October 17, 2020 6:53 pm

Hello Varsity Fam!

Wow- what a month! We are living history right now. We are facing obstacles we as a generation have never been challenged by before, and it is hard. It may sound easy on paper, to just stay inside and hibernate during self-isolation, but we aren’t built that way. We are built to move, to exercise, to socialize and to learn.

Well right now we can’t. We have to stay home and stay safe.

Here’s the good news: this doesn’t mean we can’t still move, exercise, socialize and learn! We just need to use a little imagination, creativity and innovation, and we can do this all from the comfort of our own home. Let’s explore…


Are you an active person by nature, are you always on the go, the “can’t sit still” type? Let this man from Southhampton, England inspire you. As a long-distance runner, Allen was struggling with self-isolation. He decided to set up a mini track in his backyard, to encourage himself to keep running. He committed to running a marathon! He had to run 1066 laps of his small backyard in order to complete the 42.2km run! Don’t have a backyard? Set up an obstacle course in your home and challenge yourself to beat a certain time! Be creative!


For all you gym-rats, yogis, cross-fitters and sports fans, your routine has probably drastically changed in the past few weeks! Personally, as an active person, I desperately miss my volleyball and flag football nights, yoga classes and gym days. My week was filled with activities and now feels pretty empty in comparison. I had to replace those activities with new ones- I had to start a new routine. Here’s a look into my new schedule:

Volleyball: To replace indoor rec volleyball, my partner and I go out for a run instead. This helps fulfill the cardio that is now missing. We take the last 100m of the run to do walking lunges and squats (volleyball in slow motion without the ball), yes not the same but a good alternative to sitting on the couch!

Flag Football: My partner and I have found a field near our house that is pretty much always vacant, so we take our football and run around, playing catch. We make sure to run to catch it, so that it somewhat resembles the real thing. You may look like a crazy person, but who cares,, it’s good to laugh at ourselves right!

Hot Yoga: Don’t laugh, but I chose to be creative here. I use a portable heater to create the “hot” part, then I follow along to a yoga lesson online. My regular studio actually hosts FREE live classes throughout the week, check them out: https://oxygenyogaandfitness.com/. Lululemon also offers free yoga videos which are really easy to follow along to at home. (https://shop.lululemon.com/story/yoga-videos), There are many different studios now offering online classes for free, so just pick your flow!

Gym: If you are anything like me, you’ll be missing your trips to the gym right now. Whether you’re a weights or cardio person, the act of leaving the house to go and crush a workout, produced such an awesome sense of accomplishment! You need to substitute the gym but use your creativity to come up with something that will still give you that feeling. In our house, we have some free weights, so we use those, however you may have to be creative. Substitute weights for jugs of water, stacks of books or backpacks filled with heavy items to squat in. Use railings or the backs of couches to support you. We’ve been using Jeff Cavaliere’s home workout routine on Athlean X twice a week, and it’s awesome! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc1E5CfRfos) No equipment needed!


Perhaps introverts are loving this self-isolation more than most, however being social is a big part of our day to day! I for one desperately miss it, there’s something about not seeing anyone in person that is so unnatural for me. However we are SO fortunate to live in a time with so many resources available to us. Whether it’s Zoom calls for school and work, FaceTime with family, Snapchat with friends, there are so many ways for us to stay connected virtually! Here are some fun apps to try with friends and family!

Houseparty: The face-to-face social network where you can connect with the people you care about most. Alongside simultaneous video calls, Houseparty comes with in-app games to play while chatting. There are also separate virtual “rooms” that users can switch between, just like at a real house party. https://houseparty.com/

Quiz Up: The biggest trivia app in the world features 1,200 topics containing more than 600,000 questions to challenge people on everything from general knowledge to basic math problems. QuizUp offers the chance to play head-to-head battles against friends of start entire tournaments against people.

JackBox: The selection of party games offered by Jackbox Games makes this collection arguably the best option for hosting a proper game night. These games are built for online streaming play, with one person capable of firing up a game for up to 10,000 (!) guests.


For those of you still in school, you may not want to lengthen your course load, however you may want to add something completely different to your routine. Personally, I registered for an online course through Yale offered on Coursera called the Science of Well-Being. Although I am on a computer most of the day, working, I sit down with this course in the evenings and just listen to the lectures, instead of reading them. An online course may not be your thing, so find something else. Teach yourself how to do something new. YouTube and Pinterest are filled with new ideas and projects, and people who can teach you how to get started!

Ease your mind:

I know this wasn’t one of our main topics, but it’s an important one, especially at this time. Make sure you are taking some time to log off and unwind. Turn off the news, log out of social media and put down the controller. Take some time to focus on your breath, your meditation, or your sleep. I find it relaxing to listen to an audiobook sometimes before bed. Try these awesome apps, to help you lessen your anxiety, perhaps get a better sleep and essentially take your mind off the stresses of day to day life right now.

Calm App: Calm is the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation

Audible: Listen to to your favourite stories and books aloud with audiobooks from Audible.


That’s it! I hope at least one of those habits or substitutions will inspire you to try one out yourself! We are all in this together, we have to take it day by day. We WILL get through this, and we might be better for it in the long run.

Take care friends!
Trish & the Varsity Fam