Maintaining Wellness During a Pandemic

we are in this together

“Stay the Blazes Home” is the order from our Premier. Though we’ve not had a chance to “warm up” to this lockdown and the ever changing rules, one thing we can attest to is that in a stressful situation one must remain mindful of their own wellness, both physical and mental. This time presents new challenges, so it’s important to arm ourselves with tools, some new and some trusty, to work on ourselves so that we may continue to support those around us. Perhaps above all, maintaining safe social connections while distancing is key as we seek a semblance of normalcy during this event.

As a society we usually complain that there just isn’t enough time in the day as we hurry from task to task, event to event. For many of us that is now flipped upside down. How do we manage this gift of time so that it is well spent and not a heavy burden?


Stay the Blazes Home

Getting creative is a great way to pass the time

As mentioned in the introduction: most of us are not trained for this, and there was no warm up. Our Small Option Homes are their own communities, just like other homes, and we encourage fostering those communities through healthy choices. We offer the following as ideas that we are using in our small options that might be helpful to you in your homes.

Within the home there are so many things we can do to foster a healthy environment for all of our residents. A great place to start is with odd jobs. Spending your pandemic time inside an organized home as opposed to a disorderly home will really help with remaining calm. Getting things like drawers and closets organized also means when you go to find items, you’ll spend less time looking and more time enjoying the things you planned on doing. The process of organizing our living space can also have psychological benefits. In a time when so much feels out of our control we recommend finding something you are in control of, like how you arrange your closet, or how you keep your desk, and control it to the max! Also, sharing time in organized spaces means everyone can focus on their time and the activities at hand as opposed to the distractions that mess and disorganization can bring.

Creating can be extremely rewarding, mindful, calming and inspiring to others. Creating doesn’t mean you have to paint like Monet or write like Shakespeare. It can be taking some time to journal, write a song, compose a poem or sketching a simple image. Doing this can be enjoyable for you, and heart warming for others when it gets stuck up on the wall or fridge. Maybe you would enjoy making up top 10 lists, like the top ten rock songs to listen to during the pandemic (coming soon from one of our residents) or organizing a sing-along with your family, roommate, or over the web. If no one you know plays instruments that’s fine - just use the radio or your favourite streaming service on your phone and belt with your favorite tunes, or maybe even learn a new one! 


A special thing we’ve been doing in some of our homes has been organizing and growing vegetable gardens.


Vegetable gardens are wonderful ways to bring people together. Through planting, nurturing, harvesting and finally sharing the bounty. This whole process is very straightforward to follow, and can be done outdoors if you’ve got a yard or in a window in pots and trays. Growing food is a magnificent way to stay in tune with both nature and nutrition.

Home fitness goals. Before you click away - stick with us for a minute here. Fitness doesn’t mean you’ve got to be able to run a marathon or swim the English Channel. It’s simply the process of maintaining or bettering your physical well being by practicing exercises. There are workouts designed for folks who have no equipment and they’re being shared all over the internet free of charge right now. They’re easy to follow, pause and play, and at the end you’ll feel generally awesome. Search your favorite video platforms for workouts from crossfit to yoga, and everything in between. Lots of local gyms are also doing live stream workouts by donation.

Grocery and meal planning. Now more than ever many of us have extra time we’ve never had and with that we can learn or practice good meal planning choices. Nutrition is an important cornerstone of wellness, and nothing makes eating well as easy as planning. Breaking a day down into 3 main meals and some snacks is sometimes the easiest way to begin. 

Write down some of your favorite meals, and spread them out across the days of the week. Sprinkle in your favorite nutritious snacks and you’re all set. As you lay out your meals on each day, you’ll want to note your ingredients and prepare a list. From there you now have a grocery list for a week. If it’s possible - during these times do your grocery shopping as infrequently as you can by getting more at a time. We also recommend having a good plan for how you will disinfect both yourself and your groceries for when you get home, and ensure that everyone in your home knows the steps and can help with these new procedures as much as they are able. As was mentioned above, feeling in control is an important thing these days, and knowing what controls you have in place for things you are bringing into the home will go a long way.

In our city (Halifax/Dartmouth Nova Scotia), at least one of the major grocery store chains is offering online shopping and curbside pickup. This is a very safe option if you’re able to organize to pick up or have it picked up for you. Being well organized in the kitchen will make for a much smoother time when your belly starts rumbling. For folks living in our Small Option Homes - cooking together has always been a wonderful source of joy. And while these days we are keeping more space between us, with a bit of planning there can still be ways to share in this process. If your space is set up for it, and you can be safe: give it a try! Learning to cook even something simple, like rice or oatmeal, can reinforce a sense of pride and accomplishment in surprising ways.

It’s also helpful if you need medication and your dispensary will allow - that you order a one month supply next time. Planning on this level is all about figuring ways to stay home and not need to go out, or lean on people to go out for you. As with grocery stores, many pharmacies are offering curbside pickup and even deliveries. 

Maintaining social contact during this period of social distancing is very important! It’s not perfect, but technology is at a place where we can do video calls just like George Jetson and his family did. We can use platforms like Google Hangout, Zoom, Skype and more to connect face to face with friends and loved ones, and even create magical media across borders. We can do it on our phones, tablets and computers - even certain television sets. Of course, you can always just call someone on the phone for a chat, or go even more old school and write an actual letter! The important thing is to reach out and connect with people you care about. Tell them about your day, share what you are grateful for, reveal what you worry about, and show them that you are there to listen to them as much as you want them to listen to you. 

E-Learning is a fantastic way to build on or learn a new skill. A lot of schools and training organizations are giving away free or highly discounted training content. There’s never been a better time to learn something new and actually have some time to practice it. This can be anything from photography lessons to learning how to use a computer better. Seeing organizations come together and share their knowledge like this is amazing, and will hopefully serve to better participants’ lives through, and on the other side of this pandemic.

When we’re in isolation like this - reaching out and seeing a familiar face or hearing a familiar voice can shine a bright bright light on an otherwise cloudy time. These are indeed challenging times and they’re prompting unfathomable changes across every part of our lives. In times like these, maintaining wellness is more important than ever. 

Be well, stay safe, wash your hands and stay the blazes home! We hope you found this information helpful, and if you would like to discuss it further, or reach out to increase the support in your or a loved one's life, please contact us through the links on our website.