Back to the things we love
I got invited to a party the other day.
I know, it sounds weird, doesn’t it? But this is a real party, with real people, live music, dancing and a lot of smiles.
Sure, the party may be two months away, but I’ve already begun drinking more and more each day to prep for the rager in April. Otherwise, I’ll be a mess by 8:15 p.m.
I’ve already started digging through my digital crates of 90s hip-hop to bask in the nostalgia of better days.
You should start getting ready for normalcy too.
As more and more restrictions loosen up, Canadians are slowly starting to feel better about themselves and the lives that lay ahead of them.
A November 2021 Stats Canada study revealed that 62 per cent of Canadians reported having “excellent” or “very good” mental health, up from 55 per cent in 2020 and close to pre-pandemic levels of 68 per cent in 2019.
But that was November, and with the horrifying Russian invasion of Ukraine, those “very good” stats may have come down a bit. But with more and more opportunities to socially connect one-on-one, face-to-face, getting back to that 68 per cent threshold may not be so daunting.
In recent years, scientists have researched how beneficial social connections can be for our well-being. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, social connection can “lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and actually improve our immune systems.” These are the very things that have been plaguing us emotionally since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020.
But with bars reopening at full capacity this past weekend and the province phasing out its vaccine passport system by the time you read this, we can all begin to reconnect with the people and the things we love and have missed over the past two years.
For me, I’m excited to play beer league hockey again, as the weekly get-together for us middle-aged puck dreamers is about more than just dangling and roofing it top cheddar. It’s about camaraderie and getting out of the house for some much-needed exercise. I’m also looking forward to board games with friends – not to horde Catan resources – but to create more memories with those I’m closest with.
I’m looking forward to hosting NHL playoff parties to watch the Calgary Flames hoist the Stanley Cup. I’m excited for date nights again, going to the movies and sleepovers for my kids.
I can’t wait to have a housewarming party this summer, get back to the Sheep to see some shows or get rowdy with all you dance nuts at Kaffe for my annual Halloween DJ Dance Party (Luc Paquette, start getting ready!)
What are you looking forward to? Send us a photo that shows what you’re looking forward to most this spring and you may end up in the paper. Email photos to email@example.com.
Get out of the house and have a social connection today, tomorrow, every day.
Let’s do this face-to-face, not Facebook to Facebook.