How To Stay Sane In Lockdown

Essential reading from a wise and weathered Melburnian.

Lockdown's fun, isn't it?  Yep, today the NSW Premier Gladys Berejeklian has announced that lockdown orders in NSW are being extended yet again. This is the third time the stay at home orders – which apply to Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Shellharbour, Wollongong and the Central Coast – have been extended, after stay-at-home orders were initially introduced on June 25, 2021. For now, the only reasons to leave home are: shopping for essential items, exercise, medical needs or getting vaccinated.

And as a Melburnian who has endured about 18 lockdowns myself, here are a few tips that helped me get through it:

Listen to great music

Most of us do this anyway, but I found that certain types of music hit the spot for me during lockdown, especially our most recent ‘circuit-breaker’ where a generous serving of old-school jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Chet Baker really helped calm my nerves.

What works for you will probably be different; you may prefer the soothing, dulcet tones of Maple Glider, the heady romanticism of Gang of Youths or the endlessly uplifting Baker Boy.

Go for a long walk and call a friend

This was my equivalent of socialising for Melbourne’s great winter lockdown of 2020: brisk walks accompanied by a phone call to someone you enjoy talking to. Walking has the benefit of being a form of exercise and chatting is a form of socialisation, so you hit two birds with one stone and will feel a bit more like a human when you get home. (Please do not literally hit any birds.)

Don’t worry about doing the ‘right’ things

As great as it is to do exercise, make time for socialisation and have a robust self-care routine, let’s face it: lockdown is a bummer and you may not feel like doing any of these things. I found it helpful to not beat myself up when I wasn’t doing the ‘right’ things in lockdown (for example, extremely long day naps and way too much Emily In Paris). 

But you know what? It’s fine. Lockdown sucks and if you can’t manage to implement the ‘right coping strategies’, then don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Give yourself some grace and take it easy; this will all be over soon enough.

Written by Reena Gupta, a Melbourne-based writer for MTV Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @purpletank.

This article has been edited since publication. 

More here:

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Self-Care Was Never Meant To Be Glamorous 

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