MYS Blog

Dealing with Social Isolation

Ideas & resources for self-care, strength & connection during COVID-19

As we enter week three of COVID-19's presence in Manitoba, changes to life as we know it are being felt by many of us. Changes to holidays, vacations, homeschooling, challenges with work and childcare, changes to our regular exercise and self-care routines, missing our friends and family; these are just a few things affecting us right now.

While we all try to do our part to keep a safe, physical distance, it's important to remember there is a difference between social distancing and social isolation.

Social distancing allows us to maintain aspects of our daily routines, in ways that meet safety recommendations from Manitoba Health, Shared Health and Health Canada. On the flip side, social isolation involves withdrawal and loss of connection. Social isolation can be compounded by stress, with adverse affects including lonliness, symptoms of anxiety and depression, disrupted sleep, and other mental and physical health issues.

As humans, we seek connection; to ourselves, to others, and to our commmunities. This is where we find our sense of belonging. Social interaction is very important, especially during extraordinary times like these. Happily, there are many ways to stay connected, including calling or Facetiming friends and family, joining an online club, fostering a pet, walking through our neighbourhoods and greeting others from afar.

It's important to remember that the help and support you need is still here for you - even though it may look a little different right now.

It is also important that we continue taking care of ourselves (relaxing, daily exercise, focusing on our relationships, etc.) and that we draw on our strengths in the face of adversity and tough times. Keeping our routines as normal as possible and integrating opportunities for fun, creativity and movement in our days, and the days of young people, is crucial.

Here are some tools to help, including a handout on creating routines and daily schedules from our friends and partners at Inspire Community Outreach.

Remember, you are never alone. We're here to help. Stay well.

Setting up a daily routine

Create your own Sweet Dream spray & bedtime routine to help children sleep well

Mental health & exercise worksheet

Self-care assessment for youth & adults

Postive steps to wellbeing

Relaxation techniques

Social support worksheet for youth & adults

Support map for children

Strength Shield activity for children

Draw yourself as a superhero

Colouring pages - Mandalas