Many of us started the New Year with feelings of hope, relief, and excitement at the prospect of returning to life as normal after the exhausting 12 months that were 2020. Unfortunately, these feelings were short lived as Ontario and many other regions across the world entered their second lockdown this week, terminating the possibility of any kind of normalcy in the near future.
As many of us find ourselves stuck at home once again, some alone and some with families and loved ones, it’s not a surprise that there’s another common symptom going around – burnout. Many people find that being unable to go out and relieve some of the stress of the day is taking a huge toll on their mental and physical health, and are struggling to find ways to alleviate said stress. This is true even more so when it comes to families, as growing children require a multitude of environments and adequate socialization in order to mature and become functioning members of society – something that parents are struggling to maintain during this pandemic. Luckily we have been working over the past few months to address these issues from both the adult and children’s sides, and have expanded our inventory to include a wide range of Boardgames, Arts & Craft supplies, and STEM toys which encourage and challenge young children to utilize creativity and divergent thinking in order to develop crucial critical thinking skills. One of the easiest ways to facilitate a positive social environment for developing children is to engage in thoughtful, captivating, and cooperative play via family game night. Encouraging learning and education in a fun and relaxed environment make it more interesting for children to participate in and therefore foster a love for learning at an early age. Try and choose games which have a good balance between learning and fun, such as Bananagrams, a word-building game, or try growing your own crystals while learning about the crystallization process along the way. For younger children, try sharpening fine-motor skills with Blockaroo Blocks, soft foam magnetic blocks that click together to create a multitude of creations, or build curiosity with My First Microscope or Mess-Free Touch Lights, a toddler-safe way to get creative without holding back!
For older children and young adults the issue of burnout is much more difficult to address and work through. One thing that we have found helps is returning to basics! If you are in lockdown with friends or family and are feeling fatigued or overwhelmed, whip out one of the classics such as Monopoly or Uno and gather everyone for a relaxing night of fun and socialization. For those of us entering this lockdown alone, get in touch with your creative side and rediscover the world of Arts & Crafts. Adult coloring books have been on the rise for the past few years, and now is the perfect time to delve into a fun, new & relaxing hobby. You can find many amazing coloring books available online, such as ADD ADVERTISING. We’ve got you covered when it comes to supplies – whether you prefer crayon, marker, or paint! Working on repetitive tasks such as coloring knitting, or even working out can be instrumental in working through a burnout period, and are just some examples of proactive behaviors that can help with negative thought patterns.
When it comes down to it, all of the above is to be expected when living through a pandemic – something we thought we had evolved past as a society. It’s okay to be feeling lethargic, moody, and downright miserable – it’s even expected when faced with such jarring changes to everyday life in a relatively short time frame. What we can do it take it day-by-day and try to focus on the small joys in life – the glimmers of hope that one day all will be well. And before you know it – all will be well again.