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Find out more about… Well Read Play Reading

Well Read Play Reading Poster

Play reading is a great opportunity to escape, get creative, explore characters and meet new people. Paul O’Mahony from The Playground Theatre explains how Well Read Play Reading works and shares feedback from attendees of the online sessions.

The Playground Theatre runs the Well Read programme. The premise is simple – we meet together to read plays and talk about them. Our actors run the sessions and introduce the play and hand out parts as we read, to ensure that everyone who wants to read gets the chance to. The plays we read vary enormously. We’ve read everything from Greek tragedy to modern farce but we always want to choose material that people will enjoy and can find accessible.

When did Well Read start?

Well Read started two years ago at St Charles – The Playground’s co-artistic director Anthony Biggs worked with One Community Project Lead Cate Latto to organise weekly play readings as part of their wider One Community programme. The sessions were enormously popular – we constantly heard from participants about how our sessions were a brilliant way to meet, have fun, and discuss ideas and themes without feeling the stress of making it personal. The various worlds we explored in the plays meant all participants could enjoy the experience.

What do attendees think of the online sessions?

After everything went into lockdown we felt the need for Well Read was even greater. These sessions are wonderful for helping to deal with issues connected with isolation which is what many of us are now coping with. We started our online groups six weeks ago and the response has been fantastic:

‘For an hour and half you are taken out of your same old lock-down surroundings and transported to the Highland moors, the crofter’s cottage, the London Palladium etc’

‘I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying these play reading sessions. It has made such a difference to the lockdown situation. I really look forward to Tuesdays and Fridays. It transports me away from all the worry and terrible news… I also love the variety, from old favourites such as Beckett to new playwrights who I’d never encountered.’

‘Amid this crisis, it’s great to have something so enjoyable and mentally stimulating to do. And while we are still stuck in our homes, it feels as though we have been out and enjoyed the company of others for a while. I’ve enjoyed all of the plays that we’ve read.’

Interested in attending a Well Read session?

Community Living Well offers Well Read as part of its Self-Care services. You can self-refer to the service using our online form.

Well Read runs every Tuesday at 2pm and every Friday at 11am on Zoom. Sessions usually last for 75 to 90 minutes. There is no pressure to read, so if you would rather just listen that’s absolutely fine. If you would like more information, you can email Paul O’Mahony at [email protected]

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Self-Care
Posted on: 2nd August 2020


Managing stress and anxiety during Covid-19

Woman looking out the window; managing stress and anxiety

During this uncertain time, you may find yourself worrying about a range of issues coming up and feeling increasingly overwhelmed or anxious. Not being able to engage in your usual routine can affect your mental health and you may notice difficulties in motivating yourself or a drop in your mood. You could also be worried or anxious about things like money, family, whether you have the virus or work. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that others are feeling it too. Anxiety and worry affects us all but may be more prominent at this time.

Why do I feel anxious and worried?

Fear, anxiety and worry are understandable and inevitable emotions. It is our natural response to difficulties. Think about worry as a form of self-talk in our minds where we air out our current problems; it helps us make decisions and take actions to problem solve. Feelings of anxiety and worry can be a good thing as they act as current thoughts that require attention, for example, having to wash your hands after going out or touching surfaces and keeping a safe distance to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

When does worrying and anxiety become a problem?

When we start thinking about the future or things beyond our control, our emotions can become difficult to tolerate. These are also known as the ‘What if…’ scenario. When we feel anxious, adrenaline is activated in our bodies warning system resulting in anxiety symptoms. We may find the more we worry, the more we are anxious and a pattern of worry and anxiety emerges.

Whether we are anxious or worrying about the future or the present moment, there are some things we can do to help manage these thoughts and emotions.

Pause and take a moment

It is important to take a moment to yourself when you start experiencing feelings of anxiety or worry. If you are in the middle of doing something or in the presence of other people, excuse yourself and find a space where you can pause, breathe and take a moment.

Observe and 5-minute rule

You may or may not know what has brought up the feelings of anxiety and worry so it is important to understand why you are feeling the way that you do.

Take five minutes to think and write your worries down. Then decide which ones you would like to act on.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I worried about?
  • What am I reacting to?

Pull back

Once you have unearthed how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way, ask yourself what advice would you give a friend who is experiencing the same thoughts and emotions. This will help put your thoughts and emotions into perspective and will help you take a step forward into overcoming them.

Know everything will be okay

Be safe in the knowledge that if the feeling of ‘What if…’ occurs, you can solve it as you have with other difficulties.

Helpful resources

Managing stress and anxiety during a pandemic: online workshop

Talking Therapies are offering a one-hour online workshop to discuss tools to help support you during this time, including, managing worries about Covid, looking after yourselves, coping with the increased uncertainty the pandemic presents and evaluating the information you read about Covid.

If you’re interested in attending this online workshop, you will need to register to our Talking Therapies service by completing this form. You can also call the team on 020 3317 4200 or email [email protected].

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 21st July 2020


Coping with bereavement during a pandemic

Coping with bereavement

Losing a loved can be emotionally devastating – whether that be a partner, family member, friend or pet – and may be particularly challenging at the moment because of changes taking place to try and stop the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19). We have compiled some information on bereavement, things that can help and resources to help you if you need advice or are struggling to cope.

What is bereavement?

Bereavement is the experience of losing someone important to us. It is characterised by grief, which is the process and the range of emotion we go through as we gradually adjust.

Bereavement affects everyone in different ways, and can involve a range of emotions. Grieving has no time limit. People deal with bereavement in their own way and in their own time. Feelings of grief can also happen because of other types of loss and changes in circumstances, for example:

  • the end of a relationship
  • the loss of a job
  • a decline in the mental or physical health of someone we care about.

In these challenging times, bereavement and grief may be particularly difficult to process but there are things we can all do to help.

Talk to someone

Being bereaved can be one of the loneliest experiences that you or someone you love may go through. Being around family and friends can be one of the most helpful ways to cope. If you are not able to be with family and friends due to lockdown, feelings of grief and loneliness may intensify. You don’t have to be alone with your grief, even if you may be physically alone. Call or text a friend or family member or contact a helpline if you need to talk to someone.

Look after yourself

While this may sound obvious, sometimes it’s easy to forget and you want to hide away. Try and get some fresh air and sunlight everyday – even opening a window can help. If you can, go outside for a run or walk or do some exercises at home, such as walking up and down the stairs. Keep a regular routine of getting up and dressed and have your meals at regular times, whether you are on your own or with a family group.

It is okay to not feel okay

You may find some days you have more energy and the grief is not all consuming and this may make you feel guilty. This is normal and is all part of grieving. Equally, there may be days when you feel you are struggling – this is normal too.

Supporting someone who is bereaved

You might have friends or family who have been feeling bereaved and you may not know how best to support them. Staying in contact and letting them know you are there for them to talk about their feelings can be enormously helpful.

Bereavement advice and support

Whether you’re experiencing bereavement, or know someone who is, and need emotional or practical support, get in touch with these helplines or visit their website for more information.

NHS Bereavement Helpline

Contact this helpline for advice, guidance and practical support following a bereavement. The helpline is open everyday from 8am to 8pm

Phone: 0800 2600 400

Cruse Helpline

Contact the Cruse Helpline for support and advice on some of the practical things that need to be done following the death of a loved one.

Phone: 0800 808 1677

Cruse Bereavement Care

The Kensington and Chelsea branch of Cruse Bereavement Care has information on some of the normal emotions you may feel after the loss of a loved one. They also offer bereavement counselling to help people who are having difficulty coping with bereavement.

Phone: 020 8964 3455

Email: [email protected]

Originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine, this article has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Uncategorised
Posted on: 9th July 2020


Applying for extra support during the Coronavirus pandemic

Applying for extra support during the pandemic

2020 has brought on a lot of uncertainty to everyone across the world. Financially things have changed for a lot of people, with lockdown, furlough and shielding being introduced along with redundancies being made. These are all temporary and there is support available. Our Navigators have put together some information to help you navigate through the support you may be eligible for.

I have been furloughed…

Your employer can use the government Coronavirus Job Retention scheme to pay you. You need to be paid through PAYE and on the payroll on or before 19 March 2020. Your employer will need to inform the government you have been furloughed and you will be paid 80% of your normal pay. You can read more on how furlough may impact you on the Citizen’s Advice Website.

I am self-employed

You may be able to claim contribution based or new-style Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if you are self-isolating. This is based on your National Insurance contributions for 2 tax years (2017-2018, 2018-2019). For a step-by-step process of applying for ESA, you can visit the Citizen’s Advice Website.

Can I get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)?

This may be relevant to you if you have to self-isolate because you or someone you live with has sysmptoms of coronavirus. To be eligible for SSP you need to:

  • Be an employee
  • Earn more than £118 a week
  • Be sick for four full days or more in a row (including non-working days)
  • Follow your employer’s rules for getting sick pay

You can check your rights to sick pay on the ACAS website.

I have never claimed benefits

If you have not claimed benefits before you may be eligible to apply for one of the following:

Universal Credit (UC)

You can apply for UC online, using a simple step-by-step process. You will need to do an identity check and use your online UC journal to work with your job coach.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

This is the new Disability Allowance. You start your claim after a short phone interview by calling 0800 917 2222. The Department of Work and Pension (DWP) will then send you a PIP application form that asks for information about how your health condition/disability affects you. You must send the form back to the DWP before the date allocated on the front of the form.

The job-centre has suspended most face-to-face meetings and assessments until June 2020. Some assessments may be held over the phone, it is important to keep up-to-date following your application to ensure you have provided all of the information requested.

Visit the GOV.UK website to find out more information on PIP.

To check what benefits you may be eligible for, you can use the Benefits Calculator on the GOV.UK website.

I am struggling to pay my bills

You may be struggling to pay your rent, Council Tax, mortgage and energy bills. While it is important that you do not ignore your bills, some bills may cause you more problems if they are left unpaid. These are priority debts. You can check if you have priority debts on the Citizen’s Advice Website.

For further support with your specific problem, you can visit the Citizen’s Advice website and talk to a debt adviser.

Experiencing some of the issues mentioned here?

Navigators offer practical support with a range of issues and support you to access specialist advice, information and other services. Refer to the service on our website.

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Uncategorised
Posted on: 30th June 2020


Living well during Covid-19 with a long-term health condition

Living with a long-term health condition during Covid-19

Having a long-term health condition (such as diabetes, respiratory or cardiac conditions) during the pandemic can bring extra challenges to our ability to manage our health and wellbeing. During this time of uncertainty, our daily lives have changed a lot. If you have a long-term health condition, it is important to continue your routine to help you stay well. Here are our tips to help you manage your long-term health condition during this time.

Monitor your condition

It is important to continue monitoring your condition and be aware of how you are feeling. When planning your daily routine, make sure to include your checks (e.g. tracking your blood glucose) and your medication.

Feel prepared

Think through a normal week: how will it be affected and what do you need to do to solve any problems? Who do you need to get in touch with for help and support?

Have a plan for getting your prescriptions

Make sure you have a plan with your GP to organise repeat prescriptions. If you are unable to leave the house because you are shielding, meaning you are considered a vulnerable person and need to stay indoors for 12 weeks, organise to have a friend or family member to pick up your prescriptions. If you don’t have a family member or friend to do this for you, get in touch with your pharmacy as they may be offering a delivery service. There may also be volunteers in your area to help deliver your prescriptions to you.

Speak to your GP

If you normally would stay in touch with your GP, ask them how they will continue to support you during this time with appointments and follow-ups.

Keep support numbers and important information nearby

Have a list of important phone numbers, including your GP surgery, pharmacy, local support and information somewhere easy to find so that you have all the information you need in one easy-to-access space.

Stick to facts

Find credible sources you can trust such as GOV.UK or the NHS website and fact-check information you read or hear from other people. You might also want to consider limiting the time you spend watching, reading or listening to news, including on social media.

Look after your body

Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel mentally. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly, if you can. It may be a scary thought leaving your house during this time to go out for a walk. However, you can stay indoors and try a home workout or walk up and down the stairs.

Be aware and recognise your skills and strengths that have helped you to manage

When times are tough, it is easy to forget your ability to manage. Remember that you have managed well outside of Covid-19 and you can continue to manage while in self isolation.

Helpful resources

Living well with a long-term health condition: online workshop

Talking Therapies are offering a one-hour online workshop to help you manage with a long-term health condition during the pandemic. The workshop will cover a range of topics such as managing worries about our health and COVID, continuing to move with a meaningful routine during isolation, how to decipher information about COVID and much more.

If you’re interested in attending this online workshop, you will need to register to our Talking Therapies service by completing this form. You can also call the team on 020 3317 4200 or email [email protected].

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 23rd June 2020


Employment during the pandemic

Employment during a pandemic

During these uncertain times, your job may be affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve compiled some information on what furlough is and how it may affect you, tips on how you can find temporary work and where you can find more information and support.

What is furlough?

The term furlough essentially means sending employees home when there is not enough work to do, with a guaranteed payment to them, until the company has sufficient work so they can bring the employee back. If this happens, the government has announced a Job Retention Scheme which will provide grants to companies to pay their employees 80% of their wages, capped at £2,500 a month providing they joined the company before 19 March 2020. It would be up to the employer if they want to top up the 80% to 100%. Workers on zero-hour contracts can also be furloughed. In all instances, if the employee does not agree to be furloughed, then the company could proceed with a redundancy process following the usual procedure.

Furlough doesn’t mean termination of contract; you are still employed by them but you cannot work for them during this period. You can however work for another employer.

Rules on annual leave laid out by the government have been relaxed. Previously, employers were handed penalty notices if their employees didn’t take their annual leave. The new rules mean up to 4 weeks of unused leave can be carried into the next 2 years. You will continue to accrue annual leave whilst on furlough.

Looking for work during the coronavirus pandemic

Although some businesses have been forced to close until further notice, there are still some who continue to operate by working from home or are considered essential roles.

For non-essential roles, your interview would likely be over the phone or video call. For essential roles such as supermarket assistants, the interview would be face-to-face.

Get in touch with our employment team for some interview tips.

Where can I find work?

In response to the virus, there is a huge recruitment drive for people to fill essential roles. Supermarkets would be looking for store assistants, delivery drivers and warehouse workers; you can find opportunities on individual company websites. The NHS are keen for retired nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants to return, as well as those interested in roles such as porters, cleaners, bed buddies, ward helpers and support workers. These roles are advertised on the NHS Jobs website. Other essential roles include food delivery drivers for companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo to service those who are self-isolating.

I’m self-employed. Can I get support?

There is support for you if you’re self-employed. The government has recently introduced a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Under this scheme, self-employed workers will be able to apply for taxable grants up to 80% of profits (capped at £2,500 a month) to combat loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government will look at your tax returns from the last 3 years to see if you’re eligible. In addition, you need:

  • To have filed a tax return for 2018/19
  • To have self-employed profits that are less than £50,000 per year and it must make up more than half of your total income

You don’t need to apply for this scheme. HMRC will contact you if they think you are eligible.

For more information

Citizens Advice have more information about the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).If you are not eligible for SEISS, the temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is open to self-employed people and offers access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million for up to six years. More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 18th June 2020


Coping with loneliness during lockdown

Coping with loneliness during lockdown

Social distancing and self-isolation are important to curb the spread of Covid-19. But limited human contact during lockdown can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing, particularly with feelings of loneliness. Some of us rely on the small day-to-day interactions that give us a sense of connection, such as, buying a coffee, going to work or even going to the gym. However, self-isolation and social distancing take away the little connections we make as people are forced to stay home and only leave the house for exercise or for essential travel.

The good news is social distancing and self-isolation does not mean being alone. Here are our tips on how to stay engaged and connected with others to keep positive and mentally healthy.

Stay in virtual contact

Technology has become an important source of keeping in touch during these strange times. While meeting up with family and friends may not be possible right now, you can stay in touch using your mobile phone, tablet or computer. Picking up the phone and calling a family member or friend can help reduce feelings of isolation and make you feel more connected just by hearing someone else’s voice.

Download apps and chat, share updates and pictures to keep your spirits up when things are tough. You can also set up group video chats on Skype or Zoom to pretend you are catching up at a public space, even when you are at home.

Attend a virtual tour or event

Local and international attractions such as zoos and museums are offering opportunities to enjoy what they offer digitally and best of all, for free. Here are some you can visit now:

Join or start an online group

Being in a group with other people that share a mutual interest can help with feelings of loneliness. There are lots of different groups out there, from book clubs to choirs. You could also create your own group. Have a look at these options:

Sign up to a telephone befriending service

Various organisations offer a befriending service where someone will call you to see how you are doing and for a general chat. It is free and the interaction will help ease the feelings of loneliness. Visit the People First Info website for a list of organisations offering a telephone befriending service.

Listen to the radio

Hearing the voice of a friendly and familiar presenter can be particularly comforting if you are on your own. And knowing that lots of other people are out there listening along too can help foster a sense of wider social connection. You may get the same comfort from listening to podcasts or audiobooks.

Plan home-based activities

If you do not have access to a phone or the internet, distraction techniques can help decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness. Use this time to try new and exciting activities you have always wanted to try but have not had time to.

Things you could do include:

Consider goals you want to achieve so you can use this time productively.

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well, Uncategorised
Posted on: 16th June 2020


Parenting during a pandemic

Parenting during a pandemic

School closures, working from home and social distancing – it is a lot to navigate for anyone, but especially for parents. Fear, uncertainty and being in lockdown can make it tough for parents to keep a sense of calm in the household. We have collected some tips to help parents, including new parents, manage this new, temporary normal.

Create structure

Having a flexible but consistent daily routine will help add structure into yours and your children’s day. This will help children feel more secure. Make sure to include your children when planning a routine such as making a school timetable, and don’t forget to include exercise in each day. This helps with stress, and kids and teenagers with lots of energy to burn will appreciate it!

One-on-one time

This is a great opportunity for parents to build better relationships with their children and teenagers. Set some time aside everyday to spend with each child. Examples of activities that you could do together include doing a chore, going for a walk and talking about something they like or cooking a favourite meal. One-to-one time is free and fun and by spending time with them daily, it helps them feel loved and secure and shows them that they are important.

Be open and honest

Having a conversation about isolation and social distancing with your children can be a tough subject to tackle. Be willing to talk to them about Covid-19 as they will have already heard something. Before having the conversation, think about how much they will understand. Remember, you know them best. Reiterate the importance of hand washing or make a fun activity out of showing them how to wash their hands properly. Ask them if they have any questions and check to see if they are okay. Remind them that you care and they can talk to you anytime.

Give yourself a break

Coping with feelings of anxiety and low mood while trying your best to raise a family can bring about feelings that you are not doing a good enough job. It is important to remember that the pandemic is temporary, you are doing the best you can in making sure your children are supported and that help is available to support you on this journey.

Helpful resources

Pregnant during Covid-19?

If you are pregnant, you may be unsure how Covid-19 could affect you, your baby and your pregnancy care.

It is important to let your midwife or maternity care team know if you have symptoms of coronavirus, and to ask them for help with any other concerns as you usually would. You will still have regular appointments and scans while you are pregnant. But there may be some changes:

  • midwife appointments are online, by phone or by video call
  • if you need a scan, you may need to go on your own

Helpful resources

For more information and support, check out these resources for managing pregnancy during this time:

Parenthood and Covid: Online workshop

Talking Therapies are offering a one-hour online workshop on Thursdays aimed at parents and women going though pregnancy. The workshop covers a range of topics such as: creating a well-rounded family routine, how to talk to children about COVID, managing worries about giving birth or COVID and being kind to ourselves if things don’t go to plan. If you are interested in attending this online workshop, you will need to register to our Talking Therapies service by completing this form. You can also call the team on 020 3317 4200 or email [email protected].

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Uncategorised
Posted on: 11th June 2020


Looking after your mental health during Covid-19

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19

The current pandemic may be having some impact on your mental health and wellbeing. You might be worried and anxious about how Covid-19 will affect your life and daily routine or because you are self-isolating as you, or someone you live with, has shown symptoms. While this may be a difficult and stressful time, there are some simple things you can try and do that can help your mental health and wellbeing. It is important to remember that it is okay to feel the way that you do and that everyone reacts differently.

Find ways to fill your time

It’s easy to get bored when you’re stuck indoors so it’s important to find ways to spend your time. You could try having a clear out by sorting through your possessions and putting them away tidily or have a spring clean. You could also have a digital clear out by deleting old files, upgrading software, updating all your passwords or clearing out your inbox.

Try to keep active

If possible, build physical activity into your daily routine. It could be something as simple as cleaning your home, walking up and down the stairs or dancing to music. Mental and physical health is linked to one another and when we feel good physically, we tend to feel more positive and better about life. When we exercise, chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins are released which help to naturally stabilise and lift our mood and improve our sleep.

Get as much sunlight, fresh air and nature

Bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed. If you can, go outside for a walk and take in the sights, smells and fresh air. However, it is possible to get the positive effects of nature while staying indoors at home. You could try:

  • Spending time with the windows open to let in fresh air
  • Listening to natural sounds, like recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall
  • Spending time in your garden, if you have one, or opening your front or back door and sitting on the doorstep
  • You may be able to buy seeds, flowers or plants online for delivery, to grow indoors. If you order items for delivery, remember to ask to have them left at your doorstep, to avoid face-to-face contactIf you have safe access to a garden, you could bring home some natural materials like leaves and tree barks to decorate your living space.

Keep your mind stimulated

  • Keeping your brain occupied and active are important aspects of brain health. By challenging your brain, it increases its vitality. Here are some activities you could do daily to stimulate your mind:
  • Read books, magazines and articles
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Complete puzzles, crosswords or Sudoku
  • Learn a new language or a new skill
  • Enrol in an online course on Futurelearn or the Open University

Find ways to relax and be creative

Engaging in artistic activities helps reduce stress and anxiety and has been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with depression. There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side.

Why not try:

  • Arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
  • DIY
  • Meditation
  • Playing a musical instrument, singing or listening to music
  • Writing

Get a good night’s sleep

You may find yourself struggling to get to sleep because of anxiety or worry about the current situation. However, it’s important that you get a good night’s sleep as it makes a difference to how we feel mentally and physically.

Try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern and keep up good sleep hygiene practices such as avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment.

Take care with news and information

It is important to stay connected with current events but remember to be careful with where you get your news and health information from. For up-to-date health advice, see the NHS coronavirus webpage and the GOV.UK coronavirus webpages.

If news stories and social media content makes you feel anxious or confused, try limiting the amount of time you spend online.

This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2020 Community Living Well magazine. It has been edited for website purposes. Subscribe today to receive mental health and wellbeing tips straight to your inbox, four times a year!

Refer to the Community Living Well service here.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 9th June 2020


Spring/Summer 2020 Magazine is now available!

Spring/Summer Cover

A very warm welcome to the Spring/Summer Edition 2020 of the Community Living Well magazine. We hope you’re staying safe and staying well.

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has impacted our lives in many ways. From lockdown and not being able to see our family and friends, anxieties around whether or not we’re safe and following Government guidance to a change in the economy impacting employment. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ is a lot to navigate.

This magazine is dedicated to providing you with useful advice, support and hyperlinks to help you through the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that you’ll find this resource useful and you’ll feel informed, inspired and uplifted.

Since the pandemic, each of our services have had to look at new ways of working so they can continue to provide our service users with support. Information on our service changes are included in the magazine.

You’ll also find information on how to look after your mental health and manage stress and anxiety. If you’ve been furloughed or need advice on what support you may be entitled to, our Navigators and Employment team have put together some helpful information.

Remember you are not alone and that it is okay to ask for help and support if you need it.

PLUS…

From coping with loneliness during isolation, to living well with a long-term health condition during lockdown, the Spring/Summer Edition is filled with content that aims to help you on your quest to improve your mental health and wellbeing especially during these strange times.

As always, this magazine is about you – your thoughts, ideas, concerns and achievements. If you have any suggestions, features or stories you think we should include, please contact me, Michelle, on [email protected].

Take care and stay safe.

Community Living Well is a mental health service for those registered with a GP in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or the Queen’s Park and Paddington areas of Westminster. The services on offer include talking therapies, support groups, help with employment and support with debt, housing and benefits issues. Self-referrals can be made here. For more information please call 020 3317 4200.


Author: Michelle Jackson
Category: Community Living Well
Posted on: 1st June 2020


SMART St Mary Abbots Rehabilitation and Training