Readers share their stories: What you are doing to get through the coronavirus outbreak

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We're asking readers to share their stories and tips on how they are coping in these unusual times when the coronavirus outbreak has upended many of our everyday routines.

And there have been plenty of ideas from comfort cooking and meal planning; to checking on elderly neighbours; online yoga; arts and crafts; breaks from screen-time breaks; the best things to watch and play during screen-time; picking wild greens and gardening; cubby hut building; and even making a bidet (complete with picture!).

Keep sharing your thoughts and we'll keep adding to this article.

What readers said:

Exercise at some point, every day. It releases endorphins which will bring your mood up in the most natural way, reduce the inevitable stress levels, and also reduce your perception of pain. Don't stagnate. Then when everyone re-enters the world, shock them with how GREAT you look.

Read lots of books!

I will be taking a challenge of walking 100Kms a week while staying at home. Taking advantage of time. #VirtualSelfIsolation

I'm designing a native garden, planting seeds and watching them grow. Even in an apartment if you can find a sunny(ish) window sill you can grow mixed lettuces and greens. There are plenty of places to buy seeds online and to read about garden design. Plant the idea in your head and reflect on the importance of soil, flowers, trees and vegetables to our environment.

I have a small backyard and now pick wild greens which I used to shun. I get on the android tv box for entertainment and have devised an alternative to toilet paper use as I've given up looking for them at the supermarket. And I go out once or twice a week to top up food groceries. (Pictured) is my makeshift bidet system which delivers warm water servicing two toilets, each has it's own plastic switch off tap.

A home-made bidet to avoid the toilet paper queues.Credit:

My 84-year-old dad couldn’t go to his Tai Chi class, so I found a 30 minute free class for seniors on YouTube for him. Here’s the link.

After breakfast, I shower and put on comfy clothes (that aren't pyjamas), then "leave for work", walk around the block and then come home, having "arrived" to start my workday. Lunch outside for a full 30 minutes, no technology allowed. At the end of the workday another walk around the block, and then I've arrived "home". I'm also wearing my Fitbit all day and I'm not allowed to go to bed until I've hit 10,000 steps.

Trying to stick to as normal of a routine as possible is paramount. Try getting up at a similar time each morning, shower, get dressed, do a YouTube work out, eat breakfast and then get started for the day. Take regular breaks and touch base with colleagues, family and friends. We are going to get through this! ?

I help my parents buy groceries. Sometimes we use WeChat to contact local Asian Groceries, they even do home deliveries. I think it is a good way to make sure that my elderly parents will not go outside the house and expose the risk.

We have purchased an Xbox One as well as increasing our streaming service subscriptions to fight boredom. My stepdaughter has been taken out of school and we are awaiting the high school to provide work for her but we proactively signed up to the free Khan Academy learning site where she is completing a full day of lessons across maths, science, English and other core subjects. My younger daughter is still in school…At work, I’ve isolated myself to a quiet room as our workplace prepares for work from home provisions. Our world has changed so much but we fight on and adapt to whatever it throws at us.

Am reading a biography of Napoleon and listening to all the Haydn String Quartets. And keeping a very tidy house! Going out occasionally for shopping, but it is so crazy. We have a surfeit of oats, fortunately, that food which according to Dr Johnson in England feeds the horses, but in Scotland feeds the people! Hopefully no weevils in the flour…

Well, I impulse bought a guitar. Gonna find some Sufjan Stevens tabs.

Get dressed for work, go out and walk 2km, back to your house (preferably with your dog) and start your day as If you’d arrived at the office. Same at home time.

Work is forcing me to work in the office (software cloud company) even though I got back from overseas six days ago and live with someone who has slight symptoms.

Building a playing-card house.

Readers aren’t just turning to screens to keep themselves entertained.Credit:

Bunkering down at home definitely.

I work in the events industry. Almost all of the event industry has lost their jobs, we have 0 income. I just had to cancel my wedding. How does the government plan to help us? The only people who have been kind enough to help us in this situation is our landlord who selflessly cut our rent by 50% for the next 3 months. Why is the government not doing more for these types of companies? offering interest-free small business loans? COVID 19 will end, but how are we supposed to live right now and plan for the future?

Care for others. Remind elderly neighbours to ensure their prescriptions are filled and see if they need any assistance with that, shopping or other matters. Make sure they have your phone number if they need help. And for those of us on the coast, time in the surf or walking at the beach is always grounding to help keep things in perspective. Coronavirus can and should be about community and caring and support for those in need.

Maintaining a routine and exercising is helping out. Waking up at the usual time, using the exercise equipment at home to stretch, do some light strength work and skip! Currently, I'm keeping my distance from society by working from home and limiting time spent around the community to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This includes my much-loved coffees, homemade or instant only for now!

Studying. Computer Games. Keep a diary. Exercise.

We are trying to stick to the schedule as much as possible. Working from home while the three kids do some studying like maths and science from 9-2ish. 1 hour of family games. Exercising together which is actually fun.

For Prep-2 students, look at Nessy.com for amazing reading and writing lessons. Ask your School to sign up for a free institution account so that you can access it for free.

I collected a mini stockpile of quality proteins, took to exercising at home and have joined a nationwide fight for universal basic income. As Americans are doing under the leadership of Andrew Yang.

Have phone calls with loved ones. Be creative – make music, make art. Set routines for working from home. Stick to healthy work hours. Get out of your PJs in the morning to feel productive. Give time and space to your fears and worries so that they don't boil over, but also be intentional about quieting your mind from the news for stretches of the day. Limit time on social media. Look for beauty where you haven't before – the nooks and crannies of your house and backyard. Get your neighbours' phone numbers so you can check-in, especially if they are elderly or alone. Research breathing exercises and meditation techniques for anxiety. Limit alcohol intake. Drink lots of water. Be patient with others – everyone is scared and on edge. Spare thoughts and prayers for those suffering more. Keep perspective. Practice thankfulness. Love, deeply and sacrificially and creatively. Don't heap abuse on your leaders – they are doing their best. This situation is unprecedented, which means we have an unprecedented chance to be good and kind and get through it, together.

I can spend more time cooking my own food which I rarely have time when I spend 2 hours on commute every day.

In school, a new rule has been put into effect where if you show signs of illness (coughing, snotty nose, etc), you get politely asked to go home until you are better.

Nothing has changed. Still at work as a salesman for a local blind, awning and security screen manufacturer in Brisbane. It's a worry knocking on a stranger's door for an appointment, not knowing if this will be the person I catch the coronavirus from and then pass it to my family.

Been getting takeaway meals from my local Chinese restaurant to feed myself. It's quiet and peaceful compared to Coles and Woolies right now.

No childcare and no play dates. Scooter and running races with my toddler and the baby in the pram. We live in a cottage with no yard so this is the only way to get a bit of exercise and outdoor activity in the day. Otherwise, we’ve been baking, craft and playing hide and seek. The rest of the time is TV (too much to admit).

By bringing 'wine-o-clock' forward by about 5 hours.

I've taken my kids out of childcare and school so am taking them to the park for an hour of power between 8am-9am before work-from-home starts, then park again for a run around outside between 12-1pm.

Taking care of students at school and trying to sustain a sense of calm amongst all this chaos. Some of which has been created by some of the sensationalised headlines that I have been disappointed to read on this thread.

I have been feeling uncontrollably stressed and worried by this crisis. I have been trying to cope by checking for updates regularly, but it seems to be making me unable to focus on anything else. The only thing that's vaguely helped me is talking with others about it for reassurance, and telling myself that I will be okay. I think you need to have a really strong and clear mindset with this virus, and make sure to practice good hygiene! Reassure yourself in any way you can.

For a deeper perspective, I'm re-reading The Plague by Albert Camus.

STOP Work, all activities and house arrest for 2 months. That my suggestion. Follow what China is doing. The economy is gone. No point dwelling. People's wellbeing is more important right now!

We are still going outside and keeping social distance with our two years old. I think kids are more prone to infections in childcare rather than being outside with social distancing.

Set timetable to keep things in routine, or at least the list of activities. If can work from home then try to get kids out to parks or somewhere they could exercise to burn out a bit without interactions with other people.

I'M KEEPING CORONAVIRUS OUT OF MY HOME! I open my front door with minimal hand contact and use my foot to push open the door. I go straight to my sink taking my keys with me. I wash my hands and wipe my keys, as it is done in this very important video. I go back to my front door. I wipe down the handle or any areas of the door that I've touched with my hand. Then I wash my hands again. I am reducing my social activities to outside only. Beach, bush, garden. I ask people to wash their hands if they visit me and we sit outside 2 metres apart. Likewise, I wash my hands should I need to visit anyone and stay outside.

Implementing sleep training and routine for my 6-month-old.

Checking employment contracts.

Unlike some panic-buyers out there, I considered everything carefully and decided what I found more important, catching Coronavirus and then needing treatment which would see me out of work, or not unnecessary visits to the shops, cafes etc. I work outside in a very physical part-time job outside so I am not only keeping fit, I'm getting sunlight. As soon as I get home, I wash my hands with hand sanitiser. I do try not to touch my face, but I find that very difficult and quite often break that rule. Whenever couriers deliver parcels to me, I request they put it down and I'll pick it up there, and then wash my hands (quite similar to what Domino's, Uber Eats and Menulog are doing). Most importantly though is the elderly community, who are most vulnerable. We have told our elderly family to stay home and not go out unnecessarily. We keep in contact with them every single day to ensure they have company. I've even planned on what would happen if we went into lockdown! To put it short though, all you need to do is not panic, but take it all seriously. If we can do that, then I think Australia will pull through mostly unscathed. However, if we continue to visit shopping centres, gyms, cinemas unnecessarily, we're going to pay for it, whether it be an enforced lockdown, or if we catch the disease…

Praying to God to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Catch up on things around the house – breaking it up into sections so it's not too overwhelming.

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