Six pieces of advice

We continue to be on lock-down with all services suspended at Sacred Heart Church. We will bring you updates as soon as we have them.

Father Graham has written this piece on Facebook about living in isolation. Parishioners may find his advice helpful during these difficult times. Once again, best wishes to all parishioners as we cope with this crisis together. Father Graham writes:

I, like many other disabled, have had to live with degrees of isolation for many years. Most days I see carers and possibly one other person for a short time but most of the day is spent alone. Some days carers coming morning and evening are the only human contact. This experience may help other people who have not been used to living in isolation to cope with it during the current crisis.

1. do not watch TV all day – it is okay for a day or so when you’re feeling ill but for any longer. It can become a negative as you don’t have to think and it can become depressing.

2. feed your brain – read books, do puzzles, actively look to do things that make you think or problem solve. I have hobbies which I keep up which involve both the creative, decision-making, logical thinking which I engage in everyday. It makes days pass faster and keeps your faculties in good order.

3. feed your spirit – I spend time praying each day, time and reflection and the idea of “spiritual communion” from the Catholic tradition can make you feel both connected with God and with other people. The Mass is being live streamed on various channels as are services and activities from other faiths. We all have a spiritual dimension and ignoring it can lead to depression and lack of hope.

4. exercise – just sitting down doing passive things leads to muscle wastage and poor resilience to illness. It also helps to being positive and mental well-being. We can all do different amounts but even if you are limited to sitting down it is possible to exercise and keep some fitness. Activities such as gardening are also good exercise.

5. use technology – it is both a blessing and a curse. A lot of rubbish is going around on social media and there are still plenty of junk emails being sent! However it can be a positive in maintaining contact with friends. I play word games with some of my friends partly to keep in contact and keep my brain running. Pick what is useful and helpful and you can ignore the rest.

6. keep looking outwards – it is easy to focus just on yourself or your own little family and this can make little problems become massive issues and lead to negativity in general, “woe is me isn’t this awful” et cetera. Try and keep thinking beyond yourself, on family, friends those who are having a very stressful time. Just thinking of ourselves and how terrible life can be is not a good survival tool! Contact other people using the phone or the Internet and support each other. Focus on positives, minimise negatives!

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