With most of the world stuck at home for weeks on end due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a lot of the isolated are tearing out their hair trying to keep themselves sane from all the news, social distancing and homeschooling. For the next few weeks, we will be interviewing (digitally – duh) women of different industries, nationalities all over the world to bring to you the best tips for self-quarantine and working from home because life goes on even when the world is under siege from this deadly virus. Whether you’re a mother juggling between working from home and keeping the kids entertained, or stuck in a foreign country alone fearing that going back home might bring something nasty to your family members, we hope the series ignites positive energy and brings practical tips that can guide you through this journey.
We shed some light on the situation in Milan last week. This week, we’re honoured to be interviewing a Sydney-based actress and writer – Victoria Haralabidou. Speaking from Australia, Victoria talks us through her pandemic-daily-routine and some tips that have helped her feel grounded during this difficult time.
Where are you?
I was born in St Petersburg Russia. I lived and worked in Europe for many many years. For the past fifteen years, I call Australia home.
What do you do?
I am an actress and writer. It’s Saturday morning in Sydney. I have my routine. I wake up early in the morning a couple of hours before my family.
I make a coffee. Black.
Browse through some of my fav fashion sites.
I used to prep my son’s lunch and take him to school. Now everything changed and we moved on to homeschooling. It’s challenging but we are getting used to it.
What is it like where you are right now?
Things are changing rapidly around the world. Every day there are new restrictions and guidances.
My mum is in Greece. Greece is in full lockdown.
In Australia, we are advised to practice social distancing. Many places are in lockdown. Schools are still open as some people, especially health workers have no other choice but to send their children to school. I started homeschooling my son. But that’s another story…
What is the biggest impact the virus has had on you personally?
The virus affects us all. We are all in this together. Right now we live hour by hour. We are living in the ‘now’. We can’t control what is happening in our lives at all and this is hard. All the theatres are closed. TV production I was working on shut down indefinitely. So many people lost their jobs overnight. The entertainment industry has been hit hard. It is hard to stay positive right now. But we must. I must.
Is there any positivity that you have discovered since the outbreak?
People are resilient animals.
One of the comments I’ve read and was interesting is: Sensuality. Don’t ignore your sensual needs.
What are your top tips during this period?
Take one day at a time. Take one hour at a time.
I don’t have anything profound to tell you but I sometimes feel like when reminded of simple things I feel grounded.
Set goals. Simple things. I sharpened my colour pencils. I am Building a website for a play that I wrote. And for the tenth time I rearranged my wardrobe.
I bake. Apparently baking is a form of meditation.
You don’t need to be productive in the sense we had before. What is productivity anyway? You don’t have to write your masterpiece. Your best novel. Your best podcast. You can. But you don’t have to. Free yourself from high expectations.
Meditate. Look after yourself. Mental health is so important right now.
Spoil yourself. (Dark chocolate is my thing!)
Spend time with your loved ones.
And when you feel like freaking out – take a break. Reach out. We are all in this together.