I’m so glad to start posting on the website again! I know these are very uncertain and challenging times for all of us, which is why it is so important to reflect on this new lifestyle and continue to communicate with others!
Here is my self-reflection 🙂
1.) What is something you did for your body?
Being at home has made it really hard for me to find the motivation to go out and stay active. Soccer has always been my main form of physical activity, but due to social distancing the rest of my soccer season has been cancelled. During my initial two weeks at home I didn’t do much for my body, but I quickly started to find myself becoming restless at home and I knew I needed to get my body moving a little more. As a way to stay active with others, my sisters and I have started exercising together. Both my sisters made a workout journal with different exercise routines for each day of the week. Certain days we focus on cardio, core, or body strength. Each workout only lasts 15-20 minutes but they get us sweating and staying active. Most of our workouts we do inside, but on the weekends I will set up fitness circuits in our backyard and on our deck; stuff like hurdles, step-ups on the stairs, weight exercises etc. In fact, I have found this to be a great alternative to playing soccer. The thing I miss about soccer the most is staying active with my team, because my team helped motivate me to work hard and continue pushing myself; working out with my sisters provides the same workout environment and we encourage each other just the same.
Another way I have done something for my body the last few weeks is getting outside more. For example, I’ve started using my basketball hoop in my driveway which I haven’t touched in forever! My sisters, dad and I play fun shooting games and just play for fun. My youngest sister and I have also taken up tennis strangely enough! I am not much of a tennis player at all, but my sister and I have a fun time rallying back and forth and also playing some pretty competitive mini-tournaments.
Finally, one of my favourite activities I have done for my body is my nightly routine to take my dog for a walk with my family. Every night around 7:30pm we all embark for a 20 minute walk around my neighbourhood. My dog loves these walks. She has started to become familiar with our routine and every night around 7:20pm she will get super excited because she knows we are leaving soon. Funny enough, although she is full of energy at the start, she is always sleepy and tired by the end of the night! Take a look at her before and after photos down below!
I truly feel that in times like these, staying active and moving is crucial. For me personally, it helps me stay more focussed on my school work and fall asleep easier.
2.) What is something you did for your mind?
Staying at home, I’ve been able to take up lots of new activities which have been great for my mind. The first thing I did was reorganize my entire room. The past year I kept promising myself that I would do a full purge on my room when I had the time, but between school, soccer, volunteering and other commitments I never found myself having that time. Finally, staying at home gave me a reason to start this project. I started with basic cleaning, vacuuming, and tidying. Then, I took it one step further and pulled everything out of my closet. I collected a lot of old shirts, pants and sweaters I’ve either grown out of or don’t wear. Many of them went to my sisters but some were put in a bin to donate in the future. Redoing my room and organizing everything was really great for my mind; it kept me busy and committed to a project.
Another thing I’ve done for my mind is play board games and card games with my sisters. Some of our favourites are Catan, Clue, Sorry, Monopoly, Crazy 8’s, Speed, and Go-Fish. I love these games because they involve strategy and creative thinking. Lately, me and my youngest sister started playing our own unique game we call “object hide and seek.” Basically, we both pick a room in our house (kitchen, living room, dining room etc.) and we hide 3 mini objects somewhere in that room. The other person has to try and find the objects you hid, and they get 5 hints/riddles to help them. It’s a fun game we’ve actually played for hours on end, and it’s great because it takes us away from our phones and devices for a little bit.
The main pattern throughout all of these activities is that they help my mind focus on the task at hand rather than worries or stress I might be having.
3.) What is something you did for your happiness?
One of the best things I’ve been able to do for my happiness is spend time with my family. If you haven’t noticed already, a lot of the things I’ve done for my body and mind involved members of my family. Quite truthfully, I’ve taken advantage of staying at home as a way to connect with my family and enjoy each other’s company more. As a result, it has brought me great happiness. Throughout the year we are always so busy with school, soccer, dance, tutoring, work, and other tasks that we never truly put the time aside to hang out together like we have been able to do now. For example, we have started having family movie nights once a week or so. My sisters and I make popcorn and snacks and we all gather in the living room to watch a film. So far we have watched “I Still Believe” and “Moana.”
Other nights, I spend one on one time with my mom and we watch our favourite TV series together. Again, during the school year, my mom and I are always so busy that it is hard to spend quality time together and talk. Now, with all this extra time on our hands, we have been able to do this and it has brought us both great happiness!
Even though a lot of my happiness has come from spending time with my family, I’ve also found happiness on my own. After asking my dad to order me a puzzle, and once it finally arrived, I made it my mission to finish it as quickly as I could. You might say this is something I did for my mind, and it probably is, but I was determined to finish this 1000 piece puzzle in less than a week, and I ended up finishing it in 4 days. This made me super happy and my family was shocked to see how I finished it so quickly. I do have to give some credit to my youngest sister and my mom who ducked in and out a few times to help me. However, my youngest sister’s exact words ended up being “I just don’t have the patience for puzzles!” We continue to laugh at that.
4.) What is something you did for someone else?
This new lifestyle certainly brought new challenges for all of us. As a result, I have tried to do my part to help out in whatever ways I can.
Lately, I have been helping my youngest sister with her homework. I help her with all her subjects if she needs it, but I mostly help her with math. Due to the current pandemic, my sister isn’t able to go see her math tutor for help, so I have been helping her to ensure she is still understanding the material and excelling in her work. My parents are extremely grateful for this, my mom especially. She was worried at first because my sister wouldn’t be able to see her tutor, but my support and help have made a huge difference and it has taken one less stress off my parents during these challenging times.
My sisters and I also help out my parents by doing a little more chores around the house. Each day we rotate on who does certain chores like unloading the dishwasher, swiftering the floors, and cleaning the kitchen/bathrooms etc. This has greatly helped my parents, especially my dad who still goes to work everyday and has to face new challenges at work as well. By us doing our part here at home, it gives my dad one less thing to worry about.
Finally, the last thing I’ve done is schedule time each week to call my Nonno. My Nonno lives alone and since we can’t go visit him, I call him a few times a week to give him some company and another voice to hear and talk to. We have long discussions and he tells me stories about the time when he owned a restaurant. It’s been really great to talk with him, and I know he always looks forward to our calls.
Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you are all safe, healthy, and finding your own ways to help your body, mind, happiness, and others!
– Madison Ciulla