During the early lockdown stages of COVID-19 this year space within our homes become of fundamental value. Gone were the days when extra bedrooms could be used as dumping grounds for unneeded items – these areas were now needed to form home offices or accommodation for loved ones that moved in temporarily. Space was now a luxury.
But here in Canada there was of course a bright silver lining during this time – Spring had arrived, bringing with it promise for a better tomorrow and days spent outside laughing and loving life in nature (and off the couch!).
Now here we are on the other side of a beautiful summer looking back to the indoors as Fall winds down towards Winter and many find themselves asking: Now what? With winter trips being cancelled, Holiday parties being postponed, and any gatherings at all likely to be limited to households only – are we really back to just hanging out inside, watching the snow accumulate on the window sill?
The answer is actually NO.
There are a variety of things that we have learned from our first brush with ‘life in lockdown’ and Behavioural Health specialists are urging folks to think ahead. A recent article by the Mayo Clinic suggested a variety of ways that folks can mentally prepare for COVID-19 this winter, especially in condos where space may be more limited than in a detached home.
1. Schedule virtual interactions: Make sure to stay in touch with those you love.
2. Change your screen time routines: Designate ‘screen-free’ periods in your day for your family.
3. Evaluate how much and what type of news you consume: Take breaks, information in excess can be overwhelming and disorienting at the best of times.
4. Acknowledge changes in holiday traditions: Maybe arrange a video zoom call with family and friends from around the world on Christmas eve!
5. Learn a new relaxation exercise: Mindfulness is important and relaxation is key!
6. Plan ways to give back: Helping others is a great way to focus one’s energy during an otherwise uneventful day.
7. Engage in play: Get some puzzles and colouring books – because why not? It’s a fun way to unwind!
8. Seek professional mental health: Remember, it’s ok to not be ok!
Be well, stay safe, and be kind.