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Facing months of self-isolation at home, I am already on the cusp of losing my humour. Netflix can only keep us distracted for so long. One internet outage and there’s a good chance it will end in blood and tears. So, what can we do to keep the rage at bay? We’ve done some scouting and narrowed down the best ways to stay organised and keep things running smoothly during lockdown.

Get some exercise

Get out of the house and exercise or, just get out of the house. With external stimulation in short supply and your usual routine gone, getting a regular dose of good-vibe building endorphins is essential. It gives you and the ones left at home a break.

While exercise, such as walking, is a fun activity to do together, exercising with the person that’s driving you crazy may not be the answer. It’s important to be able to say when you need to go out and exercise alone.

Keep your environment clean

Having a schedule that ensures everyone pitches in to keep shared living quarters clean is more important than ever. Household chore rosters and clear rules, such as ‘turn left to wash hands before entering the main part of the house’ can be an invaluable tool for making sure everyone does their part.

Maintain a regular routine

Most of us spend the majority of our lives following externally imposed rules and scheduled. Our lives are so busy, there is a barely a moment to think about our daily routine. Work, sport, meetings, school pickups and drop-offs, training, mealtimes and even our social lives dictate what we do and when, all run according to a well-worn schedule. Take away the schedule and there are some amongst us who will immediately lapse into a routine akin to a teenager on holidays: filthy, lazy and generally useless.

It’s critical to replace the old routine with a new one and maintain discipline. Showering and dressing like you would normally for school or work helps divide the start and end of the day. Maintaining standard lunch and other break times with rules about who can and can’t be disturbed is equally important.

Given the lack of exposure to friends, scheduling in times for socialising on phone and online is critical to give everyone the external stimulation and opportunity to vent, and most importantly, getting outside and exercising is critical for you and your family.

It doesn’t hurt to factor in a checklist of projects to fill the gaps, such as books to read, languages to learn or long-avoided chores. To top it all off, start each day with an action plan that works for you.

Develop safe and hygienic habits

Desperate times call for desperate measures and regular cleaning is no longer enough. In a recent interview with the ABC, UNSW virologist Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid implored Australians to develop safe home habits.

Taking your shoes off at the door, wiping down any items that have come from outside (e.g. packages, takeaway containers, etc.), washing your hands when you enter the house for at least 20 seconds and frequently cleaning high-contact surfaces such as door handles are small actions we can do to protect our homes and minimise the virus’ impact.

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