How To Stay Sane During A Pandemic

While some Australians are able to leave their homes and see their friends and family, many are still bound to their homes. It is important to look after our mental health during this time and make sure we have things to look forward to and keep us busy and stay productive while we are stuck between the same four walls.

Here are 20 ways to stay sane during a pandemic:

1. Take your fitness routine online

Although gyms and fitness centres are closed, that’s no excuse to give up on your routine entirely. There are plenty of online fitness gurus that have distributed content online for free to help those who prefer to stay fit at home.

Many of these are equipment-free and include modifications for those of different fitness levels or have pre-existing conditions. Some of the fitness gurus who may be worth checking out include Dr LA Thoma GustinBlogilates and Pamela Reif.

Woman doing fitness from home online

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2. Start a new online course

Is there something you have always wanted to learn, but haven’t had the time to give it a go? Now’s your chance! There are plenty of online resources to help you learn anything you like from video editing to sewing to baking to learning a language.

While you can find some great instructional videos on YouTube, it could be worth investing in a Skillshare account, which is full of pre-approved lessons led by professionals.

3. Bake something new

It’s all you see on Instagram and Facebook – people baking banana bread. You may not want to be one of the crowd, but there are so many other recipes you can try while you have the time to make mistakes and try again.

Baking may actually be a good way to help you manage your stress, which can be high, especially during this period. Perhaps try a flavour you’ve never had before or a cultural dessert you’ve always wanted to try.

You might also like: Cooking is science: Educational recipes for kids

4. Do some spring cleaning

While the weather is starting to warm up again and the flowers are blooming, it may have been a great reminder to make some time for some spring cleaning.

During this period, it is especially important to make sure our homes are cleaned and sanitised properly, so it is a great opportunity to also declutter your space and get rid of the things you may not need anymore including clothes, decor or the old beauty products at the back of the cupboard.

5. Make daily to-do lists

Although doing nothing all day may be relaxing for a week or two, you may start to go a bit crazy after a while. Writing daily lists of things you need to get done is a great way to keep yourself busy and stay focused while your regular routine is out of whack.

Writing your to-do list could be a task all in itself if you have an interest in bullet journaling. Use your creativity and imagination to create some beautiful lists decorated with drawings and colours.

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6. Have a DIY photoshoot

Do you need some new photos for your LinkedIn or social media? There’s no reason why you can’t just take some at home. If you need some professional shots done, get dressed in some professional attire, find a nice location in your house and ask a friend or family member to help you take the photo.

For your social media, you can document your time in lockdown for your followers. This can also be so you can have something physical to look back on and remember this time in history. Whether it be what you are reading or what you are baking, feel free to post whatever you like.

7. Have a digital catch-ups with friends

If you’re in a state that is still in a strict lockdown, having regular digital catch-ups with your friends could go a long way. Organise a digital dinner party or watch a movie together — you are able to do anything you like.

There are a variety of programs you can use to host these catch-ups including Skype, Zoom, Houseparty and Netflix Party.

woman having a virtual catch up with friends via Zoom

8. Give your CV a face-lift

Even if you are not looking for work at the moment, you can like to use your downtime to give your CV a bit of a face-lift. Research some modern designs and give your CV a personalised favour to catch any recruiter’s eye.

It is also a good idea to find out what should actually be included in your CV. Are you oversharing or selling yourself short? Find out the best way to structure your CV and advertise yourself and edit the document accordingly.

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9. Get creative

You don’t have to spend all your time in lockdown learning something you can use in your career or completing household tasks. You can find some activities that will foster your creativity and possibly allow you to get stuck into some new hobbies and discover new passions.

Some of these may include painting, DIY projects, gardening or even trying a new make-up look.

10. Mediate and stay mindful

Just like how we exercise to stay fit and eat healthy to feel good, keeping your mind healthy is just as essential. Taking up mediating can be difficult if you have a hard time sitting still, but being mindful can be an easier way to do this.

For example, when you are chewing your food, take the time to really feel the texture in your mouth and think about the flavour you are experiencing. Staying the day with some positive affirmations can be a great habit to add to your routine.

11. Work out your goals for the rest of 2020 (and 2021)

Although 2020 may be over soon and the future seems so uncertain, it is still important to think about your goals and what you want to achieve. Spend some time sitting down with a cup of tea and notepad and think about your goals for the last few months of 2020.

While you’re at it, you might as well create some goals for 2021 and get yourself ready to make it a far better year than 2020 was.

You might also like: How to balance life when working from home

12. Treat yourself by supporting local businesses

We’re not saying order takeaway every night, but give yourself a treat every now and then. There are so many local businesses that need support during this time, so grabbing some takeaway brunch or trying out a restaurant you’ve never been to for Friday night dinner may be a great way to do that.

Plus, if you take the time to go out and take a walk down to the local cafe for a coffee, you can also get your daily hour of exercise ticked off.

13. Diversify your entertainment

According to Deloitte’s Media Consumer Survey 2020, 10 percent of responders had signed up for a new video streaming service during lockdown and 17 percent that had existing services had signed up for an additional one.

It may be a good idea to diversify and switch up the content you consume for entertainment so you can discover new ideas and learn about different perspectives. This may involve downloading some new podcasts, surfing YouTube to find new channels or checking out the new show everyone has been raving about.

14. Plan a local trip

If you are in a state that allows you to travel away from your home and you feel comfortable enough to do so, it might be a good idea to plan a local trip somewhere. Think about the areas in your state that you would love to visit and take a day trip.

If you do decide to venture away from home, it is important to maintain a good physical distance from others and avoid contact with others if possible. Don’t forget to bring your hand sanitiser and, if you feel unwell, cancel your trip and self-isolate.

You might also like: 8 Short Weekend Getaways in NSW

15. Have a self care day

If you wake up feeling a bit down, taking a day to pamper yourself and have some ‘me time’ could be just what the doctor ordered. Take a bath or warm shower and exfoliate your skin. Then put on a face mask and sit down with a good book or a few of your favourite movies to lift your mood a bit.

Self care can also involve exercise or doing something productive. You can take a walk down to the park and get some fresh air or watch a video on how to advance your Photoshop skills to a new level.

16. Get out of your pyjamas

Even though your pyjamas or sweat pants may be comfortable, wearing the same thing every day and night may become tedious. You may like to change it up a bit and throw on a nice outfit and do your makeup, even though you’re not going anywhere.

If you are working from home, wearing some office attire may be a great way to stay productive and get your mind ready for work. 

17. Listen to your body

Similar to being mindful, listening to your body is an essential way to keep yourself well. Take a second to sit with yourself every day and consider how you feel.

You may have been eating a lot of unhealthy food and therefore feel a bit bloated and gross. This may be the sign you need to change up your diet and start eating better so you can feel like yourself again.

18. Reach out if you need help

Loneliness has been a growing issue, even before the pandemic. It is important to try and reach out to your friends and family if you feel that you need help.

It is also important to check in with our friends and let them know they can reach out to you if they need to. Something as simple as a quick text message can go a long way.

19. Try maintaining some of your normal habits

One way to keep a sense of normalcy is to keep some of your regular habits intact. This could allow you to keep you in a good mood and get you ready for the day, even if you’re not doing anything.

For example, if working out as soon as you wake up is part of your normal routine, rather than sleeping in since you are working from home, do an online workout or go for a jog around the block.

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20. Take up journaling or diary writing

Journaling or diary writing can be a great way for you to make sense of your thoughts and get it all out of your head.

You don’t have to be a writer to take up this great habit. You can fill your journal with beautiful drawings or newspaper clippings. Just remember no one is going to read it, it’s just something for you to try and keep your mind free from anxious thoughts.

Source: Jessica Testa 7 October 2020

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