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Coronavirus

19 May, 2020

Keeping healthy minds and bodies through the coronavirus outbreak: a service user perspective

While everyone is affected by the coronavirus restrictions, there are things we can all do to help us get through this time. One former service user tells us how they try to keep their mind and body active as a way of staying positive and healthy.

The Latin phrase “mens sana en corpore sana” translates to “a healthy mind is a healthy body”. The two work together: keeping healthy means we have to find ways of staying physically and mentally fit during the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Try to exercise the mind and body. I walk and jog around 3 kilometres daily. This helps me to not put on weight and, importantly, helps me feel I have accomplished something positive in my daily routine. Make sure to stretch before and after exercise, and try a few press-ups afterwards. Be mindful of nature all around you, whether it’s birdsong, different shades of colour on the foliage from various trees, or the beautiful blue skyline. 

Read something of interest and fun every day, and limit watching the news or scrolling through social media to maybe twice a day. Breathe deeply and release.

Before you retire to bed, think of three things you have accomplished which give your day value. These can be small tasks, like showering and getting dressed, for example, or making your bed in the morning. Keep in the now, and keep things simple in these times especially.

These little steps every day help me to keep my body and mind well and engaged, and I hope you find them helpful too.

Remember to keep positive: positivity breeds positivity.

Practical tips for visiting the supermarket during COVID-19

Our service user shares some more practical tips which help them to manage anxiety and promote their wellbeing when shopping during COVID-19.

  • Before you visit

    Try to do a big weekly shop, so you have to make less trips. You might find it less overwhelming to visit the supermarket in the evening time; it’s less crowded and easier to navigate the store. It’s a good idea to make a list before visiting, as it reduces time spent in the supermarket. 

  • Stock levels

    Try not to worry about stock levels: supermarkets have systems to keep their shelves well-stocked. 

  • Hand sanitiser

    Use an appropriate hand sanitiser or hand wash before you go to the shop.

  • Use a mask and gloves

    Be sure to wear a mask and dispose or wash it safely after use. Use an appropriate hand sanitiser or hand wash before you go to the shop. You can also wear latex gloves to help protect you when handling stock. You might find it useful to keep a mask and a spare pair of gloves in your bag or your car. Be sure to dispose of your mask and gloves safely when you return home. If they are reusable, be sure to wash as per care instructions. 

  • At the tills

    Try to keep two metres from other shoppers at all times and use contactless payment to avoid handling cash. Latex gloves can add another layer of protection at the till if you are paying with a card. 

  • When you return home

    Ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after shopping as soon as you arrive home. 

  • Reduce the spread

    Remember, by wearing a mask and gloves, you are protecting yourself and other people by helping to prevent the virus from being spread. The Health Service Executive (HSE) recommends wearing a mask in public, as it may reduce the spread of coronavirus in the community.