Brian's top tips for coping with self-isolation 14 April 2020 It’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and scared by everything you’re hearing right now. We want to reassure you that it's normal to feel like this, and you're not alone. Coping with self-isolation isn't always easy, but we're here to help. Stroke survivor Brian, who volunteers at our Perth Stroke Group, shares his top tips below to help you and your loved ones cope during this difficult time. When Brian had a stroke in 2011, he learned to overcome some of life’s greatest challenges. Here are his top tips on how you can do the same. Keep active Since recovering from my stroke, I set myself the challenge of walking up the same hill every day. Now we’re in isolation, getting outside is challenging but thankfully I can still get in my daily walk and keep to my routine. I’m the type of person that needs to be outside – it’s therapeutic and you can lose yourself in the outdoors. If you can get out in the garden or for a walk, the fresh air really helps clear the mind. Pick up the phone Our Stroke Group is postponed and for people who have aphasia like myself, and find it difficult to speak or express themselves, I know it will be a particularly difficult time. They can’t easily pick up the phone and talk and I know how that feels. It’s like you’re cut off from the world and this period of lockdown will only make that worse. So, I have been calling and checking in on friends over the phone. There's nothing better than hearing a familiar voice at the end of the line. I think we can all get through difficult times with others by our side. Lose yourself in a book I’m taking some time to relax and read more books. It took me a long time to relearn how to read after the stroke, so reading is something I cherish and enjoy. Now’s the time to start that book or whatever you have always been planning. Look after yourself Everything feels overwhelming and the speed of what is happening each day can be frightening. That’s why it’s important to look after yourself, keep to a routine, chat over the phone and do what you enjoy. In these difficult times, my father’s RAF motto comes to mind now more than ever. Per Ardua Ad Astra which means ‘through adversity to the stars’. I think these words will give everyone comfort and the hope they need right now. If you're worried about coronavirus and need advice on coping with self-isolation, you can read our advice online or contact our specialist Advice Line Nurses over the phone on 0808 801 0899. Need more support? Our amazing Kindness Volunteers are here to help with everything from regular calls to check in on you, to delivering shopping and picking up medicine. If you - or someone you know - would benefit from this, please click here to sign up for help.