Our lives have been impacted drastically by the COVID 19 pandemic and it has been a difficult and frustrating journey to navigate through the complex pathways to recovery & normalcy. As a country, we were progressing well but the course has suddenly shifted in the past few weeks and our numbers have increased significantly which is a concern shared by all of us as a community.
How can we keep safe and maintain our physical, emotional, and mental health during the pandemic?
The term social distancing was unheard of pre-pandemic. It has been a difficult adjustment to shift our behavior and attitude to maintaining this requirement that interferes with our ability to maintain social interactions. However, to ensure we can fight this pandemic head-on we must comply with these recommendations to ensure our communities are safe and hospital numbers are low. Only through curtailing the infection rate can we hope to reverse the effect this pandemic has on our economic, social, and personal life. We may feel that we are strong or immune to the virus but cases have shown that it can affect healthy adults and cause serious side effects.
Social distancing does not mean that we have to cut out our loved ones from our life. As long as we follow the provincial regulations we can interact with our close friends and relatives. As university students, it is important to avoid large gatherings or parties as this not only places you at a really high risk of catching and spreading the virus to others but also breaking provincial laws mandated by the province of Ontario. Please stay vigilant and understand that people of any age group can be immunocompromised & succumb to the devastating effects of this virus.
Wear a mask!
Just please wear a mask. There should be no room for discussion. The preventative approach always wins. I agree it has been a huge adjustment however it certainly beats taking strong doses of medications or dealing with the guilt of spreading the virus to those who are vulnerable and immunocompromised. If you study the approach to combating the virus that countries like Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan adopted, the use of face masks has played a significant role in keeping the numbers low. This is important as these countries have a much higher population density compared to us in Canada and have seemingly returned to a normal state of life compared to us in Canada.
Looking for unique face masks that express your sense of individuality? Check out Etsy and support local businesses.
There have been some positive studies emerging regarding Vitamin D levels and immunity. Sources of Vitamin D include sunshine, dairy, green leafy vegetables and fish. In the North, it is difficult to get adequate sunshine throughout the year so supplementing with extra Vitamin D can be beneficial. Cod liver oil is another excellent source of Vitamin D as long as you are able to take it safely.
For Vegans & Vegetarians, certain plant-based milk alternatives and mushrooms are good sources of Vitamin D.
Focus on a personal Hobby
The pandemic has dramatically changed our lifestyle and our day to day distractions as well. It was easier to just head to the mall or attend various social events to avoid the mundane moments where we seek an escape. Replace the restrictions on social and outdoor activities by learning a new hobby, language, or skill. Allow yourself to focus on learning something that has always piqued your interest or passion. It could be cooking, knitting, painting, or crafts. It could be learning something completely unrelated to your career. Creativity can be expressed in countless ways and this is the time to invest in yourself & follow your passions. You never know what you will discover about yourself. We all have special gifts bestowed on us!
Check out Pinterest to explore your hobbies and create mood boards to begin your new journey.
Let me be clear about the term ’Self Care’. The message and its essence have been misused to pander to our impulsive behavior.
Self-care does not mean you do whatever you feel like doing to get a dopamine rush. It means to understand yourself in a holistic manner and to engage in habits or rituals that elevate & strengthen the Mind, Body & Soul. It means to interact with yourself in a kind manner and have a healthy dialogue about your mental & emotional health. It is to give yourself permission to stop running and be present so that you can focus on what you truly aspire in Life.
Social media has its benefits but it places huge pressure on us to succeed in ways that may not align with what we truly seek. Self-care can involve journaling your thoughts or emotions, meditating, or getting your hair done. It is fluid and is unique to everyone.
Some healthy self-care habits to include:
Meditating or Yoga
Engaging in a new hobby or exploring your creative side ie; cooking, painting, crafts
Taking social media breaks
Indoor or outdoor gardening
Walking in nature to calm your nervous system
Practicing gratitude or keeping a gratitude journal
Including superfoods such as berries, dark chocolate & green tea in your diet.
I hope our first blog has been helpful in giving some insight into how we can address the inevitable effects of a global pandemic.
Stay safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Nyah Shaikh – Leasing Manager for Miz Rentals who enjoy Travelling, Food, Home Decor & Healthy Living.