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‘Less guilt, less stress and less pressure’: How lockdown 2.0 can be different

So she did what many Australians in lockdown did: she put more pressure on herself.

“I ran 100 days straight. I love running so it wasn’t a bad thing … but I ran myself a bit ragged.”

Ms Carroll says her mantra during lockdown 2.0 will be "less guilt, less stress and less pressure".

Ms Carroll says her mantra during lockdown 2.0 will be “less guilt, less stress and less pressure”.Credit:Paul Jeffers

This time around, she plans to live by the motto ‘less guilt, less stress and less pressure’.

“I struggled last time. I missed my friends, I missed yoga, I missed feeling more like myself. Everything was for everyone else. I think this time around, it’s about making sure that I have breaks, and that my needs are a part of everyone else’s.

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“If I stick the kids in front of the TV for an hour and I do an online yoga class, that’s probably a really good use of family time. I can’t feel guilty for that.”

Professor Jo Salmon, co-director of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University said one of the best things to come out of the last lockdown were families taking walks together, with preliminary research showing Australian adults’ physical activity levels were up during that period.

However, there were plenty of things we could improve on, specifically our working-from-home practices.

“For people who are on Zoom a lot, I would be scanning my calendar and saying, ‘I can do that meeting on my phone while I am out walking’. Try to do one walking meeting every day,” Professor Salmon said.

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The rest of the day’s meetings could then alternate between sitting and standing, she said.

Melbourne stylist Deborah Paidoussi, co-owner of style—edit, said we desperately needed more colour and texture in our lives to brighten this mid-winter lockdown.

“Dress to be happy,” she said. “Nominate a day a week when you wear your luxury pieces and it makes you feel good.”

She also suggested rearranging rooms with objects that sparked good memories and to ensure we marked the milestones.

“Yes, we are disconnected from those that we love but make the effort to get dressed up, do the Zoom calls, bring out your best dinnerware, your glass crystal, put on your best frock. Make an effort,” she said.

Associate Professor Terry Bowles, a psychologist and academic at Melbourne University said the easiest way to get through tough times – again – was to remember others had survived worse.

“Watch a lot of movies about people that have done tough things,” he said. “Or read books about it. Read the war diaries of family members. Talk to people about it.

“Listening to people’s stories about how they survived things is critical. It would probably be far more helpful than seeing a psychologist.”

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And if you just really need somewhere to hide? Take a trip online down the streets of your favourite holiday destination or virtually explore collections from Australian galleries via online databases like Trove.

Fiona Sweetman, owner of Hidden Secrets Tours and a board member of Cultural Tourism Victoria said this second lockdown gave us an opportunity to feed our curiosity: virtually or in the real world.

“Buy a map from a service station and map out where you could walk, but only take names that have the letter ‘a’ in it,” she said. “Find fun ways to challenge the mundane.”

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