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Posted 14 May 2020


Fran Rhodes rainbow 2.JPG
Fran Rhodes rainbow 2.JPG

Do more of what makes you feel good!

Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially in such worrying, uncertain times.

We understand that life around us is changing and for most people, that's having an impact on their health and well being. That's why our staff are sharing some of their top tips to get through lock down.

To take a look, click on one of the names below, and let us know if you take up any of their ideas. 

Finally, please remember to take time out and if you need help, never be afraid to ask. We provide one to one counselling, life coaching and talking support groups for people who want to improve their mental health, emotional well-being and create a brighter future for themselves. Find out more about Ongo Talk.

  • Steve: Be creative and try something new

    During my weekends in lockdown I’ve been putting my skills to good use and getting creative. It is hard for everyone to adapt to a new way of life that isn't the norm, and it can really effect your state of mind.

    For me I need to keep busy and active (not because I will cease up) but more for maintaining a healthy mind.

    Just before the lockdown I was asked by Market Hill’s Resident Group in Scunthorpe to look at ways of improve the area, using money they’d raised. After a couple meetings we agreed there was a need for more external seating on the estate.

    Then in March it was announced we should work from home, and the project was on hold. That’s when I suggested a couple of planter seats that would do the job and add colour at the same time.  We agreed on a design and the timber was purchased and delivered to my house, so I could build them myself.

    I’ve now built two planter seats and am so excited to have received lovely feedback on them.  I really hope the residents of Market Hill will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed making them.

    I’m onto my next project now, and will continue to keep my mind active. There are some great tips on the Pinterest app for home projects, so if you’d like to get involved, take a look and share your creations with us.

  • Erica: Get active and start a routine

    When lock down was announced I was running with my gang of fellow runners two-three times a week and had only just, the day before, got back in the gym to increase my strength training. I had two issues:

    1 – Hugo the dog needs walking (using the daily exercise for running with the dog and two children wasn’t really an option for me).

    2 – My mental health would suffer significantly if I couldn’t exercise. I had to quickly think of some other options.

    I had done home workouts before but always got bored of them and didn’t seem to have the motivation to keep them going long-term. I came across Joe Wicks’ Instagram Live workout with Ellie Goulding and joined in, it was so good! I subscribed to his YouTube channel and found one of the ‘Seven days of Sweat’ challenges.

    I do one of the seven 20 minute HIIT sessions each morning in my kitchen before the rest of the house get up. They’re hard work and certainly do what they say on the tin, but afterwards those promised endorphins really hit and I’m buzzed and set up for the day ahead.

    Lockdown has certainly brought with it some challenges and for me not being able to exercise would be one of the big ones, for both my physical and mental health. I’ve carried on with my home workouts and have even managed to set up a makeshift gym in my garage with a bench, weights and resistance bands.

    My tip for getting through lockdown is to stay active, and make small changes. Even if getting up and walking up the stairs every hour, or walking round the block at night, I promise it will make you feel good.

  • Fran: Read, learn and practice mindfulness

    It is really hard sometimes to focus on one thing during this strange time we are living in, and I see a lot of hype on social media about getting stuff done whilst we are staying home. This can create pressure to be achieving all the time, but it is equally important to relax and have fun too.

    Sometimes these feelings can be overwhelming and I often don’t know which “task” to do next, but one thing I’ve found really helpful is listening to podcasts. The Happy Place by Fearne Cotton is a really great one is are totally free to download.

    This particular podcast is super popular and has a mix of calm, peaceful and motivating content from Dame Kelly Jones speaking about her childhood experiences and overcoming adversity, to Joe Wicks of daily PE fame sharing his life story. They are between 30 and 60 minutes long and I normally listen to them while I’m making everyone’s breakfast, or on my daily walk.

    Meditation is something I really enjoy too. Recently a bunch of beautiful, like minded humans I know decided to commit to a 21 day meditation challenge. This was pre covid-19, but what I learnt from the daily meditations has really helped me to stay positive during the last few months.

    Meditation might be shrugged off by many of you reading this as a bunch of hippies sat around chanting, and yes that is a common image of it. However, many millions of people around the world who incorporate meditation into their daily lives report a whole list of positive affects some of which I include here; reducing stress, controlling anxiety, lengthens attention span, better sleeping patterns, reduces age related memory loss, reduces high blood pressure, and can generate kindness.

    If you fancy giving it a try here there are a few podcasts and apps for beginners I recommend - Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer.

    I am a huge advocate for yoga and will usually bore the face off anyone willing to listen about it. It is not about getting an amazing yoga body, although that would be nice, the purpose is to connect with yourself through your mind, body and consciousness, or spirit, depending on your beliefs.

    If you find you have a space 20 minutes please just give it a go. One of my favourite instructors is Zephyr Wildman, she’s on social media and has a fantastic website.

    If you have any suggestions about health and wellbeing, please share with people. It’s great to share and learn from others. Have a brilliant day whatever you are doing and remember to take time for yourself.

  • Jemma: Talk and support each other

    It’s been a difficult time for everyone during lockdown and it’s been an adjustment to working life for many. As a youth mentor I love being out and about in the community and engaging with people face to face.

    There’s a reason I didn’t choose an office job, so finding myself behind the computer every day and not being able to socialise a real challenge for me.

    To combat this, I have been finding new and innovate ways to keep in touch with everyone and have conversations with young people, over the phone and through email. I have been reaching families through social media and have

    had many chats with colleagues around possible family activities to get young people involved in. I recently made a video about how to make squishy soap for social media, which was something totally different for me.

    For many school leavers this is a particularly hard time, and for any young person at the start of their career journey. That’s why I have offered out my mentoring to this age group in particular, to help them navigate their way through the uncertainties.

    I have also been working hard to keep in contact with bereaved families through the volunteering I do for Jen’s Special Place; this has included dressing up as the Easter bunny to do my first tiktok video and sending out well being packs to let them know we are thinking of them.

    Doing what feels good for me means supporting others as much as I can and getting creative (and sometimes silly!) to help keep mine and everyone’s spirits up. 


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