3 tips to stay healthy while social distancing

April 20, 2020
Author: Gregg Cormie

Maintaining a work-life balance while staying at home

For many of us, spending more time at home (before COVID-19 obligated us to do so) has been a dream for years – no commute, no packed lunches and no pay parking. However, as we all do our part to socially distance, the dream of blissfully staying at home can quickly become a nightmare. Swiftly, we have all ended up overusing social media, becoming less efficient at our work or studies, and generally feeling cooped up and irritable. Here are three things that have helped me maintain a healthy work-life balance and stay strong in recent weeks.


Go outside and explore somewhere new

One activity that has worked well for me over the past few weeks is to spend some time in nature. As many people escape their home-office/home in general it is becoming more difficult to maintain social distance. Consider exploring somewhere new and seldom visited. When searching for new locations I use mobile apps like AllTrails and TrailForks. These free apps have revealed countless new areas to explore in the local area and have allowed me to get outside while staying away from the crowds.


Nurture Plants

Starting a backyard garden can add purpose and direction to your time outdoors. Whether you have a windowsill planter box or a small field, nurturing plants has numerous benefits, including reducing stress and helping you feel productive. Choose plants that you have always enjoyed, whether they be flowers, trees or food crops. During your next trip to the grocery store, swing by the garden centre and look for plants that catch your eye. I wanted more fresh salad in my diet but didn’t have a large enough area, so I found a design for a vertical pallet garden and went about building it using things we found for free.


Get Crafty

After a big day in front of the computer screen, the last thing that will feel good is sitting in front of your computer all evening too. Try getting outside with some art supplies. Find a quiet place and get crafty. Whether you make all your Christmas cards for next year, construct an awesome wooden surfboard like my family did (see picture) or try your hand at a little knitting, if you are doing it away from your laptop or mobile device you win!

Social distancing is a full-time job and without activities to keep us engaged and connected to nature, it is impossible to be our best selves. At VIU Outdoor Recreation, we would love to hear what your tips are for staying happy and healthy during these times. Share with us your best tips using the hash tag #VIUOutdoorRecreation on Instagram.


As an Outdoor Recreation Technician with VIU since 2013, Gregg Cormie shares the beauty of Vancouver Island with students through a diverse range of adventure activities. Gregg has a Bachelor of Arts in Sport, Health and Physical Education from VIU and a Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication from Royal Roads University.

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