Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Written by QCMHA member, Laura Foster
I never thought I would live through a global pandemic. And I’m sure not many other people expected to either. When the pandemic first started, I found it quite difficult to find hope; COVID-19 seemed never-ending. However, now that it has been about seven months since it began, I’ve found ways to cope and ensure my wellness during these times. I've made a few key changes to my life that may inspire one other person, which is my goal in writing this blog post. These changes I’ve made are:
Using a Car Less
While this may seem like an odd change, I found a new love for cycling this summer. I had more time on my hands and wanted to stay active since the gyms were closed. So, I started to go on my bike for rides around the neighbourhood. I found these rides were a great way to get some fresh air and burn some calories! If anyone is interested in cycling, running, hiking, or really any outdoor activity, the app Strava is a great way to track your progress and routes! I would challenge myself to ride 20km and would feel so accomplished after checking Strava. While the weather is still nice out, I encourage you to go on a walk or run and enjoy the crisp fall air and pretty changing leaves!
Staying on the theme of physical activity, I find my mood increases significantly when I am active. I started using the Nike Training App, which has short exercises based on which muscle groups you want to target. Aside from this, I began watching fitness YouTubers and found I loved following along with someone as if I were in an in-person fitness class! I’ve also found yoga and meditation to be a great.
3. Finding New Recipes Online
I’m sure I’m not the only one who took up some extra cooking or baking in quarantine to pass the time. Yet, I have found that it boosts my mood to continue the act of seeing and testing new recipes. It can be fun to cook with another person or simply take some time to bake something alone while listening to music or a podcast. A favourite recipe of mine lately has been to make banana chocolate chip muffins!
4. Planning out Working Time
One thing that has helped me have a sense of routine is setting a time each day that works for me to do schoolwork. I’ve found that starting work by 10 am each day has helped me get into a routine and remain productive. I try to set aside time at night to stop doing work and watch a show with friends or relax. This makes it feel kind of like a workday because I can forget about school for the night! This helps me to de-stress and get to sleep at a decent time.
5. Do a Worry Drop
I read online that some people write down in a journal a few things that are going well each day. I started doing this, and it has helped me drop any worries and focus on the positives. For example, I wrote down these three things today that are going well in my life:
a) Online classes have let me rewind lectures and understand concepts better.
b) I’ve improved my time-management skills.
c) I went on a walk with my housemates.
Having these positive notes written every day are great to reflect on when I’m feeling down or in a rut.
It can be hard to maintain personal wellness in a global pandemic, but it’s normal. These are a few lifestyle changes I’ve made, and hopefully, these changes can inspire everyone to find some new ways to improve wellness in their own lives!