Social relationships

Older person using a computer

Spending time with other people

When it comes to wellbeing, other people matter.  Good relationships – with our family, friends and the wider community – are important for our wellbeing.

During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the government has introduced social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. The government has published guidance on what we can and can’t do.

Spending time and connecting with people is important, as our relationships affect both our physical health and mental wellbeing.

Although meeting up with our friends is more limited at the moment, there are ways in which we can build stronger and closer relationships during this period of social distancing, for example:

  • If you are well and not self-isolating, take time each day to be with those you live with, for example, try arranging a fixed time to share a meal and talk.
  • Arrange a time to talk with people you are used to seeing so you can structure your day.
  • Connect with old friends, by phone, email or social media, or phone a friend or family member who needs support or company.
  • Stay in touch with your colleagues or organise a group chat with friends.

If you’re not sure where to start, contact your local Wellbeing team for ideas.

The Silver Line helpline is a dedicated telephone service aimed primarily at tackling loneliness in older people. It is a confidential 24 hour freephone service offering advice, information and friendship. The number is 0800 470 8090.

Be active

Your usual ways of keeping active may not be available at the moment if they involve getting out and about with other people.  This doesn’t mean you can’t be physically active though – physical activity is important for maintaining your health and wellbeing.

You are still able to go out for a walk, run or cycle as long as you stay at least 2 metres (6ft) away from others.  If you have a dog, you can still take it out for a walk every day.

Being physically active in your home or garden will also be good for your health.  Get up and walk around regularly, make a cuppa, do some light housework, or do some gardening if you have a garden.  There are also lots of options for online exercise which you can do in your living room.  You could try:

Contact your local Wellbeing team for more information about how to stay active at home.