Well Being Church Prayer
This is a compilation of the 5 parts of the series. Dip in and out as you wish, drawing on the parts you feel are useful to you.

Well-being during Covid 19.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means life has changed for us all. It may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, lonely or frustrated.
It's important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently – for most of us, these difficult feelings will pass. But for some they may continue. If you are struggling with your mental health, please contact your G.P. who will be able to support and guide you through the feelings that you are experiencing.
Here at Holy Family we want to support the community during these difficult times and will be posting regular on ways to keep our selves mentally and physically well.
We would like everyone to get involved so any sharing on garden tips or recipe ideas would be much appreciated or any other ways you feel can keep us all connected.
Below are some websites and ideas to keep yourselves well. There are some simple things that you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty. Doing so will help you think clearly, and make sure you are able to look after yourself and those you care about.
These are some ideas which may help:
Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as:
• cleaning your home
• dancing to music
• going up and down stairs
• Seated exercises
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/
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.
It is possible to get the positive effects of nature while staying indoors at home. You could try the following:
• Spend time with the windows open to let in fresh air.
• Arrange a comfortable space to sit, for example by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky, or watch birds and other animals.
• Look at photos of your favourite places in nature.
• Listen to natural sounds, like recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall. Get as much natural light as you can. Spend time in your garden if you have one, or open your front or back door and sit on the doorstep.
• If you have safe access to green space like a garden, you could bring some natural materials in to decorate your living space, or use them in art projects. This could include leaves, flowers, feathers, tree bark or seeds.
• You may be able to buy seeds, flowers or plants online for delivery, to grow and keep indoors.
• Try having a clear out. You could sort through your possessions and put them away tidily, or have a spring clean.
• You could also have a digital clear out. Delete any old files and apps you don't use, upgrade your software, update all your passwords or clear out your inboxes.
• Write letters or emails, or make phone calls with people you've been meaning to catch up with.
There are lots of different ways that you can relax, take notice of the present moment and use your creative side. These include:
• arts and crafts, such as drawing, painting, collage, sewing, craft kits or upcycling
• DIY
• colouring
• mindfulness
• playing musical instruments, singing or listening to music
• writing
If you are experiencing difficulties with your anxiety, it might help to plan a 'safe space' in your home that you'll go to. Keep objects or photos that enable you to feel calm. Practise your breathing.
It is important not to ignore your anxiety, it is very normal to feel scared, it is important to acknowledge those feelings and seek help and support but also to find your own calming techniques.
Do something you can control
It can help to express this anxiety in a way that you can control. That could be writing down. Once you’ve written it down, let it go. Allow yourself to worry, put it down in writing in a notebook, and then put that away.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has more information on how to cope if you're feeling anxious about coronavirus.
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/self-care-for-anxiety/
https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/news-from-bacp/2020/28-february-coronavirus-anxiety-how-to-cope-if-you-re-feeling-anxious-about-the-outbreak/

Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family if you or they need to stay at home – by phone, messaging, video calls or social media – whether it's people you usually saw often, or reconnecting with old friends.
It's normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember: it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too.

If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are helplines you can try instead. Anxiety UK are an excellent resource. See below.
Anxiety UK
Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk
You may feel anxious about going outside , try going out for small periods, 10 minutes at a time, ask a friend to go with you staying 2 metres apart . Going for a walk or talking to someone is sometimes the best tonic. It is a great way to clear your head and lift your mood.
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/#
The above link is a short video on mindful breathing. Breathing is a great way to bring our stress levels down. You can use a technique called the breathing window. Breathe in for 5 seconds using one side of the window, breathe out for 5 seconds along the other side of the window and repeat until you have completed the 4 sides. You can also use your hand, breathing in going up one side of your finger and breathing out on the other side, nice and slowly.
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
If anyone else would like to share any ideas please feel free to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will include it in the next post. If you have any recipes or garden tips then please let me know.
Coming out of Lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all our lives, forcing us to stay inside and reduce our contact with friends and family. And while some people will see lockdown easing as a welcome relief, many will be feeling anxious about how to stay safe. We should be prepared for the fact that the end of lockdown might be as hard for us as the start was.
Just as it took us time to find ways of coping during lockdown, we should also expect that it will take time to find our way back, and to reconnect with life. Staying connected, eating well, and taking exercise apply just as much now as they did at the start of lockdown. Because our situations are unique to us, it is really important to try not to judge ourselves harshly based on what other people are doing. Everybody is facing uncertainty and challenge – and we have no choice but to move through it as best we can.
Pace yourself – recognising that you need to go at the right pace for you is important.
Build up tolerance – try doing something that challenges you every day, keep a note of things you’ve achieved, enjoyed or surprised yourself doing.
Vary your routines – try and vary your routines so that you see different people and encounter different situations. If one supermarket makes you nervous, try another. If a walk at one time of the day is very busy, try mixing walks at busy times with walks at quieter times.
Talk to work – Many workplaces are allowing more flexible working even if people need to return. If you are finding it hard to get to work, or do particular shifts speak to your manager. Taking your time and emerging yourself back slowly is important.
Focus on the present – you can only do your best with what you have today. With regulations changing frequently, and lots of conflicting media discussions, try and keep a focus on the moment. Mindfulness meditation is one way of bringing your mind back to the present moment.
Talk to people you trust – it’s important to talk about how you feel. Don’t dismiss your concerns or judge yourself too harshly.
Talking to a professional is often the best thing you can do to start feeling better. You can talk to your G.P. or if you prefer, you can also refer yourself to talking therapy, without going through your GP. Talking therapies are free NHS services and involve talking to someone who is specially trained to help you manage your thoughts and feelings. You can search for local talking therapies and refer yourself through the NHS website.
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/free-therapy-or-counselling/
People often feel better for just having a conversation about how they're feeling. That they understand why they feel the way they do.
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus/looking-after-your-mental-health-we-come-out-lockdown
Remember we all cope differently, so it is worth trying different things to see what works for you. Just remember you are not alone; you have a family here at Holy Family Church.
Take care and stay safe.