Life as we know it has radically changed in a matter of weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving crisis with no real end in sight. That is not to say it’s all doom and gloom. Quarantining at home is giving many of us the opportunity to slow down; a lifestyle change that is good for our wellbeing, but in ordinary circumstances quite hard to achieve.
The Koskela team has been working remotely for several weeks now, and we have been sharing ideas for surviving, and even thriving, during quarantine. There are opportunities aplenty to learn and broaden our perspective, explore and satiate our curiosity, stay informed, keep calm and keep active.
We have also included some ideas to support the community. While everyone has experienced upheaval during this time, some have been hit harder than others, so it’s important to give back if we can.
Without further ado here is Koskela’s roundup of tried-and-tested titbits!
Cultural Competence – Aboriginal Sydney offered by The University of Sydney
A free online course that uses Aboriginal experiences and narratives of Sydney to explore the key themes and capabilities of cultural competence. The entire Koskela team is undertaking this course in 2020 to broaden our perspective on First Nation Australians.
8 books on Indigenous history & culture that will move and shake you
At Koskela we are deeply committed to Australia’s Reconciliation movement. We encourage you to read some (or all!) of the books on this list to gain a better understanding of the perspective of First Nation Australians. We have included a bonus list of 7 children’s books if you would also like to engage your kids.
Google Arts & Culture
Content from over 1200 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world’s treasures online. Zoom Into Van Gogh's Terrace of a café at night or Browse Portraits of African Americans or Explore the collections of The National Gallery in London.
ABC’s The Economists presented by Peter Martin and Gigi Foster
This half-hour weekly programme airs on Radio National, but you can download it as a podcast anytime. The hosts provide excellent in-depth analysis of the Australian economy and it’s especially worthwhile listening to the latest episodes for an understanding of the effects of COVID-19.
Coronavirus offers "a blank page for a new beginning" says Li Edelkoort
The infamous trend forecaster suggests we are entering a quarantine of consumption that will eventually allow humanity to reset its values. This is a fascinating and ultimately hopeful perspective on the crisis.
Boho Beautiful: The Digital Yogi Life
If you are feeling anxious one of most effective treatments is to move your body. Check out this excellent YouTube channel packed with yoga classes and guided meditations. The videos range from 10 to 30 minutes in length; ideal for a quick sanity break. We recommend the Beginner & Relaxing Yoga playlist in particular.
Is working from home giving you a sore back? Commit to one Pilates class per day and improve that posture! BodyLove Pilates is a studio specialising in pre and post-natal workouts that comes highly recommended by Koskela’s mums. They livestream classes and also have a great library of online workouts on their website.
Sydney Dance Company Virtual Studio
When in doubt, dance! Sydney Dance Company’s has launched a Virtual Studio with dance classes for everyone, at any experience level.
APS media release
The Australian Psychological Society has released advice on maintaining positive mental health in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. The media release includes a list of trusted scientific sources for up-to-date information.
Waking Up meditation app
There are hundreds of meditation apps on the market, but this one developed by neuroscientist Sam Harris has a two-pronged approach of practice and theory. He posits that the purpose of meditation isn’t merely to reduce stress or make you feel better in the moment – it’s to make fundamental discoveries in the laboratory of your own mind. Wow.
The Book of Life
A free resource accessible on the web, or you can download as an app. The Book of Life is an offshoot of The School of Life, which was founded by the influential contemporary philosopher Alain De Botton. It’s a series of essays written by many people over a long time that cover the most substantial things in your life: your relationships, your income, your career, your anxieties. The homepage has been refreshed with stacks of coronavirus-related content that will soothe and reassure you during this very strange time.
Watch & listen
Isolation Island #1
There are plenty of COVID-19-themed Spotify playlists cropping up, but this one curated by Australian music composer and sound designer Gary Sinclair is our pick. He intends to make a new playlist every week until life resumes to normal. "Hopefully this will help boredom, ease anxiety and provide some excitement. There will be no specific genre." It gets our thumbs up for excellent easy listening.
Install the Netflix Party Google Chrome Extension
In this new age of social distancing watching TV has suddenly become a social activity. Instruct your gang to install the new Google Chrome extension, which syncs video playback and adds group chat to your favourite Netflix shows. Get started with a Studio Ghibli marathon; all their delightful animated films are now on Netflix.
Did someone say movie night?
Our marketing coordinator and social impact coordinator have curated a list of some incredible Indigenous films and TV specials. Not only will this help thaw your mind, but it will broaden your perspectives in a time when we're all starved for sense of community and togetherness.
Look after your community
Stand by the hospitality industry
- Continue to support your local café by getting your morning coffee takeaway.
- Make Friday night order-in night! #GreatAussieTakeaway
- Order lunch from Two Good, or donate a $7.50 meal to a shelter
- Help keep OzHarvest’s vans on the road - every $1 given will allow them to deliver two meals to someone going hungry.
Be a good neighbour
Pop a note in your elderly neighbours’ post boxes with your mobile numbers and an offer to help or have a chat over the phone with a cup of tea. Better yet, have that cup of tea with your neighbour over the fence, at a 2-metre distance!
Find ways to virtually volunteer via the BCorp organisation, Vollie.
Spend with them
The Instagram account @spendwiththem was originally founded by motivational speaker Turia Pitt to help small businesses affected by the bushfire crisis. Now they are helping Coronavirus-affected businesses, too. The account promotes the goods and services of local ventures and provides information on where you can buy direct.