Trying to stay sane

I am an introvert.

I enjoy being alone and not being socially active. Large groups give me Anxiety. I find comfort in my own home and I LOVE to sleep. Considering that I actually enjoy what i just mentioned leaves me feeling that I am handling the Social Distancing better than others during the COVID-19 Pandemic. With that being said, any sort of "advantage" that I might have from my introvert roots is squashed by my Anxiety and Depression. The idea of "not knowing" drives my brain loopy. I have been at home with Dave for 14 days as of today. I would like to report we have not driven each other crazy yet so that is a win. David is immune compromised so we are taking everything pretty serious. I am lucky that my work closed its doors to the public early on as working at the Library exposes me to unlimited germs on a good day. Dave is laid off work as of yesterday. There is so much "unknown" and that ignites my mental illness.

I do feel that I am in a better state now than I was at first. Fingers crossed it stays that way. The biggest comfort in my life right now is our dogs, but I will save that for another post. The second is being able to physically go outside. While it is still not Spring-like yet, I will take it. I had started checking out Whitemud Park a couple weeks before COVID-19 took over and decided to head down there for a mind clearing walk the other day. Nature truly does heal the soul. Edmonton has closed public parks along with many other things but for now trails seems to remain open. Getting out and taking in a breath of fresh air feels instantly purifying.

Live in the moment

These walks have been something I do alone for the most part. Not because I crave the alone time, but because I can take my time and go at my speed. If I want to spend 20 minutes sitting and watching a squirrel I can without feeling Dave is bored. I also try to really listen. Listen to the birds. Listen to the wind. Listen to the calmness. This is my time to try to clear my racing brain.

Next time you are outside just stop. Stop walking. Feel the sun on your body. Close your eyes. Focus on the sounds. What do you hear?

Now take a deep breath. Fill your lungs with fresh air. Appreciate the moment.

One thing I quickly noticed while walking the trail is that there are A LOT of squirrels and boy are they chubby! There are people who put out seed along the trails and it is clear they stay well fed. If you are looking for some entertainment take a moment and watch these acrobats. They move unbelievably fast. Their curiosity will also have them watching you and often you can get pretty close to appreciate them.

Another thing I love about them is their front feet. They are so stinking cute!

When you are down there you see all sorts of people on the trails. Families out for a stroll, joggers, people walking their dogs, and other photographers. I tell ya, there are some people with serious lens's. I remember walking by multiple photographers on my first walk and being so jealous of the lens they had. I cannot even imagine how fun it would be to have one. I often feel limited when it comes to wildlife as my 70-200 has minimal reach, especially when it comes to small subjects such as birds. However, it is not impossible to get photos, you just have to be more patient and take advantage of areas where animals are used to people being around. These trails are well used meaning the wildlife are a bit desensitized to foot traffic.

stay strong

Escaping the reality of what is currently going on is important. It gives me a chance to sort of reset my brain. I am not ignoring it, simply taking a break from it. If you do decide to go out please respect the COVID-19 guidelines. We all want this to be over and in order to do so we must all play our part in preventing the spread of it. With that being said, remember you are not going through this alone. Reach out to friends and family. If you need help, ask for it.

For now Dave and I will continue to maximize our introvert skills to get through this.