Keeping healthy in isolation

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Strict new measures have been implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19 to begin flattening the curve.  This includes staying home and maintaining physical distancing for an unspecified amount of time. Isolation from the broader community can pose a number of challenges, and Eastern Health has some tips for how you can stay healthy at home, physically, emotionally and mentally.

  • Nutrition – a healthy diet is always important, but it’s particularly vital to get the nutrients you need during these times. Fresh fruit and vegetables appear to be available in most supermarkets. Focus on simple, nutritious meals. Some supermarkets are using local volunteers to support people in self-isolation.  Limit alcohol and caffeine as these may increase anxiety and lower mood.  Vitamin C and Zinc are good at maintaining healthy immunity.
  • Stay hydrated – Try to drink water regularly through out the day by drinking 6-8 glasses. When drinking, use this time as another way to practice mindfulness, sip your water slowly as it will support you to calm down and decrease anxiety.  
  • Exercise – Exercise at home, walk around your house or yard. There are lots of exercise videos on the internet. Get into your garden, weeding is good exercise.  If you have access to technology, use YouTube for free exercise programs including things like strength training and yoga. Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health.
  • Social connections – If you have access, use social media to stay connected with family and friends. Use the phone, mobile phones and video calls. If you have limited or no social support, please contact professional organisations for support such as
  • - Get creative in how you connect. Have a virtual coffee, dinner or play date for the children using video conferencing. Link children up via video to stay connected with their friends and older relatives, send drawings via the phone to their friends, or play games via Skype or Zoom.
  • Get outdoors – Try to get outdoors every day. Sit in the sun.  Fresh air, being in nature and Vitamin D are known to promote good emotional and mental health.
  • Sleep – In these uncertain times, worry may be impacting your sleep. Getting a good nights’ sleep will support you to manage the uncertainty at the moment. Keep a regular sleep routine. Limit active screen time an hour before going to sleep. Use a meditation app, such as Calm to support getting to sleep. Breathing techniques can be useful such as the 5 x 5 breathing space. Breathe in for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts, breathe out for 5 counts, hold for 5 counts and repeat 5 times. Do this with children together so they can copy what to do.
  • Medications – Make sure you’re keeping up with prescribed medication and have enough scripts to save unnecessary trips to your GP or chemist. If you are concerned, speak to your GP or pharmacist about options if you run out and cannot leave the house to access more.

Helpful Resources