Times are tough right now. And the more vulnerable among us are largely stuck in our homes and may feel isolated. So it is important that we lean on each other, and yourself as well.
Staying fit and well while stuck at home can seem challenging at first. With your favourite local yoga studios, gyms and mindfulness centres closing for now, you might feel like giving up on exercising and the hobbies you used to enjoy.
Luckily, our wonderful community has shown itself to be incredibly adaptable. Fitness classes, yoga sessions and even art classes are now being streamed over Zoom, which can help you feel a little more connected while physically isolated.
Here’s our guide to safeguarding your physical and mental wellbeing during lockdown.
This page is part of the Covid-19 Help Hub. You might also find these other pages useful:
Local shops that are open, deliver or do click and collect
Live local updates
How to help others and get involved
Useful links for businesses and residents
If you have coronavirus symptoms and a car, you can book a free appointment at one of the NHS’s drive-through testing sites. You need to get the test done in the first five days of having symptoms.
You can ask for a test:
• for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
• for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms
In England and Wales, you can ask for a test for a child who lives with you, whatever their age.
The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
The nearest drive-through testing sites to Tower Hamlets are in Dalston and Greenwich.
Apply for an appointment here.
If you don’t have a car, you can order a testing kit to your home. You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. If possible, order the test in the first 3 days as it may take a day or two to arrive.
You can get one test for each person in your household with symptoms. Order an at-home test by visiting the GovUK’s website here.
Some people can get priority tests on GOV.UK. Go to GOV.UK if you:
• are an essential worker, including NHS or social care staff
• are asking for tests for the residents and staff of your care home
• have a verification code from your employer
Live streaming yoga and fitness
Mix up your daily exercise by incorporating some live classes streamed straight to your living room. If you do choose to visit a park to work out, it’s important to maintain government guidelines and follow distancing measures (standing six feet apart from others).
Chisenhale Dance Space
Ease your homeschooling angst with a weekly family dance class. Every Saturday, Chisenhale Dance Space’s Robyn Holder will be hosting a ‘Creative Movement for the Family’ class from 10.30am – 11.15 am.
The lesson is aimed at all children aged 3 and over, parents included! It will explore creative ideas, expressive tasks and new ways to move in your home with the emphasis always on fun and discovery.
This is a donate-what-you-can class but donations of £5 are strongly encouraged.
To sign up, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org by 10am on the day, with the name that you made the donation in and the name of your child.
move studio are hosting daily virtual classes priced at £6 each. From Slow Flow to Full-Body workouts and everything in between. You can view their full timetable here.
ànimo yoga are also offering online lessons. And they have an introduction offer – 14 days unlimited live stream classes for £25.
They are also organising a number of masterclasses such as two hours of Rocket and Yogasana-inspired flow with plenty of upside down and arm balances thrown in on the 20 June.
Bee Fit Pilates
Belinda from Bee Fit Pilates has a timetable for virtual lessons aimed at various levels of experience on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Saturday.
Contact email@example.com for more information and to determine your experience level.
St Barnabas Church, Grove Rd, E3 5TG
If you’re missing attending Gemma’s affordable classes at St Barnabas’s church and Victoria Park, look no further. As part of her spring-inspired yoga schedule, expect to find a range of different class styles including forward folds, twists and backbends.
Yoga Gem have just started holding classes in Victoria Park, with mats separated by a safe distance. These outdoor classes are weather dependent.
1-3 Wager St, E3 4JD
The dog training, walking, daycare and grooming business on Bow Common Lane has moved their classes online.
All of their dog training, from puppy classes to advanced and senior and rescue dogs, is now being taught through Zoom.
Tower Hamlets Tennis Courts
Victoria Park, Grove Rd, E3 5TB
Fancy some exercise IRL? Tower Hamlets Tennis Courts have reopened with new safety rules so that everyone can happily enjoy the courts.
They are asking you to use your feet or bodyweight to open the gate, rather than your hands and to maintain social distancing at all times. Before playing, you need to book online here.
These times are admittedly hard, and if you or a loved one needs professional help, here are local remote services, where you can talk to a professional without leaving your house.
Remote mental and physical health help for young people
Health Spot is providing a remote medical service for young people in need of physical, sexual or mental health help. It is for those aged 11-19, and up to 25 if you have SEND or any additional needs. Go to Health Spot’s webpage to find out how you can make an appointment.
Tower Hamlets LGBT Forum
Are you struggling with how to fill your day at home during lockdown? Has self-isolation made it harder to keep in touch with your LGBT community?
Join Tower Hamlets LGBT weekly online peer-networking group where you can be yourself in a safe, fun environment.
The meet ups will feature chats and discussions and workshops led by a facilitator with activities that delve into LGBT issues.
They also have a group specifically for over 50s.
Their next event is on the 27 May 2020. Click here for more info.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and the link to access the group.
The Plane Tree
31 Roman Road, London E2 0HU
A mind and body therapy centre offering counselling, massages and osteopathy among their services in Bethnal Green. The centre is closed but a selection of their practitioners are offering online therapy sessions.
Green Space Coaching
2 Lyal Road,London, E3 5QG
Karen Liebenguth is an accredited mindfulness expert and life coach. She normally holds sessions in Victoria Park but has moved all her services online. She is currently offering 30-minute sessions for mental health with a combination of paid and donation-based slots. Email her if you’re interested.
Check out Liebenguth’s top tips and mindful exercises here.
51 Roman Rd, E2 0HU
This secular branch of the London Buddhist Centre is offering a free, 6-week kindness behaviour training course, delivered over Zoom.
This free mindfulness programme will be delivered by founder of Breathing Space, Dr. Paramabandhu Groves, a former NHS Consultant Psychiatrist and buddhist author. Learn how to manage your emotions, be kinder to others and yourself.
The London Buddhist Centre
51 Roman Rd, E2 0HU
If you find yourself overwhelmed, why not slow down, sit down and simply…breathe. The London Buddhist Centre may have closed its doors, but they have free online meditation guides, and Youtube live-streaming sessions. Check out their timetable here.
Also check out the NHS’s guide on taking care of your mental wellbeing while you’re at home: there are quite a lot of useful tips you can practice on a day-to-day basis. After all, it’s about taking it one step at a time.
There’s no better way to pass the time than doing something you enjoy. Starting a new hobby can also help you to relax, while also teaching yourself something new and useful.
While you’re inside, here are some ideas that you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep up your spirits.
Hannah’s Big Sing
The Hub, Victoria Park, Grove Rd, E3 5TB
What better way to lift your mood than with a group singalong? Belt out feel-good classics from the comfort of your home and learn some singing techniques along the way. Don’t worry, this group choir is for beginners.
Find out more about Hannah Brine’s inspiring group singing classes here.
2 Cotall Street, E14 6TL
Ease into your Saturday morning with a relaxing drawing class.
Join Poplar Union’s art tutor – Paolo – as he walks you through the process of drawing. Every week will be a different tutorial, teaching you a new aspect of drawing.
Hoxton Mini Press
Imagine opening the door to wistfully stare at the outside world while being largely confined to your house, and you find… a book! On your doorstep. What a lovely surprise.
Hoxton Mini Press is an independant books retailer and publisher. They are currently offering 20% off all deliveries.
Activities like spending time in nature, and cooking are good for your mental health – and that’s a scientific fact. So warm yourself on gloomier days with chocolate chai or Sazzy and Fran’s vegan french toast recipe. All the flavours of Roman Road, without leaving your house.
If that’s tickled your tastebuds, checkout our weekly series – Quarantine Cooking – with local chef, Oliver Rowe. He’s whipped up some super adaptable, delicious classics you can start making right away.
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