Joy seems a little harder to come by these days, but it is something that we all need to seek out in these uncertain times. I was speaking with a Greenwood parent last week about what her family has started to describe as “COVID Days”--those days when the impact of the pandemic seems greater and we have to try a little harder to feel optimistic.
Some of this we know is chemical. We need our fresh air and exercise to manage the stress imposed by COVID-19. This recent McMaster study gives evidence that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times weekly can boost mood, reduce psychological distress and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety relative to those who are sedentary. The article also gives you a chance to participate in their most recent study.
But what about the little things that bring about joy? I have always enjoyed my morning coffee, but I swear it is hotter and tastier than ever--perhaps I just appreciate it more not rushing out the door in the morning. I am learning about people who have worked out ways to play their favourite games online with friends and family that they cannot visit, and of course even dance parties are happening virtually--it’s hard not to smile when you are dancing! On an evening last week we played Virtual Family Feud as a staff, and for an hour and a half we forgot about COVID-19. We were too busy chanting “good answer, good answer” to be thinking about the impacts of the virus.