AHS: Finding a new normal

As our province takes its first steps to recovery, many of us ask if normal will ever return.

Life in Alberta has been turned upside down with the COVID-19 outbreak. As our province takes its first steps to recovery, many of us ask if normal will ever return.

With the answer unclear, your family may need to find a new normal. These tips can help you to weather these uncertain times.

Find a new routine

Schools are out for the summer. Many other public facilities remain closed. Countless moms and dads are juggling to keep up and keep their children safe. Nearly every family in Alberta has had their daily routines disrupted.

Planning and following routines can lend a sense of order to these topsy-turvy times, especially for children.

“Routines can help you and children feel more comfortable during times of uncertainty,” says Farah Bandali, AHS’s director of Healthy Children and Families with Healthy Living.

“Day-to-day routines add structure to family life and reflect what’s important to your family. They’re also a way to let your kids know what to expect during the day.”

Wake up times, bedtimes, meals and snacks, play, walks and quiet time.

All are examples of what you can weave into your family’s routine.

Bring on the laughter

Tell a corny joke. Have a staring contest. Tickle one another. Tell a goofy story.

Science America says, “laughter and appreciation of humour are vital components of adaptive social, emotional and cognitive function … Laughter is, after all, a communal activity which promotes bonding, diffuses potential conflict and eases stress and anxiety.”

That’s a fancy-schmancy way of saying laughter brings people together and helps us think. It also helps us express our feelings, can turn a tense moment into a light moment and is just plain good for us.

Remember the basics

In tough times, we can lose track of the basics of healthy living.

Here’s a friendly reminder: eat healthy foods as much as possible. Stay connected with other family members, friends and co-workers while maintaining physical distancing. Get a good night’s sleep.

Most of all, reach out for help if you need it.

Alberta Health Services, the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada your local municipality and hundreds of community groups have all kinds of support and assistance for Albertans.

For information about healthy living for families during COVID-19, visit ahs.ca/healthytogether.

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