When COVID-19 arrived, it completely changed the way we live our lives. We spent more time at home, it became harder to get outside or go to the gym for exercise, and the virus put our health at risk. This has also been a stressful time for many people.
This means it was easier to slip into unhealthy habits. It’s important not to be too hard on yourself if this happened., Instead, take small steps to introduce healthier routines into your life.
How to stay healthy during COVID-19
Here are some tips for staying healthy during the pandemic. Remember, it’s important to be kind to yourself during this time.
Get your COVID-19 vaccine
Understanding how COVID-19 spreads and the best way to protect yourself can help to reduce the risk of catching the virus. Getting vaccinated is the best defence against COVID-19, and it not only helps to protect you, but it also helps to protect those around you. This is especially important for more vulnerable people who are at higher risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19.
Follow COVID-19 guidelines
Although many of the restrictions have lifted, there are things we can all do to protect ourselves from COVID-19, including washing our hands regularly, covering your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze, and self-isolating if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Contact your doctor if you’re unwell or you think something’s wrong
It’s important to contact your doctor if you’re not feeling well or you have an issue you’re concerned about. You may feel reluctant about contacting your GP because of the pressure services are under due to the pandemic, or out of a fear of contracting the virus. However, GPs have been working to treat patients with non-COVID symptoms throughout the pandemic, and it’s extremely important that you contact them if something’s wrong. They are there to deal with whatever issue you’re having.
Take your medication
If you are on medication for a medical condition, it’s important to stay on top of it. Check your prescription and make sure you have enough to keep you going – there’s no need to stockpile, but try and get enough to keep you going for a few weeks or months, depending on the type of prescription you are on.
Eating well when you’re at home
It can be easy to graze on snacks when you’re spending more time at home, but try your best to plan for three healthy meals a day. It’s okay to eat less healthy food every now and then, but eating well is good for your mental and physical wellbeing and can help to give you more energy and feel better.
Planning out your meals can also help to bring more structure to your day, which can be a plus when spending a lot of time at home.
Get some exercise
It can be hard to get into an exercise routine after spending a lot of time at home. Whether you’re someone who used to exercise a lot and you want to get back into it, or you’re someone who is new to exercising, there are many ways you can ease yourself back in. Moving more and finding exercise that works for you can help you to feel better, boost your mood, and improve your health.
Here are some ways you can get started:
- How to plan for 30 minutes of exercise a day
- How to start running
- Outdoor activities to help you get exercise
- 6 physical activities for people who don’t like sport
- Exercises for people with limited mobility
If you’re self-isolating due to COVID-19 but you feel well enough to do some exercise, here are some suggestions for exercising while self-isolating.
Get some sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is really important for your mental health. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule can be difficult when you’re spending all your time at home, but trying to establish a routine can help to bring structure to your day.
Creating a bedtime ritual, avoiding long naps, monitoring your caffeine intake and finding ways to manage stress and anxiety can all help towards getting a better night’s rest. Here are some ways you can improve your sleep.
Looking after your mental health
The pandemic has been a stressful experience for many people, and it can take a toll on your mental health. Remembering to take time for yourself and introduce some self-care into your day is important and can go a long way towards helping you feel better. This might feel difficult to do, especially if you’re responsible for others, but it will ultimately help to keep you going if you look after yourself.
Here are some ways you can introduce self-care into your day:
- How to meditate when you don’t have the money or the time
- 5 mindfulness exercises you can try
- What is self care?
- 8 self care activities for men
Talk to someone about how you’re feeling
This is a stressful time, and it’s normal to feel anxious, scared, or sad. It’s important to talk about how you’re feeling, whether that’s with a friend, a family member, or a support service. Talking helps us to feel better and understand what we’re going through.
Here’s some advice on opening up to someone about your mental health.
Feeling overwhelmed and want to talk to someone?
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin
- Find out more about our text message support service
If you are a customer of the 48 or An Post network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 086 1800 280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’.