Our ability to band together is something we’ve proven time and time again as a country. During times of drought, floods and bushfires, communities throughout Australia form a united front to support affected communities.
And in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic made us unite in solidarity again. Only this time, we had to come together while we were physically apart.
Through lockdowns and quarantines, we heard the message loud and clear. The best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones was to remain at home. While legislated lockdowns and quarantines seem to be a thing of the past, COVID-19 is still circulating in Australia. And if nothing else, our experience with this pandemic taught us the importance of remaining home when sick.
While we all want to protect our family, friends and neighbours, it’s hard to think about facing those feelings of isolation we felt so viscerally through 2020 and 2021.
But it’s not just COVID-19 that could cause an extended stay at home. Other illnesses or needing to recover from a medical procedure could also mean a long homestay, away from your usual social routine.
If you find yourself stuck at home for longer than you’d like, we’ve put together ideas to help you cope with the solitude until we can see you out and about and back to your old self again.
While you might be home for a little while, there are plenty of ways to keep in touch with friends and family.
Call a different friend or loved one each day to check-in. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with people you’ve been meaning to call. They will love to hear from you, too. You could use video calling apps or free online services such as Skype or Zoom so you can see each other. Video calling is also an excellent option for your international friends and family you don’t see often.
If you can't get to the shops to pick up your favourite newspaper, you can keep up with the latest news online via one of many news websites. And don’t forget about the local news outlets in your community.
If there is a broader health problem in the community, you can keep up-to-date with health and safety messages via government websites or news programs like the Department of Health and Aged Care.
If constantly refreshing the news feels overwhelming, just check in once or twice daily to limit your media consumption.
Writing a letter to a loved one can be a cathartic exercise. It allows you to get things off your mind and onto paper. If you can’t get to the post office, perhaps a family member or friend could post it for you. You could even begin a pen pal friendship (remember how fun it was to have a pen pal?).
If you’re on Facebook or another social media platform, you can keep up with the latest happenings in your social circles online. You could also share with your friends how you’re keeping busy during self-isolation and ask them to comment on their favourite ways, too.
Flex your creativity with these clever and crafty ideas. Pick the ones you can do, and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re not feeling well.
Create a family recipe cookbook to pass down to your kids and grandkids. Be sure to include your tips, tricks and secret ingredients. You could even write a little blurb about what special recipes mean.
Remember when you could only take 24 photos on a roll of film, and you had to leave the house to develop your pictures? Not any more! In these digital times, keeping up with the number of photos we take is hard. While you’re home, use the time to organise your photo albums. Both on your phone and otherwise. Rarely do we take the time to sort through our memories. You could even pick a few special images to create a coffee table book using one of many online photo book services.
If you’re feeling up to it, use the time at home to kick your recycling and composting into gear. At the same time, look through the garage for bits and pieces you no longer need. Go through the things you don’t want and make piles to donate, gift, toss, or sell.
Start thinking about the places you want to visit once you’re out and about again. Create a bucket list of dream destinations and pencil in dates to make it happen. These don't have to be international. There are plenty of places to explore locally if you prefer to stay closer to home.
Is there a hobby you’ve been meaning to start (or get back to) for a while? Use this time to take up a hobby from home. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to paint. Or to build a regular sudoku habit. Or to practice Tai Chi in the garden. Many video tutorials on YouTube can help you master a new hobby.
Maybe you want to return to an old hobby you pushed to the side when life got busy. It could be time to dust off the old sewing machine or pick up the needlepoint again. While things are quiet, it’s the perfect time to enjoy that thing you used to love.
If you’re feeling up to it, 20 to 30 minutes of at-home exercises or stretching can help you keep your mind and body well while you’re cooped up.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
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