It’s never been more important to look after yourself – and others. Here, we round up some of our favourite ways to keep the positive vibes flowing over the coming weeks and months ahead…


Mackems… we’re renowned for our friendly nature! To keep your mental health in top shape, why not get on the phone to friends, families and neighbours and have a right good natter?

Call your loved ones and chat about your day. Ask things like, have you watched that latest season on Netflix? How many cups of coffee have you consumed this morning? Remember when Sunderland got to Wembley?

Arrange regular catch-ups, both on the phone and via video. You can still crack open a bottle of wine with the girls or rewatch a classic football match with the lads, without leaving the sofa!

Don’t just make vague plans to video call ‘at some point’ – plan your evenings around ‘at-home socialising’ just like you normally would. Try to be creative so that you can keep doing the things you love together.


Now is the perfect time to start a new hobby! Whether it’s picking up an instrument, diving into the world of knitting, or losing yourself in the world of reading, finding a new pastime will do your health the world of good. Knitting is known to reduce anxiety, whereas finding a new book (or any book for that matter) can help you escape to another world beyond the four walls of your living room.

The fine folk at Sunderland City Council are allowing bookworms to borrow a selection of e-books, e-audio books and e-magazines for free. All you need to get started is your library card and PIN number.

You can also sign up for the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s free talking books by digital download service. Follow the link below for more information on how you can enjoy a wide range of brilliant novels in the comfort of your home.



We’re proud of who we are and where we come from. It’s the local communities that help make Sunderland the place it is and in uncertain times such as these it’s important to recognise our role within the community.

From donating to those most in need to shopping local, here are some ways to keep your community strong…


Maintaining your mental and physical health is crucial during this difficult time, so keeping up with your regular workout routine is non-negotiable.

Thankfully, many companies are offering free online workouts so you can still get your heart rate up, get sweaty, strengthen your muscles and release all that built-up energy and
emotion. Here’s a few to check out…

Planet Fitness: These health gurus are offering viewers live-streamed at-home workouts. Head to their Facebook page for start times.

WEARfit Sunderland: Get your sweat on with a live workout from the kind folk at WEARfit Sunderland.

Corepower Yoga: Be sure to check out free yoga and sculpting videos on the Corepower Yoga website.


A vital part of what makes Sunderland so special. Take time to think about your local, independent business this April and how you can help and support them during this
difficult time.

A great idea is to purchase an online gift card from your favourite coffee hang-out, hair salon or music hideout.


Pick up the phone and chat with local food banks and homeless shelters around the city to find out what resources they may need. Please continue to support Sunderland Foodbank if possible by using donation points in your local supermarket. Head to their website to out how you can support.


The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are at greater risk of getting sick from Coronavirus. If you’re able, why not volunteer to run errands, such as shopping for groceries, picking up prescriptions and going on toilet-paper runs? Just remember to follow government guidelines at all times!


Some people – and businesses – are providing free therapy, meditation and tutoring online during the pandemic. Core Power Yoga is offering free digital access to instructional yoga videos!

If you’re based around Sunderland and want us to shout about what you’re changing or doing differently in the current situation, email [email protected].

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