Coping with COVID-19

Here are 10 ways for you and your family to keep positive during the pandemic

We are living in uncertain times. The coronavirus pandemic has led to closures, isolation and upheaval for almost everyone. Here at Irabina we recognise that some of our families may be having a difficult time. Even as we do our best to maintain “business as usual”, shifting to our eHealth platform to deliver services online, with all the other changes in our lives at the moment we’re all learning how to adjust to a new way of doing things.

We hope these ten tips and help you and your family to keep moving forward and stay positive.

1. Do what makes you happy (and make it your focus)

Be a positive force and take control of your surroundings. Look for and share the positive stories that you’re hearing – from the everyday achievements of your kids to the bigger picture. Focus on what matters to you and the things that you can control.

2. Stick to a routine

A routine will help you and your family to hold onto a sense of normalcy. Continue your usual routine or create a new one. Go to sleep and wake up at reasonable times; dress for “work” or “play”; set regular work hours and break times and communicate this with your family. Don’t be tempted to work longer because you’re at home

3. Set short and long-term goals, for you and your family

Set short and long-term goals. Tidy the house, learn to draw, practice a musical instrument, listen to an audio book. Work with kids to set goals that interest them – goals shouldn’t be unrealistic or punishing. Set aside blocks of time to work towards completing goals as part of the daily routine.

Extra tip: Goals that involve tasks with small, repetitive motions like knitting or other crafts can be relaxing and help alleviate anxiety.

4. Stay Connected

You aren’t alone. Keep in touch with your network and maintain supportive relationships. Check in with friends you haven’t heard from, set virtual play dates for kids, organise game or movie nights online with friends and set up Skype or face time calls with your relatives.

5. Continue to Exercise

Movement is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Allocate at least 30 minutes each day to some form of exercise. If you want to head outside, be conscious of social distancing – consider going out earlier in the day or heading to a remote location. Alternatively stay inside and check out Youtube for some fun exercise or yoga videos that you can do with the whole family.

6. Stay Healthy and Hydrated

Did you know it’s easy to forget to eat and drink when you’re feeling stressed or anxious? A good diet can go a long way to keeping you and your family feeling well. Remember to drink regularly and eat healthy, nutritious food. Plan your meals in advance and cut down on high energy food and drink if you’re less active.

7. Be Kind (to yourself and others)

Family, friends, strangers – the pandemic is taking its toll on everyone. Be prepared for bad behaviour and be gentle in response. Lower expectations (both of yourself and those around you) and reward the small acts of kindness that help make each day easier. Encourage understanding and be considerate.

8. Create a Retreat at Home

With more people in the home at all hours of the day, it’s important for each family member to have a “safe place” that they can retreat to. Set aside a small area in the house for each person and encourage them to fill it with things they find relaxing and comforting. Ensure everyone knows to respect each other’s retreat and allow them their privacy and quiet time.

9. Stick to the Facts (and limit your intake)

There is a lot of scary “news” floating around at present, some true and much false. Find your own trusted sources of information about COVID-19, set yourself a regular, limited schedule for receiving updates, and leave it at that. Avoid reading and sharing sensationalist, alarmist stories (especially with children) and avoid an unhealthy media diet. Before reading and sharing something, consider if it is “helping” or “harming”.

10. Don’t feel guilty for taking a “corona” holiday

Take a break! Watch Netflix, read a book, play a game, hang out online with friends. Play with the kids and your pets – make up games and stories with heroes and monsters. Don’t feel bad for having fun. Keep living and enjoying your life.

It’s important to remember that we are all here for each other and Irabina is always here for you. If you or your family need any help during this time, please feel free to reach out to us or your support network for advice, guidance and understanding.

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