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Slipping into old habits allows COVID-19 to creep back

If you’ve ever made, and not kept, a resolution you’ll know how easy it is to slip back into old habits. Keeping up new ways of doing things will help keep us all safe.

20 October 2020

Have you ever made a resolution to eat better, exercise more or give up smoking? How did you go? There’s a good chance you didn’t keep up your intended change for long. 

This is because behaviour change is difficult. It’s easy to slip back into old ways of doing things. It’s the same in the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's vital we keep up our new habits to stop the spread.

Preparing yourself with strategies and plans can help make behaviour stick.

Here are a few easy tactics to help.

10 ways to keep up good COVID-19 habits

  1. Think positively; the actions you take are helping people (including your friends and family) to stay healthy and safe.

  2. Work out a plan to deal with tricky situations, like meeting a 'hugger', ahead of time.

  3. Write down your intentions somewhere you will see it every day. For example "I'll use hand sanitizer when I go in and come out of the supermarket."

  4. Tell someone else what your focus is, peer pressure helps!

  5. Share your good intensions on your social feeds. “Hey everyone, in order to beat COVID, I’m just letting you know I love you, but I’m not going to shake hands, stand close or hug for the next little while.”

  6. If you are aware that you have been slipping with your behaviours, break it down into smaller, achievable goals.

  7. Don’t try and address all your lapses at once. Focus on one thing, like keeping your hands away from your face for a day or being really conscientious about washing your hands.

  8. Sit down and reflect to see how you are doing and if you are actually practicing the habit every day.

  9. Be patient with yourself and have confidence that you can achieve any good habit you want as long as you keep trying.

  10. Think about a healthy or positive reward for yourself for achieving your goals.

10 ways to help stay COVID-safe

  1. Take the time to properly fit your face mask so it’s comfortable and fits snuggly over your nose and mouth. If you wear glasses, think about using anti-fog spray. ​

  2. Practice a little mantra “Keys, wallet, phone, mask, sanitiser” before you go out.

  3. Have supplies of hand sanitiser in different places (your car, bag, by the door), so you don’t forget it when you go out.

  4. Shop at hours that are not popular (like early in the morning or mid afternoon).

  5. Place a note on your front door to welcome visitors that says, ‘We can’t wait to see you, but hope you won’t mind washing your hands when you come in’.

  6. Sanitise your hands when entering and leaving shops to protect others while shopping and yourself when you leave.

  7. Wear a mask properly, when you are required by law to do so, or when you can’t keep 1.5m from others.

  8. Keep your hands away from your face.

  9. Stay home if you have any signs of COVID-19.

  10. If you do feel unwell, get tested today - don’t delay.

An app to help you

The Get Prepared app will help you create a plan for any emergency.

Need extra support?

Vic: Call the COVID hotline on 1800 675 398 or read about financial and other support.
NSW: Call the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or search for support.