Keeping healthy during the lockdown

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Vicky meets... counsellor Marian Stapley.

• What do you do?

I am a professional qualified counsellor and work with adults so that they don’t have to struggle with their issues alone. My particular niche is anything that makes us anxious – issues with relationships in the family or work; health issues, particularly cancer, and bereavement. I also work with two local charities as a counsellor: Cancerwise, a drop-in centre based in Chichester that provides support services for people diagnosed with cancer, their families and carers, and also Sage Counselling, a domiciliary home counselling service for adults with limited mobility. My work is interesting, varied and the best job ever.

• Is routine important during lockdown?

Marian StapleyMarian Stapley
Marian Stapley

Very important. It helps keep us grounded and reduces stress levels, keeping us as healthy as possible. Regular meal times, bedtime routines and regular exercise can really help our wellbeing and give us more headspace to do other things. Making cleaning part of your routine, so that your environment it is a pleasant place to be, can also aid wellbeing.

• Getting outside is also important, right?

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Lots of studies support the theory that being outside can really improve wellbeing. Particularly at this time of self-isolation and social distancing it’s very important to spend some time outside if at all possible, walking in the park or in your garden. Even when you don’t have access to an outside space there are still ways to benefit – sitting by an open window listening to the birds and feeling the wind or sun on your face can connect to your nature and lift your spirits.

• What else can we do to help ourselves at this time?

Don’t watch the news constantly. This may contribute to increasing your anxiety levels, so limit the input. Keep in contact with people, and do take daily exercise. As you abide to the two-metre rule take your daily walk, run or cycle ride and when you see others outside, keep your distance but try to have eye contact; say hello to help you feel part of the community again. Try to learn something new, practise mindfulness and meditation and have a giggle – when life gets too much it’s so important that we can still find something to laugh at. Clap for the NHS – by doing this it helps us feel as if we still have a connection with others – and, if you’re well, have no symptoms and are physically able, volunteer. There are many organisations and charities that need help and it could be the thing that keeps you mentally strong as well as helping someone else. Even making a call to someone in isolation can increase wellbeing in both parties.

• Where can we find more information about your services?

At this time when counsellors are unable to see clients face to face I, like many other counsellors, have moved to telephone and online counselling. Find out more and read my blog at or contact me on 07815628911 or at [email protected]


A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

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With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

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