Cara Macdonald’s Personal COVID-19 Experience

3 April 2020

by Cara Macdonald
Occupational Therapist – Sunnyside

Hi everyone, My name is Cara Macdonald. I am one of the Occupational Therapists working at Sunnyside.

For those of you who know me, you know how much I love being outdoors and specifically going to the beach. I have been surfing since I was young, and I still spend most of my weekends at the beach. Knowing how serious the Covid-19 virus is, I am happy to sacrifice a few beach days for health and safety. With that being said, not being able to go outdoors has definitely had an effect on me.

“My place” was the ocean and it was where I felt most connected to myself. The experience of mindfulness and flow truly come together for me when I am in the water. After a fair amount of moping I decided to make my house my “new place” – for the time being anyway. I started by giving the house a deep clean – which I had been putting off for months and no longer had any excuses not to do. With the house looking clean and smelling better (I burn lavender oil because it is my favourite), I got to work on making it a more exciting place for me to be in.

For me that was about putting out cooking books, because there is no better time to try some new recipes. Taking out my photo albums for some reminiscing and reflecting. Tending to plants and trying to grow new things. Having an exercise area to keep me motivated. I also put out my colouring crayons and paper and my journal, lots of time for setting goals, writing letters, journaling and mindful colouring in. I also bought some chalk and had fun chalking the outside wall in the back garden. Having all these different options out in different areas makes me more likely to actually pick them up and start using them. I also put up a slackline in the garden. Slacklining is kind of like tight rope walking, but the line is loose not tight. This gives me something challenging and fun to do – which reminds me of the outdoors.

I have realised that the environment I am in has a huge impact on my mood and motivation levels. Since we will all be spending a lot of time at home, I feel it is important to work on making our homes the best they can be for our mental and physical health.

Keep Safe