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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, people of all ages across the country are adjusting to lots of change and a new normal. Some of us may be struggling to put shape and order on our days during this tense time. It’s important to remember that there is no correct way to feel and how you are feeling right now is totally fine. We all adjust to change differently and it's important to allow space for adjustment and feelings of unease and anxiety in a situation that we have no control over.

What we can do however, is control our own environment, some of our routines, be kind to ourselves and follow what our government and health system are asking of us.

We have compiled a number of tips and tricks to help you navigate your days throughout this strange and confusing time.

When you are working from home

Set a schedule but allow flexibility. At the moment parents really have their work cut out for them! If you are working from home, trying to keep the kids in the routine of their schoolwork and keeping them active it can be a juggling act getting it all done! Here are some practical tips that might help.

  • Be up, showered, dressed for usual work time i.e. 9am. It can be tempting to stay in PJ’s all day but you will feel much more energised by simply getting yourself ready, even if it is only a tracksuit. Take your usual scheduled breaks and try to stick to your work routine i.e. tea break at 11am and lunch around 1pm
  • If you have children, have a few set activities/school tasks/household chores lined up for them to do while you do work each day- set small goals for them and reward them in the evening, maybe with a reward chart or screen time or even a game together.
  • Set younger children up at the table with drawing, toys, jigsaw, Lego or school work depending on children's age while you work. There are many online streaming services where people read children books aloud, lead art classes etc which might be a resource to keep kids occupied
  • For older kids write up a schedule for them and stick it on the fridge to follow and refer to throughout the day, this will provide much needed structure to their day.
  • Now is not a time to be overly strict on-screen time!! TV for an hour will occupy kids and allow you to take a work call or settle to work for an hour but ration it accordingly
  • Take hourly or regular breaks- if you can get outside, even to the garden fresh air is key right now
  • If you can get some light exercise at your lunch break, leave the phone behind and walk around the block, your joints will thank you for it.
  • Finish work and switch off at your normal time, close up and put away work - out of sight, out of mind!
  • Be realistic about your workload, it’s important to give yourself some flexibility around what you can fit into your day. Be compassionate to yourself and your family - don't beat yourself up if you don't get as much work done as you'd like.
  • Reach out to work colleagues to see how they are getting on, share any tips for getting work completed. Try a virtual coffee break, Facetime or Zoom your usual caffeine crew!

General Well Being Tips

  • Only obtain your news updates from reputable sources and limit news consumption to once or twice daily, you will still capture important updates without overwhelming yourself with a constant stream of COVID-19 related news. 
  • Remember social distancing is only applicable in a physical sense. It is so important to stay connected to your friends, family and loved ones. Use phone calls/texts/WhatsApp/Zoom apps to keep in touch. It is so important to check up on those you care about and to remember we are all in this together.
  • Have a work-day schedule and differentiate between weekdays and weekends, try to have more leisure time at the weekends or on your days off take advantage of this time to indulge in Netflix, read a new book or try your hand at baking!
  • Tap into online sources of exercise classes. Lots of class providers are using technology to connect with possible clients and there are loads of yoga, exercise and mindfulness classes YouTube etc. These could be a great unwinding activity for the evening or for during the day as a break. Get the kids involved too!
  • Get outside for a walk or run every day, remember to stay within a 2K distance from your home.
  • Try and eat 3 balanced meals a day, it is key for your immunity and overall wellbeing to ensure you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Check out our top immune support supplements here.

  • Have some alone time; mindfulness practice can unlock some inner calm and peace of mind at a time like this. Try Headspace, Calm or Insight timer apps to find the practice that is right for you.
  • Now is a great time to practice some self-care; maybe kick start that skincare regime you’ve been meaning to? We have plenty of brands with regimes that you can really indulge yourself with.

  • Beat boredom by tackling the 'messy drawer' or cupboard in the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom (we all have one lurking somewhere!)
  • Help others; reach out to old/vulnerable people you know to see if you can offer any help - good for them and good for your soul!
  • Try and get at least 8 hours sleep a night. Sleep is key for our immunity and overall well being. If you’re having trouble sleeping, call any of our pharmacists who will be more than pleased to try and help you with suggestions and products.

Most of all try to enjoy the forced slowdown of pace; seldom in life do we get a chance to completely slow down, remember this will end too so we should make the most of the opportunities slowing our pace presents.

Prescription and Medicine Tips:

  • Please continue to use our pharmacies for all of your prescription and medication needs.
  • It’s helpful if you phone ahead to order your prescription, about 5 days before you think you’ll need it so we can make sure there are no stock issues. There are no unusual stock shortages in Ireland, however there would normally be some delays on certain items, so giving us time to ensure you have medicines available will help so much.
  • To reduce your time waiting in the pharmacy, we might ask for a phone number to let you know your prescription is ready or in case of any queries. The least amount of time you spend in the pharmacy will ensure your safety and the safety of our colleagues, all of whom we will need to stay healthy to continue to provide this important service
  • If you need help to make sure an at risk or vulnerable patient needs medication, please call your CARA Pharmacy. We have plenty of ways we can help, including using volunteer services for delivery.
  • All of our stores are following current HSE guidelines for social distancing and protective equipment use, so please don’t worry if it looks like we’re carrying on as usual. Our teams aren’t wearing masks or gloves in most situations at the moment because it’s not recommended, however we keep all of the guidelines under constant review and change our policies if recommended.
  • Most of all, please be kind to our colleagues in the event of delays. We promise we’re doing all we can to process your prescriptions without delay. Due to this small change to how we’re working, the pharmacy may LOOK quiet, however there may be a few patients ahead of you, also waiting outside of the pharmacy for their prescription to be ready.

Stay safe, and count on us to care for you.

The CARA Pharmacy Team