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Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Staying well / How to take practical advantage of isolation

Topic: How to take practical advantage of isolation

  1. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    8501 posts
    24 March 2020

    Dear All~

    I wonder if it might be an idea for people to say all the actual things that can be done while cooped up in isolation. Things they do themselves or recommend for others.
    If you can think of something that has constantly occupied or distracted you, or better yet has had a concrete positive outcome one can point to later on that would be perfect (within the bounds of decency of course:)

    We already have a very popular thread on how to assist in coping with the virus

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/coping-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak

    and I'd really like this one to be on a different theme, practical occupations.

    So I will start the ball rolling with two, the first right here on the Forum:

    • The second is external and an ongoing challenge:

      Correct the National Library’s many mistakes in all the digitized newspapers from the 1800’s onwards to the 1950's. This can be fascinating and lead you not only to make resources better for all, but can even lead you to snippets of your own family history. Plus discover blogs, podcasts and all sorts of other areas.

      Would you believe there is an editors' Hall of Fame for public contributors!

      I admit the content of the link below seems a trifle imposing, but once you get started it can be completely absorbing, plus library staff (yes they are still on duty) are very friendly and helpful.

      https://help.nla.gov.au/trove/digitised-newspapers/text-correction-guidelines

      As someone who has to spend a lot of time stuck at home anyway I’d be most interested in your occupations (not so much on cooking I'm afraid – I’m on a diet:(

      Croix
    7 people found this helpful
  2. WanderingAround
    WanderingAround avatar
    11 posts
    25 March 2020 in reply to Croix

    Those are awesome suggestions.

    I would like to suggest learning a new Language, or improving your ability in one you already know. There are apps to facilitate - Duolingo is my favourite, there are many.

    After you reach a level where you can read or listen, start trying to read your favourite books, translated to your new Language, when they exist. This is very good because you revisit an old friend (books are some of my best friends), and you will learn new words easier from the context of a story you already know.

    Try listening to music in that Language from your favourite style. As an example, I was learning French many years ago and found French punk rock is awesome! (Pro tip - sing along)

    Finally, with the immense amount of material in YouTube and others, you will be able to watch videos in your favourite subjects.

    An advanced bonus, there are many classics written in Languages other than English. How about reading 'Discours de la méthode' from Descartes, or watching a favourite movie again understanding the original audio?

    It may open new doors to you, and the way technology enables us, you don't need to spend a dollar (for the content, there are many resources free, like books that no longer have any copyright and are freely and legally downloadable).

    A curious memory - As I was learning French, one of the books I read and comes to my mind in these times is The Martian, from Andy Weir. In French, it's called "Seul sur Mars". If you never watched the movie, or read the book, it's about one astronaut, stranded on Mars, by himself, for over a year. Eating only potatoes, tomato sauce and the movie makes no mention of toilet paper.

    I hope this is useful. 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 need to commit some time every day and keep yourself in touch with it, or it will slowly slip away. But don't worry. Some study will recover it easily. So set a schedule but take this as a hobby and you will enjoy it even more. Hey, maybe you will learn more than one Language.

    It's a great topic. I look forward to reading your suggestions.

    4 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    8501 posts
    25 March 2020 in reply to WanderingAround

    Dear All~

    Thanks WanderingAround, that sounds an excellent method with a new ability to show for it that opens up further possibilities.

    I though I'd turn to those for whom study or computers were not to their liking.

    I was talking to a friend the other day who mentioned "Diamond Painting", which sounded rather expensive:)Then it was explained that you stick a mass of individual tiny colored glass beads on a canvas, a bit like painting with numbers using beads, however you end up with a very different sort of picture, highly attractive and changes with the light. Has anyone had a go at this?

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  4. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    2885 posts
    25 March 2020 in reply to Croix
    Hi Croix and all,

    I've heard of and looked up diamond painting before but haven't done one ....yet.

    Being at home I was thinking of buying canvases and creating artworks with paints.

    Colouring in intricate colouring books.

    At home exercises to loose weight.

    Selling clothes and other things on-line.

    Getting involved with online sites for eg a group where u get feedback and give feedback on people's poetry.

    Writing a book.

    Trying new recipes.

    Buying a pet.

    That's all I can think of for now.

    Keep safe everyone!
    2 people found this helpful
  5. quirkywords
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    6862 posts
    25 March 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Croix, Thanks for this thread. In the corana virus thread I mentioned that we could think of a project to do while at home.

    My list is old school and does not involve a computer, like monkeys list.

    * open at any page of the dictionary and choose a word and look at the meaning .

    *sort out old photgraphs

    * use excess photographs to make a collage

    * use old calendars and make placemats or cards.

    *sort out your sock drawer

    * make a mosaic out of broken china

    *sort our your plastic container drawer and see how many more lids than containers you have.

    *see how many sticky tape and scissors you have

    *Learn a new skill

    *

    2 people found this helpful
  6. LaurieD
    LaurieD avatar
    39 posts
    26 March 2020

    Great idea Croix :)

    - drawing & painting = there are heaps of learning videos on Youtube; Johanna Basford has Inky Art School

    - set up a blog & write funny/quirky stories

    - beading & embroidery = many cultures have intricate & beautiful styles

    - whittle wood, carve, polish

    - daydream and contemplate life

    - sow fast-growing flowers eg Cosmos & sit among them

    - write handwritten letters, scan & send via email (can't do snail mail I assume)

    - learn how to sew, play the piano, a language, write calligraphy - something absorbing and enjoyable for you

    - pick a topic of interest and research it, learn all about it then pick another topic

    - personally I dislike housework but some people love to do it

    Depends on a person's temperament & talents. Make friends with "boredom" and do something anyway, even if it's just watching an ant trail. Look around you and discover the extraordinary in the ordinary that perhaps was missed in the humdrum and busyness of life.

    Laurie xo

    3 people found this helpful
  7. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    8501 posts
    26 March 2020

    Dear All, but specifically:

    Dear MM~

    I think your suggestions are pretty good, however there's one that stands out head and shoulders above the rest: "Write a book" (if it is not harmful to you to recall). Not being on this forum would allow you more latitude, and you could still preserve your anonymity.

    I've known you since you first came here and from the references you made to your past together the the things you have endured since your words and experiences would make a handbook that could be used in may professional organizations as well as to the ordinary reader.

    Dear Quirky~

    Only you could suggest "open at any page of the dictionary and choose a word and look at the meaning". Your love of books, literature and words shines through, and is a great thing. Please don't think I'm trying to be funny, quite the opposite, I share your enthusiasm exactly.

    Dear Laurie~

    The 'art' of letter-writing is being eroded fast as email and texts from hte keyboard or dictation overtake it. For pure efficiency I guess htat is the way to go, however in the process effort, style and time to ponder can be lost. A hand-written letter is something special, denoting the writer cares and is prepared to take the time to speak.

    So you have though of everything, including the difficulty of actually sending it!

    Thanks

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Quercus
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    3457 posts
    26 March 2020 in reply to Croix

    As always Croix, this thread is a God send.

    Thank you and thanks to everyone sharing ideas.

    For parents like me (who have school aged kids) learning to homeschool is an occupation in itself.

    I've rearranged the lounge so the kids have desks to work. Organised craft supplies and books etc. Hubby printed all their work the school sent. Have to work out how to use my phone for their online work but it's all stuff to keep me busy I guess.

    Craft has been a blessing. I make up any activity I can think of every day. We did paper mache Easter baskets. Made castles out of boxes for the dolls. Painted rocks. Made a marble run out of LEGO.

    Also...So what if you don't have kids at home? Google images of DIY kids crafts and activities and go for it. Search for upcycling ideas and hopefully you can reuse stuff you already have so no shopping is required. YouTube has amazing craft ideas using household stuff.

    Kids toys and games are worth considering at any age too.

    LEGO is amazing and challenging. I like it more than my kids do now. Something I look forward to is buying some LEGO for myself one day when we have money.

    Then there are mechanical puzzles, magnetic games. Jigsaw puzzles.

    Outdoor games like totem tennis are great. Handball in the driveway. Chalk on the concrete.

    We play board games. Hubby taught us to play dominos. Challenge yourself to build a card Tower. Solitaire.

    DIY projects you've put off. I washed the windows. Washed the dogs. Am sanding the door frame ready to varnish the wood again. Gardening.

    Check for nature apps to try. There are projects all the time wanting people to provide data from around Australia. Take photos and identify your backyard plants or insects. See if your local area has nature groups with websites to contribute on. Our local nature group has a page where you send info and photos of plants or animals you see. I sent photos of a burrowing frog on our block. People send wildflower sightings too.

    There are so many activities to enjoy out there. Sometimes I think as adults we have learned to always be too busy to allow ourselves the time to have fun.

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    8501 posts
    27 March 2020 in reply to Quercus

    Dear Quercus~

    I think you have mentioned on of the things that is going to keep people more occupied tan they really want.Trying to interface with the school and help children to do their lessons is an enormous challenge.

    It can be quite wearing for both parties and a fair degree of humor plus give and take may well be needed

    A close family member has been allowed to work from home due to no school, however its a pretty big ask, supervising a child and still trying to give the same concentration to work as if you were there.

    Maybe it's practice.

    Has anyone found a good balance?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    29 March 2020 in reply to Quercus

    Hello all

    Quercus I homeschooled my son right up until year 6. It was by choice. It was one of the best times of my life. Think you grow closer as a family. Also siblings often learn to be good friends and can grow closer together.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Croix
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    8501 posts
    29 March 2020 in reply to Shelll

    Dear Shell-l~

    It's nice to hear from you, and I love your avatar, most appropriate if a bygone age, from the edge of the log cabin is that an American work?

    Home Schooling, as you said, can be a most excellent experience. My I ask if you taught your kids from the start? I have a feeling that taking a child out of school and suddenly imposing distance learning on both child and parent might be very difficult, do you think there any ways of easing into it?

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    29 March 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix,

    It is a beautiful picture isn't it. I absolutely love art like that. And also life at that time in history. I have often wondered if I would fit in much more if I lived back then.

    I believe it would be American. It is an illustration in the collecters edition of Little House on the Prairie. The illustrations are by Garth Williams.

    As for the homeschool, we started when my son was 4. He was showing much interest in learning then. Not full on or anything. I loved the fact that I taught him to read. And one day as he was sounding out letters in a short story, I saw a light switch on in him. As if it suddenly occurred to him that all this learning of letters was telling a story. I have a special image of it.

    Has for the easing into it. I am not real sure. I do know when my son did go to a public school in year 6 it took him a while to get used to it. Being couped up in a room, the bully's at the school. I am not sure we prepared him properly for that. It was a sad time.

    Just have fun when you teach them and learn and do stuff right along side when they are real little. I think they love that. We did learning outside a lot. Natural science stuff like watching a trail of ants and then just have a natural type of conversion about them. Then maybe I would Google ants, print of a free worksheet about ants. It may be a picture to colour in. A picture to label the parts of an ant. We may even look at one close with a magnifying glass. Even trace the letters in the word ant, as for a handwriting lesson. Watch a movie about ants. And read a book about them. Even construct an ant out of an egg carton and pipe cleaners. Just turn everyday stuff into a themed lesson.

    I could go on and on about it Croix. So thanks for reading all my words here.

    3 people found this helpful
  13. Elizabeth CP
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    Elizabeth CP avatar
    2029 posts
    29 March 2020 in reply to Shelll

    I had one son do distance education for a year. I was concerned because he was being bullied and was struggling with learning difficulties. I got permission to enrol him in distance education. This way someone else set the work & marked it so there was no conflict re what he needed to do. My role was to help & support him. He was in year 8. Wish we didiit for longer but he built u his confidence & wanted to go back to school but it was fine for some classes but others not so good & bullying was still a problem.

    In the summer sports lessons involved us heading off him on bike & me walking carrying containers. He rode back & forth because he could ride so fast compared to me walking. Then we'd pick blackberries to take home & make jam, pies etc for cooking class!!! These classes were not set by distance ed of course. We also would go swimming at a nearby lake after everyone else came home on hot days. We focused on his difficult subjects in the mornings so afternoon was maths science, cooking bike riding etc. He loved maths & science & ended up a year ahead of his age level in these subjects. Being able to adapt the time to suit his needs made it very effective. It meant he go all his work done on time but had time in the evenings for Scouts, Drama classes & church youth group where he was socialising with nice people. When he was attending school he had so much homework because he could keep up in class so he couldn't attend out of school activities which had a negative impact on his self esteem. Sorry this isn't relavent to thread

    3 people found this helpful
  14. Croix
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    29 March 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    This is very relevant to this thread, between you and Shelll you have both given information on teaching from home, or supporting on-line learning, both of which are, I feel, going to be increasing as the days go by.

    It looks to me that any child brought up in civilized environment is going to have difficulties when placed in a poorly supervised school where bullying takes place. Also perhaps to a lesser extent simple social interaction with peers, as home interests may be more adult.

    Your ideas, Elizabeth, for Scouts, Drama and Church Youth Group would all have greatly helped make being with those of a like age easier. Unfortunately I don't believe those opportunities are available this time and electronic? alternatives need to be sought.

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Aaronsis
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    29 March 2020

    Hi Croix and everyone who has left some wonderful suggestions as to how to get through this time.

    I did something with my kids over the weekend that I did when I was at primary school and I loved it them so thought it would be something really fun to do with mine now, thought I would share it here.

    So remember when you would write part of a story, fold your part over and pass it to the next person, they wrote the next part and then folded theirs over and passed it on...and so on..we did this so each person (there is only three of us..lol) had 3 turns. Then I read it out, it is so funny and a great sharing and togetherness thing that I found we all loved and all had a good laugh at....it never gets old.

    Hope you are all managing as best as possible at this time.

    Hugs
    Sarah

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Croix
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    Croix avatar
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    30 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Once upon a time there was
    a princess who lived in a tower
    and needed a haircut
    ---------------------------

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    30 March 2020 in reply to Croix

    She had beautiful long hair, but everytime she walked up the stairs in the tower she would trip on it.

    -----------------------------

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Aaronsis
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    30 March 2020 in reply to Shelll
    But tripping wasn’t her only hurdle you see she had this really annoying dude on a horse that kept rocking up to her tower. He would sing to her and the song went like this...............
  19. eight
    eight avatar
    253 posts
    30 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    he sang shitty radio-friendly love songs post royals-by-lorde-era. like maybe perfect by ed sheeran which in my soulless spoilsporting opinion romance is dead and all the newlyweds who thought it'd be a good first dance song killed it. "god i hate this song" said the princess every time this flynn rider wannabe rocked up but sadly she didn't have any frying pans
    3 people found this helpful
  20. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    30 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Baa baa Princess have you any hair.

    Then she would poke her face out the window, look down with a huff and sing loudly back.......

    1 person found this helpful
  21. Aaronsis
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    30 March 2020 in reply to Shelll
    “Yes sir yes sir about 476 bags full” can I ask u why you come around to my tower every day, sing your song that u know the answer to. What I would really like is to be free from this tower so.......
    1 person found this helpful
  22. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    31 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    ... she grapped the sheets of her bed and behold behold there was a frying pan under the sheets. That is wants she was hoping for all along so....
    1 person found this helpful
  23. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    8501 posts
    31 March 2020 in reply to Shelll

    She picked up the frypan,
    and the end of her hair,
    went down the steps
    to the ground floor
    where she used it to ...

    -------------------

  24. eight
    eight avatar
    253 posts
    1 April 2020 in reply to Croix
    she knotted the end of her hair to like, that hole on the handle i think they're for putting your spoons in, and heaved it up before bashing it onto the locks. she rolled a 10 when she did her strength check but that doesn't surpass the lock's difficulty class and i hope i'm not misremembering what the c in dc stands for in 5th edition
    1 person found this helpful
  25. Croix
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    1 April 2020 in reply to Croix

    Dear All

    First off I'have to say I'm enjoying the communal game about the princess and the frypan, please keep it going. (My next installment is at the end of this post).

    Apart from that, when sitting at home and feeling at a loose end have you considered Citizen Science? Here people from all over the world make contributions to human knowledge in all sorts of areas (there are thousands, not just what I've listed). They often talk to each other about their projects as they go.

    If you Google Citizen Science you will see what I mean.

    I've just listed three here to wet your appetite:

    1. Describing the changes in the seasons on Mars from hi-res photos
      https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/mschwamb/planet-four
    2. Map put the careers of famous criminals from old accounts
      https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/ajpiper/criminal-characters
    3. Use your phone to record the presence and sounds of frogs
      https://australianmuseum.net.au/get-involved/citizen-science/frogid/

    Now for the bit you have been waiting for :)

    --------------------------------------

    ... knock out the glass of a window
    She had of course padded the window first
    with the sheets to stop glass flying.
    Then she climbed out, unfortunately ...
    --------------------------------------

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  26. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    1 April 2020 in reply to Croix

    ... she was too late. The dude and his horse had galloped away. She felt a tear roll down her cheek. Then she heard a soft noise coming from the wicker basket that was on her front step. She knelt down and carefully lifted the lid and saw a....

    ------------------------------

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    1 April 2020 in reply to Shelll

    ... no wait!

    What was she thinking? What sort of royal princess goes around with their hair knotted up somehow in the handle of a frying pan. And there maybe even glass in her hair from all the glass. So...

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Shelll
    Shelll avatar
    5726 posts
    1 April 2020

    While in isolation

    You could give yourself your own natural makeover and beauty treatments. There is loads of tutorials and tips on YouTube. I actually put on a clay face mask today.

    You could also attend to neglected gardens. I worked half way down the driveway garden yesterday and pulled out weeds.

    3 people found this helpful
  29. Aaronsis
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    1 April 2020 in reply to Shelll

    ..she saw a reflection in the shards of glass on the ground and realized that all this time she was worried about her hair, that she was trapped in a tower and that an annoying dude on a horse kept singing to her, when all along she had this frying pan and she could have smashed her way out at anytime, the power was always hers and she just had to reach out and take it. So with that she untied the knot in her hair, shook out the shards of glass and picked up her frying pan, she marched down the end of the very long and stoney road to where she reached....

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Croix
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    1 April 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Dear All~

    I guess attending to the garden can be a most satisfying occupation with the fruits of your labor visible (sometimes even there for the picking) as you go. I confess I'm not an enthusiastic gardener and tended to prune à la Wal Footrot at Auntie Dolly's. However by leaving plenty of shrubs and trees I can see an never ending parade of birds throughout the year, from black cockatoos heralding rain to superb wrens chivvying their harems. I have an Observer's Book of Birds to assist me tell white-eyes from pardelopes.

    And now for something completely different:

    -------------------------------------

    ... an open stage concert with
    Helen Reddy singing
    "I AM WOMAN"
    The princess happily brandished her frypan
    in time with the music
    until she was spied by ...

    -------------------------------------

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful

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