Brought to you by Luce & Liv from in collaboration with Shit You Should Care About

In case you missed it: we are in the midst of a global crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic is making its way across the globe, discriminating against no-one and changing the lives of everyone.  

For a lot of us we’ve been recommended – or required by law – to isolate in some way. Your situation level could be anywhere from voluntarily practicing physical distancing to a nationwide lockdown. Regardless of what level your country is currently operating at, we encourage you to stay at home. Do it for the people who can’t. Do it for the healthcare workers, the supermarket operators – all the essential workers out there on the frontlines.  

Here in NZ, we’ve gone into a nationwide lockdown. And we aren’t complaining, because we’d rather be in lockdown keeping our community safe than the alternative.  

So do your bit. Please. Stay inside. And while you’re doing that, we’ll try and give you what you need to make it a bit less shit. 

Don’t force yourself to be productive

Luce: Look at it this way: the world is quite literally sick and tired of all the burnout, over-productivity and constant hustle of our day and age, and is forcing us to slow down. 

We wish it didn’t take a global pandemic to make us take a break, but now it’s a matter of life and death, so slow the fuck down. No, this isn’t a holiday, but it also isn’t an excuse for you to put pressure on yourself to be doing something all. the. time. Because what in god’s name is the point of coming out of a lockdown exhausted? 

Take a break, drink some tea, watch the Netflix series that you’ve been “too busy for” and actually enjoy some leisure time. 

Hell, you could even… have a… no I shouldn’t even say it… fuck it I’m going to…. sleep in! I promise we won’t tell your boss. 

Find a new hobby

Liv: I think people totally underestimate the power of a hobby. Even the word itself seems flippant and even slightly useless. In my experience hobbies can be lifesaving. They are something to grab onto and pull you through a dark time or situation, all while expanding your mind and growing your skill set. One thing that also holds people back from acquiring new hobbies is the fear of failure. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GREAT AT YOUR HOBBY. You don’t even need to be good. All you need to do is simply do it. If you have the slightest want to paint a picture, get out some paint brushes, a piece of paper and your $5 paint set and get to work. If you ever thought “man it would be sick to be able to ______” then fill in that blank and start doing it. 

And here’s a reminder: everyone is shit at the start – if you push through and keep doing it you’ll get good! Hobbies ground us, and provide a sense of normality in such abnormal circumstances.

SYSCA’s List of Potential Hobbies 

  1. Painting 
  2. Collaging 
  3. learn to code 
  4. learn to use photoshop/illustrator/indesign 
  5. dance 
  6. sing 
  7. garden 
  8. cook 
  9. knit 
  10. music production 
  11. yoga 
  12. write songs, poems, novels 
  13. blog about your interests 
  14. pottery  
  15. learn to sew/make your own clothes 
  16. learn an instrument 

Go into this with the right mindset: Physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing

Luce: While we may be separated from one another physically (and I am a bit concerned about how I’ll next react to the touch of another human…), this whole “isolating” palava in no way  means that we have to be distant socially. For the sake of our mental health and general sanity – please find ways to be social – it’s really not hard to do these days (thanks Steve Jobs!)

I’m already finding myself on facetime/houseparty (if you haven’t tried this app, download it now), way more than usual. Though I do still get a shock when answering an unplanned facetime and seeing myself on front camera – I promise you’ll get used to it.

So just call your mates. Continue to make the plans you’d usually make,  just do it online. Here’s a few ways you can do that:

  1. Share your morning coffee with a friend over facetime
  2. Cook lunch (virtually) with your flatmate who’s gone home for the lockdown period. 
  3. Have a facewine session with the gals. 
  4. Hell, even video gaming is social – get ya headsets on and have a GTA marathon. (Is that what you guys call it? Soz, I’m not a #gamergirl)

Do whatever is going to keep you connected to the people around you.  Don’t drift away from the people you love. Keep them close, and brace yourselves for some mad cuddles when we are finally free of this thing. 

Have a routine

Liv: Now this is something I have always struggled with, but it is honestly a life saver in a time of no structure or daily cohesion. Again, THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE STRICT. You in no way need to plan out every half hour of your day – all you need is a basic outline to stick to so you don’t feel lost in the empty time of this isolation period. Literally set yourself a reasonable wake up time that works for you – you could thrive off a 6am rise, or like a slightly more indulgent 9am get up. After this you could use your morning to exercise, catch up virtually with friends, watch your YouTube subscriptions, and ease into the day. Then after lunch could be your time to learn an instrument, write a blog piece, or put any one of those hobbies into place that we discussed earlier in the piece. You could then get outside for a walk if this is possible for you before dinner, eat dinner, then hang out with your isolation buddies, watch Netflix, have a wine or two and play some board games to make it through the evening.  

Even breaking your day into 3 parts is going to help when it comes to your wellbeing while we are physically distancing. 

Move your body

Luce: Lockdown seems to be  turning all of us into avid runners and all around outdoorsy people (you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone and all that shit.) Anyway, that’s certainly happened for me. As soon as I’m told I can’t go to a gym I suddenly take it as a personal attack (Luce you haven’t had a gym membership since 2018….) To combat this cabin-feverishness I’ve started a bootcamp with my little brother and Dad. Each day at 10am we go to the garage (our makeshift home gym) and work out together. And it’s actually pretty fun! 

If this isn’t your cup of tea you could facetime your usual gym buddy and do a virtual workout together. Or do some yoga at night. Or, go for a walk around your neighborhood (staying 2m away – obv.) Just move your body. There’s really no excuse for not moving in this day and age where there are a plethora of apps and online classes that you can sign up for to walk you through what to do (spot the pun).  Either head to the app store, or take a look at this article to find something that might work for you! 

I don’t want you to put pressure on yourselves to come out of this with a six-pack. But for the sake of your brain, hop off the couch and mooooove. 

Nourish your mind and body 

Liv: Now this is important. In a time like this, looking after your body and mind should be pretty high on your list of priorities. We need to do this by:  

Eating Well  

And I do not mean that you should restrict your eating in any way – I mean you should try to eat intuitively and not beat yourself up if you’re eating a little more than you usually would be. Cut yourself some slack, we are literally locked in at home in a much closer proximity to the pantry than we are used to. Eating/food can be a real battle for a lot of us at the best of times, so please try and be kind to yourself when it comes to food. Remind yourself of the amazing nutrients it can provide your body in this time of stress and chaos. 

The fucked-up thing about Covid-19 is that our immune system has not come into contact with the virus before, therefore we lack immunity. This means we need to give our body the helping hand it needs to enhance the functioning of our immune system. 

Chloe Moir, Health By Habit’s nutritionist has put together tips of ways we can boost our immunity during the Covid 19 pandemic:

Increase your fruit and veg intake where possible!  

Our immune system needs enough micronutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants to function at its best. See if you can add a couple of extra servings of veggies/fruit into your meals (if affordable) while you are self-isolating! Could be a great time to try some new recipes out to give your body the boost it needs!  

Avoid eating too much processed food, refined sugar and alcohol to reduce inflammation.

This one can be pretty tough in a time of high stress as a lot of us turn to comfort eating in times like these  (I’m 100% guilty). It’s just important to remember to think about aiding our body in fighting infections, rather than making it more difficult. These food groups cause an inflammatory response in the body which keeps the immune system busy, meaning other more important issues in your body that may occur, such as bacterial or virus invaders are unaddressed. Just do the best you can, sometimes treats are necessary, but try to keep a balance!!! 

Using pre and probiotics to look after gut health  

80% of our immune system is our gut. The healthy bacteria that lines the gut is part of the first line of defense when it comes to our body fighting off bugs. If it doesn’t do a good job and lets the bugs in that when our immune system has to work super hard to defend them. We can improve our gut health by eating fermented food as they increase the number of good bacteria in the gut (foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yoghurt and kefir). Eating probiotics as this is what feeds the good bacteria (foods high in fiber – fruit and veg are the best source). 

Stay hydrated!!! 

Water helps to remove toxins from our body and also helps to carry oxygen to important cells (i.e. immune cells), which helps to improve their functioning. Take that drink bottle with your wherever you go, drink tea to pass the time, and watch as your body thanks you for it!!!!  

Occupying our minds with positive shit 

Read, read and read again. We’ve all got that pile of books that we bought on book-depository at 1am, in hopes to become that cultured person we always knew we could be. Well guess what – it’s time to actually read past the first chapter! Find an author that you like and go from there. If you aren’t into books, that’s cool too – there are soooo many other ways to get your reading quota into your day. Online publications are your best friends, covering anything and everything you’d ever want to read about. Whether it’s music journalism, or sports commentary, find three websites that spark your interest and get reading!!! It’s probably THE best thing you can do for your mind – it will reward you in time, I promise. 

Sudoku’s, crosswords and card games are GREAT in the mind nourishing area also – go old school my friends, and get that mind to work. 

If you’re not sure how to look after yourself while the world is struggling to look after itself, then use these tips as a guideline.

Stay safe, stay sane and stay inside. 

Liv & Luce from the SYSCA team XX



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