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CORONAVIRUS: PRACTICAL TIPS TO MANAGE STRESS

The world is pretty topsy-turvy right now because of COVID-19. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by it all, be reassured that this is a very normal response. However, it’s important to go easy on yourself and to take time for self-care. Below is a list of self-care activities that you can do from home. They might help you feel a little better and give you a sense of control during a very uncertain time.

Staying Informed

In times of crisis, it’s recommended that you monitor how much, and what you’re exposing yourself to, as well as when you’re consuming it. Set some limits around the time you will dedicate to reading or watching the news (including social media), such as 30 minutes. Making these boundaries can help keep you updated with the latest information while also putting restrictions on exposure – watching too much media can increase anxiety. Avoid watching the news before sleep as this can interrupt your ability to fall asleep or to sleep soundly. It’s also important to get your information from reliable sources, such as the Australian Government’s health alerts. You can also download the Coronavirus Australia app for up to date information.

Coronavirus hotline: 1800 020 080 (for information or advice about COVID-19)

Staying Active

It’s well known that exercise is really good for both our physical and mental health. There’s heaps of different types of exercise you can do from home, thanks to YouTube and apps. Here are some free options:

Yoga with Adrienne is a well-loved yoga channel, with over six million subscribers. She’s quirky and down-to-earth, and offers yoga classes lasting from five minutes through to an hour.

Nike Training Club can help you stay active during this time by offering heaps of free workouts you can do from home. It also features wellness and nutrition guidance from experts.

Seven – 7 Minute Workout app (iOS and Android). These seven-minute workouts are based on scientific studies and are designed to provide the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time. You can also link up with friends in the app to encourage each other – it’s a great way to stay connected.

Working with Fear and Anxiety

Here are some good links to learn how to manage fear and anxiety:

Being Mindful

When we’re stressed about something our thoughts tend to speed up. Taking 10 minutes or so to practice mindfulness can help produce a sense of calmness, and can make it easier to then make decisions. Here are some free options:

Insight Timer has over 25,000 free guided meditations, from 1 to 90+ minutes. Try searching by a topic that interests you (e.g. stress, learning to meditate, sleep).

Smiling Mind might be a good option if you don’t want to be overwhelmed by choice. The meditations are organised by structured programs, such as Mindful Foundations, Sleep, Relationships, etc.

Being Creative - Museums, galleries, films - virtual tours

Being indoors may free up some more time for us to explore our creativity – whether this is music, art, films. Below are links to free virtual tours of galleries, museums, as well as suggestions about arts and crafts.

The Louvre in France has a range of virtual tours you can see from the comfort of your home – pick one you like the look of and click ‘launch virtual tour’.

MoMa (Museum of Modern Art) – virtual tours every weekend from April 9th

Acmi are offering weekly movie nights, from the comfort of your own home, called Virtual Cinematheque

Acmi are also offering twice-weekly series of workshops for screen industry professionals and enthusiasts, called Running Free

Take a virtual stroll through NSW Art Gallery or Melbourne Museum

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has a YouTube site with videos about conserving artwork, interviews with curators, and drawing instructions.

The Getty Museum has also proposed a challenge for people to recreate famous artworks with household items and then post online – see some inspiration and instructions on how to give it a go here. You can also find inspiration on this Instagram Between Art and Quarantine, and send to their site.

Animals

Enjoy the zoo from home with Taronga Zoo TV and Animals at Home, live streamed direct from Sydney Taronga Zoo, Melbourne Zoo and Werribee Open Range Zoo