Surviving Social Distancing

Guys, we find ourselves in bleak times. The Coronavirus is dangerous and we must do everything we can to prevent it spreading and protect society’s most vulnerable. Shutting down bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, galleries, beauticians and a whole raft of other businesses might seem extreme, but it is necessary. Limiting contact with friends sucks now but it is for the best in the long term. Full lockdown is only a matter of time. We must adjust to this new way of life as well as looking after our health. We know this virus will severely affect our physical health, but what about our mental health? The effect on everyone is going to be huge. But there are things we can do to perk ourselves up. Last week, we wrote about staying sane working from home. Those measures are still applicable (so have a read) but we have some extra suggestions to help you out adjusting to this new world, ideas to lift your mood, which let’s face it, we could all use right now.

Staying social

It is a necessity that we stay at home to flatten the curve and protect ourselves and others, but staying in touch is absolutely crucial to our wellbeing. So how do we do that with social distancing? Sure texts and phone calls are great and so is social media (however we all know that too much social media is bad for you). But nothing really beats face to face contact. Fortunately, we have video calling. Skype, Messenger, Whatsapp etc. This is a great way to stay in touch with your besties one on one, but what about groups of friends? Luckily, with all these apps, you can have group video calls. Yay! Just like a regular catchup! Or there is the viral app Houseparty that everyone is going crazy for in isolation. Its been around for while but downloads have skyrocketed in recent weeks. All these apps are making it so much easier to keep up the social contact. The way we see it, it is a virtual party so why not make a thing of it? Organize with your friends a time on Friday or Saturday night, get some drinks and nibbles and have a party! Social distancing isn’t going to kill our social lives!

Make it fashion darling

Last week, we said it was very important to still get dressed for work even if working from home. We stand by this. But about all those fabulous outfits we have in our wardrobe and have been eagerly eyeing off on The Volte? Sure, bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants are closed and events are cancelled, so we may not have anywhere to wear these amazing outfits. Bummer. Especially as dressing up in something stylish and getting all dolled up makes you feel gorgeous and fabulous! But, who says we need to boring with our fashion choices? We still need to get groceries, go to medical appointments so why not be EXTRA and wear something fun! Marc Jacobs is currently inspiring me to be dressed fabulously for even the most mundane things (think a fur coat and platforms to get the mail). Sure the Giambattista Valli x H&M tulle dress might be a bit much for the supermarket (don’t think I strictly agree with this as I once wore a vintage ceremonial wedding kimono to an interview) but there are plenty of fabulous dresses and outfits available to hire that would be perfect! Think latest season Zimmermann prints (so good!) or designer of the moment Mackenzie Mode, there is something gorgeous for everyone.

Marc Jacobs

Ok, so for a lot of you, this may be a bit excessive and jeans and a t-shirt might be more your thing (we do have a lot of cool designer t-shirts available to hire) but what about getting dressed up at home? We touched upon virtual parties, and we think you should treat the weekend as any normal weekend and make it fabulous! Get dressed up! It will make you feel so much better about yourself and is a statement that this virus is not going to take over our lives. Plus, we always need cute selfies for our socials so hire/wear something gorgeous. Let’s make this a movement. Everyone wear something fab this Saturday night in defiance of this virus! Post it to our socials, tag The Volte and share the love! On top of this, we are supporting brands to stay afloat who are going to be hugely impacted by this pandemic and the struggling economy. Who is with me?

Dating

Dating during social distancing is going to be tough. To all of those lucky enough to be doing this with a partner, I envy you! But what about us single gals? How on earth can we meet anyone? Tough news is that you aren’t going to be meeting people at bars. But there is always online. Although apps have been around for years, now is the time to embrace them. Sure, we could be social distancing for some time so what does this mean? Well for one, you can’t go a date. But you can be creative. Do the usual texting for a while but move it to phone calls and video chats. Bumble have now included a video calling feature for exactly this purpose. Genius! Make it a special, get dressed up and get a bottle of wine, make an evening of it, treat it like a normal date. Yes, its not exactly like the real thing but I think it’s a great alternative. Plus, I think that these long periods of getting to know someone before meeting can lead to lasting connections, rather than jumping in to something with someone when you don’t really know them. I have a habit of doing that so I think this new way of dating is going to be great!

Getting some LOLs

In this time, it can be hard to relax and have a laugh when we are surrounded by horrific news. The constant onslaught of media (be through the news, the paper and even on social media) can be very distressing and anxiety inducing. It is important that we stay up to date with the latest news, but rather than reading everything we come across, choose select, reliable and trusted sources for your information. This is necessary. Don’t consume yourself with the fear mongering (do not watch Contagion, it is not going to make you feel good). What we should do is make sure we get as many laughs as possible in this bleak time. How? Anyway you can! Watch something funny on TV, Netflix, Stan or YouTube (Brooklyn Nine-Nine always has me in hysterics with new episodes on SBS and old seasons on Netflix. Another goodie is Schitt’s Creek, also on Netflix).

Celeste Barber

Follow comedians on social media. Celeste Barber does not disappoint. Nor does Ricky Gervais! One page that I love on Facebook which always makes me chuckle is Bad Dates Of Melbourne. Definitely worth a read if you want to laugh about disaster dates which often involve accidents in bed and chicken nuggets. Not comedians per se, but Meme pages are definitely bringing in the LOLs for me at the moment. The general memes are great but I’m finding a lot of the coronavirus ones are guaranteed to make me giggle.

Be uplifted by music

I mentioned last week that one of the perks of working from home is listening to music. And it is! Sure you can’t see bands at gigs or listen to the latest bangers at the club, but it doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of it. And you shouldn’t! Music can make you feel great, whatever genre floats your boat. It really can change your mood, we know that (listening to sad songs after a break-up? I’m guilty). So why not chuck on your fave band, fave playlist or fave radio station and turn it up at every opportunity. Now I was going to make a playlist for all of you of uplifting tunes but I wouldn’t know where to start. If you like proto punk and garage, then I’m your girl (Last Quokka and Con Art are my current faves). But there are so many amazing playlists already out there. I love the personalized Daily Mixes on Spotify (so many options) or Songs to Sing In The Car (Again personalized to you, I found this out the other week when I found out mine was different to my sister’s). Of course there are some artists that are guaranteed to be uplifting, think the queen that is Lizzo whose tunes are not only banging but she is a great advocate for body positivity. Genres that are guaranteed to give you a hit? 80’s trash! Think Eye of The Tiger, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Walking on Sunshine, Wuthering Heights, the lists goes on! But it will perk you up. Incorporate as much music as you can in to your daily life, share it with friends and support artists as they face cancellation of gigs by buying music or merch.

Surround yourself with animals

Rae The Unicorn Dog

I mentioned last week that working from home is the perfect time to bond with your furbaby. I stand by that 100%. They love you unconditionally and give you love and affection without judgement. Plus they are a great motivation to exercise outside which is one of the few things we can still do. Also, they can’t get the virus or transmit it to humans. For those fortunate enough to have a pet, embrace it. Shower them with kisses and cuddles. For those who don’t have a pet, now is a great time to foster or adopt an animal. With social distancing at play and you spending all your time at home, it is the perfect time to allow your new or foster pet adjust to it’s new home. With pet ownership comes ongoing costs with food and vet bills. We think it is a small price to pay but one must consider it because we don’t want all these animals to be surrendered to shelters when people can’t pay their bills or look after them. And when so many people have lost their jobs and are reliant on government support, adopting or fostering may not be possible. But there are still so many ways to get your animal fix. Just look at Instagram! There are so many cute animal pages that just melt your heart and forget about the world’s problems. animalsdoingthings is a great one to follow with animals of all types. I’m sure there are a lot of cute cat pages but alas, I am a dog lover so I follow dogs. Some of my favourite current ones are Rae the unicorn dog and Maggie the wunderdog. Both are special dogs that will melt your heart and are sure to brighten up your day. You can get your animal fix without the obligations.

Look after your mental health

This is a very scary time for all of us, especially for those who are vulnerable with health conditions or have vulnerable friends and family members. All the news reports are frightening and this constant news coverage is bound to cause anxiety. This will take a huge toll on our mental health, even if you don’t already have a mental health issue. And all of these feelings are normal in a not so normal time. Fortunately, there are heaps of resources and support out there to help ease your fears. Beyond Blue have created a fantastic page with information on how to help yourself and others in this time. Lifeline is always a great support in times of need as is youth mental health organisation, Headspace. If you are still concerned, please see a doctor. A doctor can offer you advice and refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. It is ok to not be ok. It is important that you look after yourself and pay attention to your needs. Keep up your routine as much as possible and allow yourself some joy.

So these are just a few tips and suggested adjustments to our new way of life. If we can all practice social distancing, we’ve got a chance. Please stay at home and embrace this new world. We are all in this together. Stay safe people!

Gabby

xoxox

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