“Self care shouldn’t be overlooked while self isolating”
BY BEX SHORUNKE. IMAGE KELLY LACY
COVID-19 has deprived a selfless NHS of sleep and the people their freedom. The UK hasn’t ever (in recent years) looked so dystopian – empty streets, barricaded shops and tumbleweed gliding through Soho.
Womxn worldwide are being confined to the four walls of their home, bored? Probably. Unproductive? No need to be. The country’s self isolation standstill can be viewed as either a jail term – or an opportunity. One forged out of self care and a drive to keep learning, in spite of the circumstances.
In a bid to help make things that little bit better out there, here are five key ways to keep yourself busy – while throwing in some well-deserved self care to boot.
Enhance your LGBTQI+ knowledge
So Pride In London has been postponed, but the LGBTQI+ organisations campaigning every day for your rights definitely haven’t. Self acceptance, community and empowerment comprise the fabric of Pride. Seize this time to learn about the charities and campaigns across the LGBTQI+ spectrum. From national trans charity Mermaids, who were recently embroiled in Daily Mail controversy after their “exit buttons” were accused of encouraging secrecy among family members and breaching safeguarding protocol. Irrespective of the fact that they provide a safe way for vulnerable people to access information. To akt, a national charity aimed at supporting LGBTQI+ young people aged 16-25 experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. To the collaborative North East LGBT Consortium. Connect with their social hubs, read up on their national impact and even learn about ways you can support likeminded individuals.
Up skill yourself
Whether you’re working from home, on furlough or unable to work, learning something new can be a way to centre yourself. In pre-Corona life, time was a coveted entity, consistently evading us as we over-committed to plans we couldn’t keep. Now, time surrounds (many of) us in abundance. Why not check out Open Learn with its free courses? Access it freely or create a free account and keep track of your academic achievements – who ever said home-schooling isn’t fun?
Donate to a charity at the frontline of COVID-19
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed,” in the words of Maya Angelou herself. LGBTQI+ young people in self-isolation are currently one of the higher risk groups. They are being forced to isolate in homophobic households where abuse, be it physical, mental or emotional is rife. This is having a detrimental effect on their mental health, wellbeing and safety – a crisis worsened by very limited access to LGBTQI+ community organisations.
For that reason, akt has launched an emergency appeal #aktogether to galvanise support from the wider community and help raise money for food, vital resources and safe shelter for the young people they support. They have also set up a COVID-19 page on their website with resources for housing, sexual health and mental wellbeing in relation to the pandemic. akt continues to provide safe shelter be it emergency via their Purple Door scheme or host families, an e-mentoring service and a live chat. However, the charity is inundated with referrals and considering the desperate climate, could do with a booster…
Home workouts (of course)
This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t demand fifty burpees and twenty sit-ups, right? If military style drills aren’t your portion then perhaps High Intensity classes are? Queer, dynamic and free(!) Hyperbody is a great choice with a selection of streamable workouts. Similarly Planet Fitness have a number of equipment-free home workouts as does the Nike Training Club app. Their downloadable 15, 30 and 45 minute workouts range from yoga through to bodyweight sessions and are designed by Nike athletes with you in mind. For those of you keen for core strength workouts then check out the CrossFit beginners classes to learn the foundations of valuable exercises and tone muscle. If Zumba or yoga are more your vibe, check out YogiApproved for a seven day program or OneHowto to teach you the ABCs of Zumba (or Calisthenics).
Mini spa day
Spa days are the epitome of relaxation. Therefore, you’ve every reason to replicate that in your own space – using your own, simple ingredients. Whether it’s Aesop or The Body Shop, the majority of skincare brands will attest to food being the foundation to their products. Moreover, DIY spa products create minimal waste. Considering the causal link between climate change and coronavirus, the sustainability of this activity is reason enough to partake in it. Eating Well and a Taste of Home have some good tips on how to get started.
Bex Shorunke is Senior Media Officer at akt. Follow them @aktcharity
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