So you made 10,000 loaves of sourdough, cleaned out every single cupboard you could get your hands on and binge-watched every single show on Netflix in the first lockdown. When the second lockdown was announced, a collective sigh of "argh what will I do now?!" was heard across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire as six weeks of stay-at-home orders loomed. We, at Her Wardrobe, feel like this too so we have compiled a list of activities, resources and tips that we've found helpful - so hopefully you will too! If you're lucky enough to not be in lockdown, you may just find a new hobby or activity that takes your fancy!
LOOKING AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Something we've been hearing a lot about this year is the importance of mental health after a significant increase in the demand for mental health support during COVID-19. Having to physically isolate from our support communities; worrying about job losses; and fear for our health contribute to an increase in feeling lonely, isolated, anxious and depressed. BeyondBlue has reported a 30 percent increase in calls to their service and their online discussion forum has over 50,000 views. With this worrying information - what can we do?
(Image by Ben the Illustrator)
If reading/hearing about everything that's going on is causing you stress, try limiting your news consumption to under four hours per day. Staying connected to friends and family through phone calls, texts, social media or video-calls is also super important as it can help reduce feelings of loneliness. And whilst it sounds like a cliche - trying to frame the situation in a positive way helps too. This is things like "I'm not stuck at home, I'm safe at home" and "now I'm at home it means I can spend more time with my children/partner/pet".
It's also super important to remember that it's ok to have ups and downs with your mental health over the next six weeks (and always!). The situation is dynamic, scary and no one truly knows what's going to happen next. If you do need more support, there is a range of professional help available: Lifeline on 13 11 14, MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 and Headspace on 1800 650 890.
FINDING NEW HOBBIES
Unleash Your Inner Crafty
Staying home gives you lots of time to find a new hobby and one of Her favourites is becoming immersed in new creative projects. With half finished projects around my house, staying at home has given me a chance to FINALLY finish them as well as start new ones!
One of my favourite things to keep busy at the moment is cross stitching - and I'm not talking about boring patterns, I'm talking about fun, colourful and witty cross stitches! It's a great activity as it keeps your hands and mind busy but is easy to do whilst watching tv, listening to a podcast or music or just in peace and quiet. Plus, when you're finished, you've got a great gift for yourself or others! I'm loving the kits and pdf patterns available at Spruce Craft Co, a small Melbourne business that you're sure to find a fun project. They cater for beginners to experienced stitchers too!
(Image sourced here)
If stitching isn't your cup of tea, why not try painting? There are all kinds of different options for painting - I'm loving paint-by-numbers, but it's also heaps of fun to just pick up a brush and let your creativity flow. Maybe you find yourself reminiscing about your last pre-COVID holiday. Why not create a photo book online to keep your memories forever? Or get your photos printed and create a scrapbook - I'm sure you've still got maps and tickets from your trip laying around somewhere! Remember, you don't have to be 'good' at craft or creating, you just have to enjoy it.
Try a New Recipe
Ok, so I know you've made all that sourdough, but why not look for some different recipes to try? Try tackling making pasta from scratch, having a vego night or experiment with a family-favourite recipe to try and make it healthier or new and exciting.
At Her Wardrobe, we've been known to share recipes after someone has a delicious-looking lunch and these pea and dill fritters are a favourite! You can find the recipe here.
There are also lots of dietary requirements at Her Wardrobe (we're an eclectic bunch!) so these gluten-free doughnuts are a great option! Having made them myself, I would recommend using a doughnut baking tray instead of a muffin tray and baking paper... I'll spare you the horror of my muffin tray attempt!
Try a New Workout
With gyms closed again and the weather looking miserable, it's tempting to hide under the blankets all day. But summoning the courage to get up, put the activewear on and workout in your living room is super beneficial. Not only is it important for general health and wellbeing, experts have found that getting at least 30 minutes of exercise in the bright light of the morning can help you sleep at night as it assists with keeping our biological clocks in sync.
If you're a member of a gym, many are providing low-cost or free online workouts for their members. If not, there are free workouts available on YouTube (just might have to put up with some ads!) or many places offer paid classes. I've quite enjoyed doing this body balance class and Fernwood Fitness continues to have a range of free live-streamed workouts on their Facebook page, with all previous workouts saved and accessible to all.
(Image by @yolanda_creates)
LOOKING OUT FOR OTHERS
Another essential activity for this lockdown period is looking after those around you. This doesn't have to be anything drastic - it can be as simple as writing a letter to a friend, waving to your neighbours or smiling at strangers if you're out for a walk. It's also about making sure we're following all directions and advice given by the Government for protecting ourselves (and therefore others too!) from COVID. Make sure you're staying home as much as possible; washing your hands; keeping your distance; wearing a face mask when you go out and getting tested if you have ANY COVID-like symptoms. Let's look out for each other, do our part and before we know it, we'll be in our 'new' normal.
WRITTEN BY REBECCA ARANDALL, HER WARDROBE STYLIST