Life @ U of T

5 Things I’m Grateful For In Self-Isolation

Not much has happened since I went into self-isolation (no surprise there!). But my attitude towards it has changed. I began with a dump truck worth of emotional baggage: regret for the experience abroad I never got to finish, fear of boredom and loneliness, and cynicism about the future. But somehow, I have managed to work through a lot of those emotions, and I’m a lot happier now than I was two weeks ago. While I miss my pre-pandemic life, there are elements of this weird situation that I’ve come to appreciate. I hope that by sharing them, I can give you new ideas to brighten your day, or inspire you to find joy in your own routine.

Online Workouts

Thanks to all the gyms that are offering free Instagram Live classes, I have access to more workout options than ever before, and I have more time than ever to do them! I was worried that a lack of routine would kill my motivation to work out, but I’ve found that planning to “attend” a live workout class helps to hold me accountable. Some of my favourite classes have been from @ModoYogaMontreal and @unionyogastudio.

A blue yoga mat set up with a blue towel, black running shoes, grey water bottle, and iPad, which displays a yoga video.
My “gym:” conveniently located next to the laundry room.

Free Music

As a musician, I’m so proud of organizations that are bringing free music to the world, even when facing the financial hardship of cancelling live performances. From the comfort of my couch, I can enjoy the Wiener StaatsoperThe Berlin Philharmoniker and more! For your daily dose of Canadiana, the National Arts Centre and Facebook are sponsoring #canadaperforms: live performances from Canadian musicians, streamed for free to an electronic device near you.


Not gonna lie, I had no idea what Zoom was until I started self-isolation, but now it is my lifeline. Instead of going out, my friends and I “get together” on Zoom for game nights, movie nights, and even a “Night in at the Opera.” Zoom also allows me to keep “studying abroad.” Although navigating a 7-hour time difference is tricky, my 9:00 am singing lessons give me a routine to follow, and motivation to keep making music.

A screenshot of a FaceTime call. In the main screen, a teacher gives a thumbs-up. In the corner screen, the author is smiling.
Morning Video Lesson with my voice teacher, Maikki

My Backyard

Since I can’t leave home, my backyard is the only way to enjoy the outdoors right now. Fortunately, my parents have a KILLER backyard.  Every day I bundle up in my coat and blankets and take my homework with me to do outside. In fact I am writing this post from my backyard! Although I’ve had access to this space for years, I’ve never appreciated it like I do now.

Forest against a cloudy blue sky, with a bird feeder in the right hand foreground.
My backyard view, complete with bird feeder and sometimes, birds and squirrels!

Mom and Dad’s Awesome Cooking

The kitchen is off-limits to me, and I miss baking, but I am very well-fed. Some of the highlights of my self-isolation menu include homemade bread, pizza, and lasagna. I can’t wait to repay my parents with a ton of baking when I get out of isolation. Get ready for nonstop cookies!

A plate of lasagna, garlic bread and caesar salad.
Homemade lasagna, garlic bread and caesar salad. Yum!


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