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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly unfolding right before our eyes. According the World Health Organization (WHO), as of now, there are over 2 000 000 confirmed cases, over 100 000 deaths, and over 200 countries/areas/territories affected.
With the lockdowns and uncertainties upon us, it can quickly become overwhelming. However, what we can do now is hone-in our coping skills, compassion, our strength and resiliency, to get through this. We can take all the necessary precautions, while remaining level-headed, and supporting each other including the most vulnerable.
At Well Natured, we promote sustainable living and wellness – for all our life’s dimensions. Here we present to you how to stay Well Natured to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1) Stay Well Informed
It’s important to ensure that we are sticking to the facts about COVID-19. This can help protect out mental health and ease our anxieties and fears.
How worried should I be about COVID-19?
According to the WHO, most people – about 80% – recover from the virus without requiring any special medical treatment. Most people infected will experience a mild illness. About 1 in 6 infected will become seriously ill with difficulty breathing. People with underlying medical conditions and older people are more likely to develop serious illness.
The bottom line: Most people recover and experience a mild illness. However, there are people who are more likely to experience a severe illness. We can take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and those around us who are more vulnerable.
Are there any self-assessment tools?
The Government of Canada has a self-assessment test that you can take if you think you may have symptoms. The test is very simple and quick, and will let you know whether your symptoms warrant further testing for COVID-19.
For more information on the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you become ill, click here.
2) Live Well Nourished
What should I eat and drink?
One of the best things we can do is to keep well nourished. Not just now while the COVID-19 pandemic is happening, but all the time. When we make healthy food choices, and feed our bodies all the nutrients it needs, we are giving ourselves a better chance at fighting off any infections that may occur.
According to the Dieticians of Canada, it is important to maintain good nutrition and good hydration, and to eat a variety of foods every day to support immune function.
You can check out Canada’s food guide – available in multiple languages – here.
What about ‘panic buying’?
The Dieticians of Canada recommends stocking up on non-perishable foods in case you get sick and are not able to go out. However, avoid panic buying.
Rather than stocking up heavily all at once -which strains the supply-chain, and importantly, leaves your fellow neighbors including front line health workers and other vulnerable populations, without any food for themselves, the Dieticians of Canada recommends adding a few extra items to your grocery cart every time you shop.
They recommend adding items such as dried pasta and sauce, prepared canned soups, and canned vegetables and beans.
Fortunately, many of these items can also be bought online – and there are organic options!
- Organic Canned Beans: Earth’s Choice Organic Black Beans
Remember: it’s all about sharing and taking care of each other.
3) Live Well Groomed
What hygienic practices can I take to protect myself?
According to the World Health Organization, you can do the following:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rubs. Be sure to wash both sides of your hands, all finger including between fingers and the thumb, and underneath your nails.
- Social distancing: maintain at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your face to reduce the risk of the virus entering your body
- Cough and sneeze into you elbow so you don’t spread droplets that may contain the virus
- Avoid shaking hands with people
- Seek medical care if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing
What about wearing rubber gloves?
According to the WHO, washing your hands regularly offers more protection than wearing gloves.
What about face masks?
There has been some back and forth regarding the effectiveness of wearing facemasks. The WHO recommends wearing a face mask if you are taking care of someone who may be infected with COVID-19, or if you are coughing or sneezing. Importantly, the WHO indicated that masks are only effective when used in combination with frequent hand washing.
It’s also important to make sure that your hands are clean before putting the face mask on, and to not touch the mask when it is on. Remove the mask from behind, throw it in the garbage, and wash your hands afterward.
4) Live Well Settled
What is social distancing?
According to the Government of Canada physical distancing is an effective way of slowing the spread of an illness during an outbreak. This means avoiding crowded places, reducing contact with those who are at higher risk, and trying to stay at least two meters away from others. Basically, stay home as much as possible.
It is all of our responsibility to protect ourselves, and protect others, so we can all live well settled.
What are some key household items I should ensure I have?
The Government of Canada recommends to have extra stores of pet food, toilet paper, facial tissue, feminine hygiene products, and diapers if you have children. Having cleaning products on hand, and ensuring you have enough of your medications is also recommended
Remember: it is recommended to avoid panic buying. In other words: Do not hoard!
Fortunately, we can also buy these products online, and there are high-quality, sustainable alternatives available!
- Pet Food: Open Farm Sustainable Organic Dog Food
- Facial Tissue: Elandy – Disposable Organic Cotton Face Towel
- Feminine Hygiene Products: Natracare Organic Pads
How should I be cleaning and disinfecting my home?
The Government of Canada recommends to frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your home with regular household cleaners and approved hard-surface disinfectants that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). High-touch surfaces can include doorknobs, remote controls, light switches, and handles.
Some of the products listed from above include:
5) Live Well Charged
During this time of uncertainty, the media outlets are flooded with COVID-19 coverage, and quite frankly are likely contributing to fear and panic. Fear and panic will not make the virus go away. Its unhealthy for us.
Absolutely, the virus is concerning. We need to take the necessary precautions, while striving to keep a calm and balanced outlook. It is important we take care of our health and wellness, including of course our mental health.
Perhaps if anything, we can just turn off the TV. Limit how much time we spend listening to the news, which is not covering much of anything else but the COVID-19 pandemic right now. Balance things out – search out some ‘good news,’ or something hopeful and optimistic – this can even be related to the COVID-19 pandemic itself. For example, China, where the outbreak started, is starting to return to normal!
For those with mental health conditions, it can be extra challenging to deal with fears, anxieties, and uncertainties of the COVID-19 crisis. Reach out to local mental health resources if you need further assistance.
For those with physical health conditions, it can be frightening trying to ensure your basic needs are met. Reach out to local resources for assistance, such as with groceries.
And of course, everyone, just be kind and compassionate to each other – now and always. Practice that empathy. Help your vulnerable neighbors when you can.
What can I do while I’m at home?
Here are a few ideas of how to keep yourself occupied, well, and healthy while at home:
- Stay physically active: There are multiple benefits of physical activity for both your mental health and physical health. While at home, we may be inclined to becoming more sedentary. Set up a regular routine to be active every day, and take a couple of minutes to stretch and walk after sitting for half an hour or so. There are many ways to be active including exercising, walking, dancing, playing, gardening, and even doing housework.
- Take care of your mental health: Equally as important as staying physically active, is attending to our mental health. Make some time to destress, even if its just for 20 minutes a day, its well worth it. Do something that helps you relax, whether its meditating, reading, talking about your feelings, taking a warm bath, or using essential oils. Schedule in self-care time.
- Engage in a new hobby: This may be a great opportunity to try out a hobby you have always been interested in – whatever it may be that aligns with your nature. Perhaps you have an interest in doing puzzles, or building things, or cooking, or even scrapbooking, or journaling – go for it. Set aside some time, at least a few days a week, to devote to your hobby.
- Take a free online course: There are plenty of universities offering free online courses. Use this time as an opportunity to learn something new, or to learn a new skill. This can be for your personal or professional life, or just for fun! You can view free online courses offered by Harvard University here.
- Explore your creative and artistic side: Most of us rarely get a chance to explore our artistic sides, and many of us haven’t done so since childhood! Use this time to put your thoughts, ideas, and energy into creative expression. This can include painting, drawing, writing poetry, or learning to play an instrument – whatever feels good for your nature.
- Help others out: This is a difficult time for many, especially for those who are vulnerable, alone, ill, or have lost their jobs. Look up some organizations in your community where you can volunteer and help. This may include checking-in with a senior through a phone call, or assisting with packing and delivering food to those that cannot leave their homes. Its also a great time to donate to local charities, such as food banks. There is always some way we can help and make a difference!
- Clean your house: Sort through some of that clutter that’s been piling up for months…or years! Do some ‘spring cleaning,’ and even put together clothes that you can donate.
- Netflix & Chill – just try not to do it every day: Sit back and catch up on some of your favorite shows and moves! It just may not be a good idea to do this every single day, all day long! Schedule time to do other activities as well.
6) Live Well Said
How can I stay connected while social distancing?
With the lockdowns and quarantines happening, we can use this opportunity to be creative with how we are communicating.
- Use technology to connect with others: Use your phone, video chat, or skype to reach out to friends and loves ones. There’s no need to cancel you weekly coffee get togethers! Brew up some coffee at home, call your friends, and connect! Make time to have those conversations and keep those social contacts you had before the COVID-19 pandemic. Hey, you can even play a game or host a cooking lesson with technology. Importantly, you can also pick up the phone and check-in with your neighbor, a senior, or another vulnerable person.
- Use technology to share your story: Share your experiences with social distancing and how you cope, with the wider public. Social media can be used as a platform to communicate, share, and bring people together. Whether through writing down a few sentences, or making a short video, your experience may give hope to someone else who may be struggling.
Coping with COVID-19: Final Words
There is a lot that we can do to help ourselves, and others, during this time. We can take care of all dimensions of our life, and come out of this stronger and more resilient.
We can come out of this with more appreciation for life (our own and others), for all those around us from grocery clerks to front-line health care workers, and for our earth, that sustains us all.
Live Well Natured.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. Read our full disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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