Staying together, apart

The helpful advice you’ll wish you knew sooner during your extended homestay. Plus, a few handy exercises and stretches to keep your body moving.



Our ability to band together is something we’ve proven time and time again as a country. During the recent devastating summer bushfires, communities throughout Australia created a united front in support of those affected and now, the need for the same sense of unity is being felt once again. However, this time, it is needed in a very different way. With the message being heard loud and clear to protect our safety by remaining in the comfort of our homes, feelings of isolation are becoming increasingly common. But there are plenty of things we can do each day to help including:

  • Calling a different friend or loved one each day to check-in. This may not only be of benefit to yourself, but also to them. You could also Whatsapp, Skype or Facetime them to stay in touch visually. This is a great option for those with international friends and family.

  • If you can’t get hold of your favourite newspaper, stay connected with news online and keep up-to-date with health and safety messages via government and state websites or news programs like: www.health.gov.au/news But be mindful of limiting your consumption of mainstream media to one hour a day as it can become overwhelming!
  • It may be considered cliché but writing a letter to a loved one can be a cathartic exercise that gives you a chance to get some things off your mind and onto paper. A family member could post it for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing that yourself. Better yet, why not begin a pen pal friendship (yes, they still exist).
  • You could also share with your Facebook friends some clever ways to stay sane during self-isolation and ask them to comment their favourite ways, too!

Flex the creative muscle in your brain with these clever and crafty ideas:

  • Create a family recipe cookbook to pass down to your kids and grandkids. Be sure to include some specials tips and tricks and you could even write a little blurb about what that particular recipe means to you. 
  • Organise your photo albums, both on your phone and otherwise. Rarely do we take the time to properly organise our memories and you could even select a special few extra-special images to create a coffee table book.
  • Kick your recycling and composting into gear! And at the same time, have a look through the garage for bits and pieces you no longer need or want, then choose to donate, gift, toss or eventually sell.
  • Create a bucket list of destinations you want to visit post-isolation. These don’t have to be international, in fact, the local tourism industry is going to need all the help they can get after the bushfires and COVID-19.
  • Take up a new hobby from home that you didn’t have time to explore before, like painting, sudoku or Tai Chi. Or, perhaps it was a hobby that you pushed to the side for a while that you can now enjoy again.

Caring for your health has never been more important! Being cooped-up does not mean you can’t spend 20-30 minutes each day exercising and stretching, according to Community Moves founder and trainer Van Marino. To help us move through this time, he’s put together a handy workout that you can do from the comfort of your living room.

Van’s zippy at-home exercise routine 

Treat these exercises like a mini circuit, set a timer for 20-30 minutes, and play some of your favourite music to feed the soul as well as the body. Work at your own pace, take little breaks where you need, and stay hydrated.

Please note, this is a general exercise program for otherwise healthy adults. If you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns, you should always speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Warm-up: 30 seconds marching, 30 seconds boxing, 30 seconds heel to bum kicks. Do two rounds.

Exercise 1: chair squat x 15 repetitions

Find a chair or stool that is around knee height and stand in front of it. Take your feet out about hip-width or wider with feet facing forward. Lower your hips back and down to the front of the chair and when you reach it, stand back up again.
Try not to let your knees fall inward and move with a slow, controlled tempo.

Exercise 2: star jump or star step x 50 repetitions

“Star Jumps?!” I hear you cry. But wait… there are variations we can make so all levels can perform them. If you aren’t up to performing the traditional star jump, try simply tapping one foot to the side whilst raising the arms to shoulder height. Then move to the other foot. Start slow and speed up if you can.

Exercise 3: push-up on bench/table x 15 repetitions

Stand in front of your dining table or kitchen bench and place your hands on the edge, about shoulder-width apart. Take a little step back and lower yourself to the bench, then push back out again. Move closer to make it easier, further away to make it harder. Try not to let your back arch in toward the bench and keep your shoulders away from your ears.

Exercise 4: reverse hand clap (straight arms) x 20 repetitions

Stand up straight with your arms out in front and palms together. Now, bend your knees and stick your bottom back slightly so that your torso tilts forward and your fingers are now pointing to the floor a metre in front of you. Keeping arms straight, take your hands slowly back in a big arc like an exaggerated clapping motion and bring them back to the start again. You should feel this movement between the shoulder blades, not the upper neck.

Exercise 5: shoulder taps on bench/table x 20 repetitions

Start in the same plank position you were in when at the top of your push-up, arms and torso completely straight, leaning on the bench. Take your feet a little wider and slowly reach one hand up to touch the opposite shoulder. Your body will want to rotate and fall forward, use your tummy muscles and hip muscles to resist against these forces. Slow and controlled movements.


Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all members of the community is at front-of-mind for Lendlease. In these difficult and uncertain times, we want you to know that we are putting the health and safety of our residents, customers and staff first. As such, we’ve made changes to how we engage with new customers for the foreseeable future in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). All meetings and inspections will be by appointment only. If you would like to visit, please contact our team on 1800 550 550.

Please visit our website to learn more about our response www.retirementbylendlease.com.au/covid19