Today we entered our first full day of coronavirus lockdown in Melbourne.
This is stage one of lockdown for us in Australia, though I doubt it will be long until further measures are taken.
Melbourne’s lockdown explained
So what does stage 1 lockdown mean in Melbourne?
Well, stage 1 lockdown means that some cafes, restaurants and shops are still open for takeaway, while essential services like supermarkets and bottle shops (yay) are open with social distancing rules applying.
We are still allowed to go out however, contact with people outside of those we live with should be minimal. The overwhelming message is that as much as we can, we must stay at home.
What are the consequences of this?
This lockdown has seen schools in Melbourne shut. People are forced to either work from home if they can, while many others, like myself, have lost their jobs.
These are uncertain, scary, claustrophobic times for us all. However, following lockdown rules is important and by staying home will help to stop this disease spread and ultimately saves lives.
If you are wondering how this works, I’ve copied an image below that my housemate shared with me.
My own experience
I’m the first to admit that I am not good at staying home. Since moving to Melbourne from the UK, my routine involves me running in and out of the house constantly. I enjoy moving between work, seeing friends, exercising, shopping and eating out. I never fully appreciated the amount of freedom that I have in my life here in Australia and when I get it back, that is something I am going to be very grateful for.
The prospect of being stuck inside for the foreseeable future is hard. However, we have to see it as a challenge.
It’s tough when we don’t know when normal life will resume. However, we must stay positive and have some fun, even if it does feel like the whole world is falling apart.
I don’t know if it helps anyone else but I’m pretending I’m on one of those survival programs- you know, like Bear Grylls The Island, where everyone is stuck there together for weeks on end (the plus side being that we get to laze about on the sofa and not in a shelter in the rain).
I am lucky to live in a house in Carlton with five lovely housemates. At times like this, I am beyond grateful to have such amazing people around me. We have a lovely home to stay in and a little garden to escape in to.
In terms of work, we are an eclectic bunch. Therefore, some of us have lost our jobs due to coronavirus, while some can work from home. However, the one thing that we all have in common is that coronavirus has affected all of our lives in some way or another.
Last night we voiced our concerns and talked over some red wine, about what life in lockdown was going to look like. We got to thinking about things that we could do to keep occupied and stay positive during this crazy time.
I thought that I would share some of these ideas with you, just in case you’re feeling worried about occupying yourself at home. Speaking for myself, nothing is going to make me feel worse than lying on the sofa all day watching Netflix.
So here are some ideas to help you make the most of self-isolation:
-Dinner nights with people you live with
-A daily run (this is something that is still allowed and the main thing keeping me sane right now)
-Saying one good thing that happened to us each, at the end of every day
-Short dance breaks (my housemate and I interrupted our laptop time today with a quick dance to a tune every so often )
-Facetime dates (a benefit of all this meaning that it’s so much easier to stay in contact with my family and friends in the UK)
-DIY in the home
-Online classes (try Skillshare or apps like Duolingo) I will be learning Swedish
-Finding inventive ways to make money e.g copywriting, Depop, Airtasker and paid online surveys
-Watching YouTube videos and tutorials
-Reading (currently reading Convenience Store Women by Sayaka Murata)
– Painting (what about making a canvas for your room?)
-writing: short stories, copywriting in exchange for money, poems or a blog like this, journalling (to document these crazy times)
-Baking- difficult times call for sugar, get in the kitchen and get baking some cookies to share with those around you. Afternoon tea breaks are obligatory, as well as copious amounts of tea
-Board games and card games (with obligatory wine)
-Deep cleaning (plenty of time at home means plenty of time to clean) It’s time to sort through the attic, your bookshelf and through all of those files saved on your laptop.
-Home pamper sessions
-Home workouts e.g yoga or learning a dance routine
-Cooking challenges- Why not use the extra time to challenge yourself to make something a little labour intensive e.g bread or homemade pasta?
-Meditation- use the headspace app
I’ll add to this list as I come up with more ideas but that’s a few to get you started. I would also love to hear your suggestions. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
There is no doubt that the next few weeks and most probably, the next few months are going to be difficult for all of us.
However, while we face these scary times, it’s important to stay busy and stay positive.
Establish a routine and try to find a balance between productivity and cutting yourself some slack.
Stay informed, watch the news but don’t let it consume your day. Switch off those news alerts and access updates at a time that you choose too.
Remember to unplug and take some time away from the internet. Keep smiling, keep laughing and keep looking forward. This is a dire situation for so many of us, but there are good things to come from this too.
We can use this time to slow down, to reflect, to plan and to learn. Normal life will resume and until then, we must do the very best to adapt to our new more restricted lives, and simply take it one day at a time.
Stay positive guys.