The HerCanberra team's life hacks for lockdown 2.0 | HerCanberra

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The HerCanberra team’s life hacks for lockdown 2.0

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We’re seven weeks into lockdown 2.0, Canberra. So what have we learned?

Well, no doubt many of us have learned the value of a new streaming platform subscription (they have James Bond AND Midsomer Murders? Winning!) and the thrill that a text from AusPost can bring (I swear ‘Your package is on-board for delivery today’ are some of the sweetest words I’ll ever read) but we’re sure there are some bigger picture #lifehacks that Canberrans have discovered.

Today, the small but mighty HerCanberra team are sharing some of theirs—and they include letters, microwave meals and echidnas. Yes, echidnas.

Procuring fresh veggies and fruit without the worry of exposure sites


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A post shared by Alpha Fresh (@alpha_cbr)

Now that I’m back living with my parents for the duration of lockdown (an arrangement me and my one-person apartment are grateful for) I’m also back to worrying every time my parents and grandmother leave the house. Aren’t we all?

As supermarkets, markets and IGAs continue to crop up on the list of exposure sites, we’ve taken to ordering our groceries from Alpha Fresh*.

Boxes of seasonal fruit and/or veg start from $30 and can be ordered for next-day delivery. The produce is market-fresh and Alpha is Canberra-owned, so I know I’m supporting local.

They also have a specials section on their website where you can find goodies usually reserved for speciality stores. Hello, burger kits from Assembly, lobster and smoked trout!

— Beatrice Smith, Online Editor

Get close to nature and make some new friends.

I have used lockdown time to channel my inner David Attenborough and undertake some serious studies in nature—falling in love with echidnas!

We do our spotting on Mulligans Flat, entering at the Amy Ackman Street entrance in Forde. We just walk in quietly, and watch for a little wobble in the bushes or on the flat. We have had the most success in the afternoon, anywhere from 3 pm. The resident echidna population is so busy sticking their cute snouts into the dirt in search of ants that they barely notice you watching them.

If you find a confident one, you will be able to get close enough to see their chubby little legs and long claws at the front and their backwards-facing claws at the back. You may even hear their little noises of pure joy whilst filling their bellies.

If they are shy and scared they will simply bury their noses and turn into a frozen ball…Leave those ones alone. Would we have done this if we weren’t in lockdown, I don’t know, but the whole experience is divine and will fill your heart!

Knowing when to log off

Without normal everyday distractions, I’ve found it very easy to fall into a social media void or doomscroll for hours on end.

While I love the distraction social media can bring, recognising when my mental health might be suffering and stepping away without guilt is my main lockdown hack.

It’s the simplest things that make lockdown more bearable and the barriers I have in place allow me to enjoy them more.

— Erin Cross, Editorial Coordinator

Performing a Random Act of Kindness instead of being a grumpy slag all of the time…(or is that just me?)

The pressure of a global pandemic can bring out the worst in people (Melbourne protesters, we’re looking at you). So when someone does good work, it costs nothing to make them feel appreciated by thanking them.

In our case, it’s our delightful postie. Every day he appears at the door, in a mad flurry to get his mammoth postal load delivered on time, but always taking the time to give us a kind word.

Gurdeep’s is one of the only faces we see regularly and his genuine smile, courtesy and professionalism make him an asset to Australia Post.

We know he is working seven days a week at the moment and so my 11-year-old made him a card while I wrote him a letter which I have also sent to Australia Post.

It’s a tough time for posties. And we want ours to know he is a delightful human being who is truly appreciated.

— Emma Macdonald, Associate Editor

Convenience meal-ing and Moving

We are lucky enough to have a home office, which I share with my husband. Sweet deal, except in lockdown, when you discover your husband’s job is actually talking all day, every day. And somewhat enthusiastically (read, loudly). So I have moved myself and my computer and ergonomic chair to the dining table, which abuts the kitchen.

I would usually count close proximity to the fridge as a positive; however, during lockdown and home learning, it means that I am interrupted approximately 373 times per day as my hungry teens forage for food.

After being asked yet again, ‘what is there to eat?’, I decided to stock the fridge with enough YouFoodz to see us through weekday lunches—that way, each family member can just fend for themselves between meetings and virtual classes.

It was a stroke of genius (if I do say so myself)—one thing I could remove from the mental load of juggling home, work and supervising study.

The other sanity saver? Regular online fitness classes and walks—I have literally no excuse for not being active, given the Zumba studio is now 10 metres away, I have been temporarily relieved from ‘Dance Mum Taxi’ duties every afternoon, and a daily dose of fresh air is deemed essential. It’s something I’m determined to continue once life returns to ‘normal’.

(N.B. Literally the same day I wrote this, I managed to badly sprain my ankle and am currently moon-booted and awaiting an MRI. What did I learn from this? Make sure you wear suitable footwear on an appropriately flat surface when exercising at home!).

— Amanda Whitley, OG HC

*Alpha Fresh has an existing commercial relationship with HerCanberra, however, they have not paid for placement in this editorial and the opinions are the author’s own. 

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