Self Care During a Pandemic

I think we can all agree that Covid-19 has created a lot of panic, misinformation, and frankly, unease.

Personally, I live in a house with someone who is immuno-compromised, so I’ve been watching the virus, its movement, and the steady progression closely. Watching new cases, including one in my own neighbourhood, develop, Is disconcerting.

My children are out of school for the next three weeks. I’m working from home indefinitely. The streets of Canada’s largest city are busy, but far less so than usual. My last subway ride during rush hour – on Friday morning – was eerily quiet. Theatres – including those showing Come From Away and Hamilton, are closed. Art galleries, museums, libraries, all shut. Even the malls are limiting their hours.

I am, (correction), I was, starting to worry. But I decided very quickly that worry wasn’t going to solve anything. So, here’s how I plan to cope with this social distancing.

  • I’m creating a routine. My usual work day is 9 to 5. So, I’ll wake up, work out, shower, and dress as usual. While I don’t need to put on proper office clothing, I do need to dress. Pyjamas aren’t an option
  • During March Break, the kids will be able to do as they please. I’m not going to create a plan for home schooling, or days of homework. I’ve stocked up on card games, art supplies, and books. They’ll be allowed screen time, video games, and time to play in the kitchen (they both love to bake). After March Break? Well, there will be more of a schedule including online classes, documentaries, and more
  • I bought flowers. I love pretty things. And flowers are pretty. Yes, they’re in a Tupperware container (the perils of having things in storage), but beautiful tulips make me smile
  • I’m in touch with family and friends. Texts have been amazing. I’m carefully selecting who I spend 1:1 time with, within our own homes, but they are dear to me. We’re letting each other know our health status. As an extrovert, these touch points are critical to my sanity and feeling of connection to others
  • Cleaning. Now is a great time to make sense of the clutter than a winter of hibernation created
  • I’m tuning out. I don’t need to know everything about the virus. I don’t need to keep on top of the news daily. I don’t need to read everything. I also don’t need to spend endless hours on social media obsessing and panicking over all the small details. Keeping informed is good, obsessing is not
  • I’m supporting others, and using social media for good. Paradoxically, on Facebook and LinkedIn, I’ve created public threads where small business owners can post who they are and what they do so they can share with larger networks. It’s important for us to support each other throughout this time, especially those whose incomes rely on public gatherings and/or freelance, small business, or consulting
  • Keeping to my workouts. I’m still marathon training. There’s nothing that says I can’t get out and run, so long as I am responsible, and stay away from others. I’m also thankful for Beachbody on Demand for allowing me to keep working out at home. Avoiding a gym, but still feeling like part of a community is critical at this time
  • I’ve prepared, but within reason. I have canned goods, flour, one extra package of toilet paper, dry goods, and could easily see my family and I through a couple of weeks. But I also have enough to help neighbours if needed. And I would in a second
  • I’m still planning my trip to Niagara next weekend – at least for now. One on one time with my best friend, at wineries who likely really need the visitors at the moment, at AirBnbs that likely need the visitors, is one way to help others. I’ve checked and each winery is being careful about their disinfecting. We won’t be in public much, and we can cook at our accommodations. Nothing better than a gorgeous bottle of wine, a great meal, with fabulous company, in a beautiful setting to calm the nerves and boost the spirits

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to cope, and what your plans are to make sure you’re practicing proper social distancing. Most of all, what are you doing to remain calm and collected during this time of unease?

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