“Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again” said Paul Simon1 about the six week Melbourne lockdown.
Just when 2020 was getting a little brighter and we were slowly opening up, we find ourselves back to the early days of striving to get the virus under control.
Back to Groundhog Day
Having had a taste of better times ahead it seems more disappointing this time around. There are a whole raft of personal, social and economic reasons why. These include health, family, work, finances and social isolation through to the narrower concerns around homeschooling and how to get your kids off screens.
But whatever the reasons, and chances are it’s a number of them, we enter this second phase with heightened anxiety and distress so it’s important we look after ourselves and one another.
Getting through the next six weeks
With that in mind, I provide below some helpful tips, both from experts (via Dr Google) and our personal experiences through the first phase. Hopefully they may help with this next one:
- Maintain a routine – get up, shower, do your teeth, get dressed, have an argument with your kids about taking the dog for a walk. Whatever works for you…
- Keep a healthy diet – but recognise that some foods/drinks are really very nice and will make you feel just lovely.
- Vary your activities – I think this means actual interests such as reading, baking, gardening and such rather than switching between TV shows. Perhaps it means finally getting around to doing those jobs you’ve been putting off such as sorting out your finances (give us a call if we can help).
- Talk to people – it doesn’t matter that there’s little personal news to talk about, it’s great being in contact with friends and loved ones. As Ronan Keating said last time we chatted (he didn’t and we haven’t) “you say it best when you say nothing at all”.
- Use social media – to stay connected to family and friends with photos and messages and the like.
- Don’t use social media – to engage in a Twitter argument until 2am every night (and perhaps pare back on your news stream each day while you’re at it).
- Dress for your day – occasionally when you go out in public take your Ugg Boots off and pop on a pair of shoes. On a related note, don’t let your children cut your hair.
- Wear a mask in enclosed public spaces – if it helps us suppress the virus it really is a relatively small inconvenience. Don’t worry, they’re not going to take away your guns next (might be confusing countries here).
- Get outside and move – we’re all nicer for a bit of fresh air. And if anyone has any brilliant ideas of how to get your kids out of the house without a daily battle, please let me know.
If you need a little extra help
We don’t know what the psychological costs of lockdown will be in addition to all the social and economic costs, but if you are struggling through, remember that you’re not alone. And if you need more than reaching out to family and friends, there are great organisations out there such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline.
Be kind to yourselves, one another and stay safe
Finally, if you need that extra bit of inspiration, here’s a photo of me2 on my morning run proving how good it is to get outside. Just look at me!
Simon Briggs is a Director at Keep Wealth Partners.
- Simon & Garfunkel – the Sound of Silence.
- It’s not me.
Keep Wealth Partners Pty Ltd (AFSL 494858)