As we enter into overtime for our 5th lockdown now in Victoria, it’s fair to say that my stress levels are starting to rise.
In the midst of my self-induced panic, I caught myself: time to find a healthy way to cope. Instantly I downloaded a meditation app and focused my attention on my breathing. Within moments the panic had subsided and I was clear-headed. “Well that was easy” I thought.
It's easy to overthink and panic. So what are healthy ways to stay sane in the scenario we go into a lockdown ourselves?
In the wise words of Olivia Newton-John, let’s get physical! Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better and boosts your overall mood. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a home gym, there is a plethora of free videos available online.
Meditation, like exercise, comes in all different shapes and sizes such as mindfulness, spiritual, focused, movement, mantra and transcendental meditation - just to name a few. So the question is, what way/s will work best for you? These are the top 5 apps you can download to your smart phone to get you started.
Embrace this opportunity to block out any distractions, buckle down and finish those assignments. Start an online study-group chat with fellow classmates to get you through those group projects or to assist with hard to answer questions. Don’t forget you can contact the Learning Skills Centre who are a dedicated team of teachers focused on providing you with the skills you need to succeed in your course. They will be able to offer support online and over the phone. Visit here to book an appointment.
Practice positive thinking
Be kind to yourself. An easy way to maintain a healthy and happy mind is by practicing positive thinking. A great and simple way to start the day is saying out loud the things you’re grateful for. Or you can write in a journal, doodle on a notepad and other things you’re grateful for in a sketchbook. Or, share what you are grateful for in the comments below, scroll down to the comments to read what I wrote.
Pick up a hobby
Now is your chance to start that hobby you always wanted to try but never had time to do! Examples of some easy and cheap hobbies are, knitting (FYI I need new woolly socks). Make yourself a scarf for winter. Start drawing, channel your inner artist and paint me like one of your French girls. Pick up a book and start reading, or if your home library is looking a little bare check out Book Bub for access to thousands of free & discounted eBooks.
De-clutter and clean
Re-organise your wardrobe. Yes, the one you have been shoving your clean laundry into and maybe remove any items of clothing that you no longer wear. Or tidy up your at home work space that has a couple of old chip packets and your empty breakfast bowl sitting there. I know you think you’re trying to help find a cure for COVID-19 with your coffee cup petri dish, but you’re not. A tidy space is a tidy mind.
Watch something upbeat
After your long and productive day studying at home, it’s time to kick back and relax with some Netflix and Stan (you thought I was going to say chill *insert winky face emoji*). They say laughter is the best medicine and I couldn’t agree more. Switch on a movie or series that has a light hearted and upbeat tone to put you in a happy mood. I’ve been re watching episodes of Friends, The Office and Brooklyn 99. Check out the Netflix, Stan & Chill… by yourself list Hannah from the Recreation and Actives team has put together.
Remember you’re not alone
Humans generally need other humans to feel a sense of belonging. These tips have been about self-care, and remembering to be social (safely) in an anti-social pandemic is another one. Remember, even though you may be required to self-isolate, that doesn’t mean you have to be alone. We live in a world with technology to have face-to-face conversations with friends and family is literally in the palm of your hands.