At the peak of the pandemic, it seemed as though the world was at a standstill and for a moment, some of us were released from our regular obligations.

However, we are once again becoming absorbed by our non-stop schedules, with many of us returning to school and work. Getting back into these routines can make some of us experience relief or comfort to participate in structured activities that are familiar to us and take up the bulk of our time. It feels good to learn, socialize, and contribute to society again. It is important to remember though, that COVID-19 has erased our ‘normal’ and we cannot expect to carry out our lives the way we used to. But maybe that can be a good thing! Today, we ask you to re-visit some of the plans and intentions you had for 2020 and eliminate, modify, or create ones that fit within our new safety precautions and mindsets.

Seasonal

Fall is approaching, which is a time of year that we look forward to, namely because some of our favourite holidays take place this season – Thanksgiving and Halloween! These holidays may look different this year, but we now have experience under our belts in adapting to celebrations over the past few months. Below are some ideas to help keep the warm feelings of autumn alive:

New and Old Traditions

We don’t have to give up all of our favourite annual activities – carving pumpkins, dressing up, apple picking, or having a movie marathon! Starting something new can be exciting, and will serve as a reminder for how we persevered through the pandemic. Maybe it could be making a decoration for your home, baking fresh bread, or dressing up for a family photo shoot with the fall foliage. Most importantly, if you cannot physically be with your loved ones, connect with them virtually through the phone, video calls, letters, or via gaming devices/apps.

Embrace the Outdoors

Say goodbye to the sticky humidity and welcome the fresh, crisp fall air! Between walking or hiking among the colourful trees, raking the fallen leaves, jump into the pile, or visiting local farms, there are many reasons to leave the house and enjoy being outside.

Indulge in the Harvest

Some of the most delicious vegetables are in season September and October.

Apples | Broccoli | Carrots | Cabbage | Cauliflower | Corn | Onions | Pumpkins | Squash

Eating seasonally supports local businesses, saves you money, is better for our climate, and is better quality. Seasonal foods provide a richer flavour and are loaded with nutrients. So, take advantage of what is available and get to baking, preserving, and soup-making!

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Make attainable goals

Even if you don’t formally make New Year’s Resolutions, many people associate the start of a new year with a fresh set of goals or plans. Unfortunately, none of us factored in COVID-19 when we planned for this year. Although it may not feel like it, we still have a third of 2020 remaining, and we can still take some steps towards our personal growth.

See below for tips on goal making.

Sources:
https://www.bakerdonelson.com/revisiting-2020-goals-during-the-covid-19-pandemic
https://ashleyjanssen.com/articles/try-themes-not-goals

SELF-REFLECT

If there was a silver lining in the tragedy of the pandemic, it is hopefully the opportunity for self-reflection. Sometimes it takes a scare or shock of the future being uncertain to put our priorities into perspective. Considering what is meaningful in your life does not mean you have to overthink everything…it can be as simple as identifying what is most important to you. Whether that is your health or relationships, find a way to have it take precedence in your life.

Some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Am I letting matters that are out of my control stress me out?
  • Am I taking anything for granted?
  • Am I putting enough efforts into my relationships?
  • What do I enjoy spending my time on?
  • What have I done that I am proud of?
  • How can I take care of myself?

Source:
https://positivepsychology.com/introspection-self-reflection/

“To paraphrase Lewis Carroll in Alice In Wonderland, if you don’t know which direction you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which road you take. When we are planning our work, or even just our day-to-day routines, it is powerful to have a goal to attach our tasks and actions to. It is a way to feel like we are moving the needle towards something instead of being reactive to whatever happens each day.”

Ashley Janssen

TIPS FOR MAKING GOALS

WRITE IT DOWN!

Write it out in a method that suits your personality and lifestyle best, whether that be on a computer document, paper (journal/notebook/calendar), or through your smartphone (apps/notes/social media). Transferring an idea from your mind to a place you can reference can make the goal feel more tangible, and allows you to get more creative with it.

FIND A PARTNER! 

This helps to keep yourself on track, to hear your goals, and to check up on your progress. Partnering up works especially well if you have a shared goal. For example, if you are making an effort to be physically active, having a workout buddy to attend classes with, or to follow a fitness plan with can help keep you stay accountable and motivated.

CREATE THEMES

to work towards. Instead of having a busy to-do list covering multiple areas and feeling overwhelmed, try focusing on one section at a time. Perhaps one day can be dedicated to organizing finances, and the next to making an effort to reconnect with family and friends.

APPLY ‘S.M.A.R.T.’ CRITERIA

Remember: While it is important to move forward, enjoy living in the present!

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