Bright Virtual Running festival

Normally this race is held in Bright Melbourne and it attracts many trail runners.

Due to the Coronavirus the Bright running festival race has gone virutal. And due to Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne they have panned it out over two weeks (100km in 10 days given that a person can only do a maximum of 10km in one hour). There are other races like the 50km and the 25km. I picked the 25km knowing that that’s what I can do given that I trained for that distance pre stage 4.

It costs $20 to enter and like other virtual races you can do this anywhere.

On Day One I ran up some hills and explored a new area known as the Afton st park. It was fun but a hard climb. Once the restrictions are eased I’d like to try for a longer run.

Day two saw me run to Lincoln park and back. It was a lovely 20C day and there were quite a few people around.

Day 3 saw me do a run around the park and up on Maribynong road and Mt Alexander Road. My fellow runners have said that the road was quite good. This road did not disappoint as it had a few walkers and runners there.

Day four saw me do another postcode run around Moonee Ponds with a very short stop in Ascot Vale at the Happy Groccer. I love to support small business as this time they are losing a lot of money due to COVID. If they lose too much money they cannot survive. They need customers to survive.

It was so much fun and I’d do it again


balancing social media and Covid19 life

We got the idea from Creative Impact Group. They are based in the UK where they are going through a massive second wave. Whilst other places in Australia are starting to open up and Melbourne is not (in fact we are in Stage four lockdown). We wonder how people adapt to the social media posts about how lovely life is on the outside of Melbourne.

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There is a report by the UK government on Mental health which was published in 2018 that is useful for COVID19. They say that too much time on it can lead to cyber bullying and depression, even suicide.

We know that seeing posts about Sydney and other happy places without the masks can be quite damaging to people’s mental health. I know we all like to be there one day but we just can’t. We feel envy of those in Sydney posting their lovely life. We can’t stop them from doing that.

One way to do this is just to ignore them and only post things about Melbourne and stay at home which is what we do.

We did the 14 day challenge.

At first, it was really hard to ignore all those texts and notifications from Facebook. But in the end, it was worth it. My flatmate took my laptop for the two weeks to see how far I would go. For the project, I used an old camera phone to take photos as the current one was also taken from me. During that time we learned that it is ok not to be on social media all the time.

Before the challenge I used to go on there quite a lot and I used to be really obsessed with those anti maskers tweets and Instagram. Now we feel much more liberated and at ease. We can be kinder to people now. In today’s world too many people look down at their phones and not where they are going. They are not there in the present moment.

Before the challenge I used to play Mahjong solitare quite a lot and listened to the premiers press conference every day. But now I am glad that I am rid of those things. Those things were a time waster and compulsion of mine.

At the end of the project I lost some followers but gained some knowledge and am able to be kinder to people.


How not to drive each other mad

In these crazy times we all at each other’s back for 24/7 due to strict lockdowns and curfews. Most of us are living in the family home. So here’s some ways not to drive each mad.

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Practice patience with other people

We all are going through the same thing and so its ok to not be ok. Its also ok to be left alone.

Don’t get mad if the other person doesn’t do what you want them to do.

Again this ties in with practicing patience. Maybe they might have their own reason for it and that’s cool

Have a family meeting and talk about what you expect from each other.

From there you can set up some boundaries in which we need to live by to get along. Make sure that you agree on what things need to be done and when they can be done each week. You should work out who is doing what too. If you work from home let your family members know which days and times so that they don’t disturb you.

Tell your family how you feel when they do certain things especially the things that you don’t like. Its ok to voice your opinion. Some may not take it too well but its ok.

Routine is crucial to not going with bonkers with each other.

As soon as we don’t do the routine for a few days then we can start to get really mad for no reason. Don’t forget to schedule a time for work, play, exercise, household chores, eating and sleeping.

Stay connected to the people from the outside world.

Technology is our friend here. Here you can use Whatsapp, Facebook etc to connect. But don’t spend too long on social media as that will just drive you bonkers.

Spend some time together if you can

Sometimes you can’t because of the restrictions ie going out for a walk. But if you can maybe watch a movie together or bake together? Or why not have a games night?


Coronavirus and debt worries

Now that we are six months into the pandemic and Melbourne is in Stage four lockdown and Regional Victoria is in Stage 3 lockdown people are starting to worry more about being in debt. We get the Jobkeeper/government stimulus but not all people get this.

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Businesses are worrying about the debt with the CPR.org stating that many Americans are in limbo about whether or not they can repay that debt. People are constantly stressed about how much debt they owe to the banks due to the lockdowns. As such people will turn to loan sharks to help them repay their debt. I once had that experience of such things and they will never leave you alone.

What would be good is for:

  • All debt companies to leave us alone
  • All phone and internet companies to have reduced rates for usage- now that we are at home more often and using Internet a lot more.
  • All people to get this sort of payment. We know that many more people will join the on dole queue now that more retail businesses will close.

What we could do to help those that are struggling:

  • If its a business support them by buying something that you need. Whilst you’re at it instead of visiting the big supermarket chains why not visit a local grocery store instead?
  • Leave a nice review of them online
  • If its a person that is struggling, offer to help them out if you can. It could be with food or a care package.

The future of our cities post COVID

What would our cities look like post COVID? We talk about it here with many of them looking like a ghost town now due to the restrictions!

There would be some redesign of the buildings, particularly in office towers to make sure that everyone stays 1.5 meters apart. The buildings would need to be environmentally friendly as everyone is conscious about the environment. We would also see more people in cars due to the coronavirus concerns on public transport or better yet: walking or riding a bike to work.

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We would also see some people being redeployed or moving to the country side where they need workers. Things most in need are doctors, nurses and tradies. They also would need some people to work in the factories since many people died during COVID.

The restaurant scene will have changed a lot. There will be a lot more outside dining as many people have to stay 1.5 meters from each other. Also some of the city streets will be closed off to cars due to the need to make more space for tables. Some restaurants and cafes will have closed for good. NPR talks about the struggles that many businesses will have after the pandemic.

There will be many people forced to live on welfare and so after the pandemic many food banks will struggle to survive. The Guardian supports this argument by saying that many city dwellers will be more vulnerable. The Toronto mentions that Coronavirus has brought out the inequality issue and we will see more of this in the coming months and years.


Covid19 and domestic violence

The number of domestic violence is on the rise since people have been adhering to the stay at home orders. Survivors are being forced to stay at home with domestic abusers. WebMD says that there is a significant jump in the increase in domestic violence in America. Its been the same in Australia. RACGP says that there has been a 26% increase in calls to Men’s helpline and an 11% increase in calls to 1800 Respect. There was a 75% increase in searches on mental health support services online at Google.com. Governments around the world have increased their funding for mental health, but not much else is allowed whilst they tackle this COVID crisis.

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The Age also reported an increase where women where forced to stay with them and some of the perpetrators looked through the phones and other things. More victims are now coming forward after the lockdowns are eased.

Our recommendations to the Government

  • To have gyms open so that people can vent their frustrations with staying at home
  • The current Stage 4 exercise lockdowns aren’t enough- we can’t do a lot in one hour and for some people it means more violence
  • To let people see an agreed family member that doesn’t live them- like New Zealand, it should be some sort of a bubble.

5 stay at home ideas

We are all in lockdown and will be for some time. Even when we do get out of lockdown there will be some restrictions.

So how do you make the most of lockdown? For when you are by yourself and that are not Netflix!

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  1. Do a cross-stitch- pick a good one that is big and long like a tablecloth to do as that will take up a bit of time.
  2. Fix up your garden. If you have a tree prune the branches. Fixing up your garden will take some time not to mention getting rid of the stress
  3. Host a dinner catch up online- you can do this by zoom or Facebook Messenger. Many fine dining places and bars now host their own virtual meet ups over wine. Whilst its not free its a good way to let your hair down and see the outside world. What’s more they will send you all the ingredients and wine that you’ll need and then you can cook up a storm.
  4. Join a virtual exercise class- Les Mills have some awesome ones and if your gym is shut they will have some online classes for you to join. Sometimes they might a charge a fee to cover the instructor costs but for most their members its is free.
  5. Read a good book. The longer it is, the more time consuming it would be and it would take your mind off the pandemic. But make sure that you like the book. And you can read it on Kindle.

10 ways to deal with stress during the pandemic

Lets face it! Life can be very challenging during these unprecedented times. We don’t know what the future holds a few months from now and some people are out of a job. In Australia the unemployment rate is set to peak at about 10000 jobs lost.

Psychology Central has listed 10 ways to deal with the stress and we list them here.

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Stick to Routines and Rituals

It’s important to know where you stand. Even though the virus might bring some uncertainty into people’s lives. It’s important to have some sort of structure in your day to day life.

Keep a journal full of thoughts

Its important to write about how you feel each day. You can do this online or in an actual book.

Try something different

For example, you could try making jam or bread. Or you could try a new craft such as sewing. Or you could do what some people do and that’s to renovate their house DIY style.

Talk to people online

Let people know how you’re feeling whether good or bad. You can schedule a video call and usually Facebook and Instagram chats are free as well as What’s App chats.

Play word games and think of ways that the word means something positive to you

What I love to do is play word games with my WW cards and I will let you know of the results soon.

Don’t forget that we are all in this together

Soon we will get out of this and emerge on the other side

Meditate

Set aside 10-15 mins each day just for meditation to help you relax and clear your mind. There are lots of Youtube videos if you are new to meditation. A lot of your favourite yoga and meditation centres are hosting their own classes online and if you sign up to their email you’ll know.

Set boundaries

Set some boundaries for yourself. You can’t control what others do, but you can set some for yourself in how you will deal with this pandemic.

Be creative with your thoughts

Focus on other things other than the coronavirus and the negative things. Watch some good news or a movie.

Hope these tips help. And remember that if you need some mental health support don’t be afraid to reach out to various mental health support services online.


The Uk releases a new campaign on obesity

This is an anti-obesity campaign as about 641 million people are obese worldwide. Brazil is one of the hardest hit countries but it also has one of the highest populations who are obese with 40 million people being obese. Brazil is a poor country with many people on welfare and as such they cannot afford the basic fruits and vegetables.

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I found out about this campaign through an Instagram friend of mine. And then I did a bit of research and it turns out that it was started by Boris Johnston after his scare with Coronavirus. He needed to lose a bit of weight.

People who are obese have a higher risk of getting the Coronavirus. Coronavirus is a respiratory disease that affects the lungs, liver and every organ in the body. When you’re obese you cannot breathe well.

The Better Health Campaign will ban all ads on Junk food before 9pm. It also ends some of the buy one get one free deals on junk food

Does Australia need to follow all of this “anti obesity” campaign?

The answer is no. We should be able to enjoy food when we want to. But however I would say this, the ads for junk food should be banned throughout the day. As for the buy one get free one free campaigns I think we can be disciplined to just share the food with others. We are known for sharing food with other people.

Moreover we need more access to fresh fruit and veg especially for those that are on welfare.


How not to have skin breakouts whilst wearing a mask

There are people that have skin breakouts whilst wearing a mask. In Melbourne we have to wear masks unless there is an exceptional one not to be wearing one. A skin breakout is not one of those.

People have been fined for not wearing a mask.

If you have a skin problem (ie a rash or acne) whilst wearing a mask, I would say these things to help alleviate the problem:

Have a good diet full of vegetables, grains etc. Make sure that you are getting enough fiber

Drink lots of water. Lots of water helps to hydrate your skin.

Wear a fabric mask if you can. Fabric is a lot easier to breathe in. Those paper ones can easily dry your skin out. You can also wear a scarf or a buff as a face mask. But some fabric masks might be made out of harsh materials and some people cannot wear wool. So find what works for you. Most people can wear a cotton mask.

What soap or laundry detergent you wash your mask in matters. If you use a soap or detergent that is harsh on your skin, then you’ll have some skin problems. I love OMO laundry detergent as its not harsh on sensitive skin. I also have this soap at home that is good for sensitive skin.

Take care of your skin. Make sure that you are wearing plenty of moisturiser