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Five things you can do to stay positive during the Covid-19 Pandemic

It’s a scary time for everyone at the moment, lots of uncertainty about what the future holds.

From a numbers point of view though, a small percantage of people will not be well enough to cope with the virus and its effects, suffering long term health issues or perhaps even dying. That’s the reality of what we face.

The rest of us may not acquire the virus, or if we do our symptoms may only be mild.

We all know by now about the social distancing we must undertake to protect ourselves and our loved ones, even if we don’t feel like we are sick. Most of us think we are bulletproof and it takes something like this pandemic to make us realise we are all mortal.

But there are things we can do to stay positive during this crisis.

I’m not going to deal with the fitness training side of things in this post, that’s for another time. But maintaining your fitness and wellbeing will be important in the coming days, weeks and months ahead, the healthier you are the more likely you are to recover from Covid-19 should you acquire it. Don’t mistake that for meaning you’ll be immune, but the less chronic health issues you have, the better your chances of survival.

Many people are feeling anxious and concerned and looking for answers, and often are sharing social media posts in the idea that it will help, or they are factually based. Many are not, just created by wellmeaning people, but without the science or facts behind it.

Here’s five things you can do to stay positive:

  1. Talk to people – not just interact on social media posts, actually talk with people. From a safe distance. So use the phone to ring people, or Facetime them, particularly those who may be vulnerable, or immunosuppressed. Their support mechanisms are disappearing before their eyes, medical services are struggling to cope with the demand. Ring one person a day and just have a chat. You’ll feel better for knowing that people are ok, and that someone knows you are.
  2. Be patient – from the supermarket checkout staff under enormous strain, and fear that they may contract the virus from a customer, to the staff member at the bank or at Centrelink. Remember that the frontline people are only delivering a service as best they can with what they have. There are lots of things you can use this enforced time away from work and friends to do, and it all comes under self care. Take time out for yourself even if you have to self isolate or are in quarantine. You can’t be around everyone in your house 24 hours a day without some kind of time out. It’s already stressful enough being a parent or carer when you can get out of the house for a while or go to work to have a mental break. Make sure you communicate with everyone around you as to what you need. If you go into a separate room for half an hour, make sure they know to not interrupt you, even if you’re just painting your nails. You need some down time to help manage the stress of being a parent, or a partner.
  3. Be kind – Now is the perfect time to think about how you could help someone else. Check on the neighbour to see if they need anything from the shop. People are fearful, and may not know what they want. So take your time, and allow them time to establish confidence in communicating their needs.
  4. Be grateful – thank the staff at the takeaway store for staying at work so you don’t have to cook your dinner tonight. Thank the supermarket worker, who may only be a teenager and have never seen anything like this before, or may be someone’s grandmother and at higher risk than most. They’re still at work so you can get your toilet paper. Don’t be an arse, don’t be rude to them. Everyone staying at work is at risk.
  5. Plan for the future – we don’t know how long this crisis will continue for, we don’t know how extensive the spread will be or how long before it can be contained, but humans have an incredible ability to overcome, and the world’s scientists are united in finding ways to overcome Covid-19. But that doesn’t mean you can’t plan something for down the track. Take the time to research what you need to achieve a goal you have been putting off for a while. Want to learn how to run 5kms? Google running plans. Want to know what visa you need to travel to another country? The information is still out there, even if you can’t go anywhere for a while. Want to learn how to play a musical instrument? YouTube it!

These are just some simple things you can implement to keep your community and your own health strong.

Stay safe, wash your hands and we’ll get through it!

Matt

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Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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