Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

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Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

It is understandable to see how one’s mental health can be effected during the COVID-19 pandemic as everyone’s lives have changed so drastically in one short year. Jobs, finances, and socializing has all been turned upside down and that’s enough to stress anyone out. We all hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and normality will return soon, but in the meantime, if you are finding yourself struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression that you reach out and get the support you need.

Here are some useful suggestions on who you could turn to:

Mental Health Charities:

Mental health charities are wonderful as they have a stash of resources, trained staff, and professionals available to help. They can guide you and assist if counseling is needed, help you assess the best options available in your location, in addition to offering their services twenty-four hours a day. It is worth noting with charities, that there is a vast range of services offered and that some charities may have a more in-depth knowledge relating to specific age groups than others.

Your Family Doctor:

Approaching your personal doctor or physician is also a good port of call if you have any mental health concerns. They will be able to offer excellent guidance on additional support that can be provided and help arrange this for you. Whilst in some cases, they may even be able to prescribe medication to help support your recovery. As you will already have some relationship with this medical professional you may find this an easier first step than approaching someone new.

Employer:

Most employers have some kind of support system in place to help their employees. This will range from office workers that have occupational health benefits or private insurance included to actors and actresses that have an intimacy set coordinator in place to support their mental well being. Although you may find it tough approaching your boss to discuss these matters, know that they are there to help and support you.

Family And Friends:

Sometimes it can be easier to speak to someone you know and trust. Who is better than those that love you the most? Reaching out to a family member or close friend can make seeking help easier for some people. They already have an understanding of your situation, circumstances, and struggles. They are able to offer a friendly ear and, in some cases, can take some of the burdens you are feeling and offer or apply practical solutions to lift your mental load. Schedule a Zoom call with your best friend the next time you are feeling down, it will do a world of good.

It is important to talk about our feelings in such stressful times, not bottle them up! This will only make the pandemic feel more overwhelming. Schedule a call with a professional or a friend you trust to help ease mental health struggles and just know that you are not alone in feeling that way, at all.

Featured Image By: Pexels

My Lock Down Entertainment

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My Lock Down Entertainment

Hi! My lock down entertainment has mostly consisted of watching movies and TV and playing video games with Johnny as well as practicing Duolingo and reading at my leisure. Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I already had a majority of the available streaming services and I was thankful for all of them then and I’m even more thankful for them now because we will never hurt for something to watch! Here is the latest of what we have been enjoying lately:

TV Shows:

Johnny has currently been making his way through a couple of Ken Burns documentaries and if I don’t feel like watching, then I might pop on an anime on my computer. Johnny and I recently watched Castlevania on Netflix and, despite season three not being the best, it was overall really good. My brother recommended Parasyte and Demon Slayer to me and I absolutely loved Parasyte and finished it in a matter of days! I am now working my way through Demon Slayer and plan on giving Death Note a try next.

When we are not watching our shows separately, Johnny and I love tuning into the new episodes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Superstore, and Saturday Night Live every week. We also just binged The Mandalorian in a week! I am absolutely obsessed with The Child and already can’t wait for season three. Since The Office has been taken off of Netflix, we are watching King Of The Hill as our comedy and I am absolutely obsessed with Bobby too, lol. I am also very much looking forward to Netflix’s Sandman series which should be coming out at the end of 2021!

PS: For my fellow French speakers, La Mante on Netflix was excellent. 🙂

Movies:

Johnny and I really haven’t been watching too many movies lately. We watched Mad Max: Fury Road on Valentine’s Day at Johnny’s request and it was whatever, haha. It was just a two hour long car chase! Other than that, we watched Casablanca a few weeks ago which was fun because I had never seen it and Johnny has only saw it once. Trust and believe we said “we’ll always have Paris” like five hundred times while Johnny built his LEGO Paris skyline set. Obviously, we thought it was pretty funny lol!

Other than that, I watched a couple of French movies on Netflix in the past few months and both of them were awesome! If you like foreign films, then definitely check out Mon Frere and The Most Assassinated Woman In The World.

Reading:

The last book that I read was The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher which was not only crazy AF but fairly disturbing. I definitely needed a palette cleanser after that so I am just in the process of finishing The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley. It is a charming, weaving tale of how one little book ended up bringing together a group of unlikely friends. I only have a little over one hundred pages left so be on the lookout for a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club soon.

Duolingo:

On my last Duolingo update, I had just reached my one hundred day streak and I am currently past one twenty-five. I am so proud of my commitment to learning French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech as well as all of the progress that I have been making because I can definitely tell a difference. I also still can’t recommend Duolingo Plus enough. It is so nice to have unlimited hearts during a difficult lesson and also ad free which speeds up the process immensely.

Video Games:

For Valentine’s Day, Johnny got me Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube and I have been having so much fun playing it! I have been on a huge Mario kick during the pandemic and beat Paper Mario: The Origami King and Super Mario Galaxy which were both a blast. I have basically dropped off of Animal Crossing but will pop back on once they do an update for spring. You can only catch the same fish and bugs so much, ya know? Johnny and I play a lot of Diablo III together and we are also about to inherit our friend’s Nintendo 64 so we are really looking forward to that!

While going out would be nice, it’s just not safe right now. But you know what is nice for me? Ample time to watch all of the shows I never had time for, read all the books, and improve on my favorite hobbies – all while helping slow the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy your time in and make the most of it!

What has been your lock down entertainment? Which streaming service do you use the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

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Learning A New Craft In Lock Down

Hello! Life in lock down is, honestly, so boring at this point but the safety of ourselves, loved ones, and complete strangers is important and it makes all of the monotony worth it. If you have exhausted all of your ideas to keep you occupied at home, then it might be time to retire from your streaming services and try a new craft. There are so many amazing videos, kits, and how to guides out there to create something new and, today, we’re going to discuss a few of those options:

Knit Kits:

If you are interested in knitting, crochet, or macrame or would like to take the hobby up again, then there are so many websites that you can purchase kits from. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, each kit provides you with the pattern, step by step guide, and materials needed for you to make a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Stitch & Story, We Are Knitters, and Wool And The Gang are all great websites to browse through for your next project! When the weather is nice, you could even host a social distanced knitting circle in your own backyard.

Restoring Old Furniture:

A trip to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even shopping online through Facebook Marketplace can give you access to all kinds of gently used furniture just begging for a makeover. You could repair, repaint, or reupholster new life into secondhand items and redo your entire living room. Not to mention, make some extra cash if you ever want to turn your craft into a side hustle. Don’t forget garage sale style apps as well as Poshmark if you would like to profit from your new hobby.

Building With LEGO:

My boyfriend and I absolutely love building with LEGO and, although it isn’t a craft per se, I just had to include it on this list. Did you know that a LEGO replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night will soon be available for purchase? What about a botanical collection that boasts bouquets, bonsai trees, and succulents? LEGO is constantly adding new sets with unique pieces and colors and are always finding innovative ways to work surprises into each build, which makes it an exciting hobby to have.

You can showcase your creative side with LEGO through free building or incorporating different sets into your home decor. I would sure like to have a LEGO Starry Night hanging on my wall!

Homemade Products:

Making your own cleaning products, candles, and bath and body care can be a really fun hobby, makes great gifts, and helps save you money. Online guides will help you develop your new craft and you can even experiment with your own recipes once you have a better idea for the best ingredients and techniques. You will feel comforted in knowing exactly what is going into the products that you are using and, who knows, it could just turn into a side hustle in the future if you create something really good!

Don’t forget to check in with your local businesses and boutiques because some of the owners might be offering online workshops for homemaking different products or art. For example, the local specialty knitting shop in my area, Harps & Thistles, offers knitting kits too and it’s always cool to shop local. 🙂

Have you learned a new craft during the pandemic? How about improved on any old hobbies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

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Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Families can be difficult and, sometimes, you’re going to argue. Usually, disagreements get forgotten and things go back to normal but that isn’t always the case as some families might end up splitting apart and not speaking, potentially for years. Dealing with estranged family members can be incredibly difficult and many people feel as though they want to keep things as they are and not speak to those people ever again.

However, even though you feel like that in the heat of the moment, it’s something that you could come to regret later on. Many people find that when they become parents and they start thinking about the importance of family, they want to rebuild those relationships before it’s too late. If you have an estranged family member and you want to reconnect with them, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Forgive Them For The Past:

If you are searching for an estranged family member because you feel like you’ve got a score to settle, things are never going to work out. It’s important that you forgive them for the past before you reconnect with them so you are going into this process with a positive mindset. Many people are estranged from loved ones that have been in legal trouble, for example. If this is the case, you need to deal with the practical elements, like how to search for an inmate and set up a visit, but you also need to find a way to forgive them for the mistakes they made in the first place. If you are not ready to put the past behind you, meeting up with estranged family members will only make things worse for both of you.

Establish Clear Boundaries:

Putting clear boundaries in place will help you rebuild the relationship slowly and avoid conflict. You should make your boundaries clear from the beginning and what those boundaries are depends on the relationship and the reason for it breaking down. To start, you may tell them that you won’t tolerate lying if that was a big issue before. Sometimes, you may also need practical boundaries in place about what time they can call you or how often you will see one another. The whole process will be much easier if everybody has clear expectations from the beginning.

Maintain Other Family Relationships:

When you rekindle a relationship with a family member that you haven’t spoken to for years, it feels like you have to make up for a lot of lost time. It’s common for people to throw themselves into that relationship and neglect other family members without even realizing it. It’s important that you are aware of this and you take the time to do fun activities with the family and spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel like this new relationship has taken over everything else. 

These are all important things to consider but the main thing you need to remember is that you must be patient. Healing old wounds takes time, but as long as you don’t push it, your relationship can mend.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Stepping Up Your Pampering At Home

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Stepping Up Your Pampering At Home

Howdy! I don’t know about all of you, but I freaking love pampering myself with beauty treatments at home. From face masks to body scrubs and skin care, I have always enjoyed trying new products, scents, and ingredients to enhance my pampering even more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sure that many of us have turned to at home beauty treatments to minimize unnecessary exposure. And, due to the pandemic approaching its one year anniversary, you might be running out of ideas for your at home spa nights!

We all deserve to feel relaxed and pampered and if you are feeling blah with your current treatments, step them up by trying the following:

Make Your Own:

If you have exhausted all of the sheet and clay face masks at your local pharmacy or are sick of your bath and body care scents, why not try making your own beauty products? There are countless how to guides and recipes out there for face masks, hair and nail treatments, and lotion and you might just find your new favorite hobby. You will also be amazed at how many products you could make with ingredients that you already have in your own home like avocado, olive oil, sugar, and eggs. You could even have a Zoom spa night with your friends where you can all make and use a spa treatment together while catching up on the latest.

If you aren’t interested in making your own products but would like to try something new, then try supporting a local or small online business that specializes in beauty care. I love testing out products from local creators and often find that their products are even better than store bought brands!

Tend To Neglected Areas:

I recently just realized that I spend so much time with products for my face that I have lightweight neglected several opportunities for pampering. To emphasize that point, at almost twenty-seven years old I just started using hand lotion before bed regularly a month ago. If this sounds like you, spend some time during your next spa night getting acquainted with neglected areas like overgrown cuticles, dry elbows, and rough heels for a complete pampering experience.

Create A Relaxing Space:

There is absolutely nothing relaxing about sitting in your bathroom waiting for your face mask to dry, lol. Enhance your spa night by creating a relaxing space. You could draw a nice hot bath or you could carve out a little space in your home where you can lounge and read as your treatments settle in. Don’t forget that scented candles, oil burners, or incense as well as nature sounds and soothing music will help make your experience even better!

Lil Red Pro Tip:

I am definitely not perfect when it comes to my skin care and my recent bout with a super huge zit can attest to that! I also just got over a case of the literal worst dandruff ever about a month ago and all I can say if you are dealing with dandruff is: Olive oil. There was no Head & Shoulders at my place and after researching online, I learned that an olive oil treatment is really effective. I soaked my scalp with olive oil for about fifteen minutes, washed my hair twice to get it all out, and was blown away to see no more white flakes. See! Awesome beauty treatments can be found right in your own home. 🙂

Give how you pamper yourself a makeover with the tips above to spruce things up during your next spa night!

How do you pamper yourself at home? What is your favorite beauty treatment? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tend To The Following To Breathe Better In Your Home

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Tend To The Following To Breathe Better In Your Home

If you’ve ever had to think about what areas in your home could be damaging to your health, your first thought might be the pantry or refrigerator – the places where we keep our sweet treats and unhealthy snacks. However, there are some arguably more unhealthy areas in our homes that are a bigger cause for concern. Neglect in the following four examples all has the potential to cause breathing problems to develop over time so it is important to know what they are and how you can minimize the problem:

The Insulation:

Typically, we won’t spot insulation problems since, thanks to our heaters, they don’t really impact the temperature of our homes too much. However, bad insulation can mean paying over the odds energy bills to make up for the fact that without heat, we’d be freezing cold. But high energy bills are the least of our worries. Using heating systems all of the time can mean overheating the interiors of our homes which can cause a whole host of issues due to dry air and can impact our hair, sinuses, and skin.

Our AC Systems:

We rely so much on our AC systems for heat and air to keep our temperatures regulated throughout the year. But did you know that they can actually be making us sick? Not cool. When they break, you’re going to want to call a 24 hour AC repair place to get you back on track as having a broken, malfunctioning, or dirty AC system can make you sick. You might suffer from breathing issues, bad skin, headaches, and fatigue frequently. If this is the case, you should get your AC system checked out before symptoms get worse.

Air Pollution in the Home:

The air inside your home isn’t clean.

‘But I dust and clean every day!’ you might be saying, however, in spite of this, there are still tiny particles making the air dirty floating around even if you live far away from polluted cities. Cooking smoke, cleaning products, and indoor stuffiness can impact on the cleanliness of the home. Use certain indoor plants and air purifiers to help to eliminate the issue and to improve the quality of the air in the home.

Clutter:

Having excess clutter can be a nightmare for our mental health as we struggle with the ample extra time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Highly cluttered spaces not only gather dust but can also attract pests and bugs who will have plenty of places to hide. Both of these instances can be dangerous to your respiratory health.

There are many things that you could be doing to improve your quality of life in the home and the quality of the air seems like a perfect place to start, doesn’t it?

Featured Image By: Pexels

Whole Lotta Nothing

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Whole Lotta Nothing

Hi everyone!! Valentine’s Day has come and past and, now, I am eagerly awaiting the warm weather and (hopefully) lack of snow that comes with the spring time. It is exciting to think of the possibilities that come with spring amidst the COVID-19 pandemic because warmer weather means the opportunity to social distance with friends outside. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet as Ohio has been getting hit with a fair amount of snow, which means a few more months of a whole lotta nothing.

Johnny and I will have been hunkered down for an entire year on March 19th and we will continue doing so until it’s considered safe. However, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t getting a little impatient waiting for it! The excitement of the holiday season has been long gone and, while it has been nice hibernating, it will be even nicer to enjoy the sunshine and see people in person (while following all safety regulations) as opposed to on the screen of my laptop.

Despite having a whole lotta nothing going on, I still feel insanely lucky because boring is good right now. Being tucked safely into the apartment with Johnny watching our shows, listening to music, or playing games is the best thing that we can both be doing for ourselves and loved ones and I am proud of our dedication for the past year. The pandemic is a scary thing but knowing that we are both doing everything we can to protect people is really comforting to me.

If the cabin fever is starting to kick in more intensely for you in your lock down lifestyle, I get it completely. But, in a few short weeks, the sun will be shining and being outdoors with friends will be possible and I encourage all of you to keep holding on until then! Being able to say that you’re doing a whole lotta nothing during a pandemic is something to be grateful for, no matter how boring it is. Sink into the couch, start that new series on Netflix, and let the countdown till spring and better times begin!

What is your lock down lifestyle like? What are you looking forward to come spring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Spring Flowers To Brighten Your Day

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More Spring Flowers To Brighten Your Day

Hello! At my parent’s house a few weeks ago, my dad got a bouquet of the most lovely orange and yellow tulips for the kitchen table. I was so enamored by the sunburst colors, especially in the middle of winter, and I didn’t think that anything could be prettier. That is, until I saw the beautiful arrangement that my dad made special for Valentine’s Day. The ruby red tulips he picked out were such a unique twist on traditional V-Day roses and it also rang true to my Lil Red namesake so, of course, I was smitten! Check it out:

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Whenever I see a new bouquet at my parent’s house, it never fails to put a huge smile on my face. My dad has never been known to spend more than five dollars or so on flowers but he always manages to make his arrangements look stunning and expensive. These store bought tulips are divine, yes, but they still have nothing on my dad’s wildflower bouquets fresh from his garden in the summer!

As you can tell in the pictures above, there was snow on the ground when my dad made this bouquet and the contrast of the freshly fallen snow and the fiery red flowers was like Mother Nature putting on her own personal show special for us. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to delight in beautiful, colorful flowers and I feel so lucky that I constantly get to enjoy them at my parent’s house. ❤

What is your favorite flower? Do you have a green thumb? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

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Enjoying The Kitchen As A Family

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home so why not get better acquainted with it during your next family night as opposed to the usual movies or games. Kitchens are meant to be used and enjoyed and creating a meal with your family gives you the opportunity to work as a team in a different activity while still spending quality time together. Who knows, you might just have a secret chef in your home! Try the following during your next family night for some good food and good fun:

Agree On A Menu:

If you are going to prepare an entire dinner with your family, then it is best to agree on a menu beforehand so you can pick up all of the necessary ingredients and save you from any surprise trips to the store. Is there going to be a cuisine style that should be adhered to? Is each person going to make their own dish or will tasks be delegated? Will there be enough options for people with dietary needs? All of this should come into consideration while preparing the menu to ensure that everything goes smoothly while cooking your meal.

Don’t forget to read your recipes carefully for instructions that you must complete beforehand or a crazy long cooking time so you can plan accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to assign stations for everyone to work in so no one gets their toes stepped on and remember to tend to any fridge repairs that need done so all of your leftovers can keep!

Baking & Decorating:

If you’d rather move right onto dessert than try your hand at cooking a whole meal as a family, then that’s okay too! Baking and decorating desserts is fun for children and adults alike. You could even incorporate a competition element to the evening by offering a small prize for the best tasting (or decorated) dessert. Classic desserts are sure to please but there are plenty of creative updates on old favorites that you can try like cake pops and hot chocolate bombs. Making your own chocolate is also a great activity for those with a sweet tooth. 😀

Smoothies:

Going out for a hike with the family in the afternoon and returning home to make some smoothies seems like the perfect way to spend a spring day. Encourage everyone to make their own concoctions with a wide assortment of fruits and low fat yogurts to pick from. Smoothies are also great for sneaking in some veggies like spinach, kale, or carrots.

Slime & Play Dough:

Perhaps, you’d rather use your family time in the kitchen to whip up a few batches of slime or play dough together. If so, there are countless recipes online that you can follow for some colorful, creative fun made with ingredients in your own house. Your kids are sure to have a blast!

Retire your living room for family night and head to the kitchen instead for a more hands on, interactive evening. Creating in the kitchen as a family will encourage team work and help introduce children to different concepts in math like fractions and units of measurement. It’s just as educational as it is wholesome fun.

Spring Cleaning Check List

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Spring Cleaning Check List

As we near the end of February, the promise of spring after a long winter cooped up indoors is an exciting one. Sadly, the weather won’t warm up for a while but that doesn’t mean that your house can’t start feeling like spring time! Spring cleaning helps make your home feel as fresh as spring itself and is the perfect activity to conclude your winter hibernation with. Pay special attention to the following while you complete your spring cleaning:

Clean From Top To Bottom:

When cleaning a room, it is best to work in a top to bottom approach. Clear off and dust any shelving units or knick knacks and don’t forget the lighting fixtures. Give the windows in the room a good washing as well as any pillows, rugs, and blankets. It’s also a good idea to declutter as you go along to help the space feel more open. Once you have cleaned the top portion of the room, move onto the floors which will surely need some love after being walked on by snowy shoes. Working from top to bottom eliminates the possibility of scuffing up your nice clean floors after just washing them!

Know What To Prioritize:

Going over each room with a fine tooth comb is great, yes, but there are certain tasks on your check list that should take a higher priority. It is more important to tend to issues like leaks, holes, dryer or dishwasher repairs, as well as ensuring that your air conditioning is in working order to keep your house functioning safely and efficiently.

Work In Sections:

You are not obligated to complete your spring cleaning in one day. In fact, it’s better to break your chores up into sections so that you can clean and sanitize each area properly. Give yourself a few achievable cleaning tasks to accomplish each day so you don’t get burned out and take a break if you need to! The purpose of spring cleaning is to lighten the space and your mood, in turn, so give yourself a breather if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Switch Out Cozy Fabrics:

Thick curtains, plush rugs, and soft fleece blankets are all great for late fall and winter but not so much for spring. Switch out the cozy, seasonal fabrics at your place with gauzy curtains, canvas pillows, and more practical rugs. Remember to put your winter coats, snow boots, and chunky sweaters into storage to maximize the space in your closet too.

Get a head start on your spring cleaning with the advice in this check list to help make your home warm weather ready. Don’t forget that if you are out of any cleaning products, you can use contact free shopping to avoid any unnecessary exposure during the pandemic!