Let’s be honest: the last few months have been nothing like how we expected 2020 to pan out.
That’s why Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) has created a 15-part video series to help with your wellbeing in isolation.
While many have spent more time at home with loved ones and enjoyed living in casual clothing, it’s been difficult at times to stay focused and positive.
So we gathered mental health, physiology and respiratory professionals to address the most common difficulties you might face while staying safe at home.
Tackling all the big topics from productivity and loneliness to fitness and posture, we’re here to help you to improve your quality of life and not just survive but thrive.
Mental health and productivity
It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of time when working from home. It’s important to stay connected to reality, says Professor Bill Brakoulias, WSLHD executive director of Mental Health Services.
In these videos, Prof Brakoulias shares simple tips on keeping your mind sharp and nerves calm.
Keeping a routine is important. Reduce your screen time and introduce other activities, like reading a book or meditating. It is also important to eat well: add fruits and vegetables to every meal and have plenty of water.
Feeling out of touch? It always helps to see a familiar face or hear a friendly voice. Have a video call to check in on your friends, family, or neighbours. If you are feeling anxious, there is always someone to talk to: call Beyond Blue (1300 224 636) or Lifeline (13 11 14)
Fitness and exercise
Staying active is key according to Katherine Maka, deputy manager of physiotherapy at Westmead Hospital.
If you sit a lot, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to stretch and do some light exercises every 30 minutes. Even your house chores can be considered a workout if you incorporate some extra moves.
Have a look around: there are plenty of things you can do at home. Use water bottles to work on your upper limb strength, or do some light squats when loading the washing machine.
Falling behind your daily steps goal? Play with your pet or march on the spot while waiting for the kettle to boil. Here are some simple exercises and tips to stay healthy and happy.
Have some work to do? Make sure your sitting posture is correct: rather than having your back against the chair all the time, try to shift your body forward. This will bring your shoulders over the hips and create a nice, straight posture. Check out our video series about good posture self-checks!
While it is important to stay active, be mindful about risks. Remember to understand your own physical limits and fitness condition.
Smoking and COVID-19
Smoking cigarettes is an additional risk factor during the pandemic: it affects the immune system and lung health, making it harder for you to fight the infection.
You may take this opportunity to stop smoking. Check out the video of Dr Mohan Nagarajah, a respiratory specialist from Blacktown Hospital, explaining the risks of developing more severe symptoms of COVID-19 infection if you are a smoker.