Getting Good Life Balance Whilst Staying at Home

We have been asked if there is anything we can do to help you fill the days during isolation.

Whilst some people are happy to just go with the flow and see what happens during the day, others are looking for some direction to engage in activity. Some people feel happier if they know what they’re doing with their day.

If you would prefer to have a bit of a plan then we hope that this information will be useful to you.

It may be helpful to categorise the different types of activity that we generally do on an average day.

Loosely speaking you could categorise activities into these four areas. 

  • Self-Care
  • Rest
  • Leisure
  • Work

It is important that our days are balanced to maintain our health and it may be that we need to work a little harder to organise this balance when we are staying at home. I expect we have all experienced how life feels when it’s completely out of balance. Anyone who has ever been on an extended holiday will know constant leisure can leave us craving to do some work, or when we have had to work long days for an extended amount of time we crave for leisure and rest. Ideally, we should look to have an equal share of the four types of activity during our waking day. All of the categories, of course, overlap a little eg. Cooking for one person will mean work, for another who loves to create in the kitchen; leisure and for another who sees food as medicine, it will be self-care.

I have compiled a list of the different types of activity to give you an idea, and a sample activity Ideas sheet. I hope you find it useful.

1. Self Care Activity. 

These activities keep us well both physically and emotionally. Self-care activities are important in supporting us to function, to build our resilience and maintain good health. Self-care activities can be characterised into physical, emotional, psychological & spiritual. When planning your day think about where the different aspects of self-care can fit in.

Examples of Self Care Activity. 

Examples of Physical Self Care Activity:

  • A walk or run
  • Bath/ shower – can you create a spa at home? Candles and music?
  • Eating a healthy meal or snack
  • Drinking water
  • Personal grooming
  • Massage

Examples of Emotional Self Care Activity:

  • Connecting with your emotions, give time to recognise and feel them 
  • Use a journal or diary to write about how you are feeling
  • Watch something uplifting or inspirational

Examples of Psychological Self Care Activity:

  • Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings and attitudes. Is that inner voice being kind to you? If not challenge it.
  • Be brave and say “No” if too much is being asked of you. Ask for help.
  • Practice being curious.
  • Learn something new- enrol in an online course.
  • Spend time discovering something new- art, music.

Examples of Spiritual Self Care Activity

  • Meditation/prayer
  • Spending time in nature
  • Do the thing that gets you in to flow, where you lose track of time
  • Help others who need it

2. Work Activity

Work-like activity tends to give us a sense of satisfaction. It is often where we get our sense of value which is why many people struggle with the huge transition to retirement. For some of us, we will be working from home during these unprecedented circumstances, but your job is not the only work activity that you will engage in. Work activity can include looking after your house, your family and all the admin that goes with this. 

Examples of Home Work Activity

  • Tending to plants, weeding, planting seeds, watering the garden, window boxes or house plants
  • Cleaning
  • Washing clothes
  • Cleaning out any clutter
  • Organising Shopping
  • Sorting bills

Examples of Family Work Activity

  • Cooking nutritious food
  • Giving time to others
  • Looking after pets
  • Helping other people in the family with their work like activities

3. Rest Activity 

Rest is primarily to help us rejuvenate and recharge. Making time to rest is often overlooked, particularly when we lead busy lives, but it is equally as important as all the other types of activity. Our bodies and minds need to rest to be able to function properly. It is key to good physical and mental health.

Examples of Rest Activity

  • Cuddling up with a pet 
  • Listening to a guided relaxation 
  • An afternoon nap
  • Sitting in the garden
  • Listening to music
  • Doodling
  • Colouring or drawing (It’s not just for children)

4. Leisure Activity

At the moment it would be easy to think about all the leisure activities we can’t do. I am missing the beach but yesterday in our online workshop a group of us discovered google earth and we found ourselves travelling virtually to beaches. It was a lovely experience. Leisure activities are for pure enjoyment – it is so important that our days have a good portion of leisure in them. Why not try something you have never tried before. This is great for creating new connections in your brain!

Examples of Leisure Activities

  • Play a board game
  • Try drawing something (you don’t have to show anyone)
  • Play some music
  • Meet with friends online or call them
  • Be sociable on social media – eg. Facebook or WhatsApp
  • Pottering (my favourite)
  • Watch a film
  • Craft
  • Walking (depending on current recommendations)
  • Bird watching
  • Dance around the living room
  • Create a photo album
  • Computer games
  • Baking

Here is an Activity Ideas Planner to help you 

Memory Matters primary aim is to help people affected by dementia to thrive. We have lots of resources online at www.memorymatterssw.co.uk. During the Covid 19 Crisis we will be putting on extra online workshops that are free for anyone with mild to moderate dementia. You can book on through our facebook page.

If you are living with dementia or caring for someone who is, we will be happy to help if we can during these difficult times. Let us know how we may be able to help, whether it’s ideas for things to do or how we may be able to help with challenges you may be facing.