Based on the current official advice on the corona-virus (COVID-19) health crisis, our advice to you is to put off planned neighbourhood events until the health authorities tell us that meeting face-to-face is safe again.
But while we are having to distance ourselves physically, we should continue our social connections with others.
Here are some great ideas on how you can stay Socially Connected with Neighbours while Physically Distancing:
- Set-up a WhatsApp or Facebook group: if you have a neighbour list, add your neighbours’ numbers into a WhatsApp or start your own Facebook page. (Be prepared that not everyone will want to connect this way, but for those who are familiar with these platforms will find them a useful tool to use.)
- Join your existing local Neighbourhood Facebook group and stay connected with others. Sharing concerns and worries is an important way to stay mentally healthy.
- Make a list of vulnerable people with phone numbers and arrange volunteers to call people regularly to check on their well-being.
- Letterbox-drop a flyer offering help to your neighbours. Download our template here.
- Set-up a sharing/helping circle to share a meal, offer some toilet paper, hand sanitiser or other items in need. You might even share favourite recipes with what’s in your pantry.
- Set-up a Neighbourhood Happy Hour = having fun and staying connected – at a distance!
- How about Singing from the Balconies like in Italy!
Fun and Inspiration from Around the World!
- Couch Choirs are popping up around the world-bringing joy in the comfort of your own loungeroom!
- Start a Rainbow Hunt in your neighbourhood!
- Start a Bear Hunt and get your kids out walking the block and on the look-out to brighten their day.
Share your ideas with us: Hello@NeighbourhoodConnect.org.au
If you must meet Face-to-Face
- Stay 1.5 metres apart from each other
- Don’t shake hands – try these greetings instead.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after meeting people
- Avoid touching your face
- Meet in well-ventilated areas, preferably outside.
- Do not meet with other people if you are ill, have been travelling overseas or have been in contact with others who are.
When you have to stay home and self isolate, online and PC games can be a great way to virtually meet up with others, have some fun and keep up your spirits up. Here’s some suggestions for online games to play together.
Look after and nurture Yourself
In the current situation of social distance and quarantine, many people are being forced to stay home. This unexpected and rapid change to our routine can be restful for some but is perhaps stressful for others. Most importantly, be mindful that looking after your own well-being and mental health will help you to continue to be able to support others during this time.
Here are some tips to nurture yourself:
- Keep a healthy perspective – access quality information and remember this period of isolation is temporary to avoid the spread of the virus. Here are some useful tips from BeyondBlue.
- Walk in nature – spending time in the outdoors is a great way to lift your spirits and lose that extra stress you might be carrying. Take time to breathe the fresh air, watch a sunset or embrace the quietness.
- Have an Unplugged day – shut down your phone, turn off the WiFi and spend a day totally uninterrupted.
- Try out some new recipes – cooking and experimenting in the kitchen can be a fun and creative way to fill in the extra time at home. Challenge yourself to try something new or make something to share with a special friend or neighbour.
For the latest official advice on the Corona Virus (COVID-19), see www.Australia.gov.au.