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The Coronacation Part 2: How to fight lockdown fatigue

By Maeve Galea

With week one well and truly behind us, we’ve made it more than halfway through lockdown (maybe?!) in Greater Sydney and parts of NSW. But unfortunately that’s a small consolation if, as we enter week two, you’ve experienced a mascne breakout (sad), you miss your friends and family (sadder), or you’ve finally waved your white flag and cancelled all holiday plans until further notice (saddest).

Let’s not pretend: lockdown fatigue is real. Maybe I’m a soft-as-smashed-avocado-on-toast Sydneysider, but I will preface this with the assertion that the last time I was in lockdown (overseas in 2020) it lasted well over six months and we were only allowed to leave the house to exercise between the hours of 8pm and 8am (yes, you read that correctly). All that to say, lockdown doesn’t get easier no matter how much or little you’ve had to do it. I think we should all agree that there’s no shame in finding the last week and a bit incredibly long, stressful or just plain boring (just like there’s no shame in enjoying this period of hiatus and hibernation).
 
But no matter if you’re living in a state of lockdown-induced simplicity or struggling through this period of imposed isolation, we could all do with a pick-me-up (or ten). Here’s how to tackle week two, and turn lockdown into a “coronacation” of sorts… 

7.00am

When combatting lockdown fatigue the best place to start is with sleep. Assuming you’re hitting the quarantinis pretty hard in the evenings, take this as an opportunity for a mini sleep-in and snuggle back into your pillow for an extra hour of zzzs. While added sleep has always been a bonus of being on holiday (see improved energy levels, emotional balance and hormonal regulation), it became a fully fledged travel trend in 2012 when Euorpe’s first nap bar, Zen Bar A Sieste, was opened off Avenue de l’Opéra in central Paris. While they opt for low lights, relaxing music and zero-gravity chairs, I’d recommend investing in some French flax bedlinen from Society of Wanderers instead. Not only will they elevate every petit somme you take during your coronacation and beyond, but their colourful prints are an instant mood booster. 

8.00am

As you finally rise and shine, rested and relaxed, keep walking straight past your fridge where your usual breakfast of yoghurt and muesli lives, and take a trip to your local patisserie for a pain au chocolate and a café au lait. While this might be something you’d usually relegate to the weekend, stop feeling guilty – you’re on holiday! This little Parisian-inspired pick-me-up is sure to start your day off on the right foot and kick your coronacation into gear! 

1.00pm

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to miserably eat your lunch alone at your desk. Pick up the phone and make a call. Not only will it brighten your day, but a quick phone call is a great way to check in with loved ones to make sure they are coping okay. Doing nice things for others has been found to be a boost serotonin (the neurotransmitter that gives us the feeling of satisfaction and wellbeing). And it doesn’t just have to be your friend down the street, in fact, it could be your bestie who lives abroad. What better way to feel like you’re on vacation than coordinating time differences, listening to foreign accents in the background or hearing stories from faraway lands? 

5.30pm

After clocking off from work spend some much-needed time away from your screen. Between working on your laptop all day, spending the evenings in front of Netflix and scrolling through Instagram watching stories of northern-hemispherers enjoying their vaxxed summer vacations, there is no doubt your screen-time is at an all-time high. This is nothing to feel guilty about (especially as there’s little else to do) but it might be contributing to your lockdown fatigue. Compound this with excess time spent consuming pandemic-related news and you’re probably dealing with information overload and anxiety. Whether you choose to read a book, go for a run or simply sit in the garden and meditate, unplugging for even an hour will give you a sense of calm and clarity. 

7.00pm

Don’t let your dining table become a desk! Make dinner an event by laying down a tablecloth, setting the table and lighting some candles. Create ambience with music and get dressed for the occasion. While dining out is off the cards for the time being, that doesn’t mean mealtimes must be mundane.

9.30pm

While it would be easy to pack this itinerary full of craft nights and camping-at-home, we all know the best part of a holiday is the excuse to do nothing and not feel guilty about it. This is your chance to finally read that book, watch that series or catch up on some (more) much-needed sleep. Because – all things going to plan – we’ll be back to our busy lives soon, and it won’t be long until you’ll be dreaming of a coronacation (sing that last bit to the tune of “Californication”). 

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