If you’re used to life in the fast lane, staying home and binge-watching Netflix might sound like quite the holiday. But the reality of isolation poses some serious physical and mental health challenges. Here’s how you can stay on top of it.
Tips to Help you Stay Sane
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. YouTube has a heap of great follow-along workout videos, and most gyms & fitness guru’s have released free content to keep you moving during isolation. Or just turn the music up and dance!
- Get outside for fresh air for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Eat well and drink well, stay well-nourished and give your body the best defence against illness.
- Schedule in some time each day for self-care.
- Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have… Shower, dress, put on some bright colours and give your mood a boost.
- Limit your social media and news intake. Find one trusted source of information and check in once or twice a day max.
- Connect with friends. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, House Party, phone calls, texts – thankfully we live in an age where communication is easy (and even sometimes quite fun). This goes for the kids too…
- Give others in the house a little bit of space and some extra grace… we’re all bound to lower our colours at some point while we’re bunkering down.
- Get every householder to designate their own private space to retreat to when the going gets tough.
- Try meditation, it’s a fantastic anxiety-release for the whole family. Commit to at least ten minutes of mindfulness a day, whether that be guided meditations or simple breathing exercises. There are some fantastic iPhone Apps to help you, including Calm, Smiling Mind and Headspace.
- Open up the windows and just breathe.
- Use this time to strengthen your connections with your family – play, read, laugh, cook, dance… do whatever makes you happy and connected.
- Accept things as they are, for now. Hugs, handshakes, dining in, movies… they’ll return. Take it one day at a time for now.
- Notice all the good going on around you. There are plenty of happy and hopeful stories. Be one of them… what can you do to help?
- Ask for help if you need it. Therapists, friends, neighbours, other parents… they’ll be happy to help you (virtually!).
Using your Down Time
- Organise stuff. When everything else is out of your control, your closets, cupboards and household will (mostly!) do what you say.
- Ever wanted to learn how to play the guitar? Master hair-braids? Dance like J-Lo? Paint like Rembrandt? Cook delicious desserts? Learn a language? Now’s your time…
- Use your down time to invest in your future:
- Enrol in the most popular class in Yale University’s history, ‘The Science of Well-Being’, for free. Or pick another online ‘eLearning’ course – there are hundreds of free courses on topics ranging from Agriculture to Medicine, all with no entry requirements or other barriers to entry. General Assembly also offers a range of courses, some of which are also free.
- Update your resume, your LinkedIn profile and your social pages
- Create a Podcast, write a book, start an eNewsletter, update your website
- Ever wanted to create a side hustle? Plenty of great resources including this book by Chris Guillebeau.
- Trawl through your monthly budget and find ways to cut some fat. Look for little things like monthly subscriptions you no longer use, as well as bigger ticket items like mortgage repayments. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save simply by asking for a better home loan rate – now more than ever. Contact us if you’d like help with this.
- Lifeline Australia, 13 11 14: Crisis support service offering short term support for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.
- Kids Helpline, 1800 551 800: A free, private, confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years.
- Beyond Blue, 1300 224 636: Mental health information and support for all Victorians
- Headspace, 1800 650 893: Online and telephone support and counselling for 12 – 25 year olds, their families and friends
- Royal Children’s Hospital Factsheet for children and young people to cope with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic
- Parentline, 13 22 89: A phone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old. Offering confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues.