Like many work places in the city, our team has advised staff to self-isolate in an effort to flatten the curve. What does that mean; “flatten the curve?” At this stage, COVID-19 is here and — though many people may get infected — it doesn’t have to happen all at once. By adopting measures, such as self-isolation and social distancing, we can keep the number of cases at a manageable level for our medical teams across the city, province, and country. It sounds scary, but this is a good thing. There are so many ways to cope with this new, but temporary way of life.

The digital world we live in allows us to maintain connections and our daily routines in different and creative ways. Just take our team, for example. Agent Catherine van der Oye says “I’m cleaning out stagnant energy that’s been sitting for years in boxes, and finishing things off like my will, insurance things, RECO update and taking really long walks.” Like many others, she’s taking the extra time at home to do all the things a busy schedule doesn’t always allow for. “[I’m] reaching out to clients and chatting, I also did an online class with Chelsea from Studio 3 this morning.” Though many self-isolators are turning to their couch and TV for some much needed rest and relaxation, Catherine says “My challenge? Restricting Netflix and popcorn with lots of butter. It’s so weird slowing down to a healthy pace, smelling the clean air in the city, being present for our friends and most importantly, ourselves.”

What about those of us who want buttery popcorn and friends at the same time? There’s a solution for that too! You can stream anything on Netflix with a friend, or even a group of friends by installing Netflix Party onto your desktop. This extension synchronizes video playback and adds a group chat, so you can host long distance movie nights and TV watch parties. (Only available on Chrome browsers)

Executive Assistant, Janine, says she wants to keep her routine as if nothing has changed. Her challenge is keeping it up for the next 13 days. As for me, I’ve decided to do the same. I cleaned off my never-used-at-home-desk and find that sitting here to work makes me much more productive than if I was on the couch with my laptop in front of the TV. On the plus side, the commute to my desk is a lot faster. With my regular work commute out of the equation (we all know how long a commute to Toronto can be), I’m able to get so much more work done, which is important for my team in this situation.

It’s also critical to keep your mental health top of mind. The first few days may seem easy, but cabin fever could be around the corner, so self-care is important now more than ever.

Make sure you exercise

Personally, I have a FaceTime workout planned with my sister later. I love the idea of staying connected with family while trying to hold together some semblance of my normal routine. If you’re having trouble staying motivated find someone to hold you accountable, video calls are a great tool to be in touch with someone without being near them. There’s also a world of free videos on YouTube at your fingertips. Or check in with your gym or studio, chances are they’re offering online courses while their physical locations are off limits.

One thing is for sure, our pets are also happy to have us spending more time with them at home. Don’t forget to take advantage of the time with your furry friends, take them out to enjoy a brisk walk or hike.

Limit your time “online”

Too much access to the negativity can cause some panic and anxiety, read a book or magazine instead. While it’s good to keep up to date on the situation, be mindful of where you are getting your information.

Think positive thoughts

“I am starting each day with gratitude for this amazing team,” says Rochelle DeClute. Make a list of what you’re thankful for, share it with family and friends who are also in self-isolation, quarantined, or practicing social distancing.

Learn something new

Try teaching yourself a new language with an app like Duolingo, try a new recipe, or a new hobby. Use this time to do those things you’ve regretted not having time for.

Organize and de-clutter

Like Catherine, many of us have decided to take advantage and go through the many closets and items that have been neglected, even Rochelle, “I had a bin delivered. I am going to clean out a bunch of junk from the garage and also clean out some closets.” There are many places your used and unwanted items can be donated, where people in need can find them.

It may feel isolating and lonely right now, but we’re all in this together and we can take the time to help each other get through. Reach out if you have questions or suggestions for keeping busy during this time.

What are you doing to stay sane during self-isolation?

Amy McIntee
Union Realty Brokerage Inc.

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