With Sydney having been in lockdown for an extended period this year, many people are now chafing from the restrictions. Some are frustrated at the thought of continued work-from-home conditions, while others are struggling with being cooped up and unable to visit friends and family whenever they want.

If you’re feeling this way, there are a number of things you can do to look after your mental wellbeing. Aside from the basics of eating well, exercising and getting enough rest, here are some practical wellbeing tips to help you get through each day.

1. Get Creative

Countless studies show being creative at least once per day can boost your happiness levels and enhance your wellbeing. Consider any of these options:

  • Write a song or poem
  • Teach yourself how to Photoshop
  • Do a puzzle
  • Paint or draw (paper or digitally)
  • Take up photography
  • Journal (there are many types – dream, gratitude, daily thoughts, project-based or for times when you’re feeling anxious, putting your feelings down on paper can really help)
  • Learn a magic trick

2. Fall Down the Rabbit Hole

Another interesting way to recharge your mental wellbeing is to immerse yourself in research. There are many options here, but three suggestions are:

  • Get grandma, grandpa or your parent’s life story (it’s a fairly large undertaking so may take up hours of time. You can do it by just asking questions on the phone, or go further by digitally documenting via a video call)
  • Pick a topic that’s always interested you and do a big ‘search’ session on Google (for instance, a particular myth or legend, the history of your suburb, the world’s funniest historical figure, finding out the significance of the number zero etc.)
  • Research your family tree
  • Learn a new language (dialect, not programming!)

3. Have a Laugh

Whether you have a weakness for cat videos or epic fails, spending a little time online each day laughing is a fantastic mood-booster.

4. Plan a Virtual Weekly Catch-Up

While meeting up with friends or family in person may not possible right now, a virtual get-together can still provide you with a big hit of dopamine. Plan a weekly catch up with those closest to you – it might be an online board game or movie night, working together to solve a virtual escape room, taking an online cooking class together, or just a simple ‘drinks, nibbles and conversation’ session.

5. Take Up a Childhood Hobby

Think back to when you were younger. What types of things did you love doing? It might be Lego, retro video games or puzzles. Consider revisiting that passion – nostalgia can be hugely reassuring when times get tough.

6. Change Up Your Workday

It’s easy to feel stagnated when you’re working from the same room each day. One day a week, try to work in a different part of your home (if possible). The change of scenery can do wonders.

7. Host a Virtual Friday Night Drinks With Work Colleagues

While you might not be able to do Friday night drinks in person, you can still enjoy an online variation. Be the master organiser and set up a time each Friday afternoon to do this with colleagues. You could kick off with an ice-breaker question that gets everyone sharing, for instance:

  • Who would you want to play you in a film and why?
  • What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
  • What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done for fun?
  • What is something you were known for in high school or university?
  • Where would you travel if you had a time machine?

8. Create a Mood Playlist

Music is soul food and depending on what you like, can be an excellent way to unwind your mind. Spend some time curating specific playlists for exercising, relaxing, working, cooking/household chores, or for when you’re feeling anxious/angry/frustrated and need to calm down.

9. Enjoy an Online Experience

While you’re not able to experience much in person right now, a virtual journey can be satisfying. Airbnb has created a range of virtual experiences where you can visit different parts of the world, join a living room scavenger hunt, take a tequila masterclass, or make Mexican street tacos with a professional chef!

10. Volunteer Virtually

Volunteering has many benefits, from allowing you to connect to something bigger than yourself, to increasing your confidence and lowering your stress levels. There are plenty of online volunteering opportunities from Reddit’s Random Kindness page to Vollie, a place where you can use your tech skills to help small businesses and not-for-profits (for instance, updating websites, setting up software systems and so on).

11. Give to Others

The act of giving is a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety levels and get a natural feel-good chemical hit. Some options might be:

  • Writing five LinkedIn recommendations for people you’ve worked with
  • Lending your services pro-bono to students via online programming forums
  • Sending a friend or family member a surprise gift, be it flowers or food

We’re Here to Help

We hope you’ve found a tip or two here to help you get through the tough days. If you are re-evaluating your career or find yourself in need of recruitment support during this time, feel free to reach out to us here at Continuum. Our team of Sydney Data and Analytics Recruitment specialists would be happy to spend some time chatting about how we can help you find your right fit.

Note: If you are feeling particularly anxious or stressed and need further mental health support, we encourage you to reach out to one of the following services:

  • Lifeline – 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue Coronavirus Wellbeing Support Service – 1800 512 348
  • Head to Health – www.headtohealth.gov.au