Isolation: Coping During COVID19
With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 the one thing I am certain of is that it is a crazy time for everyone. Our world has been changed very quickly and we are now trying to define what our ‘new normal’ is. Some of us are social distancing, some of us are self quarantined, some of us are living in isolation but all of us are having to make changes to our lives.
Right now I struggle because I am still immunocompromised. I grocery shop during the designated times for ‘vulnerable people’ to minimize my exposure. I walk my dog daily, avoiding others. My connection to other humans has been changed for a while. But as worried as I am, I also feel grateful.
I am grateful for all the steps that everyone in Canada is taking to protect themselves, and the people like myself, who are extra vulnerable.
How Canada is Protecting me
For me, all of my doctor’s appointments have become virtual appointments. I have been transferred to a new lab for my blood work, I now go to a special lab that is specifically for those of who are at risk. This special immunocompromised lab in Calgary, is a well oiled machine! At my appointment time I pull up to the door, I will wait in the car until someone comes out to get me. The nurse then brings me immediately into a private immunocompromised room. I got to a special immunocompromised vaccine lab now too.
I know that people say 2020 is a terrible year but personally, I am so grateful for 2020. 2020 will always be the year I conquered my biggest demon-my MS. I know that COVID19 is a weird time to feel grateful and not everyone feels the same way I do. As grateful as I am for conquering MS, I have had to get creative and stick to a routine to make sure that I do not go stir crazy at home. So I thought I would share some of my key suggestions.
Here is how I am managing my sanity during COVID:
I’m educating myself:
I’ve signed up for two courses, one is a social media one and the other is on writing. I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made on both of them. I also have a goal of reading 3 books a week- 2 self-improvement or non-fiction books and one fun read (these may tend to me cheesy romance ones). For each ‘productive’ book I try to find 2 takeaways from each book.
If anyone is looking for a good book to start with – check out the 5 am club – it changed my daily habits and I now wake up at 5 am every day! 😂💪🏻
I’m Setting Goals:
I’ve always been a list person, kind of weird- I know. But right now I’m using it. Every night I write myself a goals list for the next day so that way I have clarity on what I should focus on. The goals can be simple like reading a chapter in the book or getting through a lesson for a class. It’s great because every time I cross something off the list it feels like a victory. Right now, for me, every victory is important.
I’m Staying Active:
I walk my dog twice a day for about an hour each time. This time is great for both our mental and physical health. I’m also doing a daily burner from my favourites in person favourite gym. Crush Camp and Rumble, their workouts are vital for keeping me motivated and keeping me fit while I cannot go into my gym.
I am eating healthy food:
This feels especially important right now. Having nutrient-dense meals help my physical health and adding an extra treat helps my mental health. I meal plan for both of these every week, ensuring that I have the groceries to make healthy meals and snacks and a little extra treat to add to the day. This week it was a deep and delicious freezer cake and I cut myself a slice every day (you can see my latest cake in my instagram post.
I remind myself that I am physically distancing, not social distancing. My family and I call each other frequently through out the day to keep our spirits high and feel connected to the people in my life. Have you heard of the House Party App?!? I can now play games like head’s up with my family and friends, while staying home safe and sound ❤
I’m revisiting my old habits:
I have free time! Back to sewing, it is. I haven’t sewed in a while so now I am working on more dresses and small fun projects to go along with it- like doggie bandanas and homemade masks.
COVID-19 is scary and it’s normal if you feel frazzled or a little overwhelmed. I know that to combat these feelings I limit myself to checking in on the news only once a day, to stay informed but not scared. We should take 5 minutes each day to practice a mindfulness gratitude meditation – it definitely helps me go to sleep each night feeling gracious (here is my favourite mindfulness app – the best part it is free!).
As a friend and a healthy professional, I am here for anyone who is feeling lost, lonely and needs to chat ❤❤
Stay happy, stay healthy.
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