First we want to say welcome to all the readers - we have established this to help you through our current COVID-19 pandemic that has many isolating and practicing social-distancing, as well as to connect with our clients. Perhaps isolation is by choice or has become mandatory for someone we know whom has been affected by the COVID-19 virus. For some, isolation or feeling alone (even before this pandemic) is a daily challenge.
The word isolate, defined by any dictionary, means to cause (a person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others. As human beings, we function best if we have healthy social connections either in person or online. During this pandemic, online is the safest outlet until we can flatten the curve and move forward with our social interactions.
With the advancements of technology, there are many ways to connect socially with others. Some of these technology platforms include: FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Email, Texting, and of course... picking up the telephone (Thank you Alexander Graham Bell), among other platforms.
Technology has allowed society to access a magnitude of information and knowledge - if you are reading this, you already have access to technology. Although technology is a great outlet for situations of isolation, it is important to have other outlets. Being alone or isolated will not be as challenging if we have a hobby or interest of some kind. Many hobbies, interests or activities can be done solo. There is a vast variety of hobbies or activities that one can do...
As defined by our dictionary (aka: Google), a hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time, not professionally and not for pay. Hobbies help keep our minds active and allows us to pass time when other activities/routines are on hold.
For those of us who currently have at least one hobby or leisure activity already built into our routines, getting busy with them is easy during the social distancing or isolation that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon us. For the others who are not sure what they are interested in, try something new or finish a task that has been waiting for you to complete. Let your inner-child help you decide what would be the best activity or hobby for you to implement into your daily routine while we await the conclusion of this pandemic.
We have many ideas to pass the time including: reading, journaling, crafting, drawing, coloring, painting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening (this can be done indoors or outdoors), puzzles, playing with playdoh or clay, baking or cooking, playing solitaire, candle making, scrap booking, yoga, and so much more. If children are present, look to them for ideas. Chances are we will be having fun for hours building blanket forts or Lego cities, playing hide-n-seek, acting out a Disney movie scene, or creating new foods the family will enjoy (or not?). YouTube is a great resource for ideas and step-by-step instructions on any hobby or activity you may be interested in trying.
While we all continue to practice social distancing, it is important to keep active to reduce our stress and improve our mental health, we are suggesting to keep an eye on our community members who may be alone or isolating. Help them out by sending a care package or a little note to let them know they are not alone.
Mental health is a concern for everyone - it does affect us all. Let's take care of ourselves and those we care about during this crisis. Additional resources to help us through this difficult time can be found on albertahealthservices.ca or call the Centre, we will do our best to help. We have counselling available.