Olivia's chair being refurbished.

People have been describing what they have been doing to take care of their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Both the virus and fear have spread throughout the world. Anxiety and a sense of unknowing are things most of the UK’s population can relate to at this moment.

Looking online at social media and news outlets can be a very depressing experience. However, what you might have heard less about are the things people have been doing to keep positive.

Student Olivia Coe has been getting creative and refurbishing furniture from the comfort and safety of her home.

Olivia’s finished chair

“I started painting old furniture and found it very calming. It was exciting to be doing something quite easy but still new to me. I learned that I’m still capable of doing new things and creating.”

Olivia talks about how refurbishing her old furniture helped her stay positive

Student Ben Margett has been using poetry as a source of creative release.

“I’ve been writing a lot more poetry recently, which is something I’ve really been lacking in the past year. Who knew it took the government enforcing us to stay inside to get my creative juices flowin’.”

Musician Tom Featherstone has been putting on gigs from his university house and live streaming them to Instagram.

Tom Featherstone performing

“I’m a musician based in Sheffield, I’d just managed to book some big gigs but then with the coronavirus outbreak, they were cancelled. I was locked away from my band. But I think like a lot of musicians, I have looked for new ways to present what we do.

“I’ve been doing live gigs in my house and in a way we’ve been able to have a real live audience. It’s a different thing to a gig, it can’t be the same but it’s a good way to work at the moment.”

Tom talks about the fun of live stream gigs

Founder of Hockley Hustle, Adam Pickering has been cooking and using his talents to create some flavoursome goodness.

Adam's PizzaAdam’s homemade pizza

“My answer is baking and cooking nice food from scratch – bread, pizza, pasta. It’s the feeling of creating, making something beautiful and complex out of basic ingredients.”

Adam talks about cooking from scratch

An anonymous source with some experience of isolation spoke about things they have found helpful that you can try too.

“I have OCD and have already had to stay in for several months due to medical reasons. I would say it’s important to have a routine and lots of fun activities planned that offer escapism and memories of good times. Nostalgic things help, e.g. playing on an old games console you’ve got lying around.”

So whether you feel like getting practical and showing a bit of love to something old and making it new, exploring the world of live stream gigs or trying out a new venture in the kitchen, comfort yourself that life might not be normal but that does not mean it has to be boring.