It’s all Gone Bonkers!

Well, it’s all gone a bit crazy around the world with Coronavirus hasn’t it?! And while I’m trying to keep calm and not get caught up in over-worry and stockpiling, as a mum of 3 young boys and having an elderly mum, I have naturally been concerned about keeping us protected during this outbreak. Read on to find out tips for staying healthy and well during this time.

 

What Does Coronavirus Mean for Us?

 

Information suggests children have lower rates of contracting the virus and when they do get it, they tend to get milder symptoms which is great news. However, it’s vitally important for parents to keep themselves as healthy as possible during this time – our children need us fit to care for them and to manage the economic and societal changes that are coming. We are not sure what the short term future holds and the government will be introducing different measures (which may involve school closures) so we need our mental and physical health to weather this sudden, new way of living.

We really need to take necessary steps to avoid getting ill and if we do contract this virus, we want to recover as quickly as possible without any long-term issues. We also don’t want to contribute to the spreading of the virus to vulnerable people and elderly relatives, so we must work as a community to support reducing the growth of it and keeping healthy.

 

Top Tips to Stay Healthy During Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Luckily there are small daily lifestyle changes we can make to give us a good fighting chance of staying healthy during this time. Having read up lots about this virus over the last few weeks, I share here my top tips for keeping the virus at bay and boosting your immunity during this time:

 

  1. Number one and the most important step is regular hand washing. Each day when your kids get home from school or after they have been out anywhere, help them wash their hands straight away. Make sure they are using a good amount of soap and really washing their fingers and thumbs for at least 20 secs (we have started using a bubble timer which we previously used for timing teeth brushing). Get into the habit of regular hand washing yourself and remind your kids to wash their hands when at school. This is the most effective way to prevent the virus getting into your system and staying healthy. If you want, you can set reminders on your phone to wash your hands.

 

Bubble timer

Sensory timer we use to time hand washing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Avoid touching your face and eyes. If the virus doesn’t get into your system, you wont get it, so as much as you can, keep your hands clean and do not touch your face and eye area or scratch your noise.

 

 

3. Introduce more frequent showers and clothes washing. After my kids finish their football training, jujitsu practice, and other sporting/extra curricular activities, I now always make sure they have a shower straight away and wash their clothes, even if they’ve only worn them once. If they’ve been close to other kids it makes sense to wash in order to prevent any spreading.

 

 

4. Daily disinfect ‘hot spots’ in your home – door handles, light switches, taps, phones and laptops are popular surfaces where viruses can stay alive for days. I use Dettol surface cleanser, which actually lists coronavirus on the back as one of the viruses it tackles. I have read that you should spray the surface and leave the liquid on until it dries and then wipe it off – do not spray and wipe off immediately as it may not be as effective. Also you can dilute a cap full of bleach into a litre of water, put that in a spray bottle and it will do the same job (but be careful not to use on surfaces that may become stained with using bleach).

Detool

Use Dettol to sanitise surfaces and keep viruses at bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. If using hand sanitiser, be generous and rub all over the hands and fingers until it dries on your skin.

 

6. When out shopping in supermarkets, use disinfectant wipes to clean trolley handles and child seats.

 

7. Wear plastic gloves when lifting the fuel hose at the petrol station. They are usually provided along with paper towels at the petrol pump.

 

8. Avoid using handles of public doors and toilets. Use use knuckles, arms or elbows (I usually do this anyway as I’m a bit of germ freak!).

 

9. Clean your phone and credit cards regularly.

 

10. Keep disposable tissues on you to sneeze into to it and dispose straight into a bin.

 

11. Boost your immunity with natural foods. Foods including lemons, ginger, garlic, raw honey, turmeric, spinach, sprouts and thyme are all thought to be ‘anti-viral’ foods, meaning they stop the development of viruses in your body. Have a lemon, ginger and honey tea once a day. I make the boys an apple, carrot and ginger juice every couple of days in the hope it will keep them healthy.

 

 

Lemon, honey and ginger tea

Anti-viral team with honey, lemon and ginger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Take a regular vitamin and mineral supplement – I am making sure my children and I are taking a good multivitamin and mineral supplement, along with taking additional Vitamin D and C. I use Solgar brand for the kids and have been happy with this for many years. I have also just bought a lipomosal Vitamin D which was recommended by a functional medicine doctor who I see. We need extra vitamin D anyway due to lower levels of sunlight in the winter here in the UK, but it’s also been shown to boost the immune system.

 

 

A good brand of kids' multi-vitamin and mineral supplement

A good brand of kids’ multi-vitamin and mineral supplement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.  Keep your house well ventilated – open windows to let fresh air in. When travelling on a  bus or in a taxi/car, keep windows open.

14. Give your kids their own water bottles. Avoid sharing food and drinks.

 

What About Mental Protection?

 

As well as practical steps for health, we also need to think about mentally and emotionally protecting ourselves. I have been glued to watching news, reading articles, podcasts (yes, there is a podcast out there!) and YouTube videos on the development of this outbreak. It has caused a lot of anxiety and I have had to work on my mindset to stop becoming overly worried, panicked and letting my mind runaway with the worst case scenarios.

You can’t make good, clear decisions if you’re worried and anxious. Fear also lowers your immune system. So don’t be afraid to take a break from the news and focus on positive happenings in the world. For example:

  • Communities are coming together to support the elderly and vulnerable.
  • Facebook groups are popping up to do shopping and deliver prescriptions for the vulnerable in their area.
  • Local shops are making up free health packs up for those self-isolating.
  • Aston Villa Football Club has offered food to local charities after their matches were postponed. The food was meant for their staff but is now being donated.
  • Support networks are springing up to help vulnerable people forced to self-isolate – they will offer phone calls of support during this time.
  • Restaurants are offering to deliver free meals to self-isolators who are struggling financially.
  • Italians are singing together in the street.
  • Pollution in China and Italy has been lowered.
  • We may have to slow down our busy lives, leave our hectic schedules behind and take the opportunity to be with our kids and families in a more present way.

Sometimes bad things bring out the good in humans. They bring people together and cause positive change.

That’s not to say that this time won’t be challenging and difficult, so please know that it’s normal to feel anxious and uncertain. However, we can try to build some resilience and positive hope for a good outcome.

I am sending you all my love and best wishes at this time. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and tips on how we can best look after ourselves at this time.