Many people have felt the shift of energy in the city and country, from the crowded grocery stores to temporary closures of businesses and exercise studios that we rely on for physical and mental health.

This can be a difficult time, but there are several ways to counteract that fear and maintain a positive outlook despite the ongoing global pandemic. Here are a few ideas:

Use this as a reminder

Daily life can become busy and you may have found yourself overwhelmed by work and other responsibilities in the recent past.

This is the perfect opportunity to put our focus back into self-care and prioritize eating well, sleeping well and exercising regularly.

This COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that your health should be your number one priority.

Connect with your loved ones

Maybe a physical, in person connection is not possible at this time, but we have many other means of connection using technology today.

Follow the advice of Prime Minister Trudeau and public health officials and reach out to friends, family members, loved ones, and neighbours.

This is the perfect time to remember what is most important to us and reconnect with the people we love. Give yourself time to catch up with family members or friends over a Facetime coffee date.

Exercise at home

Most gyms and fitness studios have already closed or will be closing soon. It is vitally important to continue tending to our mental and physical health through exercise. There are many guided workouts and yoga practices available online.

Local fitness studio, Annex Fitness, just launched a daily at home series that guides you through a workout regime twice a day via Instagram. Those can’t make it to the online sessions can opt to have the workouts emailed to them.

Fitness Blender offers a free membership and access to over 600 home workout videos, from cardio to strength training. Lululemon also offers a variety of at home workout videos from short to long classes. Click here to view.

Keep your brain active

If you find yourself spending more time at home, it is important to keep your mind active, especially for those who deal with mental health issues.

It can be an unsettling change for many to be out of their usual daily routine. Occupy your mind by diving into that book you’ve been waiting to read, getting creative with colours and paints, or watching a new TV show that evokes positive emotions.

Develop an at-home routine for yourself

The world just got the unique opportunity to take a break from reality, and a chance to reformat your day into a daily routine that works for you.

One idea is to start the morning with a motivational read, have coffee in the bath before breakfast, and carve out some time in the afternoon for a workout.

Many also have work to do from home, so building that into your routine with time for yourself in between is ideal.

Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling

If there are emerging fears or anxious thoughts with all the news about COVID-19, reach out to someone you trust who will listen to you without judgement.

Keeping these feelings bottled up can be harmful and it is absolutely valid to feel unsettled during this pandemic, but we are all working together and here to support one another.

Have compassion for yourself readers – you’re doing great!