“Maybe it’s not as bad as it appears. It’s been said that there is a time for everything and that everything has its season. It is always difficult to witness the seeking destruction of leafy green forest, but it may ease our minds a little if we can remember that there are many cycles to the ecology of a forest just as there are many cycles to life. It goes on, adapting, striving, and reestablishing itself on its own terms. Even in the embers, there is a new spark of life.”Teejay Blackman
The above quote by Blackman may be on bushfires and its benefits, but isn’t it so apt in giving us a sense of direction as we battle the bushfire that is COVID-19?
Since its first onset in December 2019, human beings have lost so much. People have died and continue to do so, though thankfully, with vaccines that’s reducing. We have remained shut in, expressing spacious solidarity in ways never imagined before. And apart from those involved in venue-based activities, everyone else is working remotely and maintaining distance. Children are mostly being home schooled while other categories of learners are doing so online.
Expectedly, there is a decline in mental and physical health status of Canadians as reported by StatsCan. Families are in self isolation and quarantine, negating the idealism of social interaction, physical bonding and the likes.
There is much you can do to protect your health and those around you by following the protocols recommended by authorities. Stay the course and this too shall pass.
So, having done all to protect both ourselves and others from contracting the virus, what else can we do to continue making life meaningful? Or how can we lessen our stress during these tense times?
It is to go on living!
It is to go on thriving!
It is to never give room for despondency!
Here are multidimensional suggestions on coping with our new reality without going the way of loneliness, depression, anger, fear and many other manifestations of negativity:
- Learn something new.
Think of ways you can invest more in yourself, then go for it. There are a wide range of online courses that you can avail yourself of, both paid and free. Which ones will enhance your skills set? Which course will open the doors to new opportunities during and after the lockdown? Which books do you need to read for a more improved you?
- Be socially creative.
How can you connect more with people using the available communication space – Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. How can you tell stories through your status, profiles, messenger etc. to connect with more people? Do anything that will help you and others connected to you sail through these times. Be more intentional. Be more creative. Use technology to spread your wings.
- Protect your mind from negativity.
Guard your heart with all diligence. Don’t allow every negative bird perch on the rooftop of your mind. You may never recover if you do. If you need to shut down television, Facebook or any other communication platform in order to maintain your sanity, please do. It is not your job to share (mostly negative) breaking news. We all need to send out more positive energy around always.
- Preserve healthy routines to stay healthy mentally and physically.
There are so many exercises you can do at home. And make sure to have your children join in if you have them. Have awesome moments with your family going through dance and exercise routines together. Plan healthy meals together. Cook meals together. Have all sorts of competitions indoors…cooking, targeted weights, handyman jobs, mental games, etc. It’ll help bonding in the family and you’ll emerge better on the other side of the pandemic. Families are reconnecting. You don’t want to be left behind.
- Distribute love in unique ways.
Send out food hampers, craft supplies for children in your neighborhood. Post comedy skits whether they are yours or the ones you come across on social media. Just imagine and consider what is possible.
Hopefully, this plague will soon be over. The Public Health Agency of Canada recently stated that “As vaccine delivery continues to ramp up, there is increasing optimism that widespread and lasting immunity can be achieved through COVID-19 vaccination. Benefits are being seen among groups targeted for priority vaccination and as vaccine coverage increases across Canada, we can expect further benefits to protect more Canadians over the coming weeks and months.”
That’s something hopeful. That’s the silver lining. We will get there someday soon. But between now and then, let’s stay safe, sane and brave.
This article contains excerpts from Episode 107 of The Immigrant Life Podcast.
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Written by Yinka Bakare.