Whilst other countries have imposed strict lockdown rules, the UK has been more relaxed about it. This means that we can venture outside for the benefit of our health (although it must be stressed that we are still advised to stay home as much as possible). According to the World Health Organisation, “getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face twice or thrice a week is enough to reap the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun.” So there’s no need to venture to the beach or go on a long car journey somewhere. A quick walk around the block will suffice.
Understandably, anxiety about Coronavirus may dissuade us from going outside. However, if you stay 2 metres away from people, the risks are negligible. You may also choose to go in the early morning before others have got up and minimise your risk that way. There’s nothing like a brisk walk to start your day!
It’s also important to consider the benefits of exercising your muscles – as my doctor says, “If you don’t use them, you lose them”. So, once you feel confident about going outside, maybe consider walking a little faster or even jogging, for there’s no more important muscle in your body than your heart. Talking of exercise, according to the i newspaper, the popularity of cycling has boomed in the last couple of months. Cycling Weekly also states that Liverpool is going to “invest £2 million in up to 100km of pop-up cycle lanes to aid coronavirus recovery”. So cycling is clearly the future for travel in the city.
If you’re lucky enough to have one, perhaps your dose of sunshine could include tending to your garden. Or, if there’s a park nearby, why not have a walk there? There’s nothing quite as uplifting as being out in nature and seeing the flowers bloom. Talking of our mental health, according to the NHS website, “a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression”. So getting some direct sunlight may help lift our mood and help us through these scary and upsetting times.
However, if you are finding it all too much, WHISC are providing a Listening Ear service. Although the Drop-In has been forced to temporarily close, staff and volunteers are continuing to work from home. So, if you phone 07708 381568 and leave your name and phone number, they will ring you back. Alternatively, leave a message on Facebook with your phone number and, again, they will ring you back when they can. Together, we will get through this.