Social Distancing. What is it? Is it the same as quarantine? Is it a fancy self-isolate? HOW CAN I MAINTAIN STABILITY?
SOCIAL DISTANCING. WHAT IS IT?
For most of 2020, Tommy and I have unintentionally practiced 'social distancing'. Since the first major reports about the COVID-19 outbreaks started circulating, we have been keeping educated about this virus, and best practices to keep ourselves safe. We were in Shanghai when it started becoming an epidemic in China, and immediately flew home to Hong Kong and quarantined for 14 days (my first experience with quarantining). For the days that turned into weeks after that, I limited social interactions with friends, and limited my time spent outside of our flat in general. We self-isolated and completed social distancing before it became a thing.
When we arrived home to Vancouver, we were so excited to be home. We were still wary of the fact that some people would be afraid since we came from Hong Kong, but there were no travel restrictions made on us prior to our travel up until our arrival and subsequent stay in Canada. A week and a bit after we landed, changes were made. Fast-forward to now, social distancing is the norm and we are all embracing it. Some of us are embracing it, and some others are finding it more difficult because it is a stressful time. For those that are stressed, I GET IT. THAT WAS ME. I was paranoid, stressed, I would cry randomly cause I thought the world was ending.
For those that are fearful, I get it. I was too. It's okay to be stressed and sad, anxious and worried, but it is not okay to have a DGAF attitude. Considering all the news reports (some of which I find overwhelming), I find it easier to make changes when you find the benefits and the positive outcomes, and allow for that to be the focus, rather than acting out of fear. In the end, you feel way better. I am so pleased to see that people are not turning on each other in a time of universal stress, and I hope that people continue to do what they can to help maintain stability.
THE SOCIAL DISTANCING CHECKLIST:
Self-Care: What is it?
"Protect your own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress." I believe this counts as a universal period of stress. I know for a fact that some people discredit self-care and believe that it is a sign of weakness, or something that only 'girls' do. Debunk that assumption. Self-care is for everyone, and everyone needs to embrace because we need to raise each other up and get out of this together.
So why is it important to ensure that we hit all four of these quadrants? Why do we need to make sure we do things for our self. our family, our friends, and our coworkers? These are the four worlds that create who we are. We need to nourish and provide strength to each of these parts of us in order to sustain and maintain who we are. This transitional period may become more of a long term outcome, so ultimately we need to make sure that we are okay at the core, before we help others.
Keep yourself physically healthy: eat well, exercise well, rest well, have good hygienic practices. Keep your brain active, but also allow for your brain to rest (unplug!). Keep your skills sharp, and keep your curiosity curious. Maintain your passion, do not allow yourself to become a potato! Use this time as YOUR time. Do the things that you never had the time to do, we have all the time in the world now. How are you going to implement self-care into your life?
For My Friends:
Even though we are socially distancing ourselves, that does not mean that we have to become hermits! Sure, distance from friends is essential to cleanse our mind, but sometimes engagement is just as important to ensure strong mental health. Keep connected! Facetime, Netflix has a new addition where you can chat with friends as you binge watch a show. If you do connect in person, maintain a distance of 6 ft apart. Don't let distance separate a friendship. Use the tools you have, in order to enhance your life. Tommy and I know a thing or two about distance...
For My Family:
I no longer live with my family now that I'm married, and it's almost harder because of the epidemic because I miss them and want to be with them. Thank goodness for family chats that keep us engaged: it's good to know that they are constantly keeping updated with the law and precautions. Another good thing is that we have family in Asia who have been sending updates about what to do and facts, so everyone in our family was already pretty up to date before the virus hit Canada.
You are never too old for family. Don't forget about the people who brought you up and raised you to who you are. They are in the targeted affected age range. Be mindful of them, help them. Do your part!
For My Coworkers:
Sometimes you like them, sometimes you don't. At the end of the day, that is your work bubble. What you do for work affects you, and when this is all over we don't want to have a huge depression to recover from. Close that gap. It is also a good outlet to get that part of your brain engaged and/or creative. The virus and the measures taken have affected everyone. We all need to find our inner entrepreneur spirit, and help our communities!
We're All In This Together
At the end of the day, High School Musical got it right -- we are all in this together. So let's continue to do what we can, keep our minds strong and our hearts patient, and I wanted to express my gratitude to all the frontline medical staff who are IN this medical warfront. Such selfless action and sacrifice. These people are the real heroes. Thank you.