Frequently asked questions
What can I do as I don’t want to go out or into a shop to get my shopping?
During the Covid – 19 pandemic, many of us are practising social distancing and keeping indoors to avoid the risk of spreading the disease. For many of us it means studying from home, streaming workouts and films in our living rooms or taking online lectures, and classes.
While our daily routines have drastically changed in the past week, one thing that hasn’t is our need for food. Thankfully, grocery stores and supermarkets have kept their doors open and shelves stocked so we can keep our fridges and cupboards well stocked.
However, people are being advised to limit unnecessary journeys outside, so if you're worried about going into the shop, why not opt for home delivery? Many of the supermarkets and local stores are offering delivery services, and there are still precautions that you can implement to reduce your likeliness of infection. Here are some tips for conscious grocery shopping while social distancing:
1. Ask for the groceries to be left outside your door
2. Wash your hand before and after you pick up the groceries
3. If contactless delivery is available ensure you avail of it
4. Disinfect all nonporous containers, think cans, bottles and jars
5. Wash any fresh fruit and vegetables and use clean hands to remove any soil or dirt
6. Once you put away all your groceries, disinfect all services that the bags have touched
Can I go outside?
Spring has sprung and we’re getting some beautiful weather, but in order to stop the spread of Covid-19, we’ve been advised to stay at home. Health officials are hoping that social distancing will help flatten the curve so fewer people will need treatment, and we can all return to life as we know it sooner rather than later. Now, I know you are wondering: Can I go outside? Can I go for a run? Can I walk the dog? The good news is you don’t have to stay inside and, not going outside can have a negative impact on your mental health. You are still encouraged to go outside, but it is important to practice social distancing. That means staying 2 meters or 6 feet away from people. It is also important to remember to wash your hands often or use a hand sanitiser, especially if you have touched something. If you do happen to touch something or rest your hand on a ledge, don’t touch your face! It is important that you go for your walks, runs or hikes, in spaces that will be quiet and where staying 2 meters apart is achievable (think woodland, mountains), be creative.
What can I do as I can’t go out for food?
The hospitality industry has taken a massive hit during this time. Since the announcement from the Government and HSE Advice about social distancing guidelines many of our local and favourite cafes, restaurants and food businesses have been affected in various ways and have been forced to close their doors. While this may mean putting your weekly meals out and your post walk coffees on hold for a few weeks' in order to prevent the spread of the often-deadly disease. These testing times have pushed businesses to be inventive, and some are coming up with new ways to deliver food and groceries to customers. However, if you cannot avail of your daily flat white, your classic ham and cheese sandwich or that famous chicken fillet roll, learn how to make it yourself with some online resources. Now is the perfect time to perfect your cooking skills.
Check out the website links below:
I'm a healthy adult, is it OK to visit my friends and elderly relatives?
Older people are at a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19 if they contact it. It is important to help slow the spread of the virus, which is done by minimising contact between individuals. The guidelines suggest that in order to protect our older relatives and neighbours that we do not visit unless it’s necessary – as in they need food, they need help at home, or they need their medication.
We are encouraged to stay in touch regularly with them, so they don’t feel isolated. Now would be a good time to teach them about video calling if they don’t know already. How about you pick up the phone and call them? Or speak to them through an open window of their house? If you have some time spare get creative and create a memory box for your older relatives with photos, letters or their favourite sweets!
How do I stay active during social isolation?
The thought of staying at home for a long period of time can be overwhelming and scary, especially if you are accustomed to keeping fit and active while hitting your daily step count! Rather than worrying about all of this, why not, instead, try and embrace this unusual situation we find ourselves in. Use it as an opportunity to try out one of those new, at home workouts you’ve never tried before, put away that pile of laundry or incorporate more healthy habits into your daily routine.
Remember, staying active has been scientifically proven to benefit your mood and overall well-being. Below are some tips on how to keep moving from the comfort of your own home.
1. Stick to an active routine
2. Stretch in the living room
3. Try an at home workout
4. Maintain/ take up hobbies that keep you moving!
5. Up your bodyweight workouts
6. Take the stairs (if you have one)
7. Get creative and re-create walks
8. Remain in touch
9. Keep the mind active
What can I do as I’m self-isolating and worried that I won’t see people for a long time?
The best way to help you feel that you’re still in contact with people, is to redefine ’see’. Before all this started, we were dependant on remote communication to keep in touch with many friends and loved ones, so the only real thing that has change now is the physical proximity.
'See’ now means we have to connect through our phones, screens or even windows! Why not set aside three to five times each day where you contact a friend or loved one, to ’see’ them for a catch up. Focus fully on them during that time. This will give that sense of connection we all need.
What can I do if I’m feeling lonely?
Loneliness during the recent outbreak of Covid- 19 has become a major concern for everyone as more people as setting up in their homes in isolation. Why not try out some of the suggestions below.
1. Hang out with some non-humans – Animals are great at making us feel connected and cared for. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and ease loneliness. Ask your neighbours, family or friends if they have a dog you could take for a walk occasionally
2. Use technology for social interaction. Don't retreat from social interaction – regular phone and video chatting with close friends and family is important for mental health. Video chat with grandparents, friends and/or cousins.
Remember: everyone has times when they feel lonely. Trying even a few new things can help reduce your isolation and should help you start to feel better.
What can I do without leaving my home?
2. Read a book
4. Make a list of all the positives in your life
5. Take an online course
6. Take a virtual tour of a museum or art gallery
7. Take up some arts and creafts
8. Learn some new house hold skills
10. Start that project you just never had time to do because you were too busy
11. Start a diary, there are interesting times, you never know it might be a best seller!
How do I stay connected while practising social distancing?
Firstly, you need to think about how you interact with others without putting your (or their) health at risk. Check out some of the tips below:
1. In Italy we have seen that they have managed to stay connected by speaking to each other from over a fence or across balconies. Can you speak to your neighbours/friends/ family members from over a fence or across a balcony?
2. Use technology to stay in touch, if you have access to it. If you have a smartphone, use it to video call other, as by seeing someone’s facial expressions, it can help increase connection
3. Check in with your friends, family, and neighbours regularly. Wherever you can, assist people in your life who may be more vulnerable (for example, those with no access to the internet or who cannot easily use the internet to shop online)
4. Spend the time connecting with the people you are living with.
5. Manage your stress levels through exercise, meditation, and keeping to a daily routine as much as you can
6. Remember, it’s not just your family and friends who require support, but also others in your community. Showing kindness towards others not only helps them but can also increase your sense of purpose and value, improving your own well-being.
I’m not leaving the house and lots of anxiety is giving me issues with my sleep, what can I do to get a better night’s sleep?
Many of us aren’t used to being confined to the house, which can be problematic for our sleeping patterns. Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Well, try starting your day early, making sure you take aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes at the same time each day, and ensure you eat your meals at set times. This will help you avoid grazing and overeating. In the evening, take 10 – 30 minutes of the last hour of your bedtime routine doing something that relaxes you, such as taking a bath or doing some gentle stretches.
You should make sure your bedroom is cool but not cold. Once in bed, read from a book, not a screen.
How can I stay positive and healthy during this time?
It’s important during this time not to be too hard on yourself. As the coronavirus is changing daily, sometimes even hourly, the need for social distancing is clear. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.
We are social beings, and this is something we’ve never been asked to do before. We have an entire system that responds to touch and social proximity that contributes to our sense of well- being and connection in the world.
Here are some suggestions on how to stay positive and healthy:
• Maintain a connection with people that you care about- social distance does not mean any social contact. Face to face conversations are not possible right now, so instead video call, chat or phone each other.
• Schedule your interactions- Figure out what interactions are most important for you; this could be a virtual happy hour with friends, family members, nieces or nephews. Set up virtual dates and add them to your diary! Thus, it’s more likely to happen.
• Use social media actively- Don't just sit there. Research has found that restricting your total time on these can decrease depression and loneliness, particularly if you are using your time actively by connecting with family and friends. Active use and less time just scrolling is important!
Is it important that I keep a routine?
Maintaining a routine is critical during this time of social isolation/distancing. Wake up at the same time, get dressed every day and treat the weekend as the weekend.
Ensure you plan your daily tasks and schedule regular stretch and food breaks. These breaks will allow you to be more focused at the task in hand and they will also prevent you from mindless eating.
Make sure to have nutritious and healthy snacks. By developing a routine, you will feel more in control everything, and help you make room for all that’s important.
Routines will help you cope with these changes that we are experiencing, to continue with healthy habits, and reduce stress levels.
What are some strategies to cope with feeling lonely?
This is an uncertain time for everyone so staying in touch with family and friends is more important than ever. Thankfully we live in a year where technology is at hand so we can maintain social connections.
Technology such as face time, zoom and other resources are our friends right now. We use them every day and now we should be using them for less formal interactions. When we are present with people, we don’t expect every interaction to be productive. We mess, laugh and gossip and these moments are vital to feel a sense of connection, so now we need to find ways on how to replicate them online.
If you meet up for your friends or families daily or weekly for coffee, why not create a zoom channel to take your coffee breaks online. Likewise, consider cooking the same meal or doing a workout with your gym partner on Face Time.
• If you live in an area where you can go outside while still maintaining the social distance of 2 meters (six feet) between each other, invite a friend to meet up for a walk or a run.
• If you're working on assignments at home, create an online group with friends. Meet for a video lunch: just turn the camera and eat ‘’together’’
• Text messages are quick and easy ways to stay connected, you can set up a WhatsApp group and chat throughout the day, this contact will really make a difference
• Plan to watch TV shows with friends at the same time or explore Google Arts & Culture or Chatter Pack for free online boredom resources.
How do I overcome this feeling of loneliness?
Finding ways to overcome loneliness can include things you do yourself, and finding things to do with other people. Some of the tips below may be useful for you.
Relaxation- techniques such as writing in a journal or diary, listening to music, yoga or meditation can help you to relax when alone.
Talk- with people who you interact with every day, this can be a family member, college friend or sibling. Start a conversation around the topic of favourite TV or Netflix show, what’s happening in your area, or even just about the weather.
Connect- Reach out to friends and ask them how they are doing. Stay in touch and check in with them regularly. Who knows they might be feeling the same way!
Joining- Get involved in online classes or check out some volunteering opportunities in your local community. Not only will you meet new people, but more than likely these people will have the same interest as you.
Take up a new instrument, learn a new language or even do an online cooking class! The opportunities are endless.
I prefer talking to people in person as I'm bad with talking over social media, what can I do?
Let’s face it we’ve all been there! When pressure arises, we find ourselves struggling with what to say and experience being ‘lost for words’. These situations can be deemed awkward and nerve- wracking, but it’s perfectly normal to feel that way.
Here are some simple tips to help you out.
Listen- We know, you're reading but you still must pay attention. Take an interest in what others have said.
Show up- Check in daily and participate in the conversation. Don’t just show up once a week and mass comment on everything that people have said, be present every day.
Ask questions- The best way to get people to respond is to ask them a question something simple as ‘’I’m looking for a good movie to watch, any recommendations?’’, or, ‘’ How are you spending your days?’’.
I miss people I used to hang out with in college and I feel like I'm being annoying contacting them, what can I do?
Right now, we have been in self-isolation and social distancing for over a week, and yes it may feel like we are annoying people by contacting them on social platforms. But it is important to remember that during this time we need to emphasise the importance of social interaction for our mental health and well- being.
Below are some suggestions to help you stay connected to your college friends in the days and weeks ahead.
• Set up a schedule where ye arrange to Face time, Zoom or WhatsApp at a set time during the day
• Decide to meet up once this is over
• Download Discord and make voice or video calls on your phone or laptop
• Set up a Netflix party
• Use Watch2Gether where you can watch YouTube and other online videos with friends
• Play Cards against Humanity with your friends online.
If I am in a society can I still enter for an Award?
Yes, the society awards deadline is April 1st. More details can be found on www.socs.nuigalway.ie. Please note that The BICS deadline is now May 29th.
The SocsBox is still available to help you just email them on firstname.lastname@example.org, or Riona on email@example.com or for help with finance email Mary on firstname.lastname@example.org
I bought something from the SocsBox which was cancelled, how do I get a refund?
All cancelled events will be fully refunded, please email email@example.com with all the details of your purchase and your ID number. You will receive a reply back within a few days.
What do I do if I have a question about Societes?
Make sure to email your query to firstname.lastname@example.org. The SocsBox team are busy working remotely and would only be delighted to assist you.
Can I get an ALIVE Cert for my volunteering?
Yes, log into yourspace.nuigalway.ie to start your application. Go to the presidents Award link. You just fill in the details of your volunteering, the number of hours you volunteered and answer all the questions, dont forget to click save.
The deadline is March 31st, but if you have any questions about your application email email@example.com, or if you are applying through a society email firstname.lastname@example.org.