Team News

Get Outside but Stay Close to Home

It is a bit of a confusing message, but the Provincial Health Officer has been consistently stating that we should definitely be outside and enjoying this Spring weather.  We just need to stay close to home, and stay away from people outside of our bubble, our family grouping.

As well, in her briefing today, she was very clear that we are not close to getting back to normal.  We must continue to stay home, to physically distance, and wash our hands.  You can see her briefing summary here:

Henry said that despite no recent spike in the number of cases or deaths, she does not believe that this will change her orders, such as banning gatherings of 50 or more people, or any other restrictions, in at least the next few weeks.

“We’re not there yet,” she said. “We need to hold the line.”

Below is an update from Bill, our office assistant, who has been going across the street and walking around the high school race track.  He keeps his distance from the other neighbours out for their walks, but really enjoys getting out and getting moving.

What have you been doing to stay healthy and happy for the past four weeks?  Are you baking?

Are you looking for more ideas?  We are hosting a zoom call for anyone interested in talking about new home activities and ways to connect with each other, while staying safe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 10am.  You can sign up for the zoom here by registering and we’ll send you the link and the password:

Bill’s Update

We miss seeing Bill every day at the office.  It’s great to know he’s staying connected to the people he cares about and finding things to do closer to home to pass the time.  Teri says of their new daily routine: “The first couple of weeks were the hardest to work through but we are starting to fall into a groove lately.”

Bill has been staying in touch with people through facetime and Zoom.  Here’s a picture of Bill and others virtually attending Kathy’s birthday party (Thanks to Kim for setting that up!):

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And here’s one of Bill and Jeriah’s feet (physical distancing during one of their weekly visits at the park across the street from Bill’s house):

Bill wanted everyone to know he’s doing fine and provided this update:

  • I’ve been to Portland and Seattle already [before the pandemic].
  • I remember to take a shower everyday.
  • I run the marathon (track) and I get second prize, they say good job Bill Nazar!
  • Pastor and Carol work from home now.  No more church on Joyce [Teri says they have zoom church services on Sundays and meet to socialize before and after the service].
  • I like the Waltons, his name is grandpa and John, they live a long time [Teri ordered Bill’s favorite shows on amazon, ie. Gilligan’s Island, the Waltons, Love Boat, etc].
  • Jeriah comes Saturdays [they go for walks and have a pop together].
  • Jay’s mom is at the cemetery.  [Bill wanted to visit his mom at Mountainview, so after they went to visit Teri’s boyfriend’s grave – he seems to find a sense of kinship in them both having moms in the cemetery].
  • That’s all for now he says.

Thanks for the update, Bill!  And thank you Teri for helping Bill stay connected to his friends, and for all that you’re doing to keep people safe!

Daily Self Care Tips – Movement and Mindfulness

To-Do: Today is about movement and mindfulness.

Take five minutes to practice mindful stretching or yoga (you can pick any pose). There are myriad guided options on YouTube – pick a channel or instructor that resonates with you! As you stretch, focus on breathing deeply. Think about how your body feels in each position and picture your breath flowing through your entire body. Also, express gratitude for your body and the ability it gives you to move (we often take this for granted!).

Why? Stretching and focusing on our breath are easily accessible ways we can cultivate practicing and strengthening our mindfulness skills. Breathing connects us to the present moment, which is an important grounding exercise that inspires calmness and keeps stress at bay. Focusing on our in-the-moment physical state provides a focal point that helps us be mindful in the here-and-now. Plus, these movements are easy and fun—there’s no downside!

Self-Reflection Tip: Pay attention to times you’re stationary for extended periods of time (for example at your desk during the day or in front of the TV in the evening) and consider how you can add a few minutes of stretching and movement into your daily routine. Focus on stretching and releasing tension from areas that are particularly tense – such as your neck, lower back, or hip flexors.

Let us know if you have any questions or we can help in any way.

Ernie Baatz

Executive Director

Spectrum Society for Community Living



Get more tips and find helpful articles here.

Health Article

How to manage your relationship while self-isolating

From understanding each other’s individual needs to learning to compromise when working from home together, we chatted with a registered psychologist about how to navigate what for many couples is unfamiliar territory.

By Emily Gilbert

Trying to navigate life with your partner while in quarantine? Coronavirus has caused all kinds of things to arise in our relationships that simply didn’t exist two months ago.

We chatted with Katie Turner, a registered psychologist based in Calgary, about how to manage your relationship while isolating.

There was one thing she mentioned almost immediately. Regardless of the relationship, it’s important to recognize that we’re all in a stressful time right now.

Be patient

“Everyone is feeling some stress right now,” Turner says. “Whether it’s your partner, your friend, or the clerk at the grocery store. Not everyone is at their best right now.”

With this in mind, Turner says patience is essential.

“Not everyone is going to deal with fears and stress in the same way,” she says. “We have to be mindful of that and be as patient and as compassionate as we can be.”

Navigating stress as a couple can be challenging at the best of times. But with the current situation bringing a lot of unexpected stress for many, it’s an even more unique scenario. Despite this, she says many of the tips and advice she recommends to her clients from Gottman’s couple’s therapy still ring true now.


It’s one thing to strive to be patient and compassionate. But many may be wondering how to maintain these values in a confined living space with a partner or roommate right now.

That’s where compromise comes in, Turner explains.

“The current situation can be a pressure cooker for romantic relationships and relationships with roommates and friends,” she says. “How do you get the space you need and feel like your needs are met? The first step is being willing to compromise. Then, establish what those needs are.”

Establish what you need

Both people should, ideally, create a list of what they view as their needs, she says. Look at them together. Then, find the overlaps and points of difference. Understand what is important to each person and find a way to work out a routine around that.

“A lot of this might come down to making and committing to a schedule,” Turner says.

For example, one person might know that morning exercise is important to them. The other person needs to make conference calls in the same space. Allocating certain times of the day to each person can help. It means that before the day begins, you will know that you’ll have the space at some point that day.

Start sentences with “I”

How do you resolve an argument when you’re in the same shared space for the foreseeable future? The first step, according to Turner, is to speak from your experience. But do so without attacking or criticizing.

“Say ‘I’,” Turner recommends. “For example, ‘When I don’t get enough space, I feel ______.’ This way you’re not holding the other person responsible; you’re talking about what you need.”

It’s also important, Turner says, to assume that they have the best intentions. “Instead of telling yourself ‘they’re being so unreasonable’ replace that with ‘Maybe they are having a hard time.’ This will help you get closer toward establishing a solution.”*

Take a break

“If you feel your heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute and you can’t think clearly, take a break,” Turner says. She attributes this feeling to being in ‘fight or flight mode’.

“You’re not in a good space to communicate at that point,” she says. “This is when people say things they don’t mean. Take a break. Agree to come back to the conversation later on.”

Don’t use the break to rehash everything, Turner cautions. Instead, use that time to do something else completely.

“It’s not a real break if you rehashing it,” she says. “Your nervous system needs time for stress levels to decrease.”

Don’t stop communicating

When you do come back to the conversation, try to genuinely listen to what your partner has to say.

“It comes back to listening as much as it does about being understood,” Katie says.

In the unusual circumstance we find ourselves in, communicating with your partner may be more important than ever.

“Find out your partner’s needs, feelings, fears, concerns. And try to assume they’re doing the best.”

*The advice in this article is specific to relationships in which there is not abuse and/or domestic violence. If there are any concerns of abuse, call a crisis line or 2-1-1 for support


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