Charity's wellbeing top tips - including singing down the phone

The free ChitChat phone service is a great way to cobat loneliness, with volunteers available for a

One of the tips includes regular phone conversations. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A charity which is fighting against isolation as people feel "more lonely" during the third lockdown has provided some wellbeing tips during lockdown.

Creative Arts East, which covers Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Cambridgeshire, is an arts charity that offers activities and wellbeing support for older people and their families.

The charity's 'Our Day Out' initiative, which is funded by Spirit of 2012, works with around 300 people across the region to help boost the morale of isolated people and those living with dementia.

Due to lockdown, the project has been unable to continue with in-person workshops but the team have been delivering free creative wellbeing packs, and doorstep visits for regular Our Day Out participants also took place during Christmas.

Creative Arts East took part in doorstep visits for Christmas to spread joy.

Creative Arts East took part in doorstep visits for Christmas to spread joy. - Credit: Liz Somerville

Zoe Fletcher of Creative Arts East said: "The packs have been picked up by social prescribers, NHS professionals and other referral pathways so that older people who might be feeling isolated and lonely during the pandemic can have some creative engagement to look forward to.

"Previous pack themes have included Bollywood, opera, folksong, jazz, and lots more. The themes usually include a CD, and sometimes other creative materials or supplementary items related to the theme."

Creative Arts East took part in doorstep visits for Christmas to spread joy.

Creative Arts East took part in doorstep visits for Christmas to spread joy. - Credit: Liz Somerville

The charity is also connecting with people digitally through its blog and YouTube channel, and also carries out regular telephone calls.

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They have given us their top tips on creative wellbeing during the pandemic based on some of the activities included in their packs.

Get Creative

"In our previous packs we made some musical instruments using things around the house.

"We’ve played along to jazz music using a drum out of a washing up bowl and paint brushes, and made a traditional folk music ‘ugly’ stick using a wooden spoon, bells and some twine. 

"What objects around your house could be used to make something creative?"

Mindful Wander

"Going for a mindful walk and taking in the natural surroundings can be a brilliant way to support your wellbeing.

"Our participants used inspirations from the outside world to create some song lyrics and poetry.

"One technique we really like is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 senses mindfulness exercise – focus on five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you smell, and one thing you can taste.

"If you’re shielding or don’t feel safe going outside yet, perhaps just go to your garden or look out the window, and see what inspiration you can gather from there?"

Keep Moving

"We’ve all been less active over the last year, and it’s very easy to let this consume us.

"Just fitting some simple exercises in to your routine can get those endorphins flowing and boost your mood.

"Our creative wellbeing packs have included simple Bollywood dance, Egyptian dance and jazz dance moves that can be done sitting and standing, and some of these can be found on our website blog."

Keep in Contact

"Having a phone conversation can do the world of good, especially when we can’t see as many people in person at the moment.

"Singing down the phone is also incredibly fun to try too. 

"Keep in touch with family or friends for a simple natter and catchup, you could even plan to watch the same programme or film on TV and talk about it afterwards.

7 tips to improve you mental health during lockdown.

One of the tips is to keep in contact with family and friends. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

"There are also some wonderful telephone befriending services provided by Age UK and Better Together in Norfolk if you want to make new connections."

Draw to Music

"This is a fun activity we’ve included a few times in our packs.

"Choose a piece of music, or even just listen to the radio, pick up a pen or pencil and see where it takes you.

"You could make long flowing marks to some soft music or more erratic shorter marks to louder music – just relax into the exercise and see what you come up with."

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