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Practical advice during impractical times

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​Everywhere you look right now, it’s painfully obvious that we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Even if you’ve somehow managed to avoid the endless news cycle, you can’t help but notice the empty supermarket shelves, deserted streets, and uninhabited office buildings.

The empty supermarket shelves are causing a headache for a lot of people, not least the supermarket employees who are trying to keep those shelves stocked up, whilst also taking the brunt of the public’s anger over toilet roll availability.

We’ve put together some of our top tips to help everyone get through the next few weeks, or however long we may all be relegated to our homes.


If there are certain items that you are struggling to get your hands on during your weekly shop, don’t panic. Chances are, there is something similar that you’ll be able to switch it out for easily. No handwash? Pop the lid off the top of your empty handwash bottle, and empty a bottle of shower gel into it. The best thing to kill this virus is soap, after all, and shower gel is soap! There’s also a shortage of toilet paper, yet the boxes of tissues in the adjacent aisle have been virtually untouched.

Pasta is another store cupboard stable that has all but vanished from the supermarket shelves. However, it’s easy enough to throw together your own pasta from scratch: all you need are three ingredients, eggs, water, and flour. And don’t forget about those tins of food that have been languishing at the back of your kitchen cupboards for the past year – thrifty chef Jack Munroe has a plethora of recipes for delicious meals on her website, many of which you can make using nothing but tinned goods.


You may hear the words ‘quarantine’ and think that you’re relegated to your couch for the foreseeable future. Absolutely not! We may be on lockdown, but you are allowed out once a day to exercise as long as you take precautions - staying a safe distance from strangers, regular handwashing – getting out for a jog or a walk will do you the world of good. Both your mind and your body will feel invigorated, and the daylight and fresh air may help blow some of the cobwebs away.


Social distancing can be difficult for many people, as it may not take long for the isolation to set in. Luckily, we live in a time where we have amazing computers that fit into the palm of our hands. Instead of texting someone, why not jump on a quick FaceTime call, or Google Hangout? You’ll feel much more connected, and it will help keep the isolation at bay.

Check on your neighbours

We often take our neighbours for granted – a quick hello and a wave as we pass, before heading into our own houses. However, you never know who might be struggling right now. Maybe the elderly woman down the street was unable to get some of her essentials during her last weekly shop, but you could quickly pick some things up for her when you do your own shopping. Or the disabled gentleman three doors down might not have been able to book his usual supermarket home delivery, and has no food in the cupboards.

We can still practice social distancing whilst looking out for each other, and just a quick check on someone vulnerable could make a huge difference in your community. Plus, when all of this has blown over, you’ll have better and stronger relationships for it.


Do you have any practical tips to share, to try and make these next few weeks or months easier for everyone? We’re all in this together, after all, so let’s show some care and compassion to each other.