Wear Sunscreen Daily

Did you know you should wear SPF everyday?

Sun protection factor (SPF) plays an important preventative role against the long term effects of overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun including: sunburn, skin damage, premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer.

There are two types of UV radiation that we need to be concerned about: UVA and UVB

UVA rays penetrate more deeply through the layers of the skin than UVB. It is associated with Skin Ageing (wrinkles, lines, age spots) but also associated with Skin Cancer. UVA can pass through window glass and is present year round, even on cloudy days.
UVB rays are mainly responsible for sunburn, can’t pass through window glass and are strongly associated with two types of Skin Cancer: malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.
SPF is more accurately the sun burn protection factor, as it primarily shows the level of protection against UVB, not the protection against UVA. SPF Ratings are on a scale of 2-50+ based on the level of protection they offer, with ratings between 2 to 14 forming the least protected end of the spectrum and ratings of 50+ offering the strongest forms of UVB protection.

Broad Spectrum SPF refers to sunscreen which offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Originally, sunscreens were designed to protect against just UVB rays, which cause sunburn but only account for a small portion of the full UV spectrum. UVB rays were once thought to be the only rays that could cause harm and UVA rays were thought to produce a “healthy” tan. Now we know that UVA rays contribute to premature skin aging and some forms of skin cancer. According to the EU recommendation, the UVA protection for each sunscreen should be at least a third of the labelled SPF. A product that achieves this requirement will be labelled with a UVA logo which is the letters “UVA” printed in a circle.

UVA ratings range from 0-5 stars and indicate the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVA rays, compared with the level of protection it provides against UVB rays (i.e. the ratio between the level of UVA and UVB protection offered by the product). The higher the number of stars, the greater the level of protection against UVA. Sunscreens with a low SPF can still have a high number of stars, not because they are offering high UVA protection, but because the ratio between UVA and UVB protection is the same as offered in sunscreens with higher SPF.

That’s why it’s important to choose a high SPF as well as a high UVA protection (e.g. a high number of stars).  A good broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 and a UVA rating of 4 – 5 stars is generally considered as a good standard of SPF. So why not introduce an SPF as part of your daily skincare routine – we should all wear a minimum of SPF 30 or 50+ on the face, neck and décolletage everyday.

For more information, call in to your local Haven Pharmacy for expert advice on the best UVA & UVB protection for you and your family. Remember, SPF is not just for the sunny days- but all year round!

Information Source: The Irish Skin Foundation

Why is Folic Acid important?

Research shows that half of pregnancies are unplanned, so if there is any possibility you could become pregnant it’s important you take a folic acid supplement every day

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin that we can get from our food (called folates) or from supplements or foods that have it added to them (folic acid). Folate also helps our tissues to grow and the cells in our bodies work. It has many functions including helping to form red blood cells and helping to break down, use and create new proteins. It is also essential for the production of DNA, the building block of our bodies and which carries our genetic information. It is especially important in unborn babies because it helps the nervous system develop.  In the very first weeks of pregnancy, the neural tube closes and fuses.  The neural tube later becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord.

Why should I take Folic Acid?

Folate (Folic Acid) cannot be stored in the body, so we need it in our diets every day to maintain enough quantities in your body. This is because folic acid is water-soluble (dissolves in water) and leftover amounts leave the body through the urine. So if you do not take folic acid tablets for even a few weeks, the amount in your blood can become very low.

Ideally, you should start taking a folic acid supplement about two months before conception and continue taking it until you’ve reached the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is why doctors recommend that all women of child-bearing age take folic acid supplements daily to prepare for pregnancies, both planned and unplanned. You will also find folic acid in your daily diet and foods rich in folate include orange juice, cereals, spinach, broccoli, peas, lentils, melon and asparagus. It is rare that women eat enough of these foods every day to reach the recommended amounts, so a supplement is advised.

How much Folic Acid should I take?

All adults need 200 micrograms per day and we can get this from eating a healthy, balanced diet. Women and teenagers who might become pregnant within the next year need 400 micrograms of folic acid as a supplement every day, as well as eating a healthy diet. Research shows that half of pregnancies are unplanned, so if there is any possibility you could become pregnant it’s important you take a folic acid supplement every day for at least 3 months before you get pregnant and continue to do so for the first 3 months of your pregnancy. It helps reduce the risk of serious birth defects of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects (or NTDs)

What is NTDs?

Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) happen when part of the unborn baby’s brain or spine doesn’t develop properly. Spina bifida is the most common NTD and literally means “split spine”. The spinal cord and surrounding bones (vertebrae) do not develop correctly and a gap or split occurs in the spine. The spinal cord may also be damaged. Taking folic acid daily as a supplement could potentially prevent up to two thirds of neural tube defects every year. 70% of cases of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, could be prevented by taking a daily folic acid supplement in the correct dosage, at the correct time. In some cases there are other reasons why NTDs occur, but taking folic acid can help to prevent most NTDs.

Where can I get Folic Acid?

Folic acid tablets are available in all Haven Pharmacy stores nationwide, this vitamin doesn’t require a prescription and doesn’t cost more than a couple of cents a day. You can buy a single folic acid supplement or many multivitamin formulas for women also contain 400mcg of folic acid but to be sure always check the labels – some multivitamin supplements also provide Vitamin A, which is not recommended during pregnancy.

For more information contact your local Haven Pharmacy for advice.

Tips & Advice for Hay Fever Sufferers

Met Éireann has warned hay fever sufferers that the pollen count will be very high today, Thursday 25th June

Not good news for Hay Fever or Asthma suffers, but rest assured you can trust your local Haven Pharmacist to advise you on the right Anti-histamines for your allergy symptoms.

Here are some helpful tips and advice to help you survive the next few days:

Signs and Symptoms

Allergic reactions usually happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to Pollen. Common symptoms of Hay Fever include:

• Sneezing
• Runny or blocked nose
• Red, itchy, watery eyes
• Fatigue
• Headaches

Treatment for Hay Fever Sufferers

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible. These are a just few examples of how to limit exposure to allergens:

• Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night
• Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
• Don’t keep fresh flowers in the home or office
• Stay away from grassy areas, don’t cut grass or walk on grass
• Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• Wear wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
• Avoid drying clothes outside, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in to your home
• Keep pets outdoors as much as possible and wash them regularly
• Minimise your contact with pets who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
• Vacuum your house regularly and dust surfaces with a damp cloth
• Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air

There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies from your Haven pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of allergies.

Please ask your local Haven Pharmacist if you would like advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs.

Haven Pharmacy, you’re in expert hands

25th June 2020

Covid-19: Face Coverings

A cloth face covering is a material you wear that covers the nose and mouth. Wearing a cloth face covering is recommended in situations where it is difficult to practice social distancing, for example, in shops or on busy public transport. Wearing of cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others.

Wearing a cloth face covering in public may reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. It may help to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from people infected with COVID-19

Cloth face coverings may help to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading it.

When to wear a face covering

You may choose to wear a cloth face covering:

  • when staying 2 metres apart from people is difficult – for example, in shops, shopping centres or public transport
  • in an enclosed space with other people

What are face coverings made from

Cloth face coverings are made from materials such as cotton, silk, or linen. You can buy them or make them at home using items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

Click here to view a video on “How To Make a Face Covering”

Who should not wear a face covering

Cloth face coverings are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and anyone who:

  • has trouble breathing
  • is unconscious or incapacitated
  • is unable to remove it without help
  • has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering

How to wear a face covering

A cloth face covering should cover the nose and go under the chin and:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include at least 2 layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction

How to wash your face covering

Wash daily in a hot wash over 60 degrees with detergent.

If using a washing machine, you should be able to wash and machine dry it without damage or change to shape.

You do not need to sterilise cloth face coverings. Wash it in a washing machine or by hand as you would any other item of clothing.

Wash hands before and after use.

When to throw out your face covering

You should throw out a cloth face covering when it:

  • no longer covers the nose and mouth
  • has stretched out or damaged ties or straps
  • cannot stay on the face
  • has holes or tears in the fabric

How to use a face covering properly

Do:

  • clean your hands properly before you put it on
  • practice using it so you are comfortable putting it on and taking it off
  • make sure it is made from a fabric you are comfortable wearing
  • cover your mouth and nose with it and make sure there are no gaps between your cloth face covering
  • tie it securely
  • carry unused masks in a sealable clean waterproof bag(for example, a ziplock bag)
  • carry a second similar type bag to put used masks in

Don’t:

  • touch a mask or face covering while wearing it – if you do, clean your hands properly
  • use a damp or wet medical mask or reuse a medical mask
  • share masks
  • do not lower your mask to speak, eat and smoke or vape – if you need to uncover your nose or mouth take the mask off and put it in the bag for used masks
  • do not discard masks in public places

Taking off a face covering

To take it off properly:

  • remove it from behind – do not touch the front of the mask
  • do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • clean your hands properly
  • put disposable masks in a bin straight away

If you wear a face covering, you should still do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

These include:

  • washing your hands properly and often
  • covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • social distancing (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people)

Source: HSE.ie

Covid-19: First Aid in the Home

With everyone staying at home these days including Grandparents ‘cocooning’, Mum or Dad working from home, Children being home schooled & Toddlers out of crèche,  it is advisable to keep a First Aid Kit in a convenient location at home, easy to access when dealing with minor injuries.

Here’s a list of the recommended first aid supplies that you should have in your first aid kit:

Plasters – variety of sizes for minor cuts, blisters and sore spots.

Adhesive Tape – to hold dressings in place.

Bandages – crepe bandages are useful for support or holding a dressing in place. Tubular bandages are helpful when a child has strained a joint and needs extra support. You can also buy triangular bandages that you can use for making a sling.

Sterile Gauze Dressings – for covering larger sore areas and cuts.

Antiseptic Cream – can be applied to cuts or grazes after cleaning. This will help prevent infection and some numb the pain.

First Aid Spray – rinse free, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, kind to skin it’s suitable for cuts and scrapes, burns and scalds as well as eye irritations.

Burn Gels –  should only be used if you are not near cool running water. The best first aid treatment for burns is placing it under cool running water for 20 minutes.

Antiseptic Wipes – handy way to clean cuts and grazes and help prevent infection. To use them, take a fresh wipe and clean the wound. Work gently away from the centre to remove dirt and germs.

Absorbent Pads – lightly apply pressure to a wound that is bleeding. Do this until the bleeding stops. Make sure there is no object stuck in the wound first.

Thermometer – digital or electronic thermometer. These are quick and accurate. You can also use them under the armpit. Always place the thermometer under the armpit for children under 5.

Saline Solution – washing dust or loose particles out of sore eyes.

Small Scissors – for cutting clothes and also plasters & tape to size.

Safety Pins – these are used to secure an arm sling in place around the elbow area.

Tweezers – use tweezers to remove stones, thorns, splinters and ticks. Never use tweezers to remove objects from nose, mouth or ears – seek medical attention.

Hand Sanitiser – wash your hands before and after you give first aid, but if you do not have access to water, hand sanitiser is a good option.

Disposable Gloves – protect you from infection when giving first aid.

The above list provides a general guide on the recommended contents for first aid kits in the home. All supplies or similar are available in your local Haven Pharmacy, so please ask one of our expert staff for advice on what you need.

Useful Tips:
1. It’s a good idea to keep the supplies sorted in separate zip-close bags to save time rummaging for what you need in an emergency.
2. Never store medication in your first aid kit because a young child might take medication from it, this could easily happen while you are attending to another child who is injured.
3. Put a list of emergency phone numbers into the kit: 112 and 999, your home’s Eircode, your nearest hospital emergency department, your GP & your local GP ‘Out of Hours’ service and your local Haven Pharmacy number.
4. Keep your first aid kit up to date, check use-by dates and always replace used items.
5. Remember, if someone else is caring for your children, let them know where you keep the kit.
6. Your first aid box should be easy to carry and stored out of the reach of young children.

Those most at risk from a home accident are the 0-4 years age group, boys are more likely to have accidents than girls and generally most accidents in the home occur during the summer, during school holidays and at weekends – however the risk is much higher now as everyone stays at home.

Stay Safe. Stay Home. Stay Safe in the Home.

Covid-19: Pollen or Pandemic?

Perhaps you’ve developed a cough or you’ve noticed some shortness of breath. While it could be any number of things, it’s not unusual to link your symptoms to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. With so much discussion about the virus and its symptoms, it’s understandable you might start worrying you’ve picked it up.

The main warning signs of COVID-19 the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are fever, fatigue and a cough. Here is a quick guide differentiating the symptoms between Hay Fever and Covid-19:

If you usually get seasonal allergies and your symptoms are all present on the green column of the list above, the most likely explanation is that you’re experiencing seasonal allergies. People sometimes call allergies “Hay Fever,” but they don’t actually give you a fever.

Examples of common seasonal allergens are:
• Grass and tree pollen
• Dust and mould allergies
• Insect bites and stings

Tips for allergy sufferers:
• Talk to doctor or pharmacist about taking medication to prevent / reduce symptoms.
• Keep windows closed in your bedroom at night
• Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days
• Stay away from grassy areas, especially when grass is freshly cut
• Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
• Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
• Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period
• Avoid drying clothes outdoors, or shake them outdoors before bringing them in
• Minimise your contact with pets who have been outdoors and are likely to be carrying pollen
• Consider a purifier with a built-in air quality sensor to remove allergens and pollutants from the air

There are a range of very effective over the counter remedies from your Haven pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of allergies. Please speak to one of our trained advisers or ask your Haven Pharmacist if you would like advice on which treatment is best suited to your needs.

If you’re still unsure, ask yourself these questions:

What are your initial symptoms?

Runny nose and itchy eyes? Allergies. Aching muscles? It could be the flu. As for COVID-19, expect symptoms similar to the flu, but with fever coming on strong (and possible shortness of breath in advanced cases). It’s important to remember that coronavirus can present with mild symptoms—in fact, up to 80% of cases are considered mild—so be sure to monitor how you’re feeling carefully.

When did your symptoms start?

Seasonal allergies last over a series of days or a week, since allergens are increasing every day, with trees budding and pollen spreading. The flu, however, tends to come on suddenly, and norovirus is even faster. There’s still much to learn about COVID-19, but current reports suggest that it begins slower than the flu—typically with a fever first followed by the symptoms mentioned above between two and 14 days after exposure.

Are symptoms getting progressively worse?

You should hit a plateau with allergies, although that can drag on for months. With a flu or COVID-19, you’re looking at around a week to 10 days with a milder case. But if your symptoms are worsening, you may be headed for pneumonia with either the flu or coronavirus. If your breathing starts to feel labored or you have a high fever that persists for days or doesn’t respond to OTC medication, seek medical attention.

Have you been traveling?

If you think you have COVID-19, you’re likely to be asked if you or someone you have direct contact with has been traveling—especially to hot spots where the virus is prevalent.

For more information visit www.hse.ie or phone 1850 24 1850

Covid-19: What is Cocooning?

For people most at risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus, the HSE are giving special advice called cocooning. Cocooning is for people who are extremely medically vulnerable. It is for your personal protection.

Cocooning means you should stay at home at all times and avoid face-to-face contact. Even within your home, you should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of your household.

Ask your family, carers or neighbours for help to ensure you have the support you need. You can also get help while cocooning through your local County Council and other organisations.

If someone you care for needs to cocoon, share this information with them. Make sure they understand how important it is they follow this advice

People who need to cocoon

Cocooning is for people who:

  • are over 70 years of age – even if you’re fit and well
  • are solid organ transplant recipients
  • have cancer and are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
  • have cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • are having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • have severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  • have rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  • are on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • are pregnant and have significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

If you are unsure whether or not you need to cocoon or not, talk to your doctor.

If you are an essential worker, get advice from Occupational Health.

How to cocoon

Do:

  • Stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for 2 weeks from 27 March.
  • If you have a garden or balcony, spend time outside for fresh air.
  • Keep in touch with family and friends over the phone or online if you have access.
  • Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving as much as possible.
  • Ask neighbours, family or friends to get any shopping or medicine you need – do not go out shopping.
  • Arrange for food or medicine deliveries to be left outside your door.
  • Use the phone if you need to contact your GP or other services – do not leave your house.

Don’t:

  • Do not go outside your home and garden.
  • Do not have visitors to your home, except for essential carers.
  • Do not attend any gatherings, including gatherings with family and friends anywhere.
  • Phone your doctor if you have any symptoms of coronavirus.

Medicines and prescriptions

Changes have been to make it easier for you to get your medicines and prescriptions.

Read about medicines and coronavirus.

 

If you are cocooning but have a carer who visits you

Visits from people who provide essential support with your daily needs should continue. These include healthcare, personal support and social care. These people can still visit you if they do not have any symptoms.

When carers visit, they need to wash their hands when they arrive. They should wash their hands often when they are in your home. They should try to stay 2 metres away from you, if possible.

If a carer develops symptoms, they will not be able to care for you while they are unwell.

They must stay away until both the following apply to them:

  • 5 days with no fever
  • 14 days since their symptoms first appeared

Contact the person who arranged your care to arrange another carer.

 

If you are cocooning but have someone else living with you

Any members of your household who are over 70 or have any of the conditions listed above need to cocoon.

If other members of your household are under 70 and don’t have one of the conditions listed above, they do not need to cocoon. But they can help you stay well by following the advice on social distancing and hand hygiene at home. Even though it is hard, you should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of your household while you are cocooning.

 

Source: HSE.ie

Covid-19: Support Your Immune System

During the ongoing Covid-19, it is vital to support your immune system as we become accustomed to self isolation.

Here are some self help tips to help you stay as healthy as  you can in your new routine:

Eat a Balanced Healthy Diet: 
– Eat more vegetables, salad and fruit – up to seven servings a day
– Limit intake of high fat, sugar and salt in food and drinks
– Size matters: use the Food Pyramid as a guide for serving sizes
– Increase your physical activity levels, small changes can make a big difference

Improve Your Physical Wellbeing:
– Children and young people (2-18): all children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day
– Adults (18-69): at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on five days a week or 150 minutes a week
– Children and adults with a disability should aim to be as active as their disability allows, and aim to meet the guideline for their age group if possible
– Adults aged 70+ are strongly advised to rigorously follow cocooning measures in order to keep themselves safe.

Look after your Mental Health:
Going for a walk or run can help get rid of pent-up energy and can leave you feeling much calmer.
– Make contact with out with family or friends by email, phone or video-calling.
– Taking some deep breaths and try meditation — deep breathing can help to relax the body.
– Trying to avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine, especially in the evenings.

Maintain a good Sleep Routine:
– Getting some good sleep, as a lack of sleep can affect your general well-being.
– Keeping your usual sleep routine is vital, get up at the usual time and retire to bed when you feel tired.
– Limit the amount of caffeine in the evenings as stimulants will keep you awake and disrupt your pattern.
– While we sleep, our bodies use this time to rest and repair so good sleep hygiene is vital to strengthen your body’s immune response

Hopefully these tips help you to support your immune system, remember there is no right or wrong as we take each day as it comes, you can only try the best you can in the circumstances…

We are all in this together. Stay safe and don’t forget to wash your hands!

Covid-19: Minding Your Mental Health

Now more than ever, it is so important to look after our physical and mental health in any way we can.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. This can really affect your mental health, but there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during times like this.

How your mental health might be affected

The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. Some people might find it more worrying than others. Try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts are working hard to contain the virus.

Most people’s lives will change in some way over a period of days, weeks or months. But in time, it will pass.

You may notice some of the following:

  • increased anxiety
  • feeling stressed
  • finding yourself excessively checking for symptoms, in yourself, or others
  • becoming irritable more easily
  • feeling insecure or unsettled
  • fearing that normal aches and pains might be the virus
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling helpless or a lack of control
  • having irrational thoughts

If you are taking any prescription medications, make sure you have enough.

How to mind your mental health during this time

Keeping a realistic perspective of the situation based on facts is important. Here are some ways you can do this.

Stay informed but set limits for news and social media

The constant stream of social media updates and news reports about coronavirus could cause you to feel worried. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate facts from rumours. Use trustworthy and reliable sources to get your news.

Read up-to-date, factual information on coronavirus in Ireland here.

On social media, people may talk about their own worries or beliefs. You don’t need to make them your own. Too much time on social media may increase your worry and levels of anxiety. Consider limiting how much time you spend on social media.

If you find the coverage on coronavirus is too intense for you, talk it through with someone close or get support.

Keep up your healthy routines

Your routine may be affected by the coronavirus outbreak in different ways. But during difficult times like this, it’s best if you can keep some structure in your day.

It’s important to pay attention to your needs and feelings, especially during times of stress. You may still be able to do some of the things you enjoy and find relaxing.

For example, you could try to:

Stay connected to others

During times of stress, friends and families can be a good source of support. It is important to keep in touch with them and other people in your life.

If you need to restrict your movements or self-isolate, try to stay connected to people in other ways, for example:

  • e-mail
  • social media
  • video calls
  • phone calls
  • text messages

Many video calling apps allow you to have video calls with multiple people at the same time.

Remember that talking things through with someone can help lessen worry or anxiety. You don’t have to appear to be strong or to try to cope with things by yourself.

Talking to children and young people

Involving your children in your plans to manage this situation is important. Try to consider how they might be feeling.

Give children and young people the time and space to talk about the outbreak. Share the facts with them in a way that suits their age and temperament, without causing alarm.

Talk to your children about coronavirus but try to limit their exposure to news and social media. This is especially important for older children who may be spending more time online now. It may be causing anxiety.

Try to anticipate distress and support each other

It is understandable to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed reading or hearing news about the outbreak.

Acknowledge these feelings. Remind yourself and others to look after your physical and mental health. If you smoke or drink, try to avoid doing this any more than usual. It won’t help in the long-term.

Don’t make assumptions

Don’t judge people or make assumptions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The coronavirus can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. We are all in this together.

Online and phone supports

Face-to-face services are limited at the moment. But some services are providing online and phone services.

There are also many dedicated online services that can help.

Use the HSE’s mental health services finder to find support. Check all the services websites to see what online and phone supports are available.

OCD and coronavirus

If you have OCD, you may develop an intense fear of:

  • catching coronavirus
  • causing harm to others
  • things not being in order

Fear of being infected by the virus may mean you become obsessed with:

  • hand hygiene
  • cleanliness
  • avoiding certain situations, such as using public transport

Washing your hands

The compulsion to wash your hands or clean may get stronger. If you have recovered from this type of compulsion in the past, it may return.

Follow the advice to wash your hands properly and often, but you do not need to do more than recommended.

Things you can do to help:

 

Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?

Click here for a full list of mental health supports and services during Covid-19

 

Source: HSE.ie

Covid-19: Benefits of Walking

We understand that the recent advice from the Government can be confusing. On one hand, we’ve been told to stay home as much as possible. On the other hand, we’ve also been told that it’s important to keep exercising – and that a walk, run or cycle within 2km of our homes is okay. Many of you have been going for a walk to get out of the house for some fresh air, but it’s actually more important than we realise.

Click on the infographic below to see the 20 benefits of walking:

Being physically active is probably the single most important thing that we can do for maintaining or improving our physical and mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19. Physical activity which includes an active lifestyle and routine exercise, like walking, plus eating sensibly is the best way to stay healthy and support your immune system.

Walking is the best form of exercise as it can be tailored to most fitness levels and health needs – and it’s absolutely FREE! All you need is comfortable footwear, appropriate clothing for the weather and you are good to go!

Here are 5 tips to help you get started and stay on track:
1. Go for a stroll after lunch or dinner each day instead of watching television – make this a habit like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins
2. Give yourself an aim like walk to the shop to get milk or post a letter – it helps to have a reason to get to your destination
3. Change your route and explore different paths every day – that way it won’t seem so monotonous and you will gain more appreciation of your the surroundings on your doorstep
4. Take the stairs instead of the lift or go the longer route instead of your normal routine – get those steps up each day
5. Keep track of your progress by using a calendar or a fitness tracker – you will soon see improvements in your timing and want to increase your steps even more!

So how much exercise should we be getting?

Children and Young People (2-18)
All children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day. Include muscle-strengthening, flexibility and bone-strengthening exercises 3 times a week. So children and teenagers should be outside in the garden as much as possible… which gives Mum & Dad some space too!

Adults (18-69)
At least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity on 5 days a week (or 150 minutes a week). Go for a walk, run, cycle or take the dog out for a walk – remembering to keep 2 metres (6ft) away from anyone from outside your household. Parents are allowed to include children in their exercise.

Older People (70+)
The Irish Government are strongly advising people over 70 years of age and those with serious underlying medical conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to rigorously follow cocooning measures in order to keep themselves safe.

Under new restrictions, people not ‘cocooning’ can leave their homes for a walk/run within a 2km limit from home.

2kmfromhome.com lets you select your exact location and offers a clear visualisation of where you can go within 2km from your home.