If there’s one word that could be used to describe the world at the moment, it would be: uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused necessary change in a variety of ways, and none the least bringing about necessary government regulations to ensure everyone is practising safe social distancing at this time. As we enter a period of social isolation in Queensland, Robe’s founder Bec reflects on how she’s keeping busy and maintaining her mental health – hopefully providing you with some useful takeaways that can inform your new daily routine. After all, we’re in this together.
With new restrictions being implemented on 29 March, Australia has shifted into an even tighter lockdown that will hopefully slow the spread of Coronavirus and flatten the curve. Personally, I welcome the idea of being told exactly what we can and can’t do. That’s not to say that I haven’t experienced increased anxiety like many others, but at Robe we’re endeavouring to continue delivering fun and light content during this trying time – hopefully bringing a smile to your face. However, if you are feeling worried and possibly a bit scared, the Australian Psychological Society has put together a number of amazing resources relating to Covid-19 which I recommend checking out. You can access them all here.
As much as I miss my usual routine, I – and the rest of Team Robe – are committed to following the rules of social distancing during lockdown as it WILL help save lives. My family in New Zealand have already been in lockdown for a week, and this has helped me develop some ideas about how to cope as we all #stayhome.
Cooking with Love
During my normal Monday to Friday, I don’t find much joy in cooking as I see it as a necessity, but during our COVID-induced isolation I’m making a conscious effort to cook with love. This means trying new recipes and putting effort into meal planning, and to help with this I’ve engaged my good friend and renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi (or more accurately, his Simple cookbook which my mum brought for me the last time she visited). And I’m loving it! We get Hello Fresh from Monday to Wednesday in the Kroon household, but every other day I’ve been enjoying making Ottolenghi’s easy, wholesome meals with ingredients that are actually easy to come by – and the best part is, they look AMAZING even if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen. Of course – they’re also delicious. You can access a number of the recipes for free on the Ottolenghi website here, and call me Chef Kroon from now on.
If you’ve also been experiencing some sleepless nights, my favourite cure at the moment is to pop in my headphones and listen to a podcast so I can escape what is happening in reality for a while. At the moment I am loving:
- This American Life
- The Moth
- 99 Percent Invisible
- The Love Club (and a little sneak peek - yours truly may or may not be featured in an episode coming up on 17 April)
- Am I a Bad Mum? (this podcast is hosted by friend the brand Rachel Thaiday!)
- Death, Sex and Money
- Just the Gist
- Authentic Sex.
I LOVE exercise and usually have a pretty good routine throughout the week, alternating between swim squad at the local pool and running with the husband in the mornings. I’m lucky to still be able to run in the mornings, but our pool has closed due to Covid-19, and I’ve found this particularly hard. I find swimming is really good for my mental health as it's a calming exercise (and it’s so nice to watch the sunrise from the pool!). So, during isolation I’ve been using Kayla Itsines’ SWEAT app instead of my usual swimming sessions. It’s easy to use and really effective, and while it’s mildly embarrassing exercising on my front lawn where my neighbours can see me, I’m enjoying it so far. I’m also thinking of trying Christ Hemsworth’s app Centr… because who doesn’t want to see him get his sweat on? It’s also free for a limited time which is awesome.
Let's not forget about the fur babies. I try to walk my two dogs at least once a day – and if you’re looking to get active, I can’t say how much difference even just a 20-minute walk makes. I find it really helpful to just get out of the house (within the rules of course) and am trying to make the most of this time.
I'm going to be completely honest here: I love reading but I haven't been doing much of it because I’m finding it hard to keep focused. So, I would LOVE to hear your recommendations - I’m hoping that I’ll find my groove once I relax a bit more into this new normal.
Zooming with Wine
My friends and I have turned our wine dates virtual, using Zoom which has a free option for group video chats up to 40 minutes. What's not to love! We also have a WhatsApp group where we share funny anecdotes, advice, questions and support. Thanks to these tools, I really feel very connected, which is incredibly important at this time.
Taking the Pressure Off
These are strange times. And that’s okay! We will get through it. I think it’s crucial to allow yourself to just slow down and be. Have a routine if it suits, or feel free to throw routine out the window! Take it one day at a time. While I like to have a routine, I also like waking up and spontaneously doing a PJs, popcorn and movies day with the kids. I might very well have a wine at 1pm if I feel like it. I might not exercise. I might cry and feel upset all day. And that’s okay. Most people are feeling unsettled at this time - I just urge you to talk to someone about your feelings – whether it’s a friend, a partner, or a colleague. Let's stay connected and keep communicating through this. And remember - breathe.
Hope these tips help a little bit - we would love to hear about what you’re doing to cope during these turbulent times. Feel free to email any recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org!