With our cities plunging into lockdown after lockdown, things can get draining, anxiety-inducing and isolating. You’re not the only one who’s feeling “over it”. So how do we make it through?
We put the call out to our wise and creative community, and they shared their favourite lockdown activities & resources that bring joy, keep us connected to ourselves and others, and make this whole lockdown vibe a little less shit.
Integrating mindfulness into your day creates some space for your mind to take a pause from the incessant planning, worrying, decision-making, organising, ruminating and everything else that your brain does so well. It is an invitation for you to take a moment to be “unconcerned” about what the world out there is up to, and finding ground for the world within you.
Here are a few ways to invite mindfulness into lockdown.
I doubt you need us to reel off the benefits of meditation practice, but they involve better sleep, less reactivity, increased conversation and decreased stress and anxiety. There are some amazing apps including Headspace, Waking Up, Calm and free apps such as Insight Timer and Smiling Mind that offer guided practices to help you learn and develop your meditation practice. If you’re more of a visual person, check out the Headspace series on Netflix to learn more about meditation and to be led through some guided practices.
Yoga provides a union between meditation and movement, and has countless benefits for the mind and body. Support your local studio’s online classes, subscribe to a Yoga app (such as Down Dog or Alo Yoga), or you can also try these free guided practices on Classic Flow from ABC Radio
- Listening to a song or album with intention.
When was the last time you truly listened to music? Make a time to play a song or listen to an album and give it your full attention. Our founder, Mary Hoang, has a guided audio track where she takes you through the practice of intentional listening. Or you can press play on one of our popular Spotify playlists and embrace a moment of ambience.
Writing stuff down gives it the opportunity to get out of your head and for you to start developing a greater awareness of what is happening in your body and mind. Check out this How-To guide for journalling here.
Make Meal-Time Fun.
Food is our source of energy and nourishment – we can’t live without it, so why not allow yourself to be creative and experimental with it when there is no where else to be?
Here are a few ideas…
- Try new recipes.
Explore Pinterest for amazing looking recipes, ask mates what they’re cooking, or blow the dust off one of those vintage cookbooks and let rip.
- Bake something for a friend.
There is something extra-special about making a meal or baking a treat for someone that means a lot to us. Does a friend or family member have a birthday or celebratory occasion happening in lockdown? Perhaps you know someone who is a new parent or who is feeling overwhelmed and needs a little culinary support. Bake them something and drop it off on their front porch.
- Try a dinner-box subscription.
If the idea of thinking about what to cook and buying ingredients and then cooking the thing is simply overwhelming and not fun, why not try a dinner-box subscription? There are plenty you can get with ready-made meals, like Dinner Ladies or YouFoodz or you could opt for something that gives you all the ingredients and walks you through the recipe step-by-step, like Marleyspoon or Hello Fresh.
- Enter an online baking cookoff.
These are actually a thing. There is one called the Cookalong, run on Nigella Lawson’s website where people all make the same recipe and then upload photos of their creation – and then someone wins a signed cookbook! Pretty cute, huh? Join an online cookoff or start your own with some friends!
One of the toughest parts of lockdown is how cut-off and isolated we can feel from others. While we might be forced into physical isolation, this doesn’t mean that we need to go into social hibernation. It’s still important for us to nurture our connection with other people – maybe in creative ways that are a little different.
- Go for a walk with a friend.
If restrictions permit – get outside and enjoy some nourishing physical activity with a friend.
- Zoom dinner party.
Sure, dinners parties might not be a go right now, but you can still chat and scoff wine over dinner through the magic of zoom. Wanna spice things up? Include some questions from Conversation Menu, where you cut the small talk and open up conversation topics to get deep and share vulnerably.
- Chat to someone on the phone.
You know those high-tech digital bricks we all carry around? They have a cool “Call” function where you can put in a number and chat to someone anywhere in the world. Sarcasm aside, phone conversations are important because they offer the addition of tone and nuance of the voice, so we can feel more connected to the person we’re talking to.
- Virtual book club.
Pick a new (or old) book and make a time to meet up via Zoom and chat about it! Many books have Book Club questions if you search it on Google. Here are some cool questions to get you started…
- Write a loved one a letter/card.
Letter writing is certainly a lost art, but you definitely cannot deny the joy in receiving a hand-written letter or note that’s full of thoughtfulness and compassion. Is there someone in your life that has made a difference or that means a lot to you? Ditch the text and write them a letter insead.
Thanks to everyone on Instagram who shared suggestions! Wishing you all the best as we move through this challenge. Look after yourself and look after each other.