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The COVID-19 Coronavirus has certainly taken its toll on the entire world by now, with most countries now having closed their borders and initiating self isolation recommendations for those infected or at risk of infection. “Social distancing” is also a new trending term being used by the Australian Government, referring to abstaining from physical contact with others and maintaining a 1.5m distance from other members of the public.

But, even the Department of Health suggests that you don’t have to change your daily routine and it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the simple things in life! This is not a national lockdown and does not mean that you can’t go outside (at least not yet).

I’ve listed a few things below that may help you get through this period and may protect you from the effects of boredom, anger, fear and anxiety.

Enjoy a Beautiful Sunrise

One of the best forms of social distancing can be simply changing the time of day you go out. For example, the pleasure of witnessing a beautiful sunrise can still be enjoyed each and every morning. I try and get out most mornings before the sun has risen and I can often find a beach or other spot where I’m the only person around. While daylight saving time is still around you have the luxury of sleeping in longer as well, as the sun doesn’t rise until around 6:45am. Take a travel mug of coffee with you to eliminate stopping at a cafe/service station on the way.

Sunrise at Dudley Beach, Newcastle NSW

Dudley Beach, Newcastle NSW – I was the only person on the beach for most of the morning here, besides a couple of people on horses going for an early beach ride.

Check out the Nearby Waterfalls

Waterfalls are beautiful places to explore at any time of day. While Victoria has decided to close a few high visitation sites due to Coronavirus, New South Wales national parks are still open and accessible (Update: closures have been put in place at certain waterfalls as of 27th March. Check NPWS website for details). The freedom and wonder gained from visiting a waterfall will always improve your mood, which is important during this time where people’s mental health can be affected – most times I get back to the car with a smile on my face and a natural “high”. Once again, to make sure your social distancing skills are most effective, the earlier you visit these places the less crowds you will see.

Catch up on Business

Do you run your own business? With working from home becoming easier and more popular these days (not to mention preferred at the moment!) it’s a perfect time to get on top of those loose ends. Have you been wanting to update some outdated content on your website for a while? Why not get in touch with your website developer and get some new text, products or photographs added to revitalise the content and give your customers something new to learn about you (I’m taking my own advice here with this new blog post!).

Finally Tick That Place Off The Map!

Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit (not highly populated) like a national park, beach or park, but haven’t had the chance to before now? There are many out of the way places you’ll find where people only visit sporadically. Why not go for a jog, bike ride or hike through a rainforest or local bushland? This brings the benefits of Vitamin D, which is naturally absorbed into the body from the sun, and it can also improve your health and make you feel happier due to a release of the body’s feel-good chemicals called Endorphins.

Bouddi National Park, Central Coast NSW

This was an awesome weekend hike through Bouddi National Park where we only came across 4 other people over 2 hours.

Let’s Stay Positive and Hopeful

While the current Coronavirus pandemic can be worrying, it’s important to stay positive and not let fear and anxiety take over. This will only lead to other sickness. Don’t forget that “social distancing” is actually “physical distancing”; meaning you can still be active and connected to friends and family. You can still call, text, FaceTime or have a SnapChat marathon with loved ones. Social distancing does not mean social isolation.

I don’t claim to be an expert in this at all. In fact, I’m just as concerned as the next person about how this will change our lives and whether or not I will still have a job in the future, but I do see people getting overwhelmed by the waves of information fed to us through the media, where they constantly check for updates on websites or obsessively check in on the number of confirmed cases in each state. We’ve all seen first-hand what fear and panic can manifest into, with all the recent supermarket chaos and excessive buying around the country!

Now is the most appropriate time to be that little bit nicer to one another and help each other out. Do something nice for someone else if you can; your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up and it doesn’t just benefit the other person; you reap the rewards too.

Wishing everyone the best of luck in getting through this unprecedented time and let’s try and take each day as it unfolds.

 

More information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and social distancing can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

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