In the UK, although we are in lockdown, we are encouraged to spend about one hour outside for exercise. We can either go alone, or go with other members of our household. In an otherwise difficult situation, I am grateful for the time. Getting outside and breathing the fresh hair is good for your physical and mental health, and it is essential to stay as active as possible. Just make sure to keep six feet from other people and you are good! Get out there and enjoy a little sunshine.
I suppose given the day’s events we can justifiably say, avoid shaking hands with one another for the time being. Although I hate to wish the virus on anyone, it seems somewhat fitting that after defying world health experts that some people ended up with the virus in the end after all. I would recommend taking different actions like elbow bumps; however, maintaining six feet or two metres distance precludes that as well.
So, for the weekend, perhaps plan the ultimate staycation. Please note, it’s ok to snuggle with those who you live with, although avoid touching anyone else and keep washing your hands!
Social interactions are a little weird lately. The very few times I have ventured out, I have made sure to keep a safe distance, even from my good friends. These are simple adjustments we all have to make to stay safe. Social distancing supports your community and keeping that 2m or 6 foot distance will help stop the spread. We will all be able to share in an epic high five and hug eventually, but for now keep your distance and wash your hands.
So here we are. There are a lot of terms being used by the government and world science officials like “self-isolation” and “social-distancing” to describe behaviors we can take to limit the spread of coronavirus. As both require adjusting our social schedules and withdrawing from many group events it is easy to get both mixed up. Here is a friendly definition of both.
Social distancing refers to choosing to work from home whenever possible, refrain from taking unnecessary travel especially on public transportation, and avoiding public places like restaurants, cinemas and bars.
Self isolation requires completely cutting yourself off from the outside world. You might be asked to self-isolate if you start experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, or have close contact with someone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. In self-isolation you don’t leave your home for two weeks and avoid all face to face contact with the outside world.
Both can be quite lonely, but try not to worry too much. This too shall pass, and there will be wonderful things on the other side.
There is so much information out there about how to handle current events. The best advice is of course, stay calm and wash your hands. Washing your hands protects you, your loved ones and your community and is generally just a good idea. Even in normal circumstances, hand washing is important to prevent the spread of disease and to stay healthy – and to help keep your loved ones who may have compromised immune systems healthy.
After a major event, a big trip or something really demanding, the best way to celebrate is to make sure to get adequate rest. It is totally ok to put your feet up sometimes even if you have other things you could do. Getting enough rest and relaxation can help you be stronger and more productive overall. Take a hint from Avery the official spokespig of The Haven Zoo, having a cuddle under the blankets can be the best way to recharge!
Races can be a lot of fun to participate in and observe. If you ever find yourself in a race, just remember that finishing is enough to make you a champion.
Have you noticed that you might be feeling a bit down this week? Well, don’t worry, that’s actually totally normal due to the lack of sunlight due to shorter days, longer nights and generally grey weather that blocks out the sun. Although “Blue Monday” was a clever marketing scheme, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real condition that effects many people during this time of year. It’s ok to feel lethargic and irritable – your body just might be craving more serotonin that your brain isn’t producing as much due to the lack of sun. If you do feel down, and notice that you typically feel down this time of year, take comfort in the fact you are not alone. Mental health professionals can help you cope with the winter through light therapy, talk therapy and other treatments. I find it helps to stay productive and try to get some movement in everyday.
I usually like to post about hero goats who have been valiantly eating underbrush and growth to prevent wildfires. The science is clear that the increase in prevalence and intensity of wildfires in the western United States and in Australia are caused by the climate crisis and general warming of the planet. However, the climate crisis effects different regions in different ways. For example, over the summer the southeastern United States suffered a terrible drought. What does this have to do with goats? Our friend Otis from The Haven Zoo has been dealing with a zinc deficiency due to over-dried, nutrient lacking hay caused by the drought. For Otis, this means that he has lost some of his hair and has to see a veterinarian regularly to care for his skin. Sometimes it’s easy to think that the climate crisis only effects far away corners of the planet, but the same mechanisms that are causing the horrific wildfires are causing problems everywhere. I still believe that with the right collective energy, humanity and its animal friends can mitigate some of the worst effects. Small changes to your lifestyle can make a big impact, as well as supporting policy-makers committed to a greener future.
The week threshold between one year and the next can be quite difficult sometimes. With schedules in flux and lingering between holidays, it is challenging to stave off boredom and anxieties about things to come. You might even find yourself longing for your routine! Fear not, the liminal transition will come to an end soon and an amazing new year will begin.