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Social isolation got you eating?


Has Covid stress and social isolation got you eating more than you normally do? Do you find that cooking and baking are new favourite hobbies at home? I’ve heard the term “quarenten” being used to describe the ten pounds we might all gain by the time this period ends. So you’re not alone! Many of us are finding ourselves on food blogs and digging up old recipe books. But this might be more than just boredom or wanting to learn a new skill.

Studies suggest that social isolation causes craving responses in our brain similar to hunger. This means that people who are forced to be isolated crave social interactions the same way a hungry person craves food. So if you’re a highly social person, having to stay home right now will likely cause more cravings for you, as you’re trying to satisfy a completely different craving by feeding it. And the longer we are kept isolated, the stronger the craving sensation.

But here’s the good news. We live in a time when we can connect virtually with our loved ones in seconds! We can play online games together, have virtual coffee dates and dinner parties. Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean complete isolation. So the next time you’re emptying your pantry, ask yourself  “am I actually hungry or do I need to connect with someone”.  If you’re not truly hungry, try calling someone and see how you feel.

Stay well and stay safe everyone



Talking with children about Covid-19

Talking with children about Covid-19

We are in unprecedented times, with so much information being shared about the coronavirus daily. This is causing many families stress and anxiety, and some are unsure how to talk to their children about Covid-19.

Here are some times to get you started if you choose to share information with your children.

Manage your own anxiety first:  The first think I would suggest is to be aware of your own mental state before approaching this subject with your child. Do whatever you need to in order to be calm before speaking with them.

Use a calm and reassuring voice: Once you are calm yourself, ensure you are maintaining a reassuring tone of voice. This will help your child know that it is safe to voice their own concerns , thoughts and feelings about the situation with you.

Follow your child’s lead: Ensure that the information you are providing them is age appropriate. It’s best to follow their lead, and answer questions they are asking, without offering more details than what they are interested in. It may also help to find out what they already know, making sure they know the facts and not false information.

Focus on what you’re already doing: I’m sure your family is already doing many great things to keep you and your community safe. This could be washing hands frequently, maintaining social distance when going out for essential tasks, and staying home when you can. Explain to your children why this is very important and helps us all stay healthy.

Validate their feelings:  Your child may have a wide range of emotions right now, from anger to frustration, boredom or even sadness. Their entire life has been turned upside down, with daily routines changed, their favourite after school activities cancelled, and time with friends limited to virtual meetings. By modelling healthy coping yourself, you can help your child deal with their complex feelings. Share your own feelings with them, and show them what you do when you are also upset.

Be mindful of exposure to news: Try to limit exposure to what is essential in order to stay informed. It’s easy to binge watch the news and look up article after article related to the virus. However, this can have an effect on your mental health as well as your child’s. For older children, you may want to sit with them as they read or watch the news so that you can help them make sense of it and discuss with them what they’ve learned.

I know many of you are already doing a wonderful job in managing your stress at home, and as the weeks progress, you may need more supports.  Please reach out for professional supports if you need them.

Wishing you all health and safety in your homes <3

To homeschool or not…

To homeschool or not… 

Many schools across the nation have now closed indefinitely to prevent the spread of Covid-19. I’m hearing a lot of discussion around what to do with kids at home due to the school closures. There are many forwards, blogs and posts being sent with resources to help parents homeschool. There are also forwards encouraging the opposite… that you should avoid homeschooling to avoid adding stress. So what do we do?

The answer is..there’s no one size fits all. Just like parenting is different for every family, this unique situation will affect all of us in different ways. We all have different capacities to handle stress and anxiety, so recognizing your triggers and your capacity is key.

For homeschoolers

Some families thrive in structure and routine, and actually see a spike in depression and anxiety without structure. If you choose to homeschool, remember


If homeschooling is your jam, don’t do it alone. There are so many resources out there to support you. And as the weeks progress you may find that you need to change your schedule, so be flexible and realistic. Also, a scheduled day doesn’t have to be worksheets and textbooks. Math can be measuring out ingredients for dinner, science can be mixing coloured water to make snow cones. There are many ways to do this.

So if you choose to homeschool, great! Do what works for you.

For those who choose not to homeschool

If the idea of a schedule is anxiety provoking for you, then just take this time to do what makes you and your kiddos happy. If that means lots of independent reading time, or screen time, or outdoor play time, or any unstructured activity, do what keeps your stress levels in check. 

Many are taking this time to just reconnect with one another and spend much needed quality time together. Learning new subjects and keeping up with curriculums is not a priority for many.

So if you choose not to homeschool, great! Do what works for you.

For everyone in between, you might be choosing to do a bit of both. Some scheduled activities , and some unstructured time.

So if you choose this option, great! Do what works for you.

Whatever your family chooses, I wish you health and mental wellness while you do it. Let me know what’s working for your family.