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    How to avoid getting stir-crazy

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    We’re in lockdown, and some of us are feeling it keenly. Even for the true introverts among us, the idea of a potential six-month stretch at home allowed out only for essential items and one session of exercise a day is a bit much.

    So how can you stave off those feelings of craziness in isolation? Here are a few tips, courtesy of David Price, workplace wellbeing expert and CEO of health and wellbeing provider, Health Assured

    Stay Active

    Maybe easier said than done, depending on space, but moving about helps. Make sure you’re not sitting at the same place for hours and hours on end. Especially if, like many right now, you’re working from home. Set reminders and timers to tell you to get up occasionally (and wash your hands. That’s important.)

    If you’ve never tried running before, now is the perfect time to start. Don’t slam straight into a marathon. But a couch to 5K? You can use this time to get a bit fitter while keeping your mind healthy too.

    Learn Something New

    Want to learn to code? To cook? To understand complex modal logic? Use this downtime. There are countless online resources like Udemy, Code Academy, even the arXiv preprint server. And right now, lots of these resources that charge are offering heavily discounted or even free courses (for instance, the game engine Unity is offering free use of their premium learning service until the middle of June.)

    Expand Your Sphere

    It might seem a little counterintuitive to use isolation to make friends, but you can do it. Social networks are exploding right now—use them to find a local group offering support and conversation online during this lockdown.

    Games are a brilliant way to stay social, too. You don’t have to take out a World of Warcraft subscription—there are plenty of groups of people playing board games via webcam. Search your social networks for people nearby and get playing.

    Volunteer

    If you have the time, volunteering for the NHS is a fantastic thing to do. Their Check-in and Chat service need people, and all you need is a telephone. You’ll be calling vulnerable people at risk of loneliness in their homes, chatting to them, making sure they’re ok and that they have someone to talk to.

    For the chatty extroverts, this is a godsend—and you’ll be making a real difference to people who need it.

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