Community and MindSpace

Community and MindSpace

3 April 2020

Community has always been at the heart of what MindSpace has been trying to engender in all we do to improve our wellbeing. We know from science that social isolation negatively impacts both our physical and mental health.  

Never in recent history have we needed community more and the negative impact of losing social connections will already be being felt by most of us. Many will be feeling anxious, pensive or fearful, lonely or homesick. These are all completely normal given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in. Recognising, accepting and acknowledging these feelings is a good first step to managing them. Reminding ourselves that these are due to temporary measures put in place to protect a small but significant proportion of our ‘neighbours’. 

However, new connections are being made all over Stamford due to the current situation of social isolation. In our community we have seen incredible kindness and giving over the last couple of weeks. For example, offers of shopping, medicine collection, dog walking, pet food. Donations of home grown produce, cake, eggs and the like. 

Our advice at this early stage if you are struggling with the isolations is to be bold and reach out (not physically!) to somebody, be it a friend or family or neighbour. Why not suggest a similar idea to some people on your own street – you will find that never have people been more open and approachable and in all likelihood appreciate the connection themselves and be more than willing to help and be helped. 

As the whole of the world grapples with how to do community in these difficult times, over the coming weeks and months we will be offering support and advice through a regular column. In this we will be highlighting ways to stay well and giving practical tips, and we welcome any suggested topics from readers. In our next contribution we shall be sharing ideas around the NHS 5 ways to wellbeing, building on the work already undertaken in our local schools, and providing the opportunity for all citizens of Stamford, young and old, to share the same language. 

This was one of a series of MindSpace articles published in The Stamford Mercury during the Coronavirus lockdown.