How to cope when stuck indoors


Stuck indoors? It doesn’t have to be hell!

At the time of sitting down to write this, we are into week two of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown, and wondering just how on earth we are going to cope when stuck indoors.

I think we’re all slowly realising that this isn’t going to be just three weeks. It might not even be a month. We’re probably stuck indoors until at least the summer, maybe longer.

So, we will all have to find ways to stay fit, stay mentally strong and emotionally balanced by staying connected.

What makes sense during a pandemic? There are lots of negatives, but I can still see many positives.

Parents are now teaching their own children at home every day. Suddenly, many parents will discover that teaching THEIR child is not the honour and joy they have led themselves to believe.

One positive thing that will come out of being stuck indoors is that many parents will find joy dropping their beloved children off at the school, and even more joy driving away. I’m sure the teachers will be appreciated once again.

I have watched a lot of documentaries and made a lot of homemade soups and stews. The house has been cleaned and sorted from top to bottom, although the downside to this is that the local rubbish tip is closed.

How can you make the most of your time? How can you take care of yourself? What have you always wanted to do?


Eat well and stay hydrated

I can’t find toilet paper to save my life, but I can get a take-away delivered from anywhere! Thankfully it appears that many of us are now preparing more meals ourselves while stuck indoors.

Think about your diet and the food you’re eating. Your appetite might change if your routine changes, or if you’re less active than you usually are. Drinking enough water is also important for your mental and physical health.


Connect with people

I have spent far more time together with my family. This for many will be something that is an overdue joy, but others may feel claustrophobic or trapped.

Make plans to video chat with friends or people you would normally see. Open the windows to let in fresh air. Change the rooms you spend time in. Spend time sitting on your doorstep, or in the garden if you have one.


Try to keep active

I have been training daily using my bodyweight. The longer we are all stuck indoors, the more important it will be to build physical activity into your daily routine, where possible.

You don’t need exercise equipment. It can be as simple as housework, dancing to music, seated exercise or following the workouts at the online NHS Fitness Studio.


Keep your mind stimulated

Now is the time to write that book, clear out that loft or do that dreaded paperwork. Set aside time in your routine to occupy and challenge your mind. Read books, magazines and articles. Listen to podcasts, watch films and do puzzles. You can even study online with a free course on OpenLearn.


The stuck indoors bounce-back

So, it’s really just about looking at all the things you want to do, figure out the really important ones and start to get those done. Keep track, hold yourself accountable and keep taking care of yourself.

The good news is that we will all “bounce” back from this experience. That’s what I keep encouraging people to think about now: bouncing back.

Just like a muscle, that gets stronger when placed under stress, as hard as all this is, if we change our focus, we will all come out of this stronger.

Think and plan about the things you’ve missed and want to do when this all comes to an end. It may be as simple as going for a walk with friends.

Stay safe and healthy.

Trevor Rutherford is your physical therapist in Durham
Trevor Rutherford

Trevor is senior practitioner at #NIHPDurham, and specialises in soft tissue management and rehabilitation. You can find out more about him on his personal profile page.