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Istituto Superiore di Sanità
EpiCentro - Epidemiology for public health
Epidemiology for public health - ISS

COVID-19: Healthy lifestyles also during the emergency

The emergency situation caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 means that people and families are facing significant disruption to their lives and are forced to radically change their daily routines, living more or less isolated in their homes. Health and social care workers can take this opportunity, when engaging with citizens in the community, to stress the importance of healthy lifestyles to improve our physical and mental health as well as our relationships.


Understandably, the condition of separateness can trigger unpleasant feelings and complex emotions and make it difficult to find a positive balance needed to deal and cope with this emergency situation.


Under these circumstances, however, it is essential that we rely on ourselves and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle that would enable us to respond to the current situation constructively. We should agree to stop and wait, as difficult as it may sound. At this time, focusing on our health and that of our family can be an opportunity to deal with the complexity of our emotions and moods in a positive way, and to better manage our schedules, for example organizing daily activities that are likely to have a positive impact on our family’s well-being.


Maintaining a proper diet, taking physical exercise, improving the quality of sleep, limiting smoking and alcohol consumption, nurturing positive relationships within the family (also by taking part in pleasant activities together), keeping in contact with friends and relatives: all of this helps increase our sense of self-efficacy and improve our general health.


The Istituto Superiore di Sanità will be publishing a series of updates on the EpiCentro website offering advice and suggesting activities to improve our health and well-being during the current emergency. These practical resources are meant to provide valuable support to health and social workers and, through them, to people and families.



Authors: Barbara De Mei, Chiara Cattaneo, Angela Spinelli - Centro Nazionale per la Prevenzione delle malattie e la Promozione della Salute, CNAPPS, ISS

Graphic designer: Lorenzo Fantozzi - Centro Nazionale per la Prevenzione delle malattie e la Promozione della Salute, CNAPPS, ISS