Saturday 18 April 2020

How I've been adapting to self-isolation

It's been about a month or so since Australia moved to a lifestyle of self-isolation, staying at home unless necessary, and avoiding contact with other people. At first, it was a pretty massive adjustment for a lot of us, as our evenings and weekends no longer involved going out for a meal, hitting the gym, catching up with friends for Saturday brunch, seeing a movie at the cinema, or going to church on Sundays. I generally like to try to keep a positive mindset, so I've been discovering new ways of adapting my old hobbies to keep entertained and happy during these times. I've given a summary of a few of these below if you're looking for new some ways to stay busy at the moment.

1. Home workouts

I was in a pretty consistent routine of starting my working days off with a workout class at the gym, so I was pretty bummed when the closure of gyms was announced. However, I've been adapting to this by discovering new home workouts, whether they be the virtual Zoom classes run by my gym, or a workout from YouTube or IGTV. Some of my favourite workout channels include Zanna van Dijk, Maddie Lymburner, Natacha Oceane and Alana Blanchard.

2. Walks/runs in my local area with Moose

One of the restrictions imposed in Tasmania is the closure of all national parks and wildlife services tracks. However, exercise is still allowed in your local area/municipality, so I have been looking at my local council's website at the numerous dog-friendly walking tracks available in my area. This gives Moose plenty of exercise and allows us to discover more of Tasmania's beauty right on our doorstep.

3. Cooking and baking new recipes

I often get stuck in a bit of a loop of cooking the same recipes, however I've been trying to break out of this cycle and test out some new recipes to enjoy. Recently I've had a go at gnocchi with beef ragu, scallop laksa, gooey milk and white choc cookies, and chewy caramel brownies. It gives me something to look forward to each week, and expands my regular cooking and baking repertoire (though I do need to limit myself to one baking session a week, otherwise the levels of butter and sugar consumption in this household will be out of control).

4. Practising the guitar more

Years ago, I purchased an acoustic guitar and always enjoyed strumming away on it from time to time, however it was not until recently that I picked it up again and have been playing it regularly, trying out some new songs and attempting to crack some of the harder chords that I haven't been able to master just yet.

5. Arranging more online catch ups with friends and family

I think many of us can agree that over the past month or so, our online catch ups with friends and family have grown a huge amount. Before this time, I think a lot of us were so busy that we'd put off organising a phone or FaceTime catch up with those we love, however as we are all at home so much now, we are really craving that human interaction (no matter how much of an introvert you might be). I have really appreciated being able to see the faces of friends and family much more often, particularly given that we live in Tasmania, away from many of those people that we aren't usually able to see in person.

6. Reading new books

Another hobby that I love but that often gets neglected is reading. At the start of the year, I joined a book club with a few friends and it has been a really great motivation for me to discover new books and be held accountable for finishing the book of the month. It has opened my mind to different genres, and given that I have a lot more free time on weekends, I'm able to set aside a solid amount of reading time to delve into these books.

7. Discovering new shows and movies on Netflix

I'm sure most of us are pretty good at this on any given day, but I've definitely enjoyed being able to spend a bit more time catching up on the latest Stan and Netflix hits without too much guilt, given that we have to stay home anyway! Some recent favourites include Billions, Gavin and Stacey, Unorthodox, Dare Me, and (how could I not mention it) Tiger King.

8. Trying out the takeaway options at cafes and restaurants in Hobart

I've got to admit, one of the main things I'm missing is being able to enjoy a meal out in Hobart with Dave or with friends. However, I've definitely been making the most of supporting the locals by trying out different takeaway options on offer. For those who live in and around Hobart, my top picks so far would be Ti Ama, Templo, Komatsu, Shambles Brewery and Mr Burger.

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