All Posts Tagged: coronavirus

Coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions - healthy habits

Struggling with coronavirus restrictions? Here are 4 ways you can look after yourself

It can be easy to slip into bad habits or lose sight of our health goals when times are tough.

That’s why maintaining some healthy habits during the the government’s coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions is more important than ever.

So, here are some practical tips for maintaining and boosting your health at home, and how you can access our services for support.

Perhaps we can help you find a silver lining to the current situation!

1. Keep exercising

As well as boosting immunity, exercise can have a calming effect, keeping our minds clear and focused, and our anxiety contained.

That’s why it’s super important to keep exercising during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions.

There are lots of creative ways to create your own ‘home gym’, and you don’t need to go out and buy expensive exercise equipment. Grab a couple of soup tins from the kitchen cupboard – they make for great dumbbells!

In fact, many activities don’t require anything more than your body itself. For example, push-ups, planks and burpees are great for getting the heart pumping.

Remember to get outside as much as you can. Playgrounds and barbeque areas may be closed, but you can still go for a jog or brisk walk. Now there’s really no excuse to keep the dog locked up all day!

We suggest scheduling your exercise sessions. This will make it easier to stick to and help you get into a routine.

Not sure where to start? You can get a personal exercise program from our exercise experts. You can book in for a free initial telehealth session with our exercise physiologist or physiotherapists.

If you find exercising easier with other people, group classes are still available. We’ve reduced our exercise physiology class sizes to 1-3 people maximum. This means you can continue to maintain a social network during isolating times while at the same time help build up your immune system.

2. Establish an eating routine

For those of you who spend most of your time out of the house (at work, running errands etc), your daily routine may have centered around set meal and snack times.

However, with most of us either working from home, taking a break from work, or just spending more time in general at home, your old eating routines may have disappeared.

Without this same structure to your day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. For example, having larger meals, extra snacking, or eating just for the sake of it! It’s easy to do, especially being so close to the kitchen.

To prevent overeating, and to promote healthier food choices, you could establish a new eating routine to match your needs at home. For example, consider these set times:

  • Breakfast: 8am
  • Morning tea: 11am
  • Lunch: 1.30pm
  • Afternoon tea: 4pm
  • Dinner: 7pm
  • Supper: 8.30pm

If you’re considering intermittent fasting as an option for weight management during isolation, an early morning black coffee could replace breakfast, while a herbal tea could replace supper at night.

You can take this a step further by planning what you choose to eat, and how much, at each set time. Always consider your energy needs – if you are less active at home, you may plan to eat less than usual (i.e. smaller or less frequent snacks).

If you would like some help establishing a new eating routine, or if you have other nutrition-related concerns, please speak with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller. Private health and Medicare rebates are available.

3. Balance your thoughts

Worrying about diseases is a normal reaction. But excessive worrying can affect both our physical and mental health.

Fortunately, there are practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety.

When we get stressed about our health or risk of infection, our thoughts can become dark, brooding and pessimistic. Thoughts like, “How will I cope if I get sick?” and “I can’t deal with this”, are often triggered by stress, but they don’t help us. Negative and dark brooding thoughts will stop you doing things that can help.

Our thoughts are not always true or helpful. Challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself what a friend would say in the same situation, or ask yourself what evidence do you have that you ‘won’t cope or can’t cope’? Whenever you recognise a negative thought, try to balance it with a realistic thought.

If you need help with balancing your thoughts, our psychologists Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts are here for you. You don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

4. Shut down the noise (do things you like instead)

Stress is infectious, and often unhelpful. People tend to talk about things they are worried about. This creates lots of ‘noise’, which can create even more stress.

Give yourself permission to switch off ‘noise’ such as social media, news and the radio for most of each day.

Also give yourself permission to excuse yourself from people who are creating stress. Keep checking in to reliable news sources once or twice a day, but otherwise, turn down the ‘noise’.

Instead, replace it with things that can help you, including doing things you enjoy, like listening to music, riding your bike, yoga or even meditation.

You could also schedule a regular ‘event’, like a games night with those in your household, or your own version of a Gold Class cinema experience, complete with ice-creams and cardboard tickets that your kids can make.

Need help managing your stress levels? Have a chat with your Pascoe Vale doctor or psychologist – we’re always here to help.

Here’s how consultations are working

All consultations are currently being carried out over the phone or on video. In some cases you may be required to come in to the clinic.

 Telehealth
(consult over the phone)
Telehealth video
(consult over live video)
In-clinic
PsychologistYesZoom
Facetime
Yes
PodiatristYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
PhysiotherapistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Exercise physiologistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
DietitianYesSkype
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Speech pathologistYesZoom
Facetime
No

*In-clinic option is only available if your practitioner determines that your health needs cannot be managed by phone or video, or for hands-on care like podiatry and physiotherapy.

We’re here to support you

Focusing on some healthy habits and routines during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions will hold you in good stead for the coming months.

Remember the famous saying, ‘this too shall pass’. It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal.

 

Source: MindSpot

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Coronavirus what you can do

Coronavirus – what you can do now

As you may be aware, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging the virus will likely spread to all countries around the world.

To help slow the spread of coronavirus in Australia and keep you and your loved ones safe, there are some important things you can do now.

1. Call to book

All consultations are currently being carried out over the phone, known as telehealth. Your doctor will assess if your healthcare needs can be managed at home or if you need to come in. You can book online or call us. Please do not come to the clinic without booking first.

We’ve made this temporary change to ensure patients with serious health conditions, including those who may have contracted coronavirus, are prioritised. It also helps contain the spread of coronavirus and protects other patients and staff.

In addition, we’ve set up dedicated Respiratory Clinics to take care of patients with respiratory-like symptoms like colds and chest infections. We’ve also set up Flu Clinics for flu vaccinations.

While we manage our call volumes at this busy time, we appreciate your patience and understanding.

2. Wash your hands often

One of the best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by frequently cleaning your hands. By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Watch the video below for the correct way to wash your hands with soap and water.

 

Want to see how germs can spread so easily?

In the following 10-minute video ‘experiment’, watch what happens when fake germs are placed on just a few kids’ hands. It’s a great reminder for all of us!

3. Cover your mouth and nose

Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

This is because when someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus.

4. Keep your distance

In addition to practising good personal hygiene as basic measures against the coronavirus, you should also practise what is known as social distancing.

This involves staying at least one and a half metres away from other people, especially if they’re coughing or sneezing.

Do your bit by avoiding handshaking and other physical greetings, buying goods and services online, reconsidering outings and avoiding large gatherings and visits to vulnerable groups.

5. Self-isolate

You must self-isolate if:

  • you have COVID-19
  • you’ve been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or
  • you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020.

Refer to this government website for more information about self-isolation.

Woman with coronavirus

There are self-quarantining measures in place for coronavirus.

6. Stay safe in our clinic

When you come to our clinic, please don’t bring additional people into the waiting room. If a family member needs help with translating, it’s best to do it over the phone. If you really need to accompany a family member, do the translating on the phone from inside your car and then come in if there are any issues.

If you have a child, bring your own items (e.g. toy, iPad) for your child to play with. This is because we’ve removed our toys from the waiting room.

Every little thing helps to stop the spread of the virus.

7. Practise good health habits

Changes to our daily lives, like social distancing, can affect our mental health, fitness and occupational health.

Many people will be spending much more time in their home, so we need to think about how to adapt our daily lives.

Things like getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking lots of water and eating nutritious foods are particularly important.

Here’s a great guide to help you navigate the change.

8. Look after yourself and each other

Staying healthy should be your number one priority right now. It’s also important to reach out to elderly relatives and neighbours to help them reduce their risk.

There are lots of myths about coronavirus. It’s therefore important that you keep following the advice of doctors and healthcare practitioners, as well as the state and federal government.

Together, we’ll get through this.

 

Source: Department of Health and World Health Organization

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 22 March 2020

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Coronavirus

Coronavirus information

*If you’re experiencing a fever, cough or runny nose and you’ve travelled overseas OR you’ve been in close contact with an overseas traveller who is sick OR you’ve had contact with someone who has confirmed coronavirus, please call us straight away.*

You’ve probably heard about the coronavirus by now. Known as COVID-19, it’s a new virus that may spread into our community.

To ensure you’re best prepared, it’s important you read the following information.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to symptoms of a cold or flu. This includes things like fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath.

In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia (infection of the lungs).

How can you help prevent coronavirus?

The best way to protect you and your family is the same as you would against any respiratory infection.

Practise good hygiene by:

  • making sure ​you clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing, and
  • avoiding close contact with anyone with flu-like symptoms.

Make sure you stay at home if you’re sick.

Medical experts in Australia agree we must pause, think and act differently. You can follow the ‘PAWS’ acronym as outlined below.

Stop the spread of coronavirus

You can also read our article on what you can do now about coronavirus.

Is there a cure or vaccine?

Currently there is no vaccine available to prevent coronavirus, and there’s no specific treatment to cure it. People with more serious complications can be treated in hospital.

What should you do if you think you have coronavirus?

If you’ve recently been overseas and you’re experiencing cold and flu symptoms, you should immediately phone us and explain your symptoms and travel history.

Please don’t come to the clinic without calling us first.

We’re here for you

Please don’t panic – we’re well prepared for virus outbreaks and here to help you.

If you have any questions or need to see us, please call 9304 0500.

For coronavirus updates, you can refer to the Victorian Government website or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 12 March 2020

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