Checking in with Yourself: Post-Pandemic 

Written by Tricia Korbut

Manager of System Navigation and Information Services at ConnexOntario

This pandemic has been going on for a long time. We’re living through what feels like an eternal Canadian winter, and spring remains just beyond our grasp. It hangs on us like a winter coat and weighs our steps with heavy boots. Cautiously, we’ve unzipped and enjoyed some warmth, only to grudgingly zip up again to brace against more winter weather. We are lurching through COVID strains and emotional pains. 

The reality is, our post-pandemic adjustment is about living in a state of flux. Post pandemic has come to mean, “be prepared, for anything, all the time.” There is no magic solution to living in this post- pandemic-COVID world and its variant cousins. We cannot wish it away, nor can we tuck ourselves away, waiting for the day it finally passes. We are bombarded with conflicting media reports and medical information. Where ever we go, masks and hand sanitizer follow. So the question becomes, “how do we sustain ourselves through this flux?”.

Understanding Your Self

Patience with ourselves is the first step. We long for what we had and the freedom to move about without the fear of contagion. While we mourn the loss of our old ways, it is important not to stay stuck in the negativity. We cannot change what has happened. However, we can change how we approach it. Many people turn to mindfulness exercises to increase their self-awareness and enhance wellness. Anytime we tune in and understand our thoughts, feelings and body responses, we pause, which creates the space where we can reframe with a more positive lens. It also allows us the freedom to breathe and hopefully slow our racing minds. An online search will reveal various free mindfulness activities or apps that can assist in this process. We seem wired to slide our thoughts toward the negative, so be patient. Mindfulness is an excellent skill to cultivate, but it does take practice.

Living with Empathy

Patience with each other is also essential. We’re moving at different speeds in this post-pandemic world. Some of us are resigned, others angry, some feel fine, and some feel overcome with fear. We’re all grappling with individual realities; no one is exempt. It’s important to take the time to listen and to hear what another is trying to express truly. Empathy allows us to gain a new perspective outside our thoughts and assumptions. We don’t have to fix each other’s problems unless asked to do so. Being present for another as they are struggling is helpful.

Prioritize Wellness 

Find your comfort zone, then gently expand it. After months of limited contact, it takes time to reintegrate, but it is necessary. Accept responsibility for what you can control and engage in positive actions. Try to make healthy food choices, get fresh air and exercise. Becoming a long-distance runner is unnecessary; a walk around the block is a good start. Movement releases endorphins and helps to raise your spirits.  

Discover What Gives You Joy

Activities that allow for creativity, movement or involvement help us adjust to changes by shifting our focus away from negativity. Engaging the brain and body in many ways helps to reduce stress. Activities allow us to disconnect from our current realities, give us a break from technology.  

Gratitude for Every Day 

This takes us back to mindfulness. Notice the positives in your surroundings and daily activities. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly noteworthy. It could be a simple acknowledgement of what you already have that sustains you. 


This doesn’t mean being happy with what’s going on. It just means deciding to keep moving forward. 

Seek Support

It is okay to feel overwhelmed from time to time. People are reporting more feelings of depression and anxiety and substance use throughout the pandemic. Family, friends, colleagues, clergy, and neighbours can all play a positive role in sustaining each of us. Try to find a trusted ally. Sometimes these people show up in the most unexpected places. Social distancing doesn’t need to be emotional isolation. Connect through the phone or zoom with others. While it doesn’t replace a good hug, it’s a start. Distress and crisis lines can provide immediate support and help connect a person to help further. If needed, seek professional support to help guide you through, like ConnexOntario. ConnexOntario is available 24/7 to provide clarity and support navigating the mental and addiction services available.

Call 1-866-531-2600
Text CONNEX to 247247
Chat or Email at