2020 has certainly been an interesting year to say the least with the pandemic, what do you do when those aspects of your life that were once pillars of certainty have all but disappeared? At the beginning of 2020, I was looking forward to having one of the best years of my life. This was technically my last year to really live my life and have fun before knuckling down to study for the HSC next year in the hopes of gaining a good ATAR. Although all that was not to be, I can say I have successfully found new avenues for engaging with those I love and the world around me.
While sitting down and thinking about the medium and long term impacts of this pandemic was stressful at first glance I realised that we are actually quite lucky to have this time where we can reflect and take some time for ourselves. Some devices I employed to help manage my wellbeing during this period were exercising, taking breaks, “seeing friends”, taking up old hobbies and learning new ones and partaking in community service. Although, these activities greatly benefitted me throughout the year at the end of the day well-being is really a personal journey. It’s all about what works for you
Even pre-COVID, exercising played a big part in my life, some of my personal favourites included spin and boxing classes at my local gym. I found that classes really helped push me to my maximum potential and motivated me to get the most out of it. However, as gyms started to close, I struggled to find ways at first to keep fit and most importantly find the motivation to make time, as sitting at home all day taking classes made me feel sluggish and tired. One solution my friends and I came up with was to create a group chat where every day we would send reminders and memes to help motivate each other to stay fit every day. I also started using home workouts on YouTube and various HIIT boxing videos.
Something really beneficial to me that I think would help everyone during this period was to take breaks when needed. Once I overcame the mindset that I didn’t have to be super productive every day and do all these different things as it was out of my control the pressure was removed and my wellbeing greatly improved. Examples of how I took breaks were getting a snack, taking walks around my neighbourhood or sometimes even just sitting in the sun reading a book.
One main thing that really helped me through this period was “seeing my friends”. The development of technology really helped make this difficult time a lot easier and without being able to see my friends every day at school I felt quite alone. My friends and I used various Apps to connect easily and regularly.
From here, as the pandemic improves it is important to remember that throwing yourself into your life pre-COVID may be difficult and it is okay to take your time and ease back into it. As restrictions ease it may be beneficial to slowly integrate various activities you found enjoyable during your time at home into your pre-COVID routine.
Alannah, 18, Year 12 2020