Managing wellness in turbulent times
By now, many of us have either been directly affected by COVID-19 or know someone who has. Tending to our mental wellbeing while taking the steps needed to protect our physical health is not always easy.
There are things we can do to help manage the ups and downs of our shifting reality. Crystal Tobin-Legere, Manager, Employee Health and Wellbeing, has put together 6 daily practices to help us all care for ourselves and each other.
Develop a routine
In general, keeping to some kind of routine helps. As much as possible, focus on getting enough rest, eating well and regularly, staying hydrated, moving and stretching and taking breaks. Take it one day at a time and notice how what you’re doing impacts you. Adjust your routine if necessary.
Move your body
Fresh air and connection to outside sights and sounds can boost your mood and lower your stress levels. Try walking outdoors for 30 minutes each day. Live near a wooded area? Try Shinrin Yoku – the Japanese practice of forest bathing (time.com).
Limit your exposure to the news
Continuous accessing of COVID-19 news can lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious. While it’s important to stay informed, choose credible sources (like the Nova Scotia and Canadian government websites, WHO or NSCC COVID-19 updates) and limit the frequency that you check them.
Seek out the good stuff
Embrace silliness and laughter. Now is the time for cat videos (youtube.com) to shine! Find something that makes you smile and reminds you of humanity’s goodness. One source is Positive News (positive.news), an e-magazine created by journalists seeking to highlight things that are going well.
Practising gratitude can be as easy as taking a brief moment to look around and find one thing that you’re grateful for. Motivational speaker, Andrew Bird (@DreadfulBird on TikTok), publishes his digital message in a bottle (tiktok.com) social media series to help you relax and embrace the moment. There are also resources for gratitude journaling (positivepsychology.com), like prompts and templates, at positivepsychology.com.
Our nervous system and mood are nurtured when we engage in creating. Find some type of creative expression. Music, writing, knitting, doodling – it doesn’t matter if you’re “good at it”, it just matters that you do it.