• CANTeC Team

Unsolicited advice-from-an-elder-millenial time

Ok, gather ‘round CanTeCers: It’s unsolicited advice-from-an-elder-millenial time (also known as everyone’s favourite time).

Some days (you know the kinds of days I’m talking about?), this pandemic situation feels hard. Like, really hard. Even for those of us who, like me, haven’t gotten sick or suffered in some obvious or serious way because of the virus affecting us directly. There’s just this feeling that Life, The Universe, and Everything is uncertain and completely out of our control. Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling anyway on, you know, those days, whenever they’ve crept or lept up on me over the past 6 months.

But, there’s one thing that works for me, almost without fail. This is going to make me sound like a bit of a hippie. Frankly, I’ve always been a bit crunchy, so maybe it’s just true to form. Well, the key for me is to, as my mom would say “wrap [my]self up in Mama Earth” (my mom is WAY more of a hippie than me). Ridiculous hippie-ness aside, honestly, it works. If I’m struggling, if I’m having one of those days, I get myself – and often my partner and our two young daughters as well – out the door. If I don’t have the time or the money or the wherewithal to get us to a provincial park or a conservation area, I make an effort to get to the Dundurn Castle grounds, or the Hamilton Cemetery, or Cootes Paradise, all of which are less than a 10 min bike ride from where I live. And, within 5 minutes of arriving and being surrounded, “wrapped up”, in lush grass, green leaves, of being tucked under an expansive sky, I can feel the “I-don’t-know-what’s-gonna-happen-next-and-I-hate-that-I-can’t-control-the-situation-at-all” feeling starts to evaporate. Like MAGIC.

This magic effect was kicked up to the next level when my family and I spent a couple of nights last month at Awenda Provincial Park, and Lake Huron graciously let us walk its rocky shores, and dip our toes in its pristine waters. Actual live footage of me there. Actually, here are some legit photos (no live footage – sorry):

So, I beg you, find your local greenspace and bathe in it. I know that it can feel impossible to drag yourself out of bed on those days, to tear yourself away from doom scrolling, to brush the toast crumbs from your standard issue COVID sweatpants, and venture out. But, do whatever you have to do to get yourself out there: Bribe yourself. Make a pact with your best friend or your snotty little sister or your dog. Just do it, in whatever way you can manage, as much as you can manage. Even if it’s only once. Once you get to your spot, Mama Earth will lift just a little bit of that load, and make some of the other *impossible* things feel – if not possible per se–then at least less impossible. Your mind will thank you. You might find yourself with the energy for a dentist-recommended-full-2-minute toothbrushing session (fresh spirit and optimal oral hygiene? Yes please!). Or with just enough bandwidth to call and check in on one of your favourite family members. So, please, have a green bath. Your leaves are waiting for you!

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