Tom is 25 and care experienced. Here is part 2 of his top 20 tips.
11. Limit social media and COVID conversation. There is a lot of information on COVID-19 in the news and on social media. It changes daily. Sometimes information is exaggerated, negative and can cause unnecessary panic or alarm. Find a few trusted sources that you can check regularly but limit yourself so it isn't stressful. For example, watch the news once a day. The Gov.Uk and NHS websites will also be reliable sources.
12. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There are lots of stories of people sacrificing, donating and supporting one another in amazing ways. It is important to counterbalance the heavy information with the hopeful information.
13. Help others. Find ways, big or small, to give back to others.
14. Find something you can control. In moments of uncertainty, try to control your little corner of the world. Organise your bookshelf, tidy your wardrobe, change your room around. There is lots out of your control at the moment, but plenty within your control too.
15. Find a long-term project. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted and engaged.
16. Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, colouring, painting, clay sculpting, skipping, running, hopping, drumming) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress.
17. Find lightness and humour in each day. Counterbalance any negativity with something funny each day, cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up comedy on Netflix, a funny film. We all need a little comedy relief in our day.
18. Reach out for help from the people around you. If you have professionals involved in your life, they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up with any medication you may be taking too. Although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.
19. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It is a season in life and it will pass. We will return to feeling safe, busy, and connected in the future.
20. Find the lesson. What can each of us learn, big or small from this situation. What needs to change in ourselves, our home, our communities.
Take care, Tom.