Western Living Magazine
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Sleepcasts, workouts and more.
It’s hard to state the obvious without resorting to clichés: it’s a stressful time. We’re all socially distancing, doing our part, working from homeand trying these measures to reduce anxiety where we can, and keep everyone healthy. Here’s what the WL editors are doing these days.
I go in and out of practicing meditationI’ve never been better than after I spent a few days at the Yasodhara ashram in the Kootenays. But despite this constant state of stress we’re all under right now, I’m not particularly great about it presently. One thing that I have been finding success in, however, is the Headspace meditation app. While I still haven’t gotten back into it the guided meditations it offers, I’m loving its sleepcasts. Each one starts with a wind downusually a deep-breathing exercise, or a visualizationand then a soothing voice starts telling a really boring story: a gallery where every painting is a different shade of blue, a winter park that you observe from a cozy bubble, and my latest favourite, a monsoon safely viewed from a safe spot on a high hill. I’m not entirely certain why they work, but they do for me, most of the time. They’re not so boring to be irritating, just enough to distract you from thinking about the healthcare system and economic collapse for the precious few hours we’re all supposed to be sleeping to stay healthy.Anicka Quin, editorial director
The line between workday and leisure time has become increasingly blurred with my “office” now in the corner of my living room, but I’ve found that clocking out at the end of the day and heading to the “gym” (which, yes, is the other corner of my living room) gives me the little bit of structure I need to make these days less strange. And exercise, in a surprise to no one, also happens to be a great way to get out of my head and relieve the restless energy that builds up after spending all day cooped up in a 700-square-foot apartment. I’ve been trying out a new free Class Pass digital workout every daysometimes barre, sometimes HIITand yesterday I donated $6 to local fitness “community centre” Tight Club to join a livestream class via Zoom. TC founder Keighty Gallagher taught a strength and mobility workout to 100-plus Vancouverites tuning in from their own lockdowns, and it was cheering to see some other sweaty faces on a grid of webcams as I lunged my way to a serious glute burn.Stacey “Muscles” McLachlan, executive editor
Sort of like Robyn, except instead of dancing on my own I’ve been playing various sports by my lonesome. There’s a park near my place that has both hockey nets and basketball nets, so I’ve been shooting away the immense frustration and increasing anxiety COVID-19 has made me feel.
Or I was.
On the weekend while I was enjoying my solo time, pretending I was both Joe Sakic and Larry Bird, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a Vancouver Parks Board employee putting padlocks on all the gates. He approached and informed me that he couldn’t technically kick me out, so he was going to leave one door open (and, presumably, come back later that night to lock it up).
Live look at the incident:
Sure enough, it’s been locked since. Look, I get why it happened. But if anyone could point me in the direction of a non-padlocked place to get my solo sports fix in, I will be eternally grateful. My downstairs neighbours don’t particularly love me playing hockey on their ceiling.Nathan Caddell, associate editor
I was grocery shopping last weekwhich we can officially calling the Good Ol Days nowknowing that my daughter was returning from the UK and that we, as a family, would have to self-isolate for 14 days. Panic buying hadn’t quite set insave for flour, eggs, TP and dried pastabut as I was rounding the meat section I saw that frozen turkeys were on sale, so for $27 I picked up a 20-pound bird. For the four of us. I’ve roasted a turkey before of course, but to be honest, it’s usually a task that falls to my mother-in-law and I’ve forgotten just how much work it is: thawing the bird in the fridge for 5 days (!) and then prepping it safely and seasoning another 45 mins. But by noon it was in the oven and if you want subliminal soothing, it’s tough to beat the smell of roasting turkey. Every few hours I’d take a break from work: first I prepped the potatoes, then made some stuffing, but instead of being a task, the intervals were a nice break from the news cycle. We sat at the dining room table in some sort of makeshift Thanksgiving. And then when dinner was over, I set about carving the rest of the bird and making stock. It was a full slate of workwhich was good. And there’s leftovers coming out our earswhich is also good. They take on a new significance in these tough days.Neal McLennan, travel editor