If you’re missing out on some of your regular habits and friendly connections – including SCS social events – while the virus is around, you might feel a little lonely or uncertain about things. Many experts advise that the way to survive and thrive amid the evolving rules is to create a routine to shape what might otherwise seem like chaos or emptiness.  Elizabeth Markle, director of Open Source Wellness in the US, says our routine should include four things we need to do daily –1. Move 2. Nourish 3. Connect 4. Simply ‘be’

Dr Markle believes the disruption of Covid-19 is a time for us to get intentional – to choose rather than to drift. She says that by stopping many things that normally make up our days, the disruption is calling for us to create new habits that keep us happy, build all-round health and inner strength.  Her advice is not strictly prescriptive and she believes in enjoyment, too, when she offers suggestions as to how to weave into each day our own version of movement, nourishment, personal connection and time to ‘be’ – that is, to empty your head and completely relax. Whatever works – vegetating in front of mindless TV, being mindful or meditating – see her article here.

In fact The Greater Good magazine, published by the University of California, Berkeley, is a fount of positive information worth exploring to help keep our chins up in this ‘time of uncertainty’. Its mission is to provide science-based insights to living a more meaningful life (all free yet with a general request for donations to help them keep it up).

If you’re wondering about simply ‘being’, it’s about relaxing, being aware or mindful of what’s in each moment for you and, if you’re so inclined, meditating. Mindfulness has soared in popularity lately so there are many sources of free how-to guides and apps. Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to ‘To provide accessible, lifelong tools to support healthy minds” by helping people practise mindfulness.

Smiling Mind’s definition of mindfulness is “paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity and without judgement.”  You can do it any time. Get the basic idea from www.smilingmind.com.au/mindfulness or go to the blog if you’d like to know more.. Or download the free app to start your mindfulness practice here.

More easy, starter exercises are found at  pocketmindfulness.com  

Gardeners might like to try the garden meditations here at the website of the Meditative Gardener, Cheryl Wilfong.

If you’d like to explore different meditation techniques, thedailymeditation.com offers an introduction to the main techniques here.

If  you are overwhelmed or overanxious, go to Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service  1800 512 348 or  their general support line 1300 224 636,  or Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or explore the Government’s digital mental health gateway Head to Health.