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Tips for staying healthy and positive while in isolation


Scott Boyd

April 27, 2020
Travel and lifestyle

As the full scope of the COVID-19 pandemic becomes clearer, it’s also clear that Canadians will be required to maintain the current physical distancing protocols for some time yet.

For those already struggling with job losses or who have been personally impacted by this health crisis, you have our deepest sympathy. We know that it has been a challenging time for many Canadians. We’re also aware that as the need for social distancing continues, retaining a healthy outlook will be a growing challenge.

Staying active is key to dealing with feelings of isolation and even though we have to limit direct contact with others for a while yet, there are a number of things you can do to maintain a positive outlook. Whether you live on your own or have your family with you, check out some of the suggestions below for helpful ideas to keep busy and productive.

Learn a new language

Duolingo is a language-learning website that uses a game-like approach to discovering a new language. You can study for free and Duolingo also offers a premium service which provides an ad-free experience.

Other popular language apps include Rosetta Stone and Babbel. Both are subscription-based services that promise to help you master a new language.

Learn to play an instrument

How many have a guitar or other instrument stashed away in the closet that, despite your best intentions, you never learned to play? Maybe you even took lessons but never managed to get past simple, “beginner” songs.

Online music instruction, particularly through Youtube, offers an incredible diversity of lessons for practically any style or instrument you can imagine. A quick search will yield virtual music schools many of which offer free lessons as well as subscription services for more personalized lessons. You’ll also find very skilled teachers offering live one-on-one sessions via Skype.

Work on your fitness

While social distancing has forced gyms to close, you can still stay fit even without exercise equipment. Known as bodyweight training, these no-equipment-needed workout sessions use the weight of your own body to provide resistance training so you can continue to “feel the burn” from the comfort of your own living room. There are even apps available that show you how to perform no equipment exercises and help you track your progress.

When it comes to working on your fitness, mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. With so much uncertainty in our lives right now it is understandable if you are feeling the strain. The Calm App is designed to help you better manage the stress in your life. It provides meditation exercises and a library of stories and music intended to help you, well, stay calm even when the stress can be overwhelming.

Another app designed specifically to help those having difficulty sleeping is the White Noise app. The premise is very simple; white noise produces an even sound that blocks out other random sounds which can make it difficult for some people to rest comfortably.

The White Noise app takes this one step further and even lets you select your favourite relaxing background sound to serve as your personalized white noise. Choose from waves gently rolling onto the shore, a campfire crackling with crickets chirping in the distance, or even a Tibetan singing bowl!

Tackle that “to do” list

If you’ve been avoiding the list of projects around the house, there are lots of great apps out there to help you tackle some of these jobs. Thinking of painting your living room but not sure what colour to go with? Check out a virtual room painter app first that lets you see the results online before you even put paint on the walls.

For more complicated renovations, you can use home design apps to plan renovations and even see how the final results will look when finished.

Play together to stay together

It was not all that long ago that family time meant gathering around the kitchen table to play board games. In this digital age, you can play many of these old, familiar games online and better still, you can play with others online.

Finally, keep in mind that we all have different circumstances to manage and it may not be possible to do some of the things we’ve discussed here. But the important thing is not to lose sight of the need to pull together and do our part to see us through these challenging times. Please continue to follow the social distancing rules as put forward by health officials and know that Oaken is here for you.

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Scott Boyd - Author bio

Scott has been writing about the Canadian financial markets for over 25 years. His insights have been published in a number of leading publications including the New York Times, CNN Money, and the Huffington Post. Scott currently serves as the Contributing Editor for the Oaken Blog.