I remember it well. The night we watched Bo Burnham’s Inside, a tragicomedy about life in lockdown. Despite bristling at a few particularly apt lines in “White Woman’s Instagram”, I watched the musical with a smug degree of separation. Inside, after all, was about lockdown despair. And I was so far away from that. Sydney was sitting pretty at COVID-zero; I’d just had a hair cut!
So imagine my surprise when June 2021 came knocking, and with it a new COVID variant and, inevitably, another lockdown. Suitably chastened (and bored), I searched for things to keep my mind occupied, habits to make good on and positive affirmations that I probably should have adopted ages ago. Below is a list of all of those things – stuff that lifts me up as Sydney continues to be locked down. If you find yourself in a funk, I hope these few bits may offer some comfort.
- BorrowBox: I’ve been trying to cut down on unnecessary subscriptions so I can spend my money on more important things (candles), so dumping Audible in favour of the less-sexy but 100% free library app, BorrowBox, has been so satisfying. Free audiobooks for all!
- Candles: Obviously.
- Comfy socks: As mentioned, I’m veering dangerously close to cliché, but I really can’t stress enough just how much of a game changer it is to have cosy, warm feet at all times.
- Open Water 2: Adrift: I love films centered around an unfortunate predicament and this is one of the best I’ve found of that niche. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but good fun.
- Doing the thing: As a seasoned procrastinator, lockdown has provided me with endless fun new excuses to get out of doing the thing I don’t want to do. Now, lockdown or no lockdown, I’m just doing the annoying jobs as they arise and feeling way better for it.
- Taking leave: Even if you can’t go anywhere, I still think taking a few days off is worth it. I did this a few weeks ago and spent the week reading and going on my one-hour government-mandated walks and felt so much better for it.
- West Cork: Look, I can’t say it lifted me up, but this podcast about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier and a narcissistic suspect did keep me occupied for days. (You may have watched the Netflix and/or Stan documentaries about the case, but I promise the podcast is so much better.)
- Bookmarking Airbnbs for trips I can’t take: An oddly enjoyable pastime. I’m manifesting, ok?
- Dungarees: My step up from track pants. I am here for any kind of outfit that requires little to no effort from me.
- Art is nice: I didn’t have the energy for any substantial house decorating during my time off but I did hang up some old pictures I forgot I had and vaguely shuffled some plants around. All the same, it was pretty invigorating.
- Alice Skye: I’m very much enjoying Alice Skye’s new album, I Feel Better But I Don’t Feel Good. She’s exquisitely unfiltered; her lyrics meditate on those existential niggles and oddball tendencies that pepper modern life.
- Adult colouring books: I am that extra person who heard ‘lockdown’ and promptly ordered an adult colouring book. Mine is designed to ‘relax and de-stress using proven neuroscience principles’. Basically, I colour in pictures of fish while watching TV.
- David Attenborough: In one of my best decisions yet, I’ve been rewatching Our Planet. Is there anything the soothing overtures of David Attenborough can’t fix?
- Forget your password: I somehow logged out of Twitter on my phone and couldn’t remember my password. I’m certain this was a case of divine intervention because I’ve never felt more relaxed. Forget more of your passwords.
- Whiteboards: There’s something about whiteboards that make me feel proactive and together; like I’m a real doer. I bought one from Kmart a little while ago to write down goals, shopping lists and things I must not forget, and the illusion of order has been very satisfying.
- TikTok: I deeply relate to this TikTok about supporting your friend’s questionable life choices at all costs. We all need at least one enabler like this, I think.
- Australian Survivor: I get giddy watching this show. There is something so enthralling about watching relationships form and crumble alongside the backdrop of rice and lentils (and JLP's “Come on in guys!”). Thoroughly into this season and, of course, our writer Jackson’s chaotic recaps. Hayley should win.
This piece was written by Alice Griffin, editor of this very site. Catch her on Twitter and Instagram @_alicegriffin. A version of this piece first ran in MTV Australia's weekly newsletter. Sign up here for more exclusive content.
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