone over 60s. Age UK South Lakeland 030 300 30003 or email
CALM: Campaign Against Living Miserably – helpline for men of all ages 0800585858 (til 12am)
Campaign to end loneliness some good ideas and resources
Childline: has 1-2-1 online chat 0800 1111 24 hours
Independent Age: 0800 3196789 advice line and also free resources on dealing with loneliness
Kooth: free online counselling service commissioned by Cumbria County Council for young people over 11
Mind Information Line 0300 123393 amounts of mental health resources and info on the local Minds within Cumbria
Mindline Cumbria: countywide mental health information, guidance and support. Open 7 days a week until 11pm 0300 561000
The Mix: 0808 8084994 confidential advice and support for under 25s
Nextdoor: hub for trusted connections and the exchange of helpful information and nextdoor app
Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicides Young Peoples Helpline 0800 0684141 until 10pm
Samaritans:116 123 24/7
Saneline: 0300 304 7000 4.30pm – 10.30pm daily
SHOUT 24 hour crisis text service about any mental health concern; text Shout to 85258
First Step South Cumbria 0300 555 0345. NHS mental health services are offering telephone appointments thought the crisis. Contact them if you feel you need support from a trained therapist. If you are in North Cumbria the number is 0300 123 9122.
Silverline24 hour support line and listening service for older adults. Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It offers a friendship line as well all of which are free. or telephone 0800 470 80 90
Supportline: Helpline: 01708 765200
Young Minds Parent Line 0808 8025544
Young Minds Crisis Messenger Text YM to 85258 24 hour support for under 25s
Apps: There are now loads of really useful and often free apps for mental health and wellbeing:
NHS recommended Mental Health / wellbeing apps
Web based material on wellbeing:
Every Mind Matters :
Are you able to access support and food supplies?
There are a number of community groups being established to help people who are social distancing ensure they have the food and medical supplies they need during this period. If you do not have friends and family you can access support in a number of ways.
Cumbria County Council Support line - Emergency Support Helpline for vulnerable people needing urgent help with food, medicines and essential supplies
Cumbria County Council and partners have launched an emergency support service and 6 welfare coordination Hubs for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. If you have no alternative support, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.
You can request support by:
Calling the emergency telephone support line - 0800 783 1966.
completing the COVID-19 online support form
emailing your request to COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk.
The telephone 'call' centre will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. The service will also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community
Find more information here
Telephone Age UK South Lakeland on 030 300 30003 or email