By: Kirsten McKitterick

 

My name is Kirsten and I Iove people. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 my life became so much smaller very quickly.

I felt quite isolated like so many others. I found it difficult because I am a social person who enjoys many activities.

Covid, and its ability to spread so quickly, brought my volunteer activities, team sports and visiting with friends and peers to a halt.

I realized right away that I would need new routines and different interests to stay physically and mentally healthy. This is how it went for me.

At the time Covid shut everything down, I was getting ready for my regional gymnastics qualifier. We were no longer able to practice or compete. The Provincial Summer Games were cancelled. I no longer had the focus of competing in gymnastics, creating new routines and playing bocce.

I began to walk my dog on a regular basis at the same time every day. She was a very happy dog. Starting in May, Inclusion Langley began to do online physical activities through Zoom. I made sure to participate in free-style dance, zumba, and yoga as much as possible.

I felt grateful for the physical activity and connection with people.

Volunteering at a preschool and helping the kids with art projects was one of my favorite things. Being with and playing with the kids gave me a happy and fulfilling feeling. I miss volunteering very much.

As a healthy distraction, I joined the Self-Advocate Committee. I was able to give some of my time with a group of my peers to discuss relevant issues.

We planned an association wide photo contest. I felt proud to be a part of this group.

Not being able to spend time with my friends and others in the community was hard. I wasn’t sure how long covid would last so I made sure to make sure to participate in all the Zoom activities that Inclusion Langley offered. My favorite ones were music bingo, learning to cook, and Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

This made me feel connected and a part of a group of friends. I know many others benefited from these Zoom activities as well.

As Covid became less restrictive, I began to attend my day program. It was so great to spend time with people again. I joined the leadership group and continued to participate in activities. I’m so glad I worked hard at staying connected, at being flexible and motivated during this tough time.

I am grateful to my Inclusion Langley family for supporting me to accomplish this.

 

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