Right now, we’re sailing through uncharted waters. There’s a shared sense of anxiety and uneasiness about the future. And physical distancing, while necessary, can amplify the loneliness we feel.
That’s why, right now, the priority shouldn’t be to spend all of your “newfound” time working, or learning a new skill, or picking up old hobbies. As we navigate through these stormy seas, what’s most important is putting your physical and mental health first.
Here are some self-care ideas and online mental health resources to help get you through the next little bit!
Connect from afar
Friends and family are, quite literally, one phone call away. Our screens are connecting us to the people we can’t see in person.
This could mean calling up an old university roommate for a virtual coworking session. This could mean watching a TV show or movie with a good friend using Kosmi or Netflix Party. This could mean joining one of CSI’s virtual rituals and chatting about the mundane with some familiar faces.
Make time to relax
Take a moment to ground yourself, calm your breathing, and clear your mind. Light a scented candle, take a long hot shower, or bask in the afternoon sun.
Headspace is offering a free selection of meditation, sleep, and other resources to help guide you through this!
Get some fresh air
Breathing in fresh air and absorbing the sun can do wonders for your mood. This can be as simple as watching the sunset or doing some reading on your balcony or front porch!
When you feel ready to stretch your legs, take a stroll around the neighbourhood. (Don’t forget to smile at other wayfarers you pass by — from a safe distance apart!)
Channel energy into a good workout
Lots of gyms, yoga, and dance studios are offering virtual classes to help pass the time while we stay inside. Some instructors and choreographers are also teaching classes online, so check their Instagram or YouTube pages to see what they’re up to!
CSI member Catherine Chan launched FitIn Live. A $10 day pass gives you access to a full day of livestreamed fitness and mental health classes run by local instructors!
Find solace in art and photography
Art is a wonderful way to express emotions! You could have your own paint night by following along a Bob Ross video, or spend an afternoon colouring in images based on the collections of over a hundred libraries, archives, and cultural institutions.
Peer-to-peer mental health support
CSI Regent Park member Big White Wall is an online community where users can support each other. They also offer self-guided courses, self-assessments, and creative tools to help you express how you’re feeling. Trained practitioners are available 24/7 and each user is protected by anonymity, so they can feel safe sharing how they feel.
Big White Wall is free for all residents of Ontario aged 16 and older, thanks to funding from the Ontario Government and Ontario Telehealth Network.
Tools and coaching for mental wellness
BounceBack® is a free skill-building program for youth and adults delivered through online videos and phone calls with a coach. It is designed to help adults and youth 15+ manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry.
Self-care looks different for everyone! As long as it helps take your mind off of the world and brings you a bit of joy, it doesn’t matter what you choose to do.