Keeping Busy…Revisited

In just a few short days, no matter where we live, country or city, Canada or anywhere else in the world, our lives have been turned upside down.

After I wrote last Tuesday about keeping busy in the city, even that is a challenge. When restrictions and guidelines prevent us from gathering in groups larger than our own family, how can we tame our fear in order to stay healthy and involved in life in meaningful ways, for the next weeks or even months?

First of all, it’s crucial to be active. We don’t want to shrivel up any more than we already have. Nor do we want to gain weight from all that junk food we’ve been hoarding. So go for a walk. But where? Well you could probably walk down Yonge Street and not run into anybody. But a more scenic choice was offered by a reader – the cemetery. Trees, serenity, even historic research are available here, all for free.

On Sunday my husband Peter and I chose one of our favourite spots – the Lake. We drove to Sunnyside Beach, and walked east along the shoreline to the Canadian National Exhibition. Then we walked back to the car through a residential neighbourhood of beautiful old homes. It was interesting, it was invigorating, and it gave us a different view of the area. Imagine the CNE grounds with NO people! We did see some other walkers on our route, old and young, but everyone was keeping a safe distance apart. Until or unless we are all quarantined, we highly recommend this form of therapy. Take some dark chocolate along for support.

As we get older waiting for this virus to pass, we can also do some research about aging. A new Canadian book on the bestseller list is Successful Aging by Dr Daniel Levitin. He IS a neuroscientist, so be prepared for a lot of facts and graphs. Or Google Steve Job’s last essay, written before he died, titled Six Best Doctors. You’ll be surprised at his choices as he writes in hindsight. A recent TV show, now apparently available as a podcast, called Aging Well Suzuki Style, features our own home-grown hero. At 83, David Suzuki highly recommends aging as a natural part of life. It’s useful to learn about the problems this scientist encounters as he builds a tree-house for his grandchildren.

At home there are other diversions to consider. A reader submitted a website, (travel and, where a viewer can take a virtual tour of museums across Europe. Since most of us won’t be going there any time soon, try it out. Or, instead of joining the long lines at the grocery store, get creative with all the leftovers at the back of your fridge. Then watch Fridge Wars on TV Thursday night to see how you compare. Readers have also suggested their favourite online games for increasing brain power: Wordscape, 4 pics 1 word, Sudoku and Solitaire. When desperate, try composing new words for the 20-second hand-washing Happy Birthday song.

Send in your suggestions. I’ll have plenty of time to write an extra post with all the great ideas you submit. In these turbulent times, the one thing we do have is each other.

So, even though it may be wishful thinking, Top O’ the Mornin’ To Ya’


Lake Ontario

3 thoughts on “Keeping Busy…Revisited

  1. Learn forms of dance from YouTube. I highly encourage it. Try teaching yourself how to cha cha, or do the can can or engage in styles of hip hop or jazz or tap. Your expenditures of time and energy in this area are great for your body and mind. You release a lot of feel good neurotransmitters that enhance your mood and reduce cortisol similar to a long walk without needing to leave your house.

    In my home I dance now everyday for about an hour. I just listen to a playlist of music I enjoy from spotify and each person in the house has their own playlist. We take turns listening but I’m ok to dance to all of them. Your limbs become stronger and more flexible but take breaks because it can be hard on the knees and ankles if you do a lot of fast paced music.

    Deep breathing as a form of meditation can also be very helpful, after your dance to help you calm down your system. Anyways, continuing to entertain the heck out of myself and our family.


  2. Do everything you can to self isolate and stay home to contain virus! Listen to Gov’t updates and act on all suggestions to stay healthy and keep others healthy. It’s not a life sentence….we can do this fellow Canadians!
    Go for walks with appropriate distancing. Dance at home (as Greg suggested), play board games, educate yourself on a subject or country you are not familiar with (so much info available on line). Maybe clean out some closets or start some spring cleaning so as the virus is contained and the weather gets warmer, you will be healthy, footloose and guilt free to do whatever you want 🙂


  3. Thanks for lifting my spirits! I have heard of friends working on puzzles together and a good old fashion chat on the phone.


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