The spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, is impacting us all and we do not know how long it is going to pan out or for how long it will last for. The outbreak has affected us all in various ways, our health and safety, productivity and everyday routines have been disrupted. It is understandable that people may be feeling worried, anxious and overwhelmed.

Our members from the Directorate of Health in Iceland have compiled these 10 Good advice in times of coronavirus. The advices are based on what research indicate as useful to foster physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

  1. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones

Look after yourself and find constructive ways to meet the challenges we are facing. Spend quality time with your loved ones. Play cards or board games do something creative, read, and laugh together. Create memories.

  1. Be grateful for what you have

Pay attention to the good things in your life and be grateful for them. Think of three good things to be thankful for every day, for example at the dinner table or before going to sleep. Our thoughts have an impact on how we feel.

  1. Eat healthy and good food every day

It is important to have a healthy and varied diet. Choose foods that are naturally rich in nutrients, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and fish. Eating regular meals and enjoying your food is best for you.

  1. Be physically active every day

Physical activity is important for your mental and physical well-being, improved sleep and increased energy. Engage in brisk physical activity daily, adults for at least 30 minutes and children for at least 60 minutes. It is better to do a little than nothing and to limit prolonged sedentary behavior.

  1. Promote better sleep with good sleep habits

Good sleep is essential for coping with daily challenges. Sleep has a positive effect on the immune system, concentration, learning abilities, and is essential for children’s growth and development. Establish good sleep habits to get adequate sleep based on age.

  1. Avoid using alcohol or tobacco as a coping strategy

It is not helpful to use alcohol or tobacco to cope with difficult feelings, such as worries and anxiety, or in order to relax. Alcohol consumption and smoking weaken the immune system besides adversely affecting health and well-being over the long term.

  1. Be socially responsible and follow instructions

Show responsible behaviour and follow instructions from the Civil Protection Authorities to protect the people around you as well as the health care system. At the same time, avoid unnecessary worries as they can adversely impact quality of life and our sense of safety.

  1. Continue learning and get things done

Spot the opportunities in these unique circumstances. Learn something new or consider the things on your to-do list that you have not been able to complete. Now is the time to learn a new language, learn a new dance choreography, prepare a new dish, read the books waiting on your nightstand, sort the family photos or tidy up the storage room.

  1. Give to others, show kindness and compassion

Do something kind for others. Practise compassion. Smile. Give time to others by making phone calls, showing interest, and expressing gratitude for friendships or favours. Volunteer if you can. Seeing yourself as part of a broader context provides fulfilment and strengthens your relationship with others.

  1. Enjoy the present moment – here and now

With fewer social gatherings, we are given the opportunity to slow down. Take advantage of the circumstances and learn to enjoy the moment and dwell more in the here-and-now. Notice the beauty in the small things around you and in nature with all your senses. Let this time be nourishing and rewarding.