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Looking after yourself and others while shielding, self-isolating or staying at home

Staying at home can be really tough – and for people who are self-isolating or shielding, keeping positive and busy can be especially tough. We spoke to our community to get their tips and advice on how to cope and how to support others.

Don’t forget, if you need support then we are here. You can chat to others on our Forum or call our free Helpline on 0808 802 8000.

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Tips for supporting others


Don't wait for them to contact you  organise a video call with them. Organise that 'virtual coffee'. But also be OK if they don't want to  it can be overwhelming for someone self-isolating so don't be offended if they don't want to that day but just ask to rearrange for when they feel up to it.


Be aware that people may get emotional and not have an outlet, so be prepared to support them through various emotions. Make sure that you, and anyone else you are trying to support are aware of all of the relevant support groups out there.


My parents are helping by leaving packages on my doorstep and my mother in law has been keeping herself busy baking cakes, lucky for us! FaceTime has also never been so important! I think we speak more to our families now than ever before! We're also planning things as a family for when things go back to normal which gives us all something to look forward to.



Ordering someone a delivery of food or putting something nice in the post is easy to do these days and means so much to someone who might be feeling lonely. I found getting a card in the post so uplifting, it made me remember that there were people thinking of me.

Tips for looking after yourself


Making sure I get some natural light and fresh air each day, even if it’s just 10 minutes. If I start to feel a bit anxious I just go outside and listen to nature - I don’t live in the country but can still hear birds or children or people gardening. My house is where I read, hear and watch so much of the negative/factual news so sitting in the living room can make me feel a bit anxious.


I used to go to Pilates classes at the local leisure centre and now do pre-recorded video classes. The NHS website has a lot of useful bits on their website about exercise that I have been using, including their Fitness Studio. The NHS also has meditation audio guide resources that I enjoy – I’ve asked my smart speaker to play ‘music for meditation’ too, which I find good while I’m working.

Visit the NHS Fitness Studio >


Understand you will go through various emotions  recognise this is normal and you don't have to suppress how you feel.


Me, my fiancé and two children live in a small house and with him working from home now I'm trying to find ways to make sure I'm still getting time to focus on myself. I'm not leaving the house but my family are going for walks so I find that time useful to get some me time. Yoga, reading, baking and listening to music have been helping me to escape!


Limit your social media time. It's very easy to spend hours watching everyone's stories and thinking that everyone else is either doing it better than you or feel jealous that others are able to leave the house. Limiting the time you spend on there should help to limit any of those feelings.

Remember it's only temporary  no matter how long you have to do it for, it's not forever. You will be able to move around freely again in the not too distant future. Try to just take each day as it comes.

Have a good ugly cry, whenever you need it. Releasing any feelings through an ugly cry can really help. I'm not suggesting you cry all day every day, but if you need to cry then allow it to happen. It's overwhelming not being able to do what you are used to doing and it's OK to feel however you feel about that. Allow those feelings, you'll feel better once you do.

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Our free Helpline, Forum and Ask the Expert service are here to support you.

"I would advise you to try and keep in contact with family and friends as much as possible."
Read Jasmine's story
Date last updated: 
15 May 2020
Date due for review: 
15 Apr 2021
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