We've compiled a survival guide to get you through if you're in self-isolation, working from home, or just trying to minimise the amount of time you spend in public.

We've picked the brains of our clinicians and compiled a host of resources to help you stay healthy including:

  • Tips on staying mentally healthy from a psychologist
  • How to still eat a balanced diet when your pantry is bare from a dietitian
  • Exercises you can do at home from an exercise physiologist
  • When and how to seek medical help from a GP

Staying mentally healthy

We are living in worrying times so it's no surprise that many people are struggling with their mental health. Below are some tips for looking after your mental health during the pandemic:

  • Avoid news and social media if you find it distressing
  • Know where to find good quality information (information from the Australian Government can be found HERE)
  • Stay calm and follow official advice 
  • Remind yourself that this is a temporary situation
  • While you may need to be at a physical distance from other people still try and stay connected to family and friends through telephone and social media
  • Stay active and maintain good eating and sleeping habits
  • If you're in self-isolation establish a routine 
  • For those working from home maintain a healthy balance with dedicated breaks

If you're in need of urgent mental health support you can call:

Emergency – 000

eheadspace Telephone Chat – 1800 650 890 (9am-1am)

Lifeline – 13 11 14

24 Hour Mental Health Care (Qld Health) – 1300 642 255

Kids Helpline (Ages 5-25) – 1800 55 1800

Eating well

Eating a balanced diet can be difficult when supermarkets are out of stock of many items or you're stuck at home in arms reach of that pack of Tim Tams in your fridge.

If you're in mandatory self-isolation, getting groceries may also be difficult. Delivery is a good option. Supermarkets such as Woolworths now have Priority Assistance Programs which ensures their vulnerable customers have access to delivery services. Eligible people include seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self isolate.

Our dietitians also have some great tips for maintaining a balanced diet with limited ingredients:

  • Once the fresh vegetables have been used up, use frozen vegetables and fruit as these are just as nutritious as fresh, if not more than fresh items. 
  • Use this time as an opportunity to use up what is in the fridge, pantry and freezer. Think creatively of how to use up what you have in the pantry such as:
    • Adding legumes to pasta sauces or canned tomatoes.
    • Add legumes or canned corn to make veggie fritters.
    • If you run out of eggs as a binding ingredient in baking and cooking look up alternative replacements such as mashed banana, apple sauce or chia seeds.
    • Rummage through the spice rack and use these to add flavour to your food. Spices can be added to nuts and chickpeas and roasted in the oven for a tasty nourishing snack.  
    • Use canned fish to make fish cakes, bruschetta toppings or pasta bakes. Canned fish such as mackerel, sardines, tuna and salmon are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which assist boosting your immune system.

Staying active

With gyms closed it's harder than ever to stay active. Our Exercise Physiologist Aric has put together a workout you can do in the comfort of your own home complete with video demonstrations. It's suitable for all fitness levels but be sure to check with you doctor if you have any health conditions which might prevent you from being able to safely exercise.

Warm up:

Seated or standing, complete to your own ability. 

Warming up before exercising is important as we are increasing our heart rate preparing our body for the exercise session.

Marching on the spot:

  • Complete 12 reps normal pace.

Trunk Rotations:

  • Rotate trunk left and right without twisting your hips. Turn as far as you comfortably can.
  • Complete 8 reps.

Arm Circles – Little to Big:

  • Complete one forwards, one backwards.

Head and neck movements (left to right – up and down):

  • Gently and slowly moving your head. Before looking up and down, ensure you bring your head to a neutral position, looking straight ahead.
  • Complete 8 reps left to right, complete 8 reps up and down.

Main workout:

Please watch the demonstration videos before completing any exercises below.

Step-ups:

  • 2 sets of 16-20 reps alternating feet.
  • Complete with support (chair/rails, etc) if needed. Try your best to look straight ahead when completing.

Wall/bench/floor Push-ups:

  • 3 sets of 8 reps.
  • Variations:
  • Wall push-ups, moving feet backwards increases difficulty.
  • Bench push-ups, lower upper body is to the ground, increases difficulty.
  • Floor push-ups, on toes are more difficult than on knees with increase in weight you are lifting.

Calf raises:

  • 4 sets of 10 reps.
  • Complete with support (chair/rails, etc) if needed.
  • For those of more experience: you can complete this exercise on an edge of a step (please ensure you have support to grab onto if feeling unsteady).

Triceps Dip on the floor:

  • 3 sets of 10 reps each arm.
  • Feet planted flat on the floor. Arms behind you with your fingertips facing towards you. Push up off the ground pushing your hips to the sky straightening your arms and slowly lower back down.

Sit-to-stand (STS) or Squats:

  • 2-3 sets of 8 reps.
  • Ensure your feet are shoulder width apart.
  • STS: Using the edge of a chair, sitting up tall, chest out and shoulders back.
    • Push off the ground with your feet rising to stand tall, slowly lower back down into the chair.
    • Look straight ahead while completing the exercise.
  • Squats: for our more experienced clients. Start off with a mini squat before progressing to a normal squat.
    • Ensure that you do have supports (chair/rails etc.) to have in front of you in case you feel unsteady and need something to hold.

Supine Leg Raises (Single Leg):

  • 2-3 sets of 10 reps each leg
  • Lying on the floor, one knee bent 90 degrees, other leg straight.
    • Slowly raise straight leg up and down, just off the floor, and repeat.
  • Arms by your side and head on the floor or with support for your neck.

Shoulder blade squeezes:

  • 4 sets of 8 reps.
  • Shoulder blade squeezes: Standing, use the wall or bench.
    • Arms straight inline with our chest/shoulder. Push into the wall, keeping arms straight, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
    • Hold for 3-5 seconds and release. Repeat.

Cool down:

Stretches – hold for at least 30 seconds on each side. Complete all 1-2 times.

Hamstring Stretch:

Seated. One leg out. Reach for your toes or ankle and hold.

Quadricep Stretch:

Standing – if you can grab your leg. Hold one leg behind you keeping your knee in line with your body if possible.

Standing – unable to grab leg.  Rest your leg on a chair or the lounge while holding onto support and slowly lower to get a stretch at the front of your leg (above the knee).

Chest Stretch:

Seated or standing – reach behind back, grasping hands, pushing chest forwards, and shoulders back slightly.

Back Stretch:

Straight arms out in front, grasping hands, pushing shoulders forward. Should be able to feel a stretch in your upper back.

Our Exercise Physiologist Aric is also offering fully customised and individual home workout plans. A six-week plan is $80 which includes a one-hour consult where he discusses your needs and goals, any pre-existing health conditions or injuries, and what equipment if any you have available. Video consults are also available. Call the NAPHL Health Hub on 4722 8750 to find out more.