This is not a factual or informative post about the current worldwide situation created due to the COVID19 Corona Virus; I am not a medical expert so I cannot in good faith provide information about the virus itself. I can, however, share mental health advice and some fun vintage activities you can due if you are stuck in self-isolation. This is a very stressful time for everyone, but please be mindful of others, protect yourself and those around you and remember that if we all do the right thing, it’ll be over before you know it. Now is a great time to look after yourself, your home, your mental health and try out some new activities. If at any time you feel overwhelmed or experience deep depression and anxiety, please reach out to a helpline (Lifeline link here). It’s ok not to be ok right now.
Reading – most of us would have a list of books we’d love to read, so let’s make that list smaller! Books can easily be purchased online and some cost only a few dollars so it’s a wonderful time to just relax and escape into a book. If you are someone who needs to keep moving, listening to audiobooks as you do other things around the home can also be a great option. Oh and podcasts also count!
Sewing – you don’t need to be an expert in sewing to enjoy the activity itself. Heaps of online crafting places are having sales so picking up some fabric and supplies (or even a new machine) is really easy to do so. Start with making a pillowcase or a table cloth, you don’t have to make clothing if that’s something that scares you. Also, if you get onto YouTube there are heaps of videos with simple sewing guides as well as ‘Sew-along”s where you can step by step, follow an expert in making an item.
Here’s a list of simple dress sewing patterns; here are some of my recommendations.
Repair Clothing – I know that I’m not the only one to have a mountain of clothing that needs to be repaired; everything from missing buttons, holes or zips that need repairing. What better time than right now to finally tackle that pile and fix up some garments which have been sadly thrown aside for ages. I’m coming for your orange dress! Your zip will be fixed so soon I promise!
I recently fixed up a heavily damaged dress; read about that here.
Knitting/crochet – it’s quiet, calm and can be done whilst watching a movie. Learn a new skill such as knitting or crochet! Supplies can be easily bought online and some grocery stores even have a craft section so you can pick up some needles and wool pretty easy. Get onto YouTube and learn how to knit with easy to follow along videos, you may be surprised at what you can do. Even if your first few attempts are slow and not the neatest, who cares? Unwrap it and start again! I will definitely be making some tea cosy’s, I guess that’s what everyone will be receiving for Christmas this year!
I have a mini blog about my love of knitting, available to read here.
Gardening – it’s time to get stuck into the garden. Pull out those pesky weeds, re-pot your plants and plant something new. Most garden centres deliver supplies so you don’t even need to leave your house. I am hoping to this weekend, replant my rosemary and move my African daisies to a different spot as my tomato plant is growing all over the place. It’s also a great time to give everything some fertiliser and a good airing. You can also plant some fresh veggies which you can eat in a few short weeks! Yum!
Cooking/Baking – I fully understand that for some people, getting all cooking and baking ingredients is near on impossible right now but if you are in an area where things like flour, milk and eggs are not running out, why don’t you bake something delicious or try to cook something a little complicated. You now have all the time in the world to tackle a difficult recipe so why not give it a go. I have grand plans of baking a vintage Easter cake but this will only happen if I find flour in time.
Dance – go on, do it now! Have a 30-second dance party! Dancing and listening to happy music boosts the ‘happy hormone’ in your brain and improves your mood. Even dancing for a few minutes can make you feel better for several hours and dancing can be done completely alone, with your pet or with those stuck in isolation with you. Maybe you and your partner can come up with a silly dance routine, you never know when corny and synchronized dance moves may be needed in an emergency.
Exercise – you’re not alone if you’re reaching for the snacks a little bit more than usual but remember that your physical health is still really important. A fun activity that will boost your mental health is exercise! Get onto YouTube and look up some simple stretches or short workouts. You can now tailor a work out routine to your needs and with no one around, who cares that you go as red as a tomato. I love my Jane Fonda workouts!
Cleaning – yeah I know, it’s not the most fun activity but now is a great time to clean out that area you have been avoiding for ages. It’s a well-known fact that tidying and getting rid of clutter improves your mood and mental health. I am a little annoyed at myself for getting my home in order before the virus hit but it does mean that every room of my house is clean, tidy and organised which does make me feel better. Seriously, go and open that linen cupboard, get stuck into the kitchen ‘junk’ drawer and finally get rid of those clothes you do not wear. Donate whatever is clean and can be reused and sold and then ditch the rest. Go on! Make Marie Kondo proud!
I’ve also written a blog about cleaning and decluttering; available to read here.
Puzzles/Board Games – I’m sure somewhere in your house there’s a board game, puzzle or even a deck of cards so why not give that a go. Such activities can keep you amused for hours, they can be done alone or with someone else but they also can challenge you mentally which will help boost your mood once you complete the activity. At the moment I am constructing a Cinderella puzzle but I’ve also been playing a few fun board games too.
Tips for Mental Health during Self-Isolation:
-Please exercise self-care; self-care should not be a rare occurrence so treat yourself however you normally self-care. This can be done by taking long baths or doing a face mask. Read more about self-care here and here and here.
-It’s ok to rest and relax; do not feel any pressure to achieve things every day. It’s completely ok to take it easy, binge watch junk tv and do very little. Don’t put unnecessary mental stress on yourself.
-It’s ok to switch off from social media and the news to avoid being bombarded by virus information. I have done this as it was just getting too much (yeah, I know this post may be a bit ironic but I just wanted to help someone).
-Remember that your feelings are valid, true and alright. You’re allowed to be scared, you’re allowed to be angry and you’re allowed to feel sad and experience grief. You’ve lost a lot of freedom which can be very overwhelming so do not feel alone.
-Keep in contact with friends and family; you may be physically alone and isolated but you do not need to avoid all human contact. We are very lucky to be living in a time where reaching out is very easy and simple; you can skype, and video calls friends from all around the world relatively simply.
If you are alone and in need of emergency assistance:
please call the Lifeline hotline (13 11 14) or the suicide hotline (1300 22 4636).
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way.