5 tips to help you live better with incontinence during Covid-19
We know – it seems that all anyone can talk about these days is Covid-19. However, it’s not really surprising when you consider the widespread effects that the pandemic has had (and continues to have) on the world we live in. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ will take some time and patience, especially for those living with physical and/or mental conditions that complicate life even further. So what does it mean for people living with incontinence? Keep reading for 5 tips to help you live better during this challenging time.
1. Reach out to your community
If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s the value of the collective. We may not be able to spend as much time in the physical company of others these days, but we can make connections online that offer invaluable support when things get tough. At WFIPP, we created the Support In Continence platform to provide a safe place for those suffering with urinary and faecal incontinence – a place where everybody has a voice. After all, if Covid-19 is causing you extra difficulties with your incontinence, then it’s likely that others are also feeling the same. By listening to testimonials of other patients and carers, you can gain some reassurance that you are not alone.
2. Plan your toilet breaks
The closing of many public toilets (and the restrictions on entering pubs and restaurants), is having a huge impact on people suffering with incontinence. In fact, even those without the condition are finding it tough! Whilst access to toilet facilities might have been viewed as something trivial in the past, it is now a serious consideration for the entire population – and yet another reason for those with incontinence to not leave the house. This means it is now more important than ever to plan ahead when going for a walk or to the shops. You may want to identify a coffee shop or café where you can stop and take a break if needed. It might also be a good idea to consider the use of self-care products, to give you more confidence when out and about.
3. Make an online appointment
If you’re worried about visiting a healthcare professional during the pandemic, then investigate what online options are available to you. Many doctor’s surgeries are offering patients virtual consultations and you can even get medications delivered straight to your door. The most important thing is to not let coronavirus get in the way of your appointments. Discussing symptoms and monitoring treatments are essential strategies for gaining control over your condition. If you need some help preparing for an online consultation, head over to ‘How can I get help’, for further tips and advice.
4. Pay attention to diet and exercise
For many of us, lockdowns in whatever form are having an impact on our diet and lifestyle. We may be eating more unhealthy foods than usual, or being more sedentary during the day. If you suffer from urinary or faecal incontinence, what you eat or drink can have a major impact on your symptoms. For example, it’s especially important to keep hydrated with 6-8 glasses of water a day, and to avoid caffeinated drinks or foods that might irritate your bladder and bowel. It’s also a good idea to remain active, whether that’s through doing your pelvic floor exercises or keeping up with your usual yoga or other routine.
5. Take some time to relax
It’s not easy to remain calm and collected during the middle of a pandemic, and nobody likes to be told to ‘just relax’! However, if you can find some time in the day to do the things that make you happy, you may find yourself less stressed and anxious by the time evening comes. The combination of Covid-19 + incontinence is not an easy one, so it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by it all. The good news is that there is lots of support available if you are feeling this way. Take a look at our advice on ‘Incontinence is making me stressed or anxious’ or explore some of our many resources.
Thanks for reading – and good luck!
Incontinence news & articles, delivered to you monthly.