Routine [and] Connections

Submitted by Guest Blogger Joanne MacLean, UFV President

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed what we do and how we do it. Many people tell me they feel as if the virus is impacting every aspect of life, and that can pose a threat to both our physical and mental health.

We’ve been asked to physically distance ourselves from others outside our bubble. And although it’s no fun, we are following the advice of medical experts to flatten the curve and slow the impact of Covid-19 on our health system.

We are all doing our part for our elders and seniors, for our families and co-workers, for our front-line health heroes and those who are immunocompromised. By working and living apart we are standing together.

So take a moment and create some positive space for yourself. Be strong and find the approach that best works for you to maintain a positive state of mind and body during these unusual times.

Here are some things that work for me …

I get outside with my family of two and four-legged members each day. I find a walk in the backyard or the woods somewhere, or even around the block, helpful. I focus on the trees in bloom, the birds calling and singing. I smell the grass greening and feel the warmth of sunshine. And it fills me up.

With some additional time in the evenings, I’ve returned to the kitchen. I like to cook, and having time and space to cook, to create and nourish, brings me happiness.

I make a greater effort to connect with family and friends. It may be by phone or video chat or just touching base via text. Videos are shared daily, and I’m making sure that I laugh, one of those really good, deep belly laughs, every day.

I try to move, in some fashion, every day. My exercises are not perfect with limited equipment, but I always feel energized and better when I’m done. And it’s not about perfection!

I’m returning to things that I would usually reserve for vacation, like puzzles and games and cards. And I’ve realized how much I enjoy them.

I try to follow a routine, and have created a small space to work effectively from home. I know that I should not work all the time, but continue with a balanced routine that includes work, family, leisure, and reflective time for thinking about the things in my life that I’m grateful for.

I’m more aware than ever of the importance of sleep. It hasn’t worked every night, but I’m intent on gearing down at night, on working on my sleep habits and patterns, and ensuring that I sleep enough. Sleep is often the best healer.

You see, I find that routine and connections are good for me. Isolation is challenging, but creating a list, a schedule, a set of goals, and other ways to feel connected to family and friends, to work and to my co-workers, is helping me to be happy and healthy and grounded during this unusual time.

So, let me know what works for you. Share your successes with your family and friends.

Be good to yourself.

And above all else, be well and stay safe.