Daily Record

I can’t bring joy to people in person but online works fine

- Sharon Miller, 51, Partick

I’M IN the business of laughter and I’m finding ways to keep spreading the joy during the lockdown.

Laughter therapy and laughter yoga is a combinatio­n of laughter exercises, movement and breathing.

I founded my company Joyworks!, 12 years ago, we bring laughter events, projects and training to people of all abilities, ages and background­s.

We work with a lot of charities that are doing amazing work and with vulnerable groups, people with physical and mental health problems, and some big companies and organisati­ons.

Our brains don’t know the difference between genuine and pretend laughter, and each has the same positive effect of brightenin­g our mood, decreasing stress and making us feel better.

Laughter is also scientific­ally proven to boost our immune system and improve our lung capacity, so it has so many benefits during the coronaviru­s pandemic.

We would normally deliver our laughter workshops personally but during the lockdown I started

“Joy In” online sessions a month ago, and it’s been going really well. The online workshops are a concoction of dancing, moving, inspiratio­nal quotes and stories, laughter and breathing.

I have a lot of our local followers logging in but also people from as far as Australia joining our sessions.

We all need to find ways to keep ourselves, motivated, happy and healthy during this really challengin­g time. During the lockdown, all our sessions are being offered free to any frontline workers or those living with a health condition.

Laughter is contagious and like the saying goes it really is the best medicine. I absolutely love what I do and how many people it helps. ●As told to Elaine Livingston­e, in line with social distancing guidelines. If you know someone you think should be featured in our Lockdown lives, please get in touch.

LEARN THE BASICS OF PLANTS Don’t know your daffodils from your petunias? Well, now could be a great time to know which plants are which, and when best to plant them to bring your garden to life.

The Royal Horticultu­ral Society has a great beginners’ guide to gardening on its website, rhs.org.uk. MAKE A MUD KITCHEN Children love nothing more than getting dirty, so why not encourage them to get outside and make a mud kitchen.

You don’t need anything fancy – just let the kids loose with some old kitchen utensils and pots and see what culinary masterpiec­es they come up with.

Maybe don’t eat them, though. LEARN TO STRIP PAINT This skill is important for so many aspects of DIY, so could be an important one to learn now.

Expert Rosalie Lawrence said: “To achieve optimum results, different paints and coatings will require a specific layer of paint stripper.

“Layers of old oil-based paints and varnishes typically found on furniture or fireplaces, for example, can be easily removed with Kling Strip. Simply paste on, cover with polythene and leave to work before washing off.

“Masonry, emulsion or spray paints will require a solvent stripper such as Solvistrip.”

Visit www.strippersp­aintremove­rs.com for help, advice and products. MAKE YOUR OWN WINDOW BOX Even if you live in a flat, this could be the perfect way to brighten up your days right now.

There are lots of tutorials on YouTube, teaching you how to make a window planter and you can order seeds online. MAKE YOUR OWN BEACH IF YOU have bags of sand leftover from a building project, why not create your own beach in your garden?

If you have a children’s sandpit, bring summer forward and dig out those bucket and spades – they’ll love making sandcastle­s and digging their toes in the sand.

And you can do it too and think ahead to those days when we can go to the beach for real.

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