Try to wake up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time each night. Whether or not you’re working from home or self-isolating, ensuring you wake up at roughly the same time helps maintain a positive sleep cycle and daily routine, and can assist with stress management and energy levels.
Eat as healthily as you can. Supermarkets can feel like war zones at the moment, and our usual go-to foods may be running low. Frozen veggies have the same, if not higher, nutritional content than their fresh counterparts, so don’t be discouraged if that’s all that’s left at your local shop. Maintaining a healthy diet assists with optimal functioning of our immune system, energy levels and our physical and mental healthBut please note; don’t be hard on yourself if you’re not “healthy” all the time. Adjusting to such a huge shift in our lives means that other things may shift too. What we feel like eating may change, the way our bodies look or feel may change and our needs can change too. Be kind to yourself.
Create some plans and goals – big or small. If you’re working from home, you probably already have tasks to complete each day. If you’re self isolating, it may be tough to fill the days up. Create jobs that you’ve been putting off. How does your Tupperware cupboard look? Does your garden need weeding? Do you need to chuck those cans of soup from 1978 out of your pantry? It seems silly, but even one small task a day can be a satisfying way to help time pass.
If these circumstances have impacted your ability to earn in any way – reach out and speak to somebody, whether it is someone at the club or outside. The National Debt Helpline provides free counselling and at this link, you can find information on how the government can help support you: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19 The Victorian Government has announced a $500 million package to assist people who have lost their jobs at this difficult time. Displaced workers may be eligible to assist in other sectors or areas of work. More information can be found here: https://www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria
Let us all physically distance ourselves, not socially distance. FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, emails, walk in the park (at a safe distance) are all ways in which we can ensure we are following the correct recommendations from medical professionals, but still feeling supported.
GET OUTSIDE. We are fortunate that we still have the freedom to spend time outdoors. There is fresh air to be breathed in, vitamin D to be absorbed, and *sanitised* footies to be kicked. Head out for a nice walk to relieve some stress, or try one of Will Dill’s run club sessions to help maintain some fitness for when we can head back to footy. Don’t let Will down.
Moderate your social media use. We are fortunate to see so many wonderful posts and informed news updates about this virus and how to combat it every day – but using social media for too long can increase anxiety levels. Get your daily dose, but don’t overdo it.
In saying that, there are some fantastic apps available to assist with stress relief such as Calm, Headspace and Insight Timer. These kinds of apps promote mindfulness and space to relax. Headspace is now offering a section of their app “Weathering the Storm” free of charge, saving your ca$h for other important things at this time.
If apps aren’t your style, that’s okay! We all have our different tricks to keep us feeling calm. Whether it be going for a run, reading a book, baking a sweet treat, working in the garden, making a cup of tea… the list of mindful, calming actions we can do is endless. Having a think about what yours are to know where to turn if you’re feeling a bit stressed out.
Support your mates. That’s why we are such a fantastic footy club, we get around each other during rough times. Send your friends a message, check-in on their health, whether it be physical or mental. Call your parents and grandparents. Knock on your neighbour’s door. Give your pets a big hug. Then take your pet to your friend’s house so they can also get a nice pet hug.
Look for help if you need it. Just as we are there for our friends, don’t be afraid to ask them to be there for you. We are all in this big hectic thing together. If you’d rather, there are some fantastic organisations you can turn to by calling to have a chat, or accessing their online resources. You can find contact details for these organisations here.
And the final and most important – wash your hands, and stay inside. Be clean and safe and let’s get through this. It’s not forever, so let’s do the right thing, right now.