COVID-19 Special Updates – Finding the Right Balance
What to do at home to find the right balance
Change is what has made us humans. Change is constant. Change is inevitable. But our current, rapid, and unpredictable change can leave us feeling overwhelmed and out of control.
We’re all different. We have different responses to change. We have different coping methods. We have different skill sets. And that’s a wonderful thing.
It also means that there is no one size fits all to regain our sense of control and find the right balance. Here are some ways to help you:
- Stay informed. Start with the facts. Ottawa Public Health is a good place to start. Follow them on Facebook @AgingWellInOttawa
- Keep to your daily routine. It can help decrease anxiety and maintain healthy eating. According to the Harvard Health there is positive link between your food choices and your mood.
- Create some new routines for your day. Pay attention to your meal planning, grocery shopping and sleep routines.
- Take on simple tasks to maintain a sense of accomplishment. Clean out a drawer. Put away winter scarves. Sweep the deck. Decorate your window or apartment door to entertain the neighbours during their walks.
Below are a range of links to try something new, explore new places and spaces, volunteer your time, laugh, and find support.
Try Something New
Not sure what to do with your time? Are you a gardener? Want to try your hand at growing a pot of tomatoes or herbs? Have you thought of taken an art or cooking class? Want to try yoga from the privacy of your own living room? Need other options to reduce the boredom? Here are a few local and online options to try something new:
- See the possibilities at the Ottawa Public Library’s Isolation Recreation hub. Your library card is your passport to books, movies, music, crafts, learning a language, and travel blogs
- Garden centres in stores that remain open are being set up. Many specialty garden centres are offering online and telephone orders for curbside pick-up (Ottawa Citizen)
- The Bronson Hub is offering a variety of virtual art workshops, virtual nature walks and chair yoga
- Check out the Old Ottawa South Boredom Busters
- Want to explore ways to connect with others and find support, join Huddol
- See the INFO-FLASH newsletter on Money Matters for more information on how to bank online
- Tech Boomers offers tutorials that helps with setting up devices, apps, social media, streaming services, and online shopping (English only)
- Try your hand at making pasta with Pasta Grannies (YouTube channel)
Explore your city, world, and universe
If you can’t get out into the world, why not bring the world into your living room. With a little curiosity and creativity, the possibilities are almost endless. And most of them are free.
Thank you to all the members who shared their ideas of what to do while at home self-isolating. Here are a few crowd sourced links to explore your city, your world, and your universe through virtual tours.
- Rideau Canal Video tours
- Rideau Hall
- Parliament Hill
- Canadian War Museum
- Canadian Museum of History and its Canadian History Hall and Canadian Museum of History Online Exhibitions
- Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum
- National Gallery of Canada
- Photo Stories with National Gallery of Canada
- Ingenium Canada brings together the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum
- Virtual Museums (Canada)
- French Life in the Capital (FR)
- Ottawa Rewind (blog by Andrew King. English only)
Attend events and festivals virtually
Some of the many benefits of living in the nation’s capital are world class events, festival, and arts and culture. Many are offing other ways to experience these attractions. Check them out below:
- (Virtual) Canadian Tulip Festival will make all performances, programming, and public participation available online through the website, social media, and new YouTube channel Tulip TV. If you do choose to visit tulip gardens, follow Ottawa Public Health’s social distancing rules. This year, there will be no staff, tour guides, volunteers, facilities, attractions, or concerts on-site.
- (Virtual) Canada Day will announce more details soon
- National Arts Centre livestream performances
- Ottawa Festivals has a calendar of more events
- Stronger Together: Drake, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion & More For Food Banks Canada (YouTube)
Explore the World
- Machu Picchu explore the view of the Peruvian Andes at 2,430 metres above sea level
- Pyramids of Giza see two of the largest pyramids ever built – the Great Pyramid (147 metres) and the Pyramid of Khafre (136 metres) – plus the Great Sphinx
- Eiffel Tower travel up to the viewing platform of the 324-metre tower
- Taj Mahal discover the final resting place of the beloved wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan
- Vatican City step into the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms
- Road trip from home provides a collection of fun and wonderful websites that will show you different parts of the world, famous landmarks, beautiful works of art, historic marvels, science adventures and so much more!
Explore the universe
If earthly destinations are not your thing, try other worldly adventures:
- Watch the northern lights live from Yellowknife (Canadian Space Agency)
- NASA at Home links to virtual tours, videos, and podcasts on everything space related
- Watch an interview with astronaut Chris Hadfield share his self-isolation tips
Volunteer your time
Focusing on others can be a reminder of what we CAN do, instead of what we can’t do. Many seniors volunteered before the pandemic lock down. Try reaching out to the organization you regular volunteer with, to see what they need. Also check out other volunteer opportunities you where you can still help while maintaining safe physical distancing:
- Volunteer Ottawa has COVID-19 Virtual, Light Touch and High Touch volunteering opportunities
- SPARK Ontario also has a list of opportunities across the province
Laugh and find a new perspective
- Crap wildlife photography
- 308 of the Worst Kitchen Fails Ever
- Awkward Family Photos
- Watch the Prime Minister’s infamous ‘speaking moistly’ or ‘hair flip’ videos again (CBC)
- The Lighter Side of Aging – Being Called Mister, Bifocals and Embracing Nostalgia (YouAreUnltd)
Find support: It’s ok to not be ok
This is a new experience for us all. We have access to different levels of support. And it is OK to not be OK (Ottawa Public Health). We may feel unsure. We may not know what to do. We may feel trapped, anxious, scared, and overwhelmed. It’s OK. As long as you find support. Here are a few other resources:
- Free Online Counselling: A collaboration of agencies in the Ottawa region have made free, online counselling available for those that need it
- Mental Health Tips - English Short and English Long (Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario)
- COVID-19 AND YOUR Mental Health (The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group)
- Managing Stress and Anxiety during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Booming Encore)
- Seniors Mental Health Coalition COVID-19 Resources (English only)
Other Options to Explore
July 23: War and history museums reopen (CBC radio)
July 17: The National Gallery of Canada reopens (CBC radio)
May 1: Admire the grand masters of art:
- The Louvre
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- Guggenheim Museum, New York
- MASP, São Paulo
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
May 1: Zoos and nature: