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Q-TIPS, part 2:

Four more ways to stay (relatively) sane in quarantine!

Although there have been rumblings recently about “Cautious Re-openings” both in the U.S. and here at home, Canada’s doctors and scientists are still recommending staying at home if you can. Therefore, since quarantine season is in full swing, in solidarity with my fellow Isolators out there I am currently sporting the very latest in stay-at-home fashions. Loose-fitting leggings and unflattering sweatshirts, now is your time to shine!

In all seriousness, though, while this time is difficult for many, please remember that by staying home, you are keeping yourself, your loved ones, and those Healthcare Heroes and Essential Workers safe – and that is no small feat. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, and practice all the self-love skills you can.

By now, most of us have more or less settled into the “new normal”, however you define that for yourself. But just in case you’re starting to climb the walls a little bit, here are some more tips and tricks to help yourself (and your boredom) while you’re staying home and safe.

Remember that social distancing does not apply in all forms

There was a short period back in early April where they considered changing the term “social distancing” to “physical distancing”, and I for one wished that it would have caught on, because you CAN be social without being physically close. And honestly, I think we can all practice a little more “social closening” without breaking any Health Canada rules. Check-in with loved ones in any (virtual) manner that suits your fancy. Texting, emailing, calling, Skype and Zoom are all appropriate methods of communicating with others.

While it may not be everyone’s favourite method of interacting with people, digital communication can help fine-tune your writing style, and is a great method if you live far away from your loved ones. By focussing on communication first, we all may come out of quarantine with stronger family ties and a new perspective on those we choose to interact with.

Indulge yourself!

There are countless articles on the activities that you can do to be productive while remaining inside, but let yourself do something that you’ve always wanted to do if you had the time. Of course, that MAY include useful skills, like learning an instrument, learning to cook, perfecting your artistic technique – but it COULD also just be that special bottle of red wine and that one series you’ve been wanting to binge for ages – or that book you never finished, or a new video game.

Maybe for you, indulgence means dressing up to the nines for a virtual date (or just for yourself!) and ordering yourself an ultra-fancy meal. Whatever it may be, take this time to let yourself enjoy – your mind and soul will thank you for it. Learning new skills is a great thing to do for yourself, but don’t forget that it’s okay to indulge and go easy on yourself.

Don’t forget – you ARE free to move about the cabin!

If you’re like me, the transition from sweatpants into pyjamas can feel like a blur when it seems like virtual work, activities, and socializing blend into each other, and before you know it, the day is gone. Whether you are married to the elliptical machine or detest physical exercise, remember to at least take a little time away from your screens and move around a bit. There are many at-home workouts that can be found online, from yoga to circuit routines.

Our very own Ladysmith Parks Recreation and Culture people are getting into the act – check out their YouTube Channel, it has a bunch of exercise videos, as well as cool Kid’s Art classes – free!

Fresh air is also important, so try to go for walks, runs, or hikes to clear your mind. (Please remember to be mindful of social distancing and abide by local regulations to keep yourself and others safe). This can also be done virtually via platforms such as Zoom, so you can sweat and commiserate over a tough workout with others around to support each other.

Self-Reflection & Meditation

Now is an excellent time to reflect on anything that you may have not been able to previously, for whatever reason. The time for introspection, goal-setting, making vision boards, taking advice from various self-help books, budgeting, and any other sort of reflection is now! Doing this may activate new emotions and insights, and may help you feel more in touch with yourself and your life after stay at home orders begin to be lifted. 

As important as it is to check in with yourself and do some heard emotional work in self-reflection, also take some time to turn your mind off. Meditation comes in many shapes and forms, so let your hard-working and stressed brain take a breather as you tune out to some music, sketch whatever comes to mind, garden or take care of potted plants, or practice more traditional forms of meditation through breathing and visualizations. There are many apps that can help guide you with this, whether you are a newbie or veteran meditator. 

And Finally…

Most importantly, remember that this lockdown will not last forever. It is certainly tough now, but with time, patience, and a little effort on our part, we will come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever before. Healthcare workers, grocery store workers, food delivery workers, and many other essential employees are working hard to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional needs. By taking care of yourself now, you are doing yourself and others a favour in the long run. It is not often we get so much time with ourselves, or whoever we may be quarantined with. So take a deep breath, get yourself your favourite adult beverage, and take some time to remind yourself of the things that truly matter for you!

Stay safe!

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