Professor Loveday said: “When we feel stress and under threat, our human instinct is to seek out those we feel closest to and those people that we love, and of course at the moment we can’t do that so we have to be creative about how we connect with people. Now, of course there are lots of online options, playing games and stuff, but don’t forget the phone. The human voice is really powerful and it can evoke a lot of the same reactions in the brain as having a hug.
“Also, be present. We have this amazing capacity to time travel, but sometimes that can be uncomfortable at the moment. Our near past and our future are a little bit uncertain so engage your brain in something that’s really compelling and engaging and that’ll be different things for different people. It might be gardening or talking to friends, it might be doing a jigsaw puzzle.
“Finally, be kind to yourself. These are really challenging times for all of us and we’re all having to adjust so look out for the positive news, focus on the things that you can feel grateful for. But also accept that we are human, so if you are having a hard time, try to accept that that’s a normal reaction and don’t judge yourself. Concentrate on what you need to do to look after yourself and keep yourself well.”