Whether you’re self-isolating alone or with your family, it’s important to keep your health top of mind. We’ve collated some information to help you look after all aspects of health and wellbeing over this period.
When you’re out of routine, it’s easy to fall into the trap of quick fixes and comfort foods. But now more than ever, prioritising good nutrition is essential to maintaining good health.
You might have more time to cook slow food, to source new recipes or dig out your old favourites. With less pressure on your time you may even be able to involve kids in the preparation of food.
Make your evening meal preparation a shared family ritual, a chance to turn off screens and re-connect in a positive way. Nutrition Australia is a great resource for all things nutrition. Or check out our healthy recipe ideas.
Educate and recreate
Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill or explore other recreation options. YouTube is full of great tutorials for whatever you want to learn – from origami to mechanics, knitting to baking sourdough, the world is your oyster.
As much as we can also use TV as a way to switch off from the word, watching documentaries like David Attenborough is a way to use screen time to your educational advantage.
There are also many small business owners and artists who are using their online platforms to provide free or low-cost classes and tutorials.
It's easy to get into the habit of making multiple cups of tea to pass the time, but try and maintain a healthy fluid intake. Water is always the best option, so fill a water bottle or keep track of how many glasses you drink throughout the day.
Keep a jug of water in the fridge for refills, pop in an ice cube or a slice of lemon to mix it up. You can even sign up for the H30 challenge to help motivate you to drink more water.
Physical activity is so important for maintaining your physical and mental health. But you may have to be creative in how you get your daily dose. The most important thing to remember is that doing something is much better than doing nothing.
- Try and keep your regular exercise routine.
- Use online apps and free YouTube videos – there is everything from chair-based exercise classes to high intensity workouts.
- There’s a number of great online resources for kids to take advantage of too – PE with Joe and Cosmic Kids Yoga are two popular options.
- Try setting a reminder for yourself to move on the hour – get up and walk your hall, stand and sit, walk to the letterbox and back. Just move!
- Sign up to become a movement champion with Active Geelong and explore their resources for active living.
With the social restrictions in place, our chance for usual contact with others is limited. But it’s not impossible to stay connected to others, you just need to make a little more effort than you normally would.
- Pick up the phone and talk – it’s easy to shoot a text or email but now the joy that a quick phone call brings is immense. Both you and the person you call will appreciate hearing a human voice.
- Connect through video calling – use Skype, FaceTime or one of the many social connection platforms to link up with your colleagues, family and friends. Book in a time for grandma to read a bedtime story to the grandkids, make a regular coffee and chat time with your friends and try holding your book club or other community group activities online.
- Social media is a great way to stay connected with others but monitor your news feed and time online. Ensure you have things that bring you joy and laughter, rather than stress and anxiety. Have clear time limits to your screen time to avoid mindless hours of scrolling.
- Be creative – there’s a Going On A Bear Hunt movement happening where people are putting stuffed toys or teddies in the front window of their homes. When children go for walks, rides or drives they can spot the teddies on their way. It’s a simple but creative way to connect with your community. The Nextdoor app is another great way to connect with your local neighbourhood and support those who live close to you during this time.
It’s normal to feel some anxiety or stress when our routine is upended, particularly when we are isolated from our usual supports. All of these tips will help you to maintain your mental health over this period, however if you still don’t feel like your usual self, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Talk to others on the phone, Skype or other online forums. There’s no doubt that others feel the same as you.
- Head to Health offers specific COVID-19 mental health support
- Beyond Blue is a wealth of information including online chat rooms for social connection
- Lifeline – call 13 11 14 for crisis support and suicide prevention
And remember, you are not alone. We are all in this together, even while we’re staying further apart.