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Lifestyle advices

The coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts our daily life. To prevent the spread of the corona virus, you avoid busy places, you keep 1.5 meters distance, you stay at home when you have a cold and if necessary, you work from home as much as possible. How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle in times of corona?

You maintain your resistance by living a healthy lifestyle. You get sick less quickly and are better protected against pathogenic bacteria and viruses, such as the corona virus. And if you do get sick, you usually recover faster. Healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated. You can already make a difference with small steps.

There are lifestyle advices about:

Mental health

The corona crisis can affect your mental health. You may be anxious or depressed, experience stress or develop other complaints. The advice below will help you to pay extra attention to your mental well-being during this time.

Take care of yourself. Do what you can do yourself and take advantage of the help you can get.

Advice for at home

Due to the coronavirus, children may not go to school, you may not be able to go to work or you may have to work from home. In addition, there are people with fragile health who now stay at home more than before.

Mental health advice for children, young people, adults and the elderly:

1. Provide structure in the daily schedule

Try to stick to the normal daily schedule as much as possible. You do this by getting up, going to bed and eating at the same times as before the corona crisis. Also plan different activities per day to avoid routine.

For more information about structure, visit:

2. Provide adequate relaxation

Do something for yourself at least one hour a day that gives you energy. Also keep seeing bright spots: Write three positive things you have experienced, done, or seen every day.

For more information about relaxation, visit:

3. Avoid sitting still a lot

Do you (mainly) work at home? Then alternate your work with sufficient breaks. For example, take a break with a short exercise or walk. Exercise has a positive effect on concentration.

For more information about preventing sitting still, see:

4. Try to get enough sleep

Do not use screens (TV, computer, tablet or telephone) just before going to sleep. If you find yourself stressed by news about the coronavirus, don’t look it up by watching TV in your bedroom, for example. If you get enough sleep, you can handle stress much better.

For more information about sleeping, see:

5. Let go of what you cannot control

Know that insecurity is part of life and try to deal with it. What can help you is to see this crisis as a challenge to become stronger. Ask for help if you find it necessary.

For more information about letting go, see:

6. Seek support from negative feelings

Talk to someone about your situation and feelings. This can be a difficult step and meeting people is now more difficult due to the corona virus. Still, it helps to share your emotions with others. Look up people online or make an appointment with a care provider or doctor.

For more information about support for negative feelings, see:

Exercise

You maintain your resistance by living a healthy lifestyle. You get sick less quickly and are better protected against pathogenic bacteria and viruses, such as the corona virus. And if you do get sick, you usually recover faster. Exercise is good for your health. How do you approach this safely? View the advice below for exercising in times of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Get your day moving and do it safely. This is easier than you think.

Advice for adults and the elderly

Advice for adequate exercise for adults and the elderly:

1. Exercise moderately intensively for 2.5 hours a week

Exercise moderately/vigorously so that your breathing increases, but you can still talk. For example, walk 20 minutes a day, walk the dog or go cycling. You also exercise while gardening or doing housework.

For more information about exercise, see:

2. Do muscle and bone strengthening activities twice a week

All adults can strengthen their muscles and bones at home by strength training, climbing stairs, jumping rope, dancing and Nordic walking (walking with sticks). The TV program ‘Nederland in Beweging’ shows good exercises for adults and the elderly.

For more information on muscle and bone strengthening activities, visit:

  • YouTube.com: videos with muscle and bone strengthening exercises from Allesoversport.nl
  • Maxvandaag.nl: episodes of the TV program Nederland in Beweging

3. Avoid injury from falling

Do 7 small exercises during your daily activities at home to stay ‘on your feet’.

For more information about fall prevention, visit:

  • YouTube.com: videos with exercise tips for the elderly from SafetyNL
  • Safety.nl : download the flyer ‘Hup in the legs’ with useful tips to keep moving
  • Allesoversport.nl: exercise poster with exercises for at home

Advice for children and young people

Advice for sufficient exercise for children and young people (4 to 18 years):

1. Exercise moderately intensively for 1 hour a day

Let children move with increasing breathing by, for example, playing outside in the garden, walking or cycling. Exercising outdoors is healthy for children and stimulates them to participate in team sports.

For more information about exercise for children and young people, please visit:

2. Do muscle and bone strengthening activities 3 times a week

Strengthen the muscles and bones of children by, for example, dancing, trampoline jumping, skipping rope and ball sports (such as playing football).

For more information about exercising at home, visit:

3. Avoid injury from falling

Prevent accidents by making agreements with children about playing outside. Whether it’s a trampoline, a child’s bike, wheels underneath shoes or skates (and the use of knee, elbow and wrist protectors when skating). Many accidents and injuries happen in and around the house. Now that we are home, it is good to pay extra attention to this.

For more information about playing outsides safely, visit:

Nutrition

You maintain your resistance by living a healthy lifestyle. You get sick less quickly and are better protected against pathogenic bacteria and viruses, such as the corona virus. And if you do get sick, you usually recover faster. It is therefore important to (continue to) eat healthy. View the advice below about healthy nutrition.

Eat according to the Wheel of Five and stay as healthy as possible.

Advice for at home

Advice for a healthy diet for children, young people, adults and the elderly:

1. Contribute to good health by eating healthy

Have a varied diet from all subjects of the Wheel of Five and swap unhealthy snacks for something healthy. By having a healthy diet, you support the immune system, you reduce the risk of diseases, and you maintain a healthy balance and weight.

For more information about eating healthy, visit:

2. Maintain regular eating patterns to structure your day

Many people still work from home. It is important to have a steady rhythm. By having time and attention for regular meals, and not eating more than usual, you can keep your weight in balance.

For more information about regular eating times, visit:

  • Voedingscentrum.nl: healthy eating and exercise when you work from home because of corona

3. Keep healthy food such as fruit and vegetables insight and sweets and snacks out of sight

You are more likely to grab food that you see or that is in front of you. Therefore, put healthy food out and unhealthy food out of sight. Even if you have to make more effort to grab food, you will eat it less quickly. For example, store it in a cupboard.

For more information about healthy snacks, visit:

Alcohol, smoking and drugs

The corona virus (COVID-19) can cause fear, tension and gloom. This creates a risk of increased use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The advice below will help to limit substance use.

Limit the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. At this point, the risk is high that you will use it more often and more.

Advice for at home

Advice for limiting substance use among young people, (young) adults and the elderly:

1. Limit or try to quit smoking

Realize that smokers are generally more at risk of respiratory infections than non-smokers. In general, smokers are also more sensitive to the coronavirus.

For more information about smoking, please visit:

2. During this time, try to cut down on or avoid drinking alcohol

Realize that alcohol does not help against corona stress. Although a glass of alcohol may seem to reduce stress for a while in the short term, in the long term alcohol consumption increases stress and anxiety. Too much alcohol can also cause you to no longer follow the rules of conduct such as 1.5 meters distance.

For more information about alcohol, visit:

3. Take advantage of the help you can get

Use counselors, such as family doctors, if you need help cutting back or quitting alcohol, smoking, or drugs. They are ready to assist you. Or use online help.

For more information about help with reducing or quitting drinking, smoking, or drugs, see:

Social interaction

Due to the corona virus (COVID-19), we still have social contact with each other in a different way because of the 1.5 meter distance and working from home. Although we can have less physical contact with each other, social interaction remains important. View the advice below to stimulate social interaction during corona.

Help each other during this time and be patient with the other. We need each other to keep it up.

Advice for at home

Now that the virus is under control, it is again possible to visit the elderly. Some elderly people cannot yet receive visitors, for example if they have a cold or are infected with COVID-19. The tips below will help to keep in touch with these elderly people:

1. Try to help others

Have a chat with old (er) people by calling (video) or by passing by maintaining 1.5 meters distance. Ask how things are going and if they need help. Think of your parents, but also ask an old aunt or uncle, neighbor or someone else. Helping other people has a positive effect not only on the person receiving help, but also on you as the person who helps.

For more information about loneliness, visit:

2. Do what you can do yourself and should do according to the measures

Contribute to a good atmosphere at home. Communicate in a friendly manner and with humor if you live in a house with more people.

For more information about a good atmosphere at home, visit:

  • Pharos.nl: staying at home and bringing up in times of the corona virus
  • Nji.nl: tips for families in times of the corona virus

3. Also pay attention to what your children are doing online

Talk to your child (ren) about how they can interact safely online, such as guarding their own boundaries or crossing the boundaries of others. Being in love, bullying in group apps, curiosity about sex; it just continues, but now mainly online.

For more information about online behavior, visit:

4. Keep an eye on each other

Keep an eye on each other. Due to the corona crisis, some people are still forced to sit at home. There may be stress because people are afraid of getting sick or losing their job. This can cause tension in the house, sometimes resulting in violence.

For more information about online contact, please visit:

  • Nji.nl: tips for families in times of the corona virus
  • Veiligthuis.nl: advice and reporting center for domestic violence and child abuse
  • Arboportaal.nl: keep in touch with colleagues online and other tips for working from home
  • YouTube.com: video from Center for Sexual Violence about what to do if someone reports that they have been sexually abused

5. Be kind to each other at home and at the supermarket

Help each other and maintain the 1.5 meters distance. No one can do anything about it, everyone is in the same boat. We make the best of it together. Also be creative during this time.

For more information about kindness, visit:

  • YouTube.com: video about persistence in the corona crisis of the RIVM National Institute for Health and Environment
  • Thebestsocial.media: creative art challenge to make sitting at home more bearable

Sexuality

Due to the corona virus (COVID-19), there are also many questions about sex: what is possible and what should you pay extra attention to now? View the advice below about sexuality in times of corona.

Be aware of physical and sexual contact.

Advice for at home

Advice on sexuality for (young) adults and the elderly:

1. Due to the 1.5 meter rule you can only have sex with your steady partner

Sex with your steady partner is possible, if you both want it. After all, you are already very close and it is practically impossible to avoid each other physically. Do not have sex with your partner if he or she is isolated due to (suspected) coronavirus infection.

For more information about sex and the coronavirus, visit:

  • Soaaids.nl: questions and answers about the corona virus, sex and STIs Sexually transmitted diseases ‘s
  • Rutgers.nl: advice for sex in corona time

2. No steady partner? Make good agreements and limit the risk of the corona virus

It makes sense that as a single person, you also want to have physical contact. It is extra important that you keep the risk of the corona virus as small as possible during intimacy and sex. Discuss how best to do this. Stick to the rules surrounding the corona virus.

For more information about sex and the coronavirus, visit:

  • Soaaids.nl: questions and answers about the coronavirus, sex and STIs
  • Rutgers.nl: advice for sex in corona time

3. It is always possible to contact the doctor about STIs, contraception, unintended pregnancy or sexual violence

Young people and young adults between the ages of 12 and 25 can look at www.sense.info for questions about sexuality, contraception, STIs or pregnancy. There are temporarily fewer, and in some regions no, Sense office hours for young people. The chat and info line are also sometimes less staffed. You can always contact the doctor.

For more information about sex, visit:

4. The pill is less reliable for vomiting or diarrhea

Know that the contraceptive pill is less reliable for vomiting and diarrhea. It is then advisable to take the pill again or to consult with your doctor. Do you want to start using contraception or switch contraception? If you cannot see the doctor, you can also make an appointment for a contraception consultation by telephone.

For more information about the contraceptive pill, visit: