Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published June 22nd 2020
There's no place like home
Over the past several weeks in the ACT, COVID-19 restrictions have gradually been lifting. We are emerging from lockdown and slowly easing back into our pre-coronavirus lives. The kids have all returned to school, cafes and restaurants are once again beginning to fill up, local sports teams are playing once again, and our parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, movie theatres, and many of our national institutions have re-opened or will re-open in the not too distant future.
However, if there's one thing that lockdown has taught me, it's this: just like Dororthy discovered when she returned from a land called Oz, there's no place like home.
Like many of you, I spent a lot of time at home and in my neighbourhood during lockdown. Now, I was already spending a lot of time at home pre-lockdown as I work from home and am a stay at home mum. Lockdown and especially those weeks of homeschooling made the experience of being a stay at home mum so much more intense! But now that lockdown is over, I've learned to appreciate more than ever before the comfort and joy that being at home actually brings. Yes, we're all itching to get back out there and enjoy all of the exciting adventures we had pre-Coronavirus. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be at home too and enjoying its comforts, especially with Canberra now in winter's icy grasp.
Here are seven ways how we can continue to enjoy being at home during this post-lockdown period.
1. Clean out/declutter/(re)decorate your home. I don't know about you, but during lockdown and homeschooling, I had no time or energy to clean my house. But now that school has returned (oh what joy!), I've had the time and energy to make my home beautiful again. Your home is the place where you will spend most of your time this winter. So whether it's decluttering Marie Kondo-style or heading out to IKEA for ideas or brightening up your living room with colourful cushions and fresh flowers or stringing fairy lights in your trees or getting new plants for your garden or prints for your walls, make your home a space that's clean and tidy and comfortable and cosy and just right for you and your loved ones.
2. Go for neighbourhood walks and bike rides. We did a lot of these during lockdown. And we still do during this post-lockdown period. Get to know the suburb/neighbourhood where you live and all of its landmarks. You might even come across a little street library and other surprises along the way!
3. Get to know your neighbours better. If you don't already know them, why not get to know better the people who live around you? It's important to connect with your neighbours so you can help one another and support each other during times of hardship, emergencies and crisis. Last summer, my neighbours and I gathered together to discuss our bushfire emergency plans and how we could help one another if the worst happened. We set up a neighbourhood Facebook page to connect with each other, and during lockdown, the page was a great way of touching base with one another. For more ideas on how you can connect more with your neighbours, go here.
4. Support your local shops. With people panic-buying out Coles, Woolworths and ALDI of essentials such as toilet paper even in the weeks prior to lockdown, it certainly wasn't a good experience doing the weekly shopping and seeing shelves empty of basic supplies! So I frequented the local shops more and usually found what I needed. I didn't support the local shops for purely selfish reasons, either. Coronavirus has really hit our small businesses hard, so please continue to support your local shops during this post-lockdown period. They really need our help, much more so than the big supermarkets do.
5. Enjoy home food. Yes, all of our favourite restaurants and cafes are opening again to more and more customers which means we can all go back to dining out again like we used to and taking loads of photos of our food and uploading them on social media like we used to. But since lockdown, I've enjoyed eating in at home. I'm certainly no master chef, but I've actually enjoyed cooking for my family and dining at home. And if I couldn't be bothered cooking, especially during the more trying days of home schooling, there was always my local Vietnamese restaurant or local fish n chips shop or my mother who lives nearby(!) to cook for me.
Post-lockdown, we'll be continuing with enjoying our food at home. And we'll continue to support our local restaurants and takeaways. If you haven't tried them already, check out Canberra Eats, a fabulous online delivery system which delivers meals from Canberra's favourite restaurants straight to your door.
6. Get into hobbies and interests that can be done from the comfort of your home. Such as knitting, crocheting, making mosaics, gardening, drawing, bingewatching your favourite shows, reading, baking, quilting, making terrariums, playing with LEGO, doing jigsaw puzzles, composting, or whatever it is you enjoy doing. As lockdown has taught us, you don't really need to go out all the time to enjoy yourself. Check out my list here of 100 things you can still do post-lockdown.
7. Understand that it's really okay to enjoy just being at home. Really, it's okay! There's no urgent need for any of us to get out there again and do everything right now as soon as all the COVID-19 restrictions lift. In this world of social media that we live in, we seem to need to boast about how 'crazy' busy and full our lives are and all the exciting things we are doing, all the exciting food we're eating, and all the exciting adventures we're having. But there really is nothing wrong with just wanting to spend time at home pottering about in your garden or reading your books or bingewatching your favourite NETFLIX series while wearing your PJs all day. As restrictions lift across Canberra, we're all getting back into the big wide world out there, but it's also perfectly okay to enjoy the comforts of home too.
For many of us, home is a warm, snug, and cosy place, our sanctuary from the world outside. And during lockdown, being at home has been one of our best defences against Coronavirus spreading further. During this post-lockdown period, let's continue to appreciate and enjoy our homes and our neighbourhoods.