Effects of the pandemic are still being felt, as 62% of Britons continue to suffer from the consequences of routines created during the crisis. But the Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult are here to help.

Research from leading health and wellbeing charity, Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult, has revealed how enduring behaviours created by pandemic restrictions have meant that many people continue to put off acts of self-care. These include visiting health professionals or taking exercise, with some having delayed seeing their GP, optician or dentist.

The research further highlights the behaviours that have taken a dip, with diet and exercise being the areas most neglected — 28% of respondents admitting to exercising less and ordering more takeaways than usual.

Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult

Among some of the most common reasons mentioned were seeing fewer people and not prioritising these activities anymore, being less concerned with one’s appearance, worrying healthcare professionals will be too busy, not wanting to be a burden and still limiting interactions.

As a result, more than a third of respondents feel more anxious, less fit, as well as less healthy and less good about themselves. 41% said a physical or a mental health condition has developed or gotten worse during this time.

Sam Ward, Deputy CEO and Director of Services at Royal Voluntary Service said, “The pandemic and subsequent isolation periods forced us into routines and behaviours that are unnatural to us and are bound to have some residual effects. That’s why this winter it is all the more important to look after our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around us.

“Self-neglect can be a sign of poor mental health. The Stay Safe, Warm and Well guide is a fantastic tool to provide advice and support on keeping yourself and loved ones safe. If you are experiencing symptoms of these residual effects along with low mood, you should book an appointment with your GP or speak to a charity supporting mental health.”

To help people look after themselves throughout the difficult winter ahead, Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult have produced the Safe, Warm and Well guide which includes vital information such as how to keep active and eat a healthy diet, how to ensure your home is gas safe, who to call in a power emergency, as well as contacts for mental health support, and where to find essential NHS contact details. By following the advice in the guide, people will be able to better manage the risks that are elevated by cold weather.

Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult

It seems the pandemic has also affected the ways we look after our homes, creating trip and health hazards. Almost a quarter have more clutter around the house than before the pandemic and approximately 1 in 5 haven’t been cleaning as much and have continued to let minor repairs build up.

Reshma Patel, Marketing Manager Yakult UK & Ireland said: “With most aspects of everyday life returning to normal, it‘s easy to overlook personal struggles that carry on behind closed doors. While some people may not want to burden others or ask for help, we hope that our guide will support those most vulnerable and in need to stay safe, warm and well and encourage them to seek help during winter if they need it.”

The guide can be downloaded and the informative video can be viewed here.