With the dark nights drawing in and another lockdown upon us, it can be hard to find reasons to stay positive.
During the spring lockdown many people took up new hobbies and spent time outdoors, gardening or exercising.
The prospect of a winter lockdown may be more daunting, but Nottingham Hospitals Charity have created a list of ideas on how you can spread some positivity through lockdown.
Here are just some of the many ways you can help your local community and boost your own mood at the same time:
Help your vulnerable neighbours
While essential shops are still open, you may have vulnerable neighbours who feel unsafe going outdoors at the moment, especially during colder weather.
It might be worth checking, if you are able, whether anyone needs help collecting their medication or picking up their everyday essentials.
You could even make it official and sign up to the NHS Volunteer Responders app.
Buy local this Christmas
Many people will inevitably be doing their Christmas shopping online this year – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still buy local.
Many smaller independent shops have the facility for you to buy online.
Check out your favourite local clothes shop, gift shop or bakery for some lovely festive gift ideas, and get a warm feeling knowing that you’ll be supporting a local family with every purchase.
There are currently many local independent shops affected by the second lockdown who you can support whether its for gifts, groceries or the occasional takeaway hot drink.
Enjoy exercise indoors and outdoors
While you may not want to brave the cold during the winter lockdown, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit.
There are plenty of free exercise programmes online which you can do indoors – or you could join friends or neighbours to do an online exercise class together.
If you can get outdoors for your exercise, the change of scenery, fresh air and connection with nature is good for both body and mind.
Nottinghamshire boasts a huge selection of outdoor spaces which will be staying open, with the city along receiving two new Green Flag Awards.
And for the many trails, forests, gardens and lakes the county has to offer, this time of year can be when they are at their most beautiful.
Support your local hospitals and charities
This will be a challenging winter for our NHS, with Covid numbers rising and the added winter pressures of flu and other illnesses at this time of year.
You can do something special to support your local hospitals by raising money or making a donation to the hardworking staff and vulnerable patients at the City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) this winter, through the Nottingham Hospitals Charity website.
Donations could help fund Christmas gifts for children in hospital over the festive period, or rest areas for staff at this challenging time.
There may also be charities close to your heart that could do with extra help through lockdown, as many face a loss in fundraising opportunities.
Subscribe to the Nottingham Post
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Stay safe and look after yourself
Above all, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well as others, during this second lockdown.
Keep loneliness at bay by connecting with friends and family with regular phone calls, video chats or even letters.
And make time to do the things you enjoy, whether it be arts and crafts, baking, or just cosying up under a blanket and watching your favourite film.
Nigel Gregory, Director of Development at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “The people of Nottingham did themselves proud during the spring lockdown, pulling together as a community, taking care of their neighbours, and raising money for their local hospitals through our ‘Help your Hospital Heroes’ appeal, which was backed by the Nottingham Post.
“Now is the time to step up once again, to support those in need in your local community during this second lockdown, and help your local NHS.”
Use the comments section and let us know how you plan to stay positive during lockdown.