Tips to stay sane and healthy during isolation

COVID-19 | LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ADVICE

Dr Alexandra Bernhardi

Health Columnist

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Social isolation doesn't mean you have to isolate yourself completely, it is important to keep in contact with people via phone or online video call.
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With all the extra stress and anxiety we are faced for the next foreseeable weeks or months, it is important to take extra good care of your body and mind. Now is the time to rethink our lifestyle habits and try and see this forced situation as an opportunity to break with bad habits and implement healthy options.

Here are a few tips how to adjust and make the best out of it:

  • Eat fresh food, try out some recipes, cook together as a family and sit down for meals. You find enough fresh produce in the local shops (some of which put together fresh food boxes and even home deliver like “YumYums” in Mossman). Eating nutritious home cooked food is important for your body’s immune system, cooking from scratch fills some of the empty time and keeps kids entertained.

  • Keep up your usual routine, even now you might have kids at home. Go to bed and get up at roughly at the same time you would normally do. If the kids would normally play soccer at 4 in the afternoons, make sure you kick the ball with them in the garden.
  • Physical distancing does not mean social isolation. If grandma usually picked up the children after school, why don’t you let them chat through online platforms like “zoom” with each other around this time? Stay in touch with family, friends and people who might struggle with the mental impact of the situation. Give the lonely neighbour a quick call every day or help him to set up “Skype” to stay connected.

  • Find ways to exercise, indoors or in the garden, go running or walking (with household members or in pairs), try one of the many Yoga sessions on YouTube or join online exercise classes. Try Qi Gong - it is an easy practice that does not require much space or any requisites, but it can help ground you and switch off the stress response. Many people have been creative and are coming up with solutions. Do these things together with the kids - it can be fun.
  • Limit your exposure to news! Get some updates for the day and then TURN OFF THE TV! Limit screen time in general, get out the board games, play charade, put on some of your favourite music. You are allowed to laugh and have fun. Laughing even boosts your immunity. Don’t let the media coverage make you believe that nothing else is important any more.

  • Do not make the mistake to see our temporary social distancing rules as an excuse to indulge in alcohol and fast food or non stop binging on videos. Our lives are going on and we need to take good care of ourselves as well as being good examples for our children.


This crisis is only a crisis if you let it happen. You can also choose to see it as a challenge, that you are going to tackle, and embrace the positive sides of it.


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