During this difficult time, it is important that we try and stay positive. Here are some of SWAN staff's responses.
Karen Christie, Chief Executive, says: “I have a developed a routine which is important for me. I have taken up a running as my new hobby. I have downloaded an app and I go for a run or walk as soon as I am awake. It is for beginners and I really enjoy the sense of achievement once I have completed it.
“We are working from home, so all the team talk most days and we have Zoom meetings. I keep in touch with family and friends.”
Jane Payton, Allotment Coordinator, says: “I have been spending time in my garden each day. It is very therapeutic to watch the flowers blooming and the bees’ activity. Spring seemed to take a long time to get here this year, but I have been sowing vegetable and flower seeds with an eye on the summer season. Looking forward to seeing the results. Gardening always gives me hope and I am always thinking of the next season and the joys it will bring.”
Barbara Fabian, Counsellor, says: “One of the things I have found uplifting is phoning family and friends I have not spoken to for a long, long time. I send Christmas cards to them but never chat. It has been heart-warming and very uplifting to hear all their news and to chat about 'the old days'.
“I also enjoy Thursday nights at 8pm, when the neighbours’ doors are open and we all emerge for a few minutes to clap for the NHS and all of the key workers. It is a joy to say ‘Hello, how are you?’ to my neighbours who live near me.”
Joan McArdle, Counselling and Wellbeing Manager, says: “I have been determined to get out of the house for some fresh air every day. I have lived there for 26 years but have discovered an area that I never knew existed. I walk through a wooded area, along a brook, across a field and down a path that gives me the exercise I need every day. This has been a revelation. I am sure I will continue to walk there after lockdown.”
“Also, I have re-discovered a love of baking, which means more than ever, I need to get out and do the walking!”
Emma Seasman, Befriending Coordinator, says: “I am binge-watching Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney +.
"I go for a walk with my husband when he gets home from work. I make sure that I get up and dressed every day, so I feel functional.”
Steph Niciu, Marketing and Social Media Assistant, says: “I am keeping my days structured and trying to get outside every day either in my garden or the local park. I really enjoy going to the park, especially. It is very relaxing and a great change of scene.
“I have been watching boxsets on TV and I have really enjoyed cooking new dishes. I made a Disco Cauliflower recently. It is from a restaurant in the City Centre called Maray and I made it using an Instagram Live tutorial. It was so delicious and comforting. It is fast becoming one of my favourite dishes to cook and eat!”
Liz Williams, Allotment Assistant, says: I am trying to keep to a routine as much as possible. Some days it does not work out but that is OK. I have lots of time by myself in the house when my family are at work, so I am trying to do some of the things I like doing because I have the time. I am learning a new skill - one stroke painting - I just have a little practice every day.
“I am lucky because I have a dog, he thinks he is the luckiest dog in the world at the moment because there is always somebody home! I like gardening and growing vegetables, and I am trying to grow some extra so that I can take them to the allotment when we can get back.”
Rita Till, Outreach Support Worker and Admin Support, says: "I get up at usual time and get washed, dressed etc. Me and husband have lunch together and then later on try to get out for a walk for an hour.
"We also have a stationary bike and some weights, so we are trying to keep fit that way."
We hope our staff have inspired you with their positivity tips. Remember stay home, stay safe and look after each other.