Throwing a COVID-19 Mental Health Party
the time of our lives
In this time of corona, it’s more important than ever to
extract every last bit of fun from life.
But wait – we’re all social isolating. The good news is this
doesn’t have to stop you. You can have a party by yourself, with your
neighbours, or remotely with your family and friends.
Here are some ideas to take the sting out of the current
“Excuse me, party of 1?”
Spending time with yourself doesn’t have to be a downer.
Here are some ideas to entertain and pick yourself up.
Firstly – the basics to help you manage your mental health.
- Eat well. This means fresh fruit and vegetables
(wash them in cold water, no soap), and a good balance of legumes, grains,
meat, seafood. Good nutrition makes a huge difference in wellbeing and the way
you feel. Avoid snacking, especially foods high in fat, salt, and sugar.
Despite how you feel, the pantry and fridge are not your best friends. Drink
water, not soft drink, and don’t overindulge in alcohol, it pulls you down.
- Get moving. Preferably get outdoors. Go for a
walk locally and if you’re able to, immerse yourself in nature. Savour the time
you have, use all your senses to experience every aspect of being outdoors. How
clear are those skies! Research shows
that exercise helps improve immunity so as long as you stay at least 1.5m (or
two arms’ length) from other people, you’re good.
- Limit social media and news. Stick to key
- Sleep! Is 5 hours enough? Nope. Good sleep helps
you rest mentally and physically, and recircuits your brain for new challenges
the next day.
- If you can’t get outdoors, there are some online
exercise videos, free and paid, that you can try. Free online yoga classes (or
pilates) will help you centre yourself. Or for something simpler, take
inspiration from those people who are running marathons on their balcony to
Next step – occupy yourself.
- Look up some mindfulness classes. Mindfulness is
a very useful technique to help you manage stress and can be uplifting.
- Try personal development. Some learning
institutions are offering free online courses. For example, TAFE NSW is
offering 21 courses, including Improve Leadership Performance and Practical
Business Skills. Coursera offers a wide
range of courses, including public health, science, and leadership.
- People are heading to Bunnings for DIY – but
keep safe and don’t give the medical services extra work to sew a thumb back on
or set a leg if you fall off the roof.
- Unleash your creativity. Start a journal.
If the stress is getting you down, it’s important to
recognise and acknowledge how you’re feeling. There are some great online
resources that can help.
- Dr Russ Harris, who wrote The Happiness Trap,
has developed a series of steps called FACE COVID. It’s a very practical and
simple method to ease you back into yourself and ease the worry you may be
feeling. Watch the video
or read the ebook.
- Other resources include Normal
Life Has Been Disrupted and Seize
the Opportunity of Home Quarantine.
Party with your neighbours
Do you know your neighbours? Until recently, we’ve all been
far too busy to spend time making friends with the locals. But with the push to
stay home as much as possible, there’s an opportunity to see our neighbours in
a new light.
If you live in a house, walk down your street and drop
invites to an evening get-together out the front of your own houses. Set up a lawn
chair, kick back with a drink, wave, and chat across the road.
If you live in a unit, invite people on your floor to sit at
their doors and have an afternoon chin wag with a beer or aperitif.
Party with family and friends
Right, so everyone’s talking about zoom at the moment. This
is just one of the social networking apps connecting people. Others include
Skype and Houseparty. Pick one and get going.
- Set up a date and time and invite people to a virtual party. You don’t need a reason – it’s fun if you can celebrate someone’s birthday or something exciting – but it can be equally fun if you just get together and laugh.
- Play Cards Against Humanity. You need friends with a horrible sense of humour and it’s definitely for over 18s.
- Have a Netflix party – there’s an app for Chrome but if you can’t do that, agree on a movie (make it something funny like shlock horror Shaun of the Dead or classic Dirty Dancing) and Googlebox that thing until your ribs hurt.
- Amp it up and learn a Tik Tok dance and challenge your friends to a dance-off.
- If you’re more of an introvert, invite your friends to play online games like Words with Friends 2 or Boggle.
There’s no doubt we’re in difficult times but as we move through it – and these things do pass – we might as well stay positive, enjoy the ridiculous aspects of it, and focus on the things that matter.