Your health and wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing information pack

The Macedon Ranges Health and Wellbeing partnership group have developed a Health and Wellbeing Information Pack(PDF, 9MB) to support your wellbeing during the pandemic. The information pack includes information on local support services and food banks, healthy eating, active living, mental wellbeing, being connected and supporting young children and families during the pandemic. 

If you would like an information pack to be mailed to you, call the Macedon Ranges Recovery Operations Centre on (03) 5422 0237 or email recovery@mrsc.vic.gov.au

The resources contained in the pack can also be downloaded separately:

For the latest news, resources and more information on the virus, testing and restrictions, visit the Department of Health and Human Services

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Food security

If you or someone you know is having difficulty accessing food, head to our page on Food Banks and Community Support or download our handout on COVID-19 Community Support information: Food banks and Community Support.(PDF, 165KB)

In Australia people are currently worried about food access and availability. This has resulted in an increase in panic buying and less food on the supermarket shelves. Australia is not in danger of running out of food. There are some simple steps you can take:

  • Consider options to buy from local small businesses, like farmer’s markets, green grocers, small grocery stores, butchers, bakeries, food hubs, online vegetable box subscriptions
  • Consider growing your own! These tips will help you to get started in your own garden.  To find out more about community gardening, contact your local community garden in Kyneton, Woodend or New Gisborne.
  • Don’t panic if you can’t find a food item at the supermarket – get creative. Pasta and rice can often be replaced with potato, bread or wraps. Mince can be replaced with mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas or tofu.

If you have excess food:

  • Drying, freezing, fermenting, pickling or preserving in olive oil can be an effective way to make it last for longer.
  • Do a bulk cook up if you have the freezer space. It allows you to use up fresh food that you have too much of, avoids food waste, and means you have meals ready on days that you need them.
  • Donate any excess food to charity.

Additional resources

Healthy eating

Changes in the way we are living, learning, working and shopping can impact on what we are eating. A healthy diet is important for both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Did you know only 1 in 7 adults in the Macedon Ranges eat the recommended amount of vegetables? See below for dietary information and advice. Find out how to add extra vegies and healthy swaps to your meals in this great Healthy Cooking at Home resource.

The Heart Foundation provides these 5 hearty eating tips for home isolation:

  • Plan ahead to reduce trips to the supermarket. This will also reduce food waste and cost. However, there is no need to hoard – there is no shortage of food in Australia.
  • Use fresh, canned or frozen veggies – whatever options is available to you. If using canned foods, check that veggies have no or reduced salt, and that fruits are in natural juice not syrup.
  • Choose heart-healthy proteins like fish or seafood, lean chicken or eggs. Limit your consumption of red meats to 1-3 meals per week.
  • Set routine mealtimes and limit snacking. Have unsalted nuts, veggie sticks and cut up fruit handy to curb afternoon cravings. Avoid stocking up on foods that are high in salt and sugar, like chips, biscuits, chocolate and sugary drinks.
  • Get inspired by new recipes! See below for some ideas.

Additional resources

LiveLigther have a series of comprehensive guides and factsheets that include tips, recipes and ways to save money.

Dietary information

Recipes

Physical activity

We understand it may be challenging for you to maintain recommended levels of physical whilst some sporting activities and facilities have shut down. In the Macedon Ranges, walking and bushwalking are among our top 3 most popular ways to exercise (Healthy Heart of Victoria Active Living Census, 2019). You can still walk, run and cycle under Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

Regular physical activity has important benefits, which include:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Healthy weight and blood pressure
  • Healthy bone and muscles, which support healthy growth in children and prevent falls and injuries in older adults
  • Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, many cancers and depression

This Healthy Heart of Victoria handout: Getting Active at Home(PDF, 689KB) includes tips on how to stay active at home.

Resources

Try our online fitness videos Developed by local Macedon Ranges Shire Council's fitness instructors for a range of fitness levels. Before you begin, make sure you read through our tips for setting up a safe workout space at home.

Other exercise programs for healthy adults

If you are looking for exercise programs and advice for older adults, try the Safe Exercise At Home that has been developed by Australian physiotherapists who have expertise in exercise and physical activity for older people and people with mobility limitations. The resource has been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association. 

Mental wellbeing

It is important to look after your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We recognise the feelings of anxiety and concern many people may be experiencing during this time.

The Department of Health and Human Services Victoria have put together a package of mental health resources on their website, including information and tips on staying positive, connected, calm and healthy and who to call for help. Check out videos for helpful advice from clinical psychologist Dr Michelle Lim:

On Head to Health, you can find information on digital mental health services from some of Australia’s most trusted mental health organisations. Provided by the Australian Department of Health, Head to Health brings together apps, online programs, online forums, and phone services, as well as a range of digital information resources.

The Black Dog Institute provides evidence-based wellbeing resources and support tools to help us stay resilient, build social support and self-efficacy, and cope with adversity.

Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live and the importance of looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Staying connected

Be Connected is an Australia wide initiative empowering all Australians to thrive in a digital world. They have online learning resources as well as a network of community partners (the Be Connected Network) who offer in-person support so you can develop your digital skills and confidence. There are several Be Connected partners operating across the Macedon Ranges including through the Goldfields Libraries Corporation, Kyneton Community House, Lancefield Neighborhood House and Woodend Neighborhood House.

Help Your Neighbour is a community campaign to encourage Central Victorians to come together and help their neighbours with simple acts of kindness in the face of the COVID-19. Use the Help Your Neighbour form to check-in and connect with your neighbours.

Kindtown was established to support local businesses and their towns across the Macedon Ranges during Covid-19 by showing who's open and what they are offering. In Kyneton, you can also join the Kyneton Kindtown Facebook page to connect and stay in touch with other locals.

Lancefield Romsey Community Support (LRCS) is linking up community members who are needing and offering support during Covid-19. You can also visit LRCS to find out which local businesses are open and how they are operating.

Keep our mob safe has information and resources specific for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in relation to staying connected whilst physical distancing.

Central Highlands Primary Care Partnership Staying Connected Resource has developed a comprehensive resource that includes some great tips and contacts for social connection and support (note some information is specific to the Central Highlands).

Supporting children and young people

It is normal for children and adults to feel overwhelmed and stressed as they adapt to living through a pandemic, while still recovering from the sights of devastating bushfires. There are a number of resources to support parents of young children and older children.

  • Emerging Minds website has a selection of resources to assist parents and carers to support their children and reduce worry and distress. It contains a video, factsheets and tips about what you can expect and how you can help children cope.
  • Orygen and Headspace support young people to seek support for mental wellbeing and get access to resources, tools and useful information to help you during this time.

If you know some-one who doesn’t have access to the internet but would benefit from this information, there are downloadable resources in the information kit that you can print and give to them.

Online and telephone support:

  • eheadspace for free online support and counselling for young people 12 -25 and their families and friends or call headspace Bendigo on (03) 5434 5345.
  • Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 for 24/7 counselling and advice
  • Kids Help Line for young people aged 5 to 25 can call 1800 551 800 for counselling (24/7)
  • Parentline is a phone service 132289 for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old. Confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues. Available 8am to midnight, seven days a week including public holidays.
  • Cobaw Community Health Service 1300 026 229
  • WayOut support service for LGBTIQA+ young people up to 25 years