2020 has taken us all by surprise.
Things we didn’t realise could be stopped, stopped. Things that were always a given, may never return. The unimaginable has occurred more times than we can count and we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that tracksuit pants are the new business-casual and that the future may not look anything like the past we remember.
Taking care of yourself during a time like this should be a given – but it often isn’t. While restrictions are easing up, it is as important as ever to stay mindful of what we are doing and how we are feeling.
So, we thought we’d share 11 thoughtful tips to help your mind, body, & soul navigate the rest of lockdown and whatever comes next.
While some of us may be settling into lockdown life, it is important to remember that this is all still very new and adjusting to any dramatic change is rarely a smooth process. This is more than just working from home, staying indoors, and hand-washing like we're getting paid to. It is a fundamental shift in our lives, our worldview, and the way we interact as people and a society.
If you’re feeling stressed, scared, or are even just having an off-day, remember this is completely normal during a crisis, and people all over the world are sharing this experience with you.
Take it one day at a time and be as patient and forgiving with yourself as you can. Adjusting will take some time. Focus on the good things and what you can actually control. Full on optimism might be a bit far fetched, but during lockdown, gratitude is the healthiest emotion of all.
There are few things that are harder to get excited about than a routine. The word alone makes the free spirit inside you want to curl up into a ball. But we’re not building and sticking to a routine just for the sake of it. Routines work, and that’s why they’re important – now more than ever.
Routines provide order to an otherwise spectacularly unordered time. They give some much-needed structure and boundaries to your day. They bring some normality and have been known to greatly increase the chances of you actually using that yoga mat you bought online.
Give it a go and you never know, your quarantine routine (“quaroutine” if you will) might become your new best (slightly boring) friend.
Although it is important to stay up to date on the changing lockdown restrictions, be mindful about the amount of news you take in and stick to reliable sources. Scrolling ‘down’ your news feed implies there’s a top and a bottom. As some of us may have suspected, there isn’t. It’s an endless loop – and it’s up to us to decide when it’s doing more harm than good.
Recent tenancy laws have seen a bunch of changes and if you are currently renting in Victoria it may give you some peace of mind to know where you stand as a tenant during this crisis. From repair rights, to rent reduction, to whether the new COVID-19 laws affect you, our free, online legal service is more than happy to help.
Reaching out to a friend or family member can make all the difference. After all, it’s our friends and loved ones that give our lives meaning and joy.
We might feel isolated, but we’re also all going through this together. Having a laugh with a close friend can do a world of good for your overall mood. Until we have a vaccine, a bit of old-fashion banter might be the best medicine we have.
Thriving and being productive are not the same thing. While there may be an underlying pressure to be as productive as possible during this time, there is more to life than just getting stuff done.
This period has given us the rare and unique opportunity to slow down, reflect, and take stock. The importance of figuring out what is truly important to you in life is, well… very important. Then you can at least be sure that your productivity is moving you towards the things you actually want.
Not all anxiety is created equal. In fact, some of it can actually be pretty helpful. A healthy amount can keep us alert, clear-headed, and remembering to do the right things like staying home, hand washing, and keeping other people at a safe distance (physically, not emotionally). Taking these preventative measures will, in turn, help to reduce some of the anxiety we may be feeling day to day.
There is no need to list all the proven ways exercise benefits your mind, body, aura, etc. Exercise is great for you – and unfortunately, you just have to do it and feel it, to believe it.
If you're goal-oriented, great. If not, just getting outdoors is good too! Exercise for the mind can also be very beneficial and there are plenty of easy to use meditation apps out there to get you started!
In a culture that stresses the need for independence and self-reliance, we are quickly learning how interdependent and in need of support we actually are.
This pandemic has affected us all differently, but pretty much everyone is dealing with a dramatic loss of security, boundaries, and the expectations we had for the future.
Whether it is to someone you trust, or a trained professional, reaching out for support (emergency or otherwise) is worthwhile and completely normal during times like these. Counselling sessions can be done online, or via phone or video conferencing, and are a great option if you’re in self-isolation or worried about going to a clinic.
Some of us are lucky enough to have not been overly affected by COVID-19. We may be in a stable situation, working from home, or living with friends and loved ones. It can often feel like we are witnessing the crisis from a distance, rather than actually experiencing it.
If you feel you have some spare time and want to lend a hand to people in need, you can sign up as an emergency volunteer or search for other ways to help online. Looking locally or asking friends, family and neighbours if they need anything is a great place to start even if it’s just a small favor, something from the shops, or just a chat. Volunteering your time to help people in need is often the best way to help yourself feel a little better too.
The future is not what it used to be. It’s pretty cliché, but it’s also pretty true. For many of us this is easily the most story-for-your-grandkids worthy thing that has happened in our lifetimes. Still, the full effects of COVID-19 on the housing market, employment, and the economy remains an open question.
Though uncertainty for the future is real, try and focus on what you can control, like learning new skills, thinking of new opportunities or just getting through the week one day at a time.
Online learning and remote working will be a big part of the future and the need for creativity, digital skills, and innovation will be as high as ever. With such a big digital skills gap in the job market, learning an online skill can be a great way to increase future employment prospects (and reduce time spent mindlessly doom-scrolling).
While many Australians are relieved to hear that restrictions are being loosened, it is important we ease back into things little by little. We all have a social responsibility to not be reckless and to follow the social-distancing guidelines.
Transitioning back to normal life will take some time and we should all do our best to be patient and responsible about what we are doing and how we are interacting with one another. Taking preventative safety measures and remembering that we are not totally out of the woods yet will help this transition period to go as smoothly as possible.
This crisis has turned couch-potatoes into crossfitters, mum and dads into impromptu homeschoolers, and pretty much everyone else into master-chefs and professional bike riders. Things are peculiar, and probably will be for a while.
Here at Anika, things have also been pretty crazy. We’ve received an unprecedented number of requests for legal assistance and have upped our efforts to ensure as many Victorian renters as possible have access to free, online legal advice and a stable living situation.
Restrictions are slowly easing, but it will still be a while before things go back to normal. That being said, the past few months have seen a level of cooperation among Australians that we can all be proud of.
If we continue to check-in with ourselves and others while staying mindful about our movements in the world, we will make it through this. And who knows? Maybe we’ll even emerge on the other side slightly calmer, wiser, and with a little more perspective.
If you want to learn more about how Anika can help you, fill in your details below, and we'll give you a call.