The importance of staying positive in these testing times

March 26, 2020
Maureen and husband Michael

Our Volunteer Ambassador, Maureen Winfield, says how important it is to stay positive in these testing times.

When the self-isolation measures were announced, there were many thoughts going through my mind. It’s natural to feel concerned as we’ve never experienced something like this before.

However it’s important to maintain your routine, even in times like this. I for one am a creature of habit with porridge being my breakfast of choice to set me up for the day.

No matter how much we may read in the news, we can try and appreciate the small things in the days ahead and have as positive an outlook as possible.

The weather is beautiful today for one so I decided I should take full advantage and concentrate on outside jobs like gardening. I try to be sensible about this in view of my advanced years! I certainly don’t hold myself out to be the next Alan Titchmarsh, either in talent or passion.

I think it’s invaluable every day during self-isolation to have a balance of doing things that you maybe don’t enjoy doing and things that you do enjoy. It helps to break the day up and makes you look all the more forward to the things you do enjoy.

Whilst I was doing my gardening I heard my neighbour shout from her garden that she had got me some essentials.  I was totally overwhelmed, particularly as she would not take any payment.  We have to remember there are so many good people out there.

Following my stint of gardening, it was now time to do something I enjoy so I decided to take my knitting outside whilst the weather was so good. I found a mistake I had made yesterday so had to unravel all my good work (or in this case, not so good work!).  I have a passion at the moment of knitting household pets to help raise funds for Dementia UK. They are doing so much to help families, particularly right now with their Helpline taking calls from carers and people with dementia who are feeling lonely and isolated.

I know just how lonely and isolating dementia can be when my late husband Michael was diagnosed with the condition. There is support out there and I’m so thankful for my current support from people like Susan Odgen, Jean Broscombe and Maureen McGlynn, who are all fellow Volunteer Ambassadors at Dementia UK. It’s always so lovely to catch up with them.

Technology is my main every day support tool. I would just hate not to be able to use technology.  My grandson refers to me as “Techno Grannie.” I would encourage anyone to have a go. The younger people who are not able to work because of the present crisis could possibly encourage and teach their older generations to embrace technology. For me it is a lifeline.

Maureen and Michael on their wedding day

Of course, no day is complete without a good dinner. Last week my grandson brought me some sweet potatoes. Today I turned them into eight meal portions.  It shows how simple ingredients can be turned into a tasty and healthy meal.  I would encourage everyone during isolation to put their cooking skills to the test and maintain good health in doing so.

At the start of the day and of this blog, I reminded myself of the importance of staying positive, and so far today I have.  I found just how kind people are, I never in my wildest dreams expected my neighbour turning up with supplies.

Take care everyone – we are all in this together.