HOW TO BE A PICTURE OF HEALTH

Colour a picture, tend your garden, walk up a hill – or even phone a friend. That’s how some people have been beating the lockdown blues, according to the latest issue of our newsletter Roof ‘n’ Roots.

POSITIVE AFFECT

In the summer edition of Roof ‘n’ Roots, MMHS resident Meryl Bedford explains how she has been coping with the Coronavirus crisis. She found relief from loneliness by phoning her way through the local church directory. ‘I thought I should ring the people who are by themselves,’ said Meryl in the front cover story. Together they laughed about her stories of lockdown life. ‘It helps me – and I hope it helps them!’

Even before the days of Covid, retired GP and supernumerary Revd Dr Brenda Mosedale found walking gave her time to think. ‘Walking can improve your mood – even if you didn’t want to go,’ she writes in the regular Home Truths feature. Her experience is backed up by Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind. He recommends taking a walk as a way to relax and release endorphins, which can have a positive affect on mood.

Artists Mary Fleeson and Geoffrey Baines have seen people’s lives positively impacted by colouring. Separately, they have produced activity books to help people in this way. ‘Colouring makes you stop,’ said Mary, in a news story about the publications. Geoffrey explained that even your breathing slows down when you start colouring. A recent study showed colouring reduces anxiety.

AWESOME INGENUITY

In another article, national charity Thrive promotes the idea that the garden could be an untapped resource to boost people’s welfare and wellbeing. ‘Gardening can help bring structure when so much is in flux,’ said Thrive. Gardening tasks give you a workout. Being in sunlight can top up vitamin D levels, while helping to lower blood pressure. Connecting with nature has proven advantages for our wellbeing.

In her own message to Roof ‘n’ Roots readers, our CEO Mairi Johnstone summed up how people have coped with Covid. ‘The ingenuity all around has been truly awesome,’ she said. Referring to the well-known Bible passage about love – I Corinthians 13 – she added, ‘Let’s not forget love as we continue to work through this crisis.’