We Get Letters!

Like it or not, each issue, Tonic Publisher Jamie Bussin gives his thoughts on health and wellness.



Let’s get this out of the way. I’m tired of talking about Covid-19. I know. I know. There’s no real way around it. It creeps into every conversation, every consideration. It is the layer of schmutz that permeates every aspect of our lives right now. We know this. We know about social distancing. We know about testing protocols. We’re all waiting for good news about a vaccine. So really, what more is there to say?


Well, if we refocus our attention away from the disease and towards what we have learned from it, plenty. So, although I might be the most glass-half-emptiest dude in the Western Hemisphere, I’m going to concentrate on the positive…or at least the present, with a nod to readying ourselves for the future.


While we can’t fully prevent getting the disease if and until a vaccine is developed, we have demonstrated that if we work together (as families, communities, cities, provinces and as a country) we can go a long way to mitigate its terrible effects. We don’t need to be selfless, but we recognize that we must consider the collective need. If there is a dreaded “second wave” we will be better prepared for it, and while it will likely require more sacrifice, I think we’ve learned enough to do a better job of protecting ourselves and our most vulnerable family, friends and neighbours.


We’ve also been reminded how important it is to try our best to be well. The great cocooning has taught us that if we don’t exercise we will lose muscle mass and get soft, and if we eat more we’ll get even softer, and if we don’t sleep we get softer still (and probably crankier) and if we lose our sense of purpose we won’t even care how soft and cranky we might get. The one thing we all have more of is time. We all have time to eat better; to make our own nutritious meals. We all have time to exercise, even if it means just getting off the couch to go for a walk.
We all have the time to practice sleep hygiene…and maybe sleep in a bit in the morning.


No, we can’t control what’s happening to us, but then again we never could. Ruminating on the past is like binge watching five seasons of a crappy Netflix series: It’s a waste of time. And planning for the future seems like a bit of a fool’s errand. That leaves us with the present, and how we conduct ourselves. When that glass feels very, very empty, that is the precise time to stop thinking about yourself completely and do something for someone else. It can be as simple as checking in with a family member to see how they’re doing, playing a game with your child, cooking your wife her favourite dinner, or even a random act of kindness. At a minimum you’ll gain perspective. But I suspect you’ll gain much more; purpose, satisfaction, empathy, peace and hopefully the positive energy necessary to better cope with your present.


And, I hope, with this issue of Tonic, we can help move you forward in your best present. Joel Thuna has the recipe for a Fall detox. Carlyle Jansen has some great ideas on how to cope with loneliness (at p. 20). Megan Horsley has some quick tips on digestion  and Naomi Bussin will help you up your sourdough breadmaking. And if you want to learn more about any of those topics you can visit thetonic.ca and listen to the full interviews on those topics. As always, if you’d like to discuss this note or anything you’ve read in this issue, feel free to reach out to me.

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