Regardless of what life may have thrown at you in recent months, we all have important tasks that we want to address.

Psychologist Sabina Read takes us through why taking charge of life admin is the perfect way to make sure you’re making the most of isolation as we spring into life post-lockdown.

Take charge of clutter

A messy space can contribute to our sense of overwhelm; something many of us are already feeling in spades during these uncertain times. Sort out your clutter by finding it a permanent home and get honest about the things you no longer need.

An easy method to boost tidiness is to store items in out of sight places like drawers – rather than open shelves – which will help with our already overloaded senses.

For those working remotely, a tidy workspace will help ease feelings of overwhelm and bring a sense of normality to working from home every day.

Get your check-ups 

Another big task that people often avoid is health check-ups. Procrastinating about these can create unnecessary anxiety if we have a niggling concern we’ve been putting on the backburner. Being on the front foot and being proactive with all your check-ups can calm your mind or catch things early. Many medical centres now offer online booking services, allowing you to schedule in a time that works for you.

With medical developments,  diagnostic methods and testing periods can differ. The Pap test has been replaced with a new Cervical Screening Test every five years. A great way to stay on top of your check-ups is to speak with your GP about what you need – flu shot, BreastScreen, blood pressure test – and when. Set yourself phone calendar reminders and alerts or add check-ups to your diary to stay on top of your health.

Check-in with your finances

Tracking spending and outgoing costs for your household is meticulous work, but entirely useful. More importantly, understanding your spending habits will ultimately, in the long run, will help set you up for an easier road ahead.

What emotions come up for you when you think about money, spending and saving? You can get an idea by keeping track of your spending and pinpoint small, but achievable, choices that will create new outcomes. Not only will keeping track of your finances help you with budgeting and maximising your savings, but it will also lay a more positive foundation ahead for future financial decisions.

Sort out your will

Many people bury their heads in the sand when it comes to wills. With more than 10 million adult Australians without a will, many families are at risk of having their lives directed by the state, if assets are not protected.

Getting your will organised doesn’t always require costly visits to a solicitor. Luckily, many online tools are available such as Safewill, which is helping to remove the complexity by making the process of writing up a will just as easy as buying car insurance or paying a phone bill. All it takes is filling out a simple questionnaire online, and a bespoke, legally binding will document is yours in 1-2 days.

 Reassess your insurance policies

There’s no denying we’re in uncertain times, so to ensure you and your family are prepared for any unexpected curveballs, take some to time to review your current insurance policies or consider taking out a new cover for circumstances that may have changed.

Are you about to become new parents; do you need to change your health care policy? Have you moved house; what does this mean for your home and content policy? And, thinking about people you care about, is it time you looked into life insurance?

There are so many great comparison websites out there that take the time out of comparing policies! The other benefit is you could be saving money.

Research says women are more likely to worry about the “health and economic effects on their families.”

These tips will help you get through the above tasks and your everyday life. 

Talk about it 

Before you set out to tackle any big tasks, it’s a great idea to create a healthy forum for open communication. This not only helps with knocking over life admin duties but also ensures everyone is adapting to the latest changes or new family processes.

First and foremost, have a conversation – with your partner about what needs to be done around the house or with all family members about schedules and duties to be delegated. When everyone contributes, we avoid score keeping and a family culture of trust and gratitude can develop more easily.

A recent study found that there are some differences in how men and women are experiencing the pandemic, with women “more likely to worry about both the health and economic effects on their families and more likely to report taking protective actions”. So to reduce the stress gap, start talking and listening,  and find ways to share the practical and emotional load.

Look after you

This period has meant a change in routine somehow for all of us, which has required some adjusting. Those who work from home can feel the boundaries blurred between work and play and therefore, can find it difficult to switch off from daily emails and demands.

The best way to combat this is to check in with ourselves – we all know our limits and the personal consequences of burning out. A simple act of self-care every day goes a long way. Everybody has the choice to tune into their needs to work out what small acts will help fill your cup, whether that’s an evening bath or going for a walk.

Routine and ritual are essential tools to help individuals and families set some healthy boundaries and create a sense of normality. These daily routines act as anchors and help us move through the entire day at a steady pace, with regular check-in points.

A great starting point is to ask yourself “what are the most essential, helpful or enjoyable parts of your day” and think about how to ensure these become fixtures of your day.

Sabina says meditation and mindfulness are great practices to help manage unhelpful thoughts.

Shift your perspective

Keeping focused on what we can control, and being grateful for what we have, are two powerful approaches to help maintain a healthy mindset. Meditation and mindfulness are great practices to help manage unhelpful thoughts, with apps such as HeadSpace, Smiling Mind or InsightTimer a great place to start; and gratitude journaling is another excellent tip for keeping our perspective positive.

Isolation has been challenging for many, but it doesn’t have to be completely fruitless. Taking these challenges in your stride is not only great for improving your personal health and wellbeing, but also your relationship with friends and family as we navigate these times together.