Ways to help families stay happy and hopeful during self-isolation

Whatever the circumstance there are ways to make self-isolation easier.

You may have two toddlers under five in the suburbs. Or live with a lively teenager in a small inner-city apartment. Maybe you live alone, with your extended family in one home or in a share house full of students.

Tips for families with children

  • For parents who need to work from home, take turns working and parenting.

  • Set up video chat ‘play dates’ with school friends
  • Don’t forget about your own needs. Keep up meditation, yoga and exercise.
  • Take time to prepare meals together, get creative, let the children take control!
  • Perfect time to Marie Kondo your child’s bedroom, together.
  • Got a crafty skill like crochet or knitting – share the skill with your family.
  • Make a short movie – stop motion using household items, a drama or comedy.
  • Not creative? Colouring in is very calming, frame your favourite piece!

Self-improvement ideas

  • Dig out the guitar and commit to learning some tunes.
  • No instrument? Apps for instruments are fun with plenty of online options.
  • Take a course or try first aid training or Pet First Aid online.
  • Always thought you had a novel in you? A biography? Now’s the time to sit yourself down and get started.
  • Napoleonic wars? Codes? Viticulture? Geography? Impressionism? 1980’s TV shows? Indulge your interest and study it like you’re going on a quiz show.
  • Brain training apps – puzzles and lateral thinking. Crack cryptic crosswords.
  • ABC iView
  • ABC podcasts
  • TED Talks: learn something new with over 3,300 videos
  • Start an online bookclub with friends or neighbours.
  • Visit a world-class museum or your local library online.
  • Clothes need repairs? There’s a YouTube video for that.

Ideas for maintaining your wellbeing

  • Make regular phone calls or video calls to people you know.
  • Being in close confines can be stressful, watch out for signs of stress among family members.
  • Work out a strategy to defuse any difficult situations or anger.
  • Watch movies or footy games together, virtually.
  • Get some sun every day – keep up the vitamin D.
  • Stay in touch with work colleagues. If you can, working from home could help you stay busy and connected.
  • Self-indulge and put on that hair mask you’ve had in the back of the drawer or give yourself a pedicure.
  • Now’s the time to do those household projects you’ve been putting off.

Ideas for having fun

  • Replace outdoor time, with kitchen dance parties or yoga in the sitting room.
  • If you have access to a garden, go out and pull out the weeds, mow and rake the lawn, trim the hedges, transfer plants, get dirty.
  • Start planning a holiday. Do your research and create your perfect itinerary, where would you stay? What would you see in a day? Where will you eat lunch?
  • Challenge yourself in the kitchen – try a ingredient meal or bake a soufflé.
  • Sort out all those old photos and videos.

Ways to help others

  • Reach out to others you know who might also be self-isolating.
  • Share on social the ways that help you stay connected, they can inspire others too.
  • Post highlights of your day to help spread the positive word.
  • Write a letter to someone. It’s amazing the effect it can have.
  • Haven’t worn it for years? Try your hand at repurposing and up styling or package up items for donation to your local Red Cross shop
  • Search online for items you can make and donate to others.
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