Focus on forums pattern illustration.
Focus on forums pattern illustration.

Focus on forums: Taking practical advantage of isolation

Beyond Blue regularly publish a selection of personal reflections, concerns, questions and comments around a certain subject or theme, shared by community members on our online forums. Here, we focus on taking practical advantage of isolation and what our community members are doing in our Coping during the coronavirus pandemic forum.

Elizabeth CP is going for walks

“I'm using my walks as a chance to get some face-to-face contact (still maintaining the required distance to stay safe). A smile and brief greeting helps me feel less isolated.”

Peppermintbach schedules regular virtual catch-ups

“Here are some of the things that I do to combat isolation:

  • I try to recognise the type of loneliness I’m feeling (i.e. do I need emotional support, social connection, etc.) so that I can plan my virtual meetings to help meet my needs (i.e. close friends only versus a big virtual party).
  • I schedule regular video chats with friends and family to stay in touch. I try to schedule virtual meetings in a way that mimics my ‘normal life’. For example, I used to do the bulk of my socialising towards the second half of the week, so I arrange virtual catch-ups towards the second half of the week. I do this for two reasons:
    1. It helps me maintain a sense of “normalcy”.
    2. It will make it easier to transition back to my “old life” when this is over.
  • I plan virtual activities with people that mimic what I used to do (i.e. book club on Thursdays).”

Emmen is playing online games with friends

“I personally find online games a great way to stay connected with friends. We'll usually set a time and decide on a game beforehand. The planning itself provides some kind of distraction because we're all pretty indecisive when it comes to which games to play.”

WanderingAround suggest learning a new language

“I would like to suggest learning a new language or improving your ability in one you already know. Maybe one day, after all of this is over, you can visit a country that speaks that language and use your new skill. Learning a new language takes patience and dedication. You will need to commit some time every day. So set a schedule, and think of it as a hobby, that way you will enjoy it even more.”

Croix joined a volunteers association

“Still stuck at home? Me too. Actually, this time offers amazing potential. I often think of this for people stuck by themselves at Christmas time, but it's even more appropriate now. In every state and territory there’s a volunteers' association. If you give them a ring, explain your circumstances, tell them what you can do and enjoy, and they will try and match you up with what's needed with all registered organisations. You could end up a tele-link conference facilitator, someone who chats to older people – there are plenty of options.

Shelll is cooking

“I have been experimenting in the kitchen. If you have the ingredients and even if you don't have a lot, it’s fun seeing what you can come up with. It's a good thing to do if you are stuck inside. Tomorrow I will be making creamy lime ice blocks. They sound so refreshing.”

PamelaR is making recipes and taking photos

“What am I doing in isolation... making up recipes. I have fun searching online for recipes with different foods, then creating my own dishes. They usually turn out well. I’m also playing lots of games, such as solitaire, as well as games with others online. I’m getting a bit addicted really. My OCD is emerging. Our backyard has been photographed like it's never been photographed before. I’m editing photos with a new program, then migrating all photos and re-editing the best ones. Maintaining contact with friends, relatives, and groups through social media, is also helpful. I find it very rewarding as many of us are finding it difficult, so one or two of us are trying to help and inspire the others.”

CMF is painting

“I've started painting my house. Just the outside and only trims for now – the windows and door frames, fascia, verandah posts, etc. I am loving the new colour/look. It is fresh, neutral and earthy. I hope to get round to sprucing up the garden too, although it will be colder soon.”

Doz86 is fermenting food

“I'm taking advantage of the time by fermenting food (I've made my own sauerkraut).”

Aaronsis writes poems

“Wow... if anyone says that they are bored during isolation they need to jump on this thread, from making ice cream and writing Japanese poems, there is no time to be bored.”

monkey_magic is video chatting with family

My family enjoy doing video chats. It’s often a lot of fun because we’re able to change our appearance with the different picture things on the phone. The bunny ears, glasses, hats, and changing the shape of your head/face and look is hilarious.

Lucas-L is setting daily goals

“I was feeling a bit frustrated with a few too many things swirling around in my mind that I want to get done. Setting a key goal for the day has really helped though. Also being active and focusing on enjoying the moment.”

The Beyond Blue online forums are a great way to connect with people online in a safe and anonymous environment. Discussion topics cover anxiety, depression, suicide and a range of other life issues. Anyone in Australia can participate in discussions, connect with others and share their experiences with our community.

Note that all names listed above are pseudonyms and that quotes have been lightly edited for clarity.

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