By Stephanie Simons,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire
Working from home has become the ‘new normal’ for many, but there are those who are now heading back into the working world – and those who never left. From health care staff to delivery drivers, these are the people helping us return to some semblance of normality. Yet while it is becoming safer to venture out, the pandemic is far from over, and it’s vital that we all do our bit to support those working on the front lines.
For many key workers, the coronavirus has left its mark, both physically and mentally. But there are ways to ease this strain, whether you are a key worker yourself, or you are looking to support someone in your life.
It’s likely that workers in public settings may experience anxiety. Such unprecedented circumstances can cause stress and confusion which, if not tackled, can lead to even worse mental health difficulties later on. Staff like health care workers or police could be concerned about their increased proximity to the virus, while others may worry about undertaking tasks outside of their usual role.
It can be helpful, therefore, to make sure key workers have a relaxing home environment to return to. Aromatherapy scents such as lavender, bergamot or ylang ylang in products like Nature’s Truth Aromatherapy blends – Calming, Mental Clarity, Happiness or Aura Cacia oils can create a calm atmosphere, while keeping a clean home with products like Lysol, Dettol or Clorox can also reduce any fears about hygiene. Plenty of sleep is also crucial for a healthy mind, so make sure you or your loved one has a quiet place to rest. Stress can make it hard to drift off, but herbal remedies like Nytol Herbal or Kalms Night or Melatonin can help in times when sleep is just out of reach.
It’s also important that key workers can discuss their experiences and concerns – even a quick chat with a friend can make all the difference. There are services available such as the Emotional Wellbeing Hotline (543-1111) too, for those who could benefit from extra support. If you or a loved one are experiencing significant distress, make sure to seek medical advice.
It’s just as important to take care of the body. Keeping fit and healthy helps to support your immune system, boost your mood and increase your ability to weather both emotional stress and viral attack. Taking time to exercise will nourish your muscles and your mind, whether it’s a quick walk around the block, an online yoga class, or even some living room Zumba.
Hearty meals also offer comfort and improve energy levels. Look for simple recipes that pack in the nutrients, like a veggie pasta or delicious fruit smoothie. You can also take supplements like Vitamin C (Nature’s Bounty, Emergen-C) for your immune system, Vitamin B (Berocca, N.B. B-Complex) to combat tiredness or Vitamin D and Calcium (Caltrate, Citracal, Viactiv) if your bones are feeling the effects of all that hard work.
And let’s not forget the skin – it is, after all, a vital organ. Masks can irritate the skin of the face so it can be useful to rotate in a calming face wash like Cerave Hydrating Cleanser and moisturiser like Cerave Facial Moisture Lotion AM and PM formulas into your usual routine. Key workers’ hands are also taking a beating. Soothing lotions like Aveeno Stress Relief can ease dry hands and replenish moisture. Some of us are key workers – some of us are caring for them. Either way, it has never been more important to look after ourselves and others. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, please do seek advice from your GP or pharmacist. We are here to help everyone stay happy and healthy.
Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.