Once again the UK is living under tough but necessary restrictions as we battle COVID-19.
Vaccines offer us hope and a way out but, until then, we must all play our part in together beating the virus. We look at the many ways we can continue to stay at home and enjoy life.
There are things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing at this time.
The CovidWellbeingNI online hub has a comprehensive range of information, self-help guides and ways to access help to support your mental health and wellbeing
For more information go to nidirect.gov.uk/coronavirus
As COVID-19 tightens its grip, lockdown restrictions have again been put in place, and are likely to remain for some time to come. Schools to shops, work to pubs, restaurants, cinemas and gyms – all aspects of our lives are affected amid the UK Government and Devolved Administrations’ clear clarion calls to stay at home. Those on the NHS frontline continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic while other key workers are keeping operating essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, waste collection and deliveries. We can all play our part on the path to freedom. All we have to do is obey the rules. Life in lockdown is undoubtedly different. But, embrace it, and it can offer new opportunities. Take up a hobby, learn a skill, exercise, read, bake, take up a craft and complete jobs around the house you have been putting off. New technologies allow us to keep in touch with family and friends as well as connecting on virtual pub quizzes and classes. There is light at the end of the tunnel with rules regularly reviewed and the vaccination programme being rolled out apace. But for now we are in this together, all having a vital part to play.
More exercise, DIY and daily routine have helped couple cope
Husband and wife Tim and Angela Hoe (right) have embraced life in lockdown.
The Yorkshire couple has exercised more, completed DIY jobs around the house and garden and become well-read.
“Like everyone else, our world has completely changed,” said Angela. “Work has stopped, usual places we visited closed, and we are not allowed to visit friends and family.
“All our shopping is supermarket click-and-collect or from our local independents and farm shop.”
They have two adult children. Daughter Charlotte lives with her partner nearby while son Lewis lives with his wife Lucy and two children Harry, aged six, and Lily, 18 months, in Bournemouth. Angela has not seen them or her parents, who also live in Yorkshire, for ten months.
The couple love to exercise and have continued to do so within updated rules.
“With gyms closing, it was a case of keeping ourselves fit with running, biking and YouTube yoga and fitness classes online. Reading and crosswords have also filled our days,” confirmed Angela.
“The mobile library has provided a fantastic service allowing us to choose and order books online and collect locally. Danielle Steel has been a particular favourite for me while my husband has continued with his love of Dickens, Steinbeck and Hemingway.”
Despite not visiting family, they have kept in touch. “FaceTime calling has become a regular occurrence with calls to our grandchildren and listening to our grandson read stories from his school book.”