Making the most of your time in lockdown

These are strange times, without precedence our lifetimes. In these unusual circumstances, The Better Living Index looks at how to make the most of your time in lockdown. These ideas aim to make the most of what we already have, costing little or no money.

  1. If you are lucky enough to live with other people (your family or roommate), take a deep breath and recognise that this is a time of adjustment. It will require workarounds and patience. Snapping at them because they are in your space is not going to help. Work out how to best cohabitate in a live/work scenario.
  2. Maintain your mental health. This is a stressful time for many. Deep breathing (four seconds in, 8 seconds hold, 8 seconds release 5-10 times a couple of times a day), and meditation will help; One Giant Mind is a great free app that has made all the difference to me during many a stressful period.
  3. Maintain your physical health #1. This is not a time to gorge yourself on panic bought Tim Tams although a little of that is allowed. There is still plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available. Stop by the grocer/supermarket every third day and stock up. My favourite vegetable soup recipe comprised 2 x potato, 2 x carrots, 1 x onion, 1 x red capsicum plus a few shakes of smoked paprika. Directions; chop and sweat vegetables on low heat for ten minutes with a teaspoon of butter. Add water, bring to boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Blend together and add parmesan cheese to serve.
  4. Maintain your physical health #2. Take up yoga, walk to buy your groceries or download the 7 Minute Workout, which you can do at home. If you’re looking for something more strenuous, dust off those dumbells or exercise bike and leave lockdown fitter than you went in.
  5. Maintain contact with your family, friends and clients: Facetime, Zoom, etc. offer all kinds of news ways for us to connect. There really is nothing like seeing the person you are speaking to.
  6. Drag out all the things you already have and use them. How many books do you have on the shelf/Kindle that you have not read? 23 in my case. Board games, musical instruments and those French lessons. There are Youtube tutorials for almost everything, or you can hire a tutor to work with you remotely.
  7. Become good at something. Anything. Making coffee, cooking, colouring-in, maintaining your bicycle. It doesn’t matter. Learn new things.
  8. Be creative. Limitations are the foundations of creativity. As we are staying home, I have turned my attention to crafting ‘light paintings’. The images below are heavily edited photographs of the light streaming onto my lounge room wall. There are opportunities to be creative everywhere, even within the confines of our homes.
  9. Send postcards and letters to remind people you are thinking of them.
  10. Take care of your chores. You will feel better, and the house will look better.
  11. Lastly, party at home. DJ Tom Loud ran his Hot Dub Time Machine two hour, live-streamed set on Saturday night with great success with over 30,000 tuning in. Share with friends and boogie together via FaceTime.