As Australia’s two largest cities slowly ‘open up’, have there been any new or rediscovered habits from the extended lockdowns that you want to integrate into daily life?
Positive habits learned from lockdown
It’s tempting to pretend this historic time never happened and go back to ‘normal’. But there are a few rituals from lockdown that I don’t want to discard.
1. Different types of walks
Walking has always been a daily habit. But when it became the main reason to leave the house with only the same 5 kms to explore, it took on a whole new life! I discovered different types of walks to match my mood.
- The mindful meander: with no purpose or set direction, seeing where my feet take me and being curious about what I find.
- Burning off steam: listening to upbeat music (often streaming KCRW Eclectic 24), needing to be more active, or making the most of short breaks in work.
- Long chatty walks: being able to walk with one other person became a surprising joy. Just shooting the breeze with a neighbour, or having an intense catch-up with a friend.
- Podcast walks: days when I know I need a walk but feel bored and uninspired, needing the distraction listening to an engaging pod makes all the difference. Season 3 of The Fitzroy Diaries landed at the perfect time (the pointy end of lockdown, when needing a distraction from getting tetchy with the unmasked.
What I want to integrate – morning walks to set my mood for the day. Plus more walks with friends and neighbours (rather than catch ups centred around eating and drinking).
2. Watching the sunrise/sunset
In uncertain times, I look for certainty. Observing the sun as it bookended the day became a bit of an obsession that settled into a delightful ritual. I often wake at dawn and love to open the curtains to watch the day unfold. But it was the sunset ritual that became especially meaningful in this lockdown.
When every day felt like Groundhog Day, letting it go by sitting on my little west-facing balcony and watching the change in the sky became the perfect way to pause between work and rest time, and acknowledge what I am grateful for. At times it was also delightfully social, with neighbours catching on to the ritual, winding down with conversations from backyards and even rooftops.
What I want to integrate – using sunset as a prompt to consciously acknowledge what I’m grateful for that day.
3. Home cooking
My kitchen creativity has waxed and waned but over the past three months I cooked from scratch more than usual, especially lunches. I’m not a big planner, preferring to buy seasonal vegetables and whatever looks good when shopping, then creating meals from what’s on hand. To compensate for lockdown-brain, I began keeping a notebook on the kitchen counter and jotting down ideas for lunch and dinner every time I shopped.
What I want to integrate – more meal planning and simple lunches at home.
Who’d have predicted that picnics would be the toast of spring this year! When I was a student and most of my friends were on a similarly low income, spring meant the return of picnic season. It’s a casual, relaxed and affordable way to socialise, from lunchtime in the park (a working-from-home perk) to a leisurely lunch with friends or family.
What I want to integrate – more picnics than restaurant catch ups.
What positive habits do you want to keep from lockdown?