Tag Archives: coronavirus

Live A Healthy Lifestyle During Quarantine

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Live A Healthy Lifestyle During Quarantine

Though vaccines are now being mass-produced and administered, some start to slack when it comes to focusing on their health. Vaccines can help protect us, but they do not guarantee 100% immunity. That is why we should put extreme importance on maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. Now that you are spending more time at home, you can use this opportunity to start devising a plan on how you can further improve your overall health and well-being. Try starting with the following:

Exercise Daily:

Our regular visit to the fitness center and outdoor walk in the morning are some routines that were disrupted by the ongoing lockdown. Many find it hard to continue their usual exercise because they do not have the same equipment that they use in the gym. However, the lack of daily exercise has many negative side effects.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lack of adequate physical activity can lead to illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, as well as type 2 diabetes. Not exercising also causes bone and muscle weakness, which can lead to serious illness as you age.

To help your physical body, experts say that you need to engage in some form of physical activity once or twice a day for approximately 30 to 90 minutes. You do not need to have special equipment to exercise at home. If you still cannot jog or walk outside, you can start by going up and down your stairs or walking briskly around your garden or backyard. You can also do jumping jacks, sit-ups, planking, and side bends.

Eat Nutritious Foods:

The pandemic caused fear worldwide, and the idea of running out of supplies caused many to hoard non-perishable foods that can be stored for a long time. Canned goods have been the go-to items of many. But in reality, these types of food are often unhealthy. Studies show that bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in canned packaging, can migrate from the can to the food itself. Ingesting high amounts of BPA can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Many find it hard to buy fresh produce because most markets are still closed because of the lockdown. However, the fruits, vegetables, and meat you see in the supermarket are as good as what you can get from local butchers and farmers’ markets. Though they are perishable, there are still ways for you to extend their shelf life. Make a conscious choice to cook fresh and nutritious foods instead of turning to canned goods or instant-cook items.

Pay Attention to Your Body:

Excessive weight gain has become common since the lockdown began. Aside from eating unhealthy foods, many are at risk of obesity because they turn to eat as a way to cope with the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic. As mentioned above, the two main things that you can do to prevent this from happening are to exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet. You can also stock up on fresh foods like leafy greens and fruits that can boost your immune system.

If you are older or near your senior years, you will also notice body changes, such as weakness of bones and muscles. Though these are normal changes, you can still help your body by taking in calcium-rich foods like milk and dairy. Hair loss is also common for older people and younger adults that are experiencing high levels of stress. Since salons are not yet open in many places, you can give yourself DIY or chemical-free hair treatment solutions right in your home.

Get Enough Sleep at Night:

Some adults find it hard to sleep at night because of the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic. But time and time again, our doctors advise us to get adequate sleep at night because it is the time when our bodies repair and recharge. You are also giving your brain the chance to rest and function correctly the next day. Generally speaking, humans need to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night, but this still changes depending on one’s age:

  • Newborn 0-3 months: 14 to 17 hours
  • Infant 4-11 months: 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddler 1-2 years: 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschool 3-5 years: 10 to 13 hours
  • School-age 6-13 years: 9 to 11 hours
  • Teen 14-17 years: 8 to 10 hours
  • Young adult 18-25 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • Adult 26-64 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adult 65 years and older: 7 to 8 hours

Living in a world threatened by a deadly virus is not an easy thing to do. Many are trying their best to adapt to the new normal, especially when it comes to their way of life. If you are struggling to find your footing, know that it is a process and you are not alone. Soon enough, you’ll be able to find effective ways to stay fit and healthy while living amidst a pandemic.

All Better!

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All Better!

Hello!!! Johnny and I got our second shot of the Moderna vaccine on April 29th and it completely knocked us both off of our feet. I am pleased to report that after two days of full on misery, I am back to normal and can better explain what we went through because I have the energy to sit at my computer! The following may sound awful but it is so worth it to have the vaccine and be better protected for ourselves, loved ones, and strangers. Let’s get to it:

About four to five hours after our shot, we both experienced pain in our arm and a very restless night of sleep. I also think we both had a fever that night too. Upon awakening the following morning, absolutely everything hurt. My arm, my legs, head, stomach – you name it. All day, Johnny and I experienced a fever and chills and went from bundling up in blankets to blasting the air conditioning almost every half hour.

The day after our shot, moving felt physically impossible and I slept off and on for a majority of the day. Johnny did not experience any nausea from the shot but I was very queasy and could only drink water or juice while he could snack on bland foods like crackers. I cannot recall a time when I felt sicker than the day after our second shot and I was excited for the day to end so I could wake up and, hopefully, feel much better. Unfortunately, that was not the case for yours truly although Johnny felt almost back to normal two days after aside from being tired.

We both had a fever that night and I woke up so nauseous that I still couldn’t eat anything. Even if I wanted to, I had no appetite whatsoever. From about ten in the morning to two or so, I vomited five times and laid on the couch or in bed while Johnny played video games. By four thirty and several Tums later, my nausea subsided enough that I was able to eat two small bowls of my mom’s homemade mac n’ cheese and half of a piece of pizza from Pizza Hut. It was one of the best meals I have ever had!

After eating a little bit, the haziness of the past few days lifted considerably and I felt more worn out than anything. Once again, I woke up the following morning in a sweat through nightgown so I am sure I ran a fever throughout the night and was happy to no longer feel any nausea. I just felt weak and tired from all of the strain on my body and lack of food. However, what I felt wasn’t debilitating because I am sitting here writing and that definitely cannot be said for the day before!

Now that I am feeling back up to snuff, the pain and discomfort Johnny and I both experienced after our second shot feels like a vague memory. I feel proud of the both of us for being vaccinated knowing the possibility of the side effects and we would want to be the first in line to do it again if need be.

The COVID-19 vaccine is such an important tool in flattening the spread of the coronavirus once and for all and it is up to all of us to implement it. We have seen the utter devastation that it causes and masking up and getting your vaccine shows that you care about your fellow community members. Although I experienced almost every side effect the vaccine has to offer it was so worth it and Johnny and I can’t wait to see our friends and family while being better protected.

Which side effects did you experience after the vaccine? How long did they last for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

See You Tomorrow!

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See You Tomorrow!

Hello!! I am writing this two days after I got my second Moderna vaccine and your girl is not doing so hot. The day after was complete misery and while today is much better than the first, it is exhausting to do just about anything. So, with that being said, I will see you all tomorrow when I am, hopefully, feeling much better! Much love. -Sarah

Vaccine Team Pt. 2

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Vaccine Team Pt. 2

Hi! I am so pleased to announce that as of April 29th, Johnny and I are fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. When we got our first shot, we drove to the location in white out snow conditions and this time around, it was like driving in a monsoon! Rain, snow, and hail were not going to stop us from getting vaccinated and I am very thankful that we made it to both appointments safe and sound.

Similar to when we got our first shot, Johnny and I were in and out in about a half hour and were feeling good for most of the evening. Then, five or so hours later, we both took a turn for the worst with really sore arms, headaches, and what felt like a fever for me and chills for Johnny. We were SO miserable that night and the following day and we both just couldn’t get any relief. There was, honestly, a part when I started crying because everything hurt so bad.

Johnny had to keep reminding us both that what we were experiencing was better than getting COVID and while that didn’t make me feel any better at the time, he is most certainly right. Being fully vaccinated despite all of the aches, pains, and restless nights makes it all one hundred million percent worth it.

Although the second vaccine shot was no joke whatsoever, I still highly encourage everyone to get themselves scheduled for their vaccination. I feel so happy and proud to do my part to keep my loved ones and complete strangers safe and am incredibly thankful to begin feeling safer around others and have people feel protected around me too. Please join me and Johnny on the Vaccine Team!

What was your COVID vaccine experience like? Which side effects did you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

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COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

Hello! We are all eager for the COVID-19 pandemic to be over and done with and while there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a ways to go. It is exciting to think of what our lives will be like after the pandemic but it is important to not throw caution to the wind and act haphazardly with the health of yourself and those around you. I, for one, plan on keeping these precautions in place post pandemic:

Masking Up:

Thinking back to pre-pandemic times, it’s hard to understand why you wouldn’t wear a face mask if you aren’t feeling well and need to be out in public. I have always been good about staying home if I am feeling under the weather but I will continue to be keeping face masks handy in case I need to go to the doctor or the pharmacy. I also plan on wearing face masks even after the mandate is lifted in crowded areas like grocery stores and shopping centers. You can just never be too safe after living through a global pandemic!

Social Distancing:

I don’t know about you guys but I actually love the social distancing in public. I value my personal space and it has been nice to not have people all up in my business while running errands. Protecting my personal bubble while I am out and about will continue to be a priority for me because it really has made me feel so much more comfortable while in public.

Contact Free Grocery Shopping:

A few months ago, Johnny and I began doing contact free grocery shopping to help limit our exposure and have both agreed that we could never go back to doing in store shopping again. At our local grocery store, Giant Eagle, the curbside grocery pickup is free and incredibly convenient. Our shopping gets delivered right to the car by an employee and it has completely changed our grocery game. The curbside pickup has been an option at Giant Eagle even before the pandemic began and we will definitely keep on making the most of it.

Mental Health Breaks:

Working in the care field during a pandemic has easily been one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do and my mental health was really suffering. I have to take care of myself, first and foremost, before I can adequately provide care for others and began being more lenient with myself about taking a day off every once in a while. My mental health breaks allowed me to chill out in the safety of my home and regroup and I would return back to work feeling refreshed and capable.

Post-pandemic, I am going to be much better about listening to my body and what it needs and if that means a day off to get myself together, then that is okay. It is really hard for me to take time away from my clients because I miss them so much even if it is just one day but occasional mental health breaks will allow for me to be the best provider I can for them and it is well worth it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been insane, for lack of a better word. However, it taught me a lot of best practices that I plan on using long term to better protect myself, loved ones, and strangers. ❤

Which COVID precautions do you plan on keeping? What are you most looking forward to post pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vaccine Team

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Vaccine Team

Hello!!!! Johnny and I have been incredibly eager to get our COVID vaccine and about three weeks ago it was announced in Ohio that anyone over sixteen could get the shot after March 29th. Finally!! I am so pleased to say that by an insane stroke of luck, I was able to get Johnny and myself into one of the last appointment slots on April 1st to receive our first shot of the Moderna vaccine.

I’m not going to lie, it was very difficult to find an appointment time for the both of us because almost every single day at every single location vaccinating was fully booked. I went through the websites of pretty much everywhere in a forty-five minute range and kept coming up empty handed. So, like I said, it was a huge stroke of luck when the last location I checked still had some times available on April Fool’s Day. And the best part? It wasn’t a joke, either!

Johnny and I made a short drive to a Marc’s in Broadview Heights and it was actually pretty wild because we were driving on the highway in whiteout snow conditions. Thankfully, we arrived to our location safe and sound and were in and out in roughly a half hour. The vaccination process at Marc’s was so efficient and, frankly, I would have waited all day to get it because the feeling of relief I had after my first shot would make any waiting time well worth it. I am already counting down the days until our second shot.

While side effects after the vaccine vary from person to person, Johnny and I both experienced soreness in the arm we got the shot in for about a day and that was it. It was uncomfortable and we both agreed that the pain was similar to what we felt after we got injured in a car accident when we first started dating. But was it unbearable? Absolutely not and my arm felt much better after a nice, hot shower the following morning.

The peace of mind that Johnny and I feel after our vaccine is such a welcome sensation after being hunkered down for the past year and change. Of course, we will still be following all COVID safety precautions but it feels good to know that not only will we feel safer around other people but they can feel safe around us too.

I wanted to share my vaccine experience with all of you and am hoping that it will encourage those on the fence to reconsider. This vaccine really can save lives and it would, honestly, mean so much to me – especially as someone who has worked in the care field with high risk families throughout the pandemic’s duration. Johnny and I will be receiving our second shot at the end of April so make sure you check back for a Part Two update!

How has the pandemic changed your life? What is the vaccination registration process like in your area? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

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Love It: Contact Free Grocery Shopping

Hi! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, it is always best to find ways to limit whatever exposure you can and contact free grocery shopping is an amazing way to help with that. Johnny tried curbside pickup grocery shopping from our local store, Giant Eagle, earlier in February and loved it so much that he claimed he will never grocery shop any other way. With such praise, I figured I could give it a try too and ended up doing our shopping curbside pickup style at the end of February. I have to say, Johnny was so right – it was great!

Giant Eagle’s curbside pickup program has one of the employees do your shopping through a list created online and then you go to the store and your purchases get loaded into your car for you which allows for a completely contact free experience. It also gave me the thrill of online shopping even if it was just for food, lol! At first, I was having a lot of problems with Giant Eagle’s website running super slowly but once I logged on at a less peak time it was smooth sailing from there.

Online shopping for groceries was kind of weird at first but it actually ended up being really easy and insanely convenient. It was nice to be able to see all of the sales and promotions clearly from the website and apply coupons on the spot. I felt like I was able to take my time browsing the site instead of power shopping to get out of the store quickly which introduced me to options that I didn’t even know existed. Like frozen buffalo cauliflower!

I also was so thankful for the option to edit the cart once my order was placed because, in true Sarah fashion, I forgot a few things that I needed. I swear, I am always forgetting at least one or two things that I needed when I grocery shop which always ends up turning into an extra trip to the store. Online grocery shopping was no exception but, this time, I got to go back to my order and add the items that I forgot. No extra trip necessary. 😀

In my youth, I can remember how much I enjoyed grocery shopping with my mom and, pre-pandemic, I loved my trips to the grocery store. However, it is so important right now to utilize the options that different businesses have available to limit exposure for all parties involved. I am so glad that I gave curbside grocery shopping a try and plan on using it until it is safer. 11/10 would recommend!

What do you like to shop for online? Would you ever try using curbside grocery shopping? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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