How to keep your mind and body healthy whilst staying at home through COVID-19

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As Victorians are doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and to protect themselves and those most vulnerable in the community by isolating and staying indoors, we need to remember to look after ourselves.

Whether you live alone, with family or friends – it’s likely you are having less contact with your community at the moment, which may mean you’re not seeing those you love or getting to move your body in the way you normally would.    

Below are some of our tips on how to keep your mind and body healthy during this time.

Keep your body moving 

Getting your body moving can improve how you feel physically and mentally. If you’re isolating at home, you might not be able to do some of the types of exercise you would normally enjoy, but there are lots of ways to keep moving while inside the house or backyard.

We suggest:

  • Stretching daily is a great way to increase the blood flow through your body. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of free classes on YouTube, so you can choose something that suits your abilities. Some great YouTube channels to try are 
    • Bob & Brad – two physiotherapists with lots of great videos for seniors 
    • Doctor Jo – a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy with stretching videos for people of all abilities  
    • Yoga with Adriene – one of the most popular yoga instructors on YouTube with videos for people of all abilities including Wheelchair Yoga 
  • If you’re a regular in the weights room, you might be missing your time at the gym. But you don’t have to visit the gym to be able to pump it up – there are lots of common household items you can use as hand weights. Grab some cans of food for bicep curls, or a bag of flour to add weight to your squats. Be sure to check with your local gym if they offer remote or virtual training classes. 

Get some rest and relaxation 

It’s normal to feel some stress or anxiety when something out of the ordinary happens, and this situation is pretty unusual. It’s important to know that it’s okay and normal to feel any emotions you’re having.

What’s important is that you focus on using this time to relax as best you can. This looks different for everyone and may be reading a book, listening to a podcast or audiobook, getting creative with some art or watching your favourite movie.

Keep in touch with your community 

⠀Many of our participants are now unable to participate actively in their community, so it’s more important than ever to stay connected. Connection with community can be a huge boost for our mental wellbeing. Just because you’re self-quarantining, doesn’t mean you have to be completely cut off from everyone.⠀

There are simple steps you can take to stay connected with your community. ⠀

  • Where possible, keep connected to your family, friends and work colleagues through phone, email and social media. ⠀
  • Support others in your community. Look out for your neighbours and family members.⠀
  • Do not panic buy foods, medicines or other goods. Hoarding can harm vulnerable people and communities.

Enjoy some fresh air 

Being outside can help you to feel less confined when self-isolating and can reduce stress levels. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or an outside space, take some time out from indoors and enjoy some fresh air. It may be as simple as eating lunch outside, reading a book in the backyard or taking a walk around the block.

What are your tips for staying mentally and physically active while isolating?