Social distancing, otherwise known as physical distancing, is a measure of protection recommended as an intervention to slow the spread of contagious diseases such as the global COVID-19 and Coronavirus pandemic. By keeping a minimum physical distance from each other and reducing the times we come into close contact with one another in large groups, we’ll reduce the probability the disease will be transmitted, similar to keeping clear of those with influenza.

The distance specified for proper social distancing varies from nation to nation, however, on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, it is recommended via the official Six Nations of the Grand River Facebook page (link available here,) that a minimum of two metres (or six feet) between people should be observed whenever and wherever possible. That being said, practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be completely disconnected from anything and everything you love. For the effective maintenance of your physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes your spiritual health, there are ways and means of doing things while maintaining this physical distance from others.

Practice Good Physical Health

Social Distancing on Six Nations – What Does It Mean and What Can I Do?

There are some very easy ways you can continue to stay fit and healthy and practice good physical health during this time of social distancing. Doing stairs in your own home, taking online fitness or yoga classes, riding your bike, or even getting out onto the Six Nations Nature Trail are all good ways to keep your physical health in check. Provided you maintain the minimum social distancing required from other community members, you can safely experience the great outdoors – proven to be extremely beneficial not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Take Up a New Craft or Hobby

Social Distancing on Six Nations – What Does It Mean and What Can I Do?

The ability to do new crafts or pick up a new hobby through online courses and programs is easier than you think! The Woodland Cultural Centre has been offering kids’ craft sessions (with supply packages being made available for drop-off and pickup,) as well as events with an Indigenous focus that can be participated in at home. Likewise, Kayanase has been actively posting on their social media regarding at-home projects and dates for the provision of free seeds to help community members maintain social distancing while continuing to pursue their love for and interest in our environment. Their organization is also considered an essential service, and they remain open for orders and purchases for all your planting and forestry/reforestation needs. And, Grand Passage Outlet has made every effort to take their sales onto social media and allow for purchase pickup at designated times! That means you can still get your camping and fishing needs met while maintaining your social distancing!

Have Designated Media Disconnects

Social Distancing on Six Nations – What Does It Mean and What Can I Do?

Staying emotionally healthy during a normal day can sometimes be difficult, never mind trying to additional cope with a pandemic! Taking time to designate media disconnects, for yourself or your family as a unit to turn off the mainstream news, streaming, and social media access, will allow for you to emotionally “debrief” and relax. Yes, there is value in staying connected and informed. But, there is also the other extreme – which is being inundated with a constant flow of negative news and messages. Take some time to unplug, enjoy the peace and quiet, and maybe do something for yourselves. Practice your own in-home spa treatment with essentials from Grand River Spa! Order in a great family meal and sit down to a supper you didn’t have to cook! Restaurants throughout the Six Nations community are open for delivery and pickup, but call in advance for hours and service.

Take Up a New Podcast, TED Talk, or Self-Help Regime

Social Distancing on Six Nations – What Does It Mean and What Can I Do?

With time on your hands and the opportunity to do things you may never have gotten around to previously, consider some self-improvement initiatives to make the time go by faster. TED Talks are a great way to learn the best practices of others who have shared their experiences in a public speaking format – in under 18 minutes! Everything from debt management to the humour that can be found in everyday issues has been shared online. Indigenous politics, personalities, and history have also been shared in this manner. And, with a quick Google search, you too can become part of the audience. Podcasts are also a great way to grow and learn. And, there are many informative Indigenous platforms you might want to consider. In addition, guided courses and apps for hypnosis, meditation, and improving your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness are also great sources for staying “connected” to yourself and your mind/body while practicing social distancing.

Cook, Clean, or Do Yard Work

Social Distancing on Six Nations – What Does It Mean and What Can I Do?

The ability to enhance the skills you already have, or to better do the tasks that are always on your to-do list has never been more convenient than now. While social distancing and making best efforts to stay home, you can still go out to pick up the cleaning and cooking supplies you need at community stores where essentials are found. Beginning with posts shared to their social media in late March, elected Chief & Council provided the details on the businesses that were considered essential in the community and would therefore remain open. Where possible, shopping local has never been made easier (if we’re looking at the brighter side of things) in terms of where and when you can get select items. And local experts, such as Chef Tawnya Brant, are sharing online tutorials for better guidance. You could be cooking up a storm in no time! Recipe ingredients, household cleaning products for chores, and items for yard work can all be purchased here on the territory. And, while practicing your social distancing routines, we can all do so safely and effectively, and get what we need to get done!