self-isolation ashley callingbull
Image courtesy Ashley Callingbull. Design by Kayleen Dicuangco.

Self-Isolation Diary: A Day in the Life of Ashley Callingbull

"Being locked up for a certain amount of time can change a person’s mental state and working out definitely helps me relieve stress."

As people around the country enter their third week of self-isolation, FASHION is reaching out to some of our favourite Canadians to get a peek into how they’re living their lives in lockdown (remember: #StayAtHomeSaveLives). Each week, keep an eye out for new self-isolation diaries from actors, designers, athletes and artists who are riding this uncertain time out with us.

Ashley Callingbull, model, actress, motivational speaker

What a journey it has been and I’m nowhere near the finish line. When I went back to Florida in January I had heard of the coronavirus but as the weeks passed the situation became much more severe. I was thankful I’d left Europe in December but I was also scared to be outside of my home country during this pandemic. I wasn’t sure how things were going to unfold but I remained diligent on staying healthy and keeping my hands clean and away from my face.

The day the NBA decided to suspend the season was the start of my journey through the unknown. Following the NBA all sports were being suspended including my boyfriend Wacey [Rabbit]’s hockey league, schools and businesses were closing, and on top of that I was worried about my international health care coverage. Then the Prime Minister announced for the snowbirds to come home. I was one of those snowbirds and I was nervous because my boyfriend and I drove to Florida from Alberta which meant we had to drive all the way back through a time of panic.

We were already into day six of self-isolation in Florida and then it was announced there would be border closures. Our country, our families and the hockey league told us to come home so we packed up our life and got in my jeep and drove 4,300 kilometres across the country. I didn’t know what to expect but I stocked up with a week’s worth of non-perishable items and two bags of toilet paper, prepared to take on what’s ahead. I made sure to be extremely careful with where we stopped for gas and where we used the restroom. I only had two small bottles of hand sanitizer with me because unfortunately my Amazon package of hand sanitizers was stolen from my door step. Who knew it would be such a desired item during this day and age?

It was a crazy time but I knew it was safer to go home. The whole way back we saw signs about social distancing and alerts of COVID-19. You can tell people were afraid and some didn’t care at all. I kept my distance and counted the hours on the drive home. Once we got to the Canadian border we were told to do mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. Which means no leaving the house, no going for drives, having your groceries brought to you etc. I thought better safe than sorry. Once we got to our self-isolation spot we were stocked with goods that we needed and we were finally comfy and safe at last.

Day 1 began and I watched the news constantly. I knew it was going to drive me crazy and I needed to keep myself busy. I knew sitting on the couch or in bed while eating my wavy chips and French onion dip wasn’t going to help me physically. So thankfully my trainer Natasha who trained me for all my pageants set up an at-home workout system for me on the iTrack fitness app. I don’t have any weights so everything I do is my own body weight and these workouts are SO hard. As soon as I started moving again I felt alive. Being locked up for a certain amount of time can change a person’s mental state and working out definitely helps me relieve stress. I thought if I can do the Amazing Race Canada I can do this quarantine, no problem. Well I was wrong.

It’s really hard being away from everyone but having goals and things to do makes a huge difference. I’ve been working out, binge watching Friday Night Lights and I finished Tiger King…. Yes, I watched it. I can go on and on about that show but I won’t, but I recommend it because it’s crazy that it’s real. I started a routine where I wake up and have my Folgers coffee because the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup. Yes, I love Folgers that much so that’s something I look forward to everyday. Wacey or I then take my dog out to the backyard because we’re still not allowed to leave the house. Then we’ll have some breakfast and some friendly battles of the card game 31 or board games like Life or Monopoly. I prefer cards or Life because Monopoly brings out my competitive side and I can get moody. Hey! I’m not the only one! After playing some cards we’ll watch some television and play with our dog. Then it’s time for lunch and possibly a mid-day nap. After we’ve gotten the rest we didn’t really need we work out, then stretch and shower.

I always make time to video chat with my family and best friends because it will still be another week till I can see them and it’s been months since I’ve been home. After all this time in the day has passed it’s almost time for supper, binge watching on Netflix or Hulu and cuddling with my boys Wacey and Mr. Papagiorgio. Yes, I named my dog after one of my favourite movies, National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation. That set of movies are great for quarantining because you’re laughing so hard you forget we’re all confined in our homes. I can’t work right now because all my gigs have been cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, so staying busy at home makes me forget I can’t go anywhere. I’m counting the days till I’m able to hug my family and friends again. Currently on day 10 and four more to go. Bring it on!