Omicron has taken over and the likelihood of you, or a family member, picking up Covid-19 is growing each and every day. If you’re feeling a little anxious at the thought of managing Covid-19 at home, then check out these tips on how you can prepare for the isolation and look after your mental health.
After the overload on the PCR testing system, you can now confirm whether or not you have Covid-19 using a rapid antigen test (RAT) at home (unless you are high risk, or a worker, resident or patient in a high-risk setting, you can read the rules here). If you get a positive result, there are some tips to help with managing Covid-19 at home.
You must self-isolate at home for 7 days from the date you got tested, even if you are fully vaccinated. Self-isolation means staying in your home or accommodation and remaining separated from others. Please see the Self-Isolation Guideline for further information on how to self-isolate and what supports are available to you should you need them.
Preparing for Covid-19
If you’re one of those people who like to prepare ahead of time, then this list is for you. We hear from mums who have been through Covid-19 isolation and share exactly what you should have on hand to get through. It’s time to stock up so you can relax (as much as possible) if that test turns positive.
Medical supplies to include in your Covid-Ready Kit
- Sanitiser (both for your hands and surface spray)
- Face masks
- Disposable gloves
- Pain relief – Paracetamol & Ibupofren
- Throat lozenges or gargle
- Cough syrup
- Hydration salts
- Juices/ice blocks (to help with throat pain)
Here’s some more advice from the mum’s in our Facebook Group:
Armaforce Junior (contains vitamin A, C, zinc, elderberry and echinacea) is an excellent immune booster for kids 2 years and up. – Erica
My daughter has just had it and honestly just like any other flu it was a rough few days with high temps Panadol, nurofen and baths (not cool just normal temperature- it’s her happy place) – Misha
Our family of four has it and while the young kids have mostly recovered (from vomiting and cold symptoms) it’s taking longer for my husband and me, which means the last thing we feel like doing is making them dinner! Have your neighbours and friends on standby to buy groceries and some easy dinners made for the kids. Lots of fresh fruit and juices, because water can feel scratchy on a sore throat. Remember, you won’t be able to leave the house for a week or more, especially if four people get it at staggered times. Start building your village! Good luck. – Emma
Symptoms to look out for
Dr. Mo Assoum, BSc, MIPH(hon), DGIS, GCRS, PhD (Infectious Disease Epidemiology, also shares some other things to have at home that may or may not help, but will cause no harm if taken:
- Vitamin D
He also shares symptoms of concern which you need to look out for include:
- Mottled skin – often mean poor blood circulation or fluctuating body temperatures.
- Blood oxygen below 94%
- Persistent and heavy cough making it difficult to breath
- Skin discolouration
- Little or no urine output
- Feeling faint (lightheaded) or dizzy
If someone exhibits these symptoms of concern, call your doctor, HealthDirect hotline, or your Public Health Unit immediately for advice (numbers listed at the end of this article). You may need to call an ambulance per their prompt.
Keeping busy in lockdown
Not only do you have the illness to deal with if you contract Covid-19, but the isolation period can be extremely lonely and can be challenging for your mental health. When it comes to managing Covid-19 at home, you want to keep yourself nice and busy. Here’s some ways to do just that.
If you’re not feeling too sick and keen to move, exercise is one of the best ways to stay positive.
Not sure where to start? Get some inspiration from our article Stay healthy! Online Health & Fitness Programs for Adults. There’s even options for the kids in our article Get moving! Best Free Exercise Workouts for kids on YouTube.
It can be fun, too! Turn that music up and dance around the room to lift your spirits and put a smile on your face.
Make some time to get outdoors and catch that morning sunlight as well. Sunlight is so important for our mood and general wellbeing. Here’s some of the ways it helps our body:
- It’s needed to help our body produce Vitamin D: this helps you maintain and build healthy bones
- Vitamin D also regulates many other cellular functions in your body
- Sunlight can also help regulate sleep
Check out our article on 5 tips to help you catch the morning sunlight through lockdown for more.
Read a book
Do you often find yourself wishing you had more time to sit back and read, now’s your chance. Pick out a good book, or even a series, that you can really sink into. Curl up on your bed and enjoy a little you time.
Some recommendations from the Facebook Group include:
- ‘Down Under’ by Bill Bryson
- ‘Apples Never Fall’ by Lianne Moriarty
Binge on movies & TV shows
There’s no such thing as too much screen time when you’re feeling unwell and stuck indoors. The hardest part is choosing what to watch! Here’s Top 25 family movies to watch with the kids, or if you’re looking for a series for yourself, check out these 15 bingeworthy Stan TV shows, or 15 highly addictive Netflix TV shows.
Connect with friends and family over Zoom
Most of us are sick of zoom, but it really is a great way to stay in touch when isolated! Don’t forget to keep up the contact with the outside world. Ring friends and family, video chat with them.
According to Beyond Blue:
Make dinner time easy, and order in…
While you can’t go to the outside world, you can still bring it to you. Order in your favourite takeaway, or set up your very own picnic (either indoors or out in your garden). Here’s 10 delicious Grazing Boards to treat yourself (or a friend!) on the North Shore. Note: if you have a friend with Covid-19 and aren’t sure how to help, consider sending them one of these (if they’re up to it!).
Want to take the hassle out of cooking? There are plenty of home delivery meal services right here on the North Shore to help you out. Check out five amazing services that can come to your rescue, so you don’t have to think about what to put on the table each night. Find them in our article Five home delivery meal services on the North Shore.
Get creative at home to keep the kids busy!
If you have kids isolating with you, it can be hard to make things fun. We’ve got lots of ideas for home-based activities with kids – from craft & games, to exercise, cleaning, home organisation and photography, from local mum Daniela Minns. Here’s 115 fun activities to do at home with kids.
Mental health in isolation
When it comes to managing Covid-19 at home, your mental health matters – and it’s okay to not be okay.
You can also use this list of free helplines you can reach out to, along with online resources and mental health apps. Just know that you’re not alone, and there are people out there who want to help. All you have to do is ask. Put your mental health first in lockdown.
- In case of emergencies: 000
- HealthDirect Line: 1800 022 222
- Public Health Units: you can find relevant contact details here.
- NSW Health Self Isolation guidelines