Stuck within COVID-19 lockdown, metropolitan Melburnians are finding even the chore of buying groceries a great escape from boredom. A potential lift of the Andrews’ government road map restrictions is due on Monday, September 28. But between now and “COVID Normal” – especially amidst spring school holidays – here are some solutions to stay positive, active, connected and in the right frame of mind.

From the outside…

While the metro population is still facing night-time curfews and have to stick within 5km of their house, playgrounds at least are open for everyone. Daylight savings start soon too, on October 4, which will have Melbourne enjoying long evenings once again. If you’re lucky enough to live close to the beach, now is the ideal time to get out and about and if you own a dog, even better! At least one beachside real estate agent in Melbourne has admitted that her two dogs have saved the day during virus isolation. But even those without a dog can go outdoors for up to two hours with one other friend or family member. 

Also, if Melbourne does step into the road map’s second step on September 28, outdoor pools will open as well. Yes, it’s still a little chilly to fully appreciate these areas but it’s definitely something to look forward to! Whether you’re walking on the beach or jogging with a friend, clearing your head of all things COVID-19 and pumping up your endorphins going, will have you returning home feeling like a brand new person. 

And when you’re home, why not get into some gardening? This activity will have you spreading your wings in the great outdoors – at least a little – and benefiting from fresh air. As well, your mental health can improve by simply watching something you’ve planted flourish and grow.

Top tips to stay positive during lockdown

….to the inside

The COVID-19 lockdown is a good time to spring clean or plunge into ideas and schemes you’ve been putting off for years. With only so much Netflix and Stan to watch, some people – such as the aforesaid agent – are now picking a room each week to spring clean, including organising cupboards and similar spaces. 

Other people this same agent knows have been ordering new furniture online and redoing their house, or simply moving current furniture around. As a result, their homes are boasting a fresh new look with people’s mental health benefiting from the fresh designs on offer. 

Alternatively, why not try drawing, painting or learning a new instrument. Or simply dive into a crossword puzzle or a board or card game? All of these activities are ideal for stimulating your mind while warding off isolation depression. And the more challenging they are, the better! Then there’s connecting with friends and family, either via Zoom or just over the phone. 

Perhaps most importantly of all, try to stick with a regular structure. Make the effort every day to eat well, exercise, get out of your PJs and get off the couch! Think differently and creatively, stay active mentally, and find positive things to do indoors and outdoors. And may “COVID Normal” come sooner, rather than later!

Related article: Keep fit and have fun amidst ongoing lockdown