6 tips for staying healthy during COVID-19 - By Emily Gilbert

Like many Canadians, you may be wondering how to stay healthy in light of recent news about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We’ve compiled a few tips.

Wash your hands

Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections.

This is how to wash your hands effectively, according to Health Canada:

  • Take off any hand or arm jewelry you may be wearing and use warm water

  • Add soap and lather all surfaces of your hands for at least 20 seconds. (Or, enough time to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).

  • Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your finger nails.

  • Under warm running water, rinse your hands thoroughly using a rubbing motion

  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel. If you’re in a public bathroom, turn the tap off using that same paper towel. You can also use that paper towel to open the door when you leave.

Avoid touching your face

Touching something with the virus on it and then touching your face is one way coronavirus spreads. This is because viruses can enter the body through your eyes, mouth or nose. Because of this, it’s important to avoid touching your face as much as possible. Sometimes though, it’s easier said than done. Often we aren’t even aware that we’re doing it.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid touching your face:

  • Keep a box of tissues handy

  • Figure out what triggers you to touch your face. For example, maybe you rub your eyes because they are dry. Grab some eye drops to moisten the eyes instead.

  • Keep your hands busy. Holding a stress ball, or actively engaging your hands by holding them in your lap, are two ways you can do this.

Carry hand sanitizer

If you’re out and unable to wash your hands with soap and water, having hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol with you is your next best bet.

Get enough sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. According to the Mayo Clinic, when you sleep, your body releases proteins called cytokines. Your body needs even more of certain cytokines when you have an infection. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not produce enough of these protective proteins.

Drink plenty of water

Water can help get rid of toxins and helps with many functions of the human body. Nearly all of the major systems in your body depend on water.  Water also helps you absorb vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, carrying nutrients throughout the body.

Monitor your health

It is important to keep an eye on your own health and to stay home if you are feeling sick. If you feel unwell, contact your local Public Health Authority and they will advise you on next steps.

In the case of an emergency, such as difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

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