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Coeliac disease and coping with the additional stress and anxiety of COVID19

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It is understandable that for people already living with a chronic condition, such as coeliac disease the re-emergence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Zealand may cause additional stress and anxiety. However, be reminded that you have already demonstrated resilience having adjusted to being gluten free for life as part of your every day, and with the right tools and attitude, you will manage this situation also.

Be proactive and safeguard yourself and your whanau

Some people with coeliac disease may be fearful of their level of risk and consequences of being exposed to COVID-19. To date, there have been no studies or reports suggesting patients with coeliac disease are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 compared to patients without coeliac disease.

However, as every person may respond differently to the current situation, we have prepared some tips on how to be more proactive and set up good daily routines to safeguard yourself and your whanau.

  • Stay home – remember that you are ‘not stuck inside’, you are safe at home and helping to keep others in your community safe too.
  • If you are sick – cough or sneeze into your elbow and if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, call Healthline, your doctor or iwi health provider. They will tell you if you should get a COVID-19 test.
  • Track where you have been - scan QR codes wherever you go.
  • Regularly check locations of interest - to see if you need to get tested. Visit the COVID19.govt.nz website for the latest information.
  • Get vaccinated - People with coeliac disease are in group 3 so if you haven’t already done so you can book your vaccinations now
  • Wear a face covering - and make sure it covers your nose and mouth when you are out in public.
  • Maintain social distancing – remain at least 2 metres from other people
  • Wash your hands - wash often with soap for 20 seconds. Then dry. This kills the virus by bursting its protective bubble.
  • Regularly clean surfaces - clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs and mobile phones.
  • Talk to your healthcare team - Many doctors and dietitians are now offering telehealth services. Follow the recommendations from your healthcare team.
  • Turn off media and news for some time each day - While it is important to stay updated ensure you have time away from social media and the news and make sure you get your information from reliable sources such as COVID19.govt.nz.
  • Stay Connected with friends and family - There are many ways to connect with others through technology. Take time to check in with your loved ones, with video conferencing, or phone calls.
  • Develop a plan - to have groceries, medications and other essential items delivered or dropped off. If you are unable to leave home ask a neighbour that is able to go outside, or order groceries online that can be dropped off via a contactless service.
  • Keep active - by taking advantage of some time outdoors, playing with the kids, washing the car, or tending to your gardens. Being restricted on what you can do can be overwhelming and if you live on your own you may feel isolated. Enjoy some fresh air while following social distancing rules or try one of the many online videos you can do at home to keep active. Take part in our challenge below!
  • Set up a routine to follow - if you and your family or bubble are at home for a prolonged period. Having set times set aside for specific activities, working from home, online schoolwork, chores, cooking your favourite meal, walking the dog, or taking a relaxing bath etc.
  • Try relaxation for stress management - using mindfulness or meditation. The following app: Daily calm 10-minute Mindfulness Meditation and other similar apps can help you create a daily routine.

Take up the coeliac disease  Fitness Lockdown Challenge

All you have to do is for the next 7 days complete 10 km walking or running, this is equivalent to 1.5 km a day, or you can walk around your garden like Captain Sir Tom Moore did in the UK!
  1. Register by emailing healthpromotion@coeliac.org.nz
  2. Download the Strava tracker app to record your distance
  3. Post your km daily achievement on our Facebook page/ or email a copy to healthpromotion@coeliac.org.nz
All entries will receive a Fitness Lockdown certificate. We will have spot prizes of GF gift packs throughout the lock-down.
Stay up to date by checking our Facebook page for competitions and updates. Please remember to wear your mask and respect social distancing guidelines.

Register now!! healthpromotion@coeliac.org.nz

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