Healthy Eating and Cooking on a budget

While we are practising social distancing and self-isolation, we aren’t doing grocery shopping as regularly as before, which makes it hard to keep a store of fresh ingredients. It has also been difficult to get the groceries you normally do.

Here are some articles on planning, shopping and cooking with the ingredients that are available and on a budget. There’s also some great recipe ideas.

Key articles and sites

Mental Health (children)

Are you wondering how to talk to your children about COVID19? Children are sensitive to their care-givers’ moods and will sense if you are scared or worried. Your children may have noticed talk of COVID19 in the media and may be affected by self-isolation measures preventing them from seeing friends and loved ones.

The best way to reduce their anxiety is to:

  • to be honest, calm and reassuring
  • answer their questions but don’t overwhelm them with too much detail
  • limit their exposure to media reports and be with them when they are watching, reading or listening news so you can answer their questions
  • teach them what they can do to stay safe and protect others, like washing their hands well and often
  • maintain some normal routines like getting up and going to bed at the same time each day.

If they are curious about COVID19, you could encourage them to talk about their feelings, draw pictures and write stories about it. Let them talk about the things they are missing, like seeing friends, going to the park or doing sports and ask them what it is they enjoy about those things. Together you can make lists of things they want to do that you will tick off when the limits are lifted. You could even help them to create a special box for them to put their “wishes” in as a craft project.

Key articles and sites

Mental Health (Adults)

This is an unusual time and psychology experts have emphasised that it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious and unmotivated. While we are all very focussed on our physical health and hygiene, it’s as important to consider your mental health too. Some things you can do to practise self-care include:

  • keeping in contact with your family and friends by phone or online channels
  • maintaining some routines
  • keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating well and getting exercise
  • avoid using alcohol, tobacco or drugs to cope with stress
  • try relaxation, meditation or mindfulness apps, podcasts or guides.

If you have a mental illness, or someone you know does, be aware that stress caused by the COVID19 pandemic can be triggering. It’s important to keep up your treatment or medication, stay informed but avoid an information overload and don’t get involved in debates about COVID19. Most importantly, talk to your loved ones about how you’re feeling and reach out if you need help.

For confidential and professional support, call Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Key articles and sites


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