Tag Archives: coronavirus

Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

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Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

Hey! I don’t know about all of you but, some days, I just feel totally blah. The weather is gloomy, COVID-19 makes me so worried, and the state of the world is very stressful. It’s also easy to feel even more down and out when all of your normal activities with friends, families, and clubs have been postponed until safer times. I’m sure that all of us are itching for a big change and, until that happens, it’s up to us to keep ourselves positive and motivated. Small changes that you can accomplish, despite everything going on, can really help perk you up. So, how about trying the following:

Your Furniture Layout:

If you’re getting sick of being in the exact same living room or home office that you have been confined to for months, switch it up! Rearrange the furniture, hang up some new art work, or create a photo collage with all of the pictures that you’ve been meaning to get developed. It won’t be as nice as a complete change of scenery like going to the beach but it will make the space you’ve been stuck in different and that’s all that matters.

Your Hair:

Perhaps you’re not bored with your location but your appearance. I know that I desperately miss getting all dressed up but, since there’s nowhere to be, the concept of “looking nice” has been long forgotten. If you are interested in changing up how you look, then now is the perfect time to try that new hair style or color that you have always had in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want, it’s no matter – your hair will be back to normal by the time it’s safer to be in public.

Your Perspective:

Whenever I am feeling blue, I try and think about all of the good things that happened to me even though I am at home. For example, last week I went grocery shopping and I told Johnny that despite everything going on I’m thankful that I have him, a fridge and pantry full of food, and a roof over our heads. It’s important to still remember all of the positive things that you have no matter how small they are. If nothing else, be thankful that you are safe at home and preventing your loved ones and perfect strangers from becoming sick.

Your Hobbies:

I think that all of us can agree that watching Netflix or your preferred streaming service is a universal favorite hobby right now. But, getting lost in TV every day is doing your mind and body no favors. Dedicate at least an hour per day to work on your mental and physical wellness. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meditate, or call a friend. I know everything is so monotonous right now but you have the tools to help break that cycle if you choose to use them.

Your Goals:

Creating new goals for yourself can be an exciting way to fill free time and it’s even better when you begin accomplishing them. Make yourself a dream board with all of the things that you want to achieve in the next year or so and work on making it happen. Once you have an idea and a plan, all that needs done is for you to carry it out. What will you be putting on your dream board?

Changes big or small always help me shake away the blahs and I hope that some of the ideas above help make you feel better too!

What do you do when you have a case of the blahs? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

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Pandemic Worthy New Year’s Resolutions

Hello! I, personally, never make New Year’s Resolutions. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t help you come up with yours! I’m sure it feels difficult to set goals when leaving the house isn’t the best option so how about some ideas that you can accomplish from the comfort of home? Like the following:

Doing workout videos:

If losing weight is one of your goals, then there are a plethora of work out videos online that you can do from your living room. From yoga and Zumba to simple stretches, there is sure to be something that works for you. Maybe some of the trainers at your local gym even have classes recorded! Start with one or two classes a week and continue adding on from there once you feel ready. Hey, just one half hour class is an awesome achievement if it’s something you’re not used to. And Netflix isn’t going anywhere, I promise. 🙂

Caring for indoor plants:

If you want to improve on your green thumb, try caring for some indoor plants until it gets warm enough to garden outdoors. Not only will they beautify your space but they will help clean the air as well as give you something productive to do. Check out Pinterest and create a photo worthy succulent garden. Or grow some herbs indoors to use while you test out new recipes. It feels good to take care of a plant and help it grow and it will be exciting to track its progress every day.

Scheduled video chats:

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that family and friends do not get to see each other as often as before. If this is something that you have been down about, then pencil in scheduled video chats with those you miss. It is the next best thing to hanging out in real life and it feels nice to have something to look forward to marked in your calendar. I live for my FaceTime dates with my besties and this reminds me that I have to schedule some calls, myself!

Fostering/adopting a pet:

If you have always wanted a furry, scaley, or feathery friend to keep you company, then there is no better time than the present – especially if you are working from home. Do your research and visit a local animal shelter or rescue organization for your new best friend. If you are not ready for the full time commitment of a new pet, then fostering is also a great and much appreciated option.

If you love animals but cannot commit to having a pet, you can also help local shelters by providing old blankets or towels, food, and toys. Organize a community drive and help make a difference.

Work on a new/old hobby:

As always, the New Year is the best time to learn a new hobby or get reacquainted with an old one. Set aside a half hour every day or few days to work on a hobby that is fun for you. It’s impossible to be good at something overnight but the improvements that you will make with steady practice will help motivate you to keep working at it. Learn a new language, paint that picture from a tutorial, or try your hand at Photoshop. Practice makes perfect and by 2022 you will be amazed at how far you’ve come!

Get inspired with the tips above and carve out some time at home to begin working on your goals!

What are your resolutions for 2021? Have you been sticking to them so far? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Keeping Your Life Running Smoothly Mid Pandemic

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Keeping Your Life Running Smoothly Mid Pandemic

2020 has been a true testament to events happening that feel completely out of your control, which can make life seem so overwhelming. But, it’s good to remember that there are plenty of things that are one hundred percent up to you despite all of the craziness that happened in 2020 and still continues. If you are feeling a bit lost right now, anchor yourself with doing the following to get you back on track and keep you there:

Get things done:

Time does not stand still and nor can you. It’s important to take care of problems as they arise instead of brushing them off. Get any appliance repairs that need done fixed immediately, get your oil in your car changed, have your computer looked at if it runs slowly when you are working from home. Holding off on essential fixes will just give you even more stress in the future.

Create a daily to do list:

So much free time and a lack of a set schedule is enough to make a lot of people feel anxious. If this sounds like you, then map out your day with a to do list. Having an idea of what you’re going to do each day can be a lot less stressful than making it up as you go along. Be sure to pencil in some time each day for self improvement through exercise or a hobby. There is also nothing wrong with scheduling in TV time once all of your tasks are complete, either!

Talk it out:

Is there someone in your life who you feel immediately comforted by when you speak? Sometimes, all you need is to hear the caring voice of a friend or family member to get yourself centered. Have a weekly phone call with that person and catch up as well as confide about anything that’s bothering you. Your mood will be improved by the time you hang up and you won’t feel as hung up about previous stressors.

Add variety:

Every day might be feeling exactly like the last and it can feel like you’re never going to get out of the cycle of work, Netflix, repeat. So, it’s up to you to add variety into your life. Try your hand at cooking something brand new for dinner with ingredients you have never tried, watch a film in a foreign language, explore a different hiking trail, or read a book outside of your favorite genre. It might not seem like much but changing up small things can make a really big difference.

Keep yourself going in the right direction with the advice above because smooth and steady wins the race… Or however that saying goes!

 

Pandemic Problems: Is Your Home Haven On Rocky Waters?

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Pandemic Problems: Is Your Home Haven On Rocky Waters?

For years, the human species has adhered to the fact that no person is an island. With that in mind, we’ve put ourselves out there and generally socialized as much as possible. In the last year, however, that advice has very much changed and, for many, this shift hasn’t exactly been a smooth transition. Luckily, as we seek new ways to communicate, many of us are finding that we can get by with far less extroversion than we’ve been led to believe. Unluckily, a failure to take care of your island could soon see your mental health suffering regardless.

Our homes have gone from being places where we sleep to being our entire worlds. In many cases, the landscape simply isn’t prepared for this level of usage. That’s bad news for your happiness and efficiency throughout these lock down days, and it’s something you need to address. To help you do that, we’re going to consider three common problems that could be leaving your home lacking:

You haven’t put a personal spin on things:

If you’re used to spending just a few hours at home, you may not have ever done much with the space. That needs to change sooner rather than later now that your home time hours have extended so much. Something simple like decorating to your tastes or framing a few personal snaps could make a huge difference to helping you settle despite what’s happening outside of your four walls.

There’s no space to breathe:

A cluttered home has never helped with mental health, and certainly won’t now. Sadly, getting rid of a mess is harder than ever at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can keep putting it off. There’s no excuse to let clutter rein free when you consider that skip bin hire is still available, and companies have taken significant steps to keep it safe. By investing sooner rather than later, you can get rid of all of the rubbish that’s been building up through lock down. With space to play with, you’ll soon feel like you can breathe again despite continued restrictions.

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You haven’t split the space:

Lastly, your trouble may be due to something as simple as a lack of segmented spaces. With many working from home, splitting work and living areas is fundamental. It also pays to have daytime and nighttime spaces to break things up. Even in a small flat, changing furniture or lighting could be a split enough from day to night, etc. If you have the space, though, keeping each room for a different purpose could soon see you feeling like you’re traveling a whole lot further than you actually are.

We may have been existing solely at home for a while now, but this is still a difficult adjustment to make. Ease your passage by considering these home issues and doing what you can to get your island right at last.

Featured Image By: Pexels

3 Things That Keep Me Sane

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3 Things That Keep Me Sane

Hello! Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnny and I have essentially just been in our apartment other than work and groceries. No one is saying that it is not monotonous AF but it is for the best and we will continue doing our part in keeping ourselves and loved ones safe. With continuous days at home, it can be hard to work up the motivation to do much of anything. But, setting goals has always helped me move forward with what I want to accomplish and completing these three tasks every day has kept me from going totally stir crazy:

Writing Every Morning:

Whether it be on a work day or the weekend, as soon as I take my morning shower and ready myself for the day, I sit at the computer and prepare a scheduled post to publish. I never thought that I would be able to keep daily content coming when there is literally nothing to do. I have surprised myself and think that I am even better at my craft now because I have learned to draw inspiration from all of the little things that now make up my day.

I feel a great sense of accomplishment every time I complete a post during this pandemic because it really can be difficult. However, lifewithlilred has been dedicated to creating daily content for the past several years and not even COVID-19 can stop that! Starting my morning off with a goal already checked off of my to do list makes me feel ready to take on the rest of the day and keeps me motivated to do it again tomorrow.

Practice Languages:

One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and every day I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. In fact, I am on an over eighty day streak of daily practicing and I have never even come close to that before. This Christmas, Johnny got me Duolingo Plus to help me continue practicing my languages in a more efficient way and it has been awesome. No adds and unlimited hearts, baby!

I like to set aside at least an hour every day to work on learning new languages and I feel proud of the huge steps that I have taken in each one that I practice. I definitely feel like I have gotten better in all of them – particularly German and Czech and I never thought that would happen! I feel excited to learn more each day and I can’t wait to get to a one hundred day streak!

Read:

The last thing that I like to do every day is read. I have always been an avid reader and I enjoy it even more now because I feel like I can escape my apartment and join the characters from the book in their world. I try to read at least thirty to forty pages plus in whatever book I am working on each day. I love the feeling of excitement I get every time I crack a book open because I know I am going to be transported on an adventure. However, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after finishing a book and starting a new one even more. 😀

I am currently reading a delightful book called Miss Benson’s Beetle by one of my favorite authors, Rachel Joyce. It has been a nice palette cleanser from the psychological thrillers that I have been reading so definitely be on the lookout for a Lil Red’s Book Club review of it soon!

Once I complete these three tasks every day, I give myself permission to play all of the video games or watch all of the Netflix that I want. Hey, everyone deserves a treat after accomplishing their daily goals, right? 🙂

Do you set daily goals for yourself? Have you improved on one of your hobbies during the pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

5 Ideas To Fill Your Free Time With

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5 Ideas To Fill Your Free Time With

It’s safe to say that, at the moment, we all have more free time than we ever have had in the past – especially if you are unable to work due to the restrictions that are currently in place or are on furlough. That’s a lot of free time to account for! Back in normal times, you may have spent evenings or weekends with friends and family, going to different events or meetings, or just being out and enjoying different activities. With all of those options depleted, we all need to be able to find new ways to fill our free time. Here are five ideas to inspire you:

1. Reading:

If you know that you usually spend a lot of time watching Netflix or different TV shows and movies, maybe you want to shake that up and choose to read, instead? Reading can be really relaxing, it can help you to expand your horizons, and it’s enjoyable too. It also allows you to have an adventure with the characters in your book!

2. Learning Something New:

Maybe you want to challenge your brain a little more? It could be that you would love to learn something new. Could learning how to speak French fluently be a goal for you? Or how about mastering a new piece of computer software that you have always wanted? This can be a fun and very beneficial way to kill time.

3. Furthering Your Career:

Being on pause from your job can be a bit strange and it can also leave you thinking about what else you want to do in life. If you’ve found that you don’t like where you’re currently at professionally, it will be nice for you to think about what you can do to try and change that or drive your career forward. Maybe you want to earn an mph degree online or learn new skills that will help you to apply for a new job? Sometimes, a career change could be what you need to fill your free time.

4. Something Creative:

It’s always fun to get more in touch with your creative side. So maybe you want to paint something, make something, or sew something? You don’t have to have been into crafts your entire life to turn to a creative pastime and really enjoy it. Why not pick up knitting, drawing, or cross-stitch? There’s no better time than the present!

5. Launching A Business:

It could even be that you’ve always been interested in starting a side hustle. So this could be perfect for you and just what you want to be able to change your career or start something new. Maybe you love baking? Or do you enjoy writing? Or you love the idea of consulting? If you have the time now, why not dedicate some of it towards this? You may find that you not only enjoy it, but it can really take your life in a new direction too.

Use the ideas above to help motivate yourself and turn your time away from work into something equally as productive!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Making The Most Out Of Your Time At Home This Winter

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Making The Most Out Of Your Time At Home This Winter

Now that we are in the midst of the cold, dark winter months you are most likely spending the majority of your time cooped up at home since social distanced outdoor hang outs are out of the question. It is probably the longest time a lot of us have spent continuously at home, in the space of just a few months! However, there are ways you can turn this negative into a productive positive with the following ideas:

Learn new skills:

When is the last time that you ever had seemingly unlimited time at home? I can’t remember! Now is the best time to take up new hobbies like cooking, baking, crafting, or photography. It is also ideal for finishing those projects that you have wanted to get around to but never had the time for. Paint the guest room, redecorate the bathroom, or clean out the garage – it feels good to check items off of your to do “eventually” list!

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Keep your home nice and toasty:

At this point in your time at home, you might end up noticing jobs that need to be done around the house like when you spot a hole in the ceiling of your roof as you pack away Christmas decorations in the attic. This is when you need the assistance of Blue Spruce Roofing Company who are professional roofing experts that will be able to inspect and repair any problems you are experiencing. It’s vital to ensure that your cozy nights remain just that, nice and toasty and totally draft free.

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Declutter your space:

Now is the ideal time to reorganize, sort through your possessions, and actually drop your bags of used items off at a local charity instead of driving around with them in the trunk of your car for months. These items could also be regifted, sold online via Facebook marketplaces, or apps like Offer Up. Free up that unnecessary clutter in your life and start afresh. If you haven’t made use of whatever you are considering letting go of in the past year then, chances are, you won’t be using it again.

Heading into 2021 gives you the opportunity to enter into a brand new year with a completely clean slate. Leave all negative vibes behind in 2020 and continue to stay safe by making the most out of your time at home. Cheers!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Inspiring Careers To Consider

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Inspiring Careers To Consider

2020 has been the year of career changes. For the majority of us, this hasn’t been a particularly desired or fortunate circumstance. The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant number of companies collapsing, struggling to get by as a result of social distancing and isolation measures that have been implemented with the purpose of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. This has resulted in many job losses, redundancies, and more.

Many of us have also found ourselves in periods when our jobs have been deemed non-essential and we have been asked to stay home. This has given a number of people the opportunity to realize that the roles we were previously in aren’t for us and that we want to get involved in a different field of expertise or industry. Now, if you’re looking for a new job, there are countless directions you could go in. But the pandemic has opened many of our eyes to the sheer importance of many roles within society and you might want to give one of these inspiring positions a go:

Physical Healthcare Services:

We’ve been hugely reliant on healthcare services and staff throughout this pandemic. Without them, this whole situation would likely have been even worse than it has been. There are a huge array of healthcare roles to choose from, so no matter what your skills, experience, or interests, chances are there will be a position out there to suit you!

Of course, to work in healthcare, chances are you’re going to have to spend a fair amount of time in education and training. Whether that’s a seven to eight year medical degree or an online MHA degree. These roles tend to be high responsibility and often require expertise, so the education is essential. But it is all more than worth it when you land the position at the end. Plus, when you qualify and train in healthcare positions, you can feel relatively certain that there will be ongoing and consistent demand for your work when you finish.

Mental Health Services:

The 2020 pandemic has also opened many of our eyes to the significance, severity, and wide spread of mental health concerns and conditions in society. In the past, there was a taboo attached to mental health issues. But as scientific and medical research has advanced and as societal boundaries have changed, we are growing increasingly aware and open about our mental health. The pandemic has seen many people struggle and there are always people in need of support when it comes to mental health conditions. You could help! Again, there are many routes you could take – from psychiatry to working as a helpline operator or running support groups. Again, qualifications and training are likely to be required. But again, knowing how much you are helping others will prove all more than worth it.

These are just two types of roles that have been highlighted as extremely important during this pandemic. If you’re considering a career change, you may want to take them into consideration!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone and a Merry Christmas and very happy holiday season to all of you! I just wanted to stop by to send wishes of health and happiness to you and yours as well as good vibes for 2021 not being as sucky as 2020. If you are celebrating with your loved ones, please continue to be smart and safe. Although the holidays are an exciting time, the coronavirus still gives massive cause for both concern and caution.

I never thought that I would be warning people of a global pandemic in one year’s time when I was writing my Christmas post last year. But, we all have to keep rolling with the punches and looking forward to better times ahead. My heart goes out to those who will not be able to celebrate with their family and friends this year but Christmas is not just a holiday – it’s a feeling. You can keep the holiday cheer going all year round and gather with those you hold dear when it’s safer.

No matter what you do or how you celebrate, I wish all of you the happiest, safest, and merriest of days and I just know that better times are right around the corner! ❤

Happy Holidays!!!

How are you safely celebrating the holidays this year? What are you looking forward to in 2021? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

FaceTime Fun

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FaceTime Fun

Hi! This seems like a resounding theme on all of my posts but in my neck of the woods, we are currently in threat level PURPLE for COVID-19. Not to be confused with Threat Level: Midnight from The Office. Those of us that get the severity of COVID and are taking it extremely seriously are hunkered down hardcore right now. Johnny and I have not seen any of our friends in at least a month at this point and it’s lonely and it sucks. I think I would honestly go crazy if I didn’t have my Johnny with me and, thankfully, I’ve had technology on my side too.

I have become a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/phone call addict so that I can still keep in touch with my nearest and dearest. I love having scheduled chit chat “dates” and it gives me something to look forward to. Being able to “see” my friends even through the computer or phone screen helps put a renewed pep in my step and it’s the next best thing I have right now to actually hanging out. I have wholeheartedly embraced this form of contact and I highly recommend that my readers/social media friends follow suit… Especially if COVID is as bad in your area as it is in mine.

A very special bestie in my life has added an extra ray of sunshine to my blah quarantine existence by our weekly or biweekly FaceTime chats. For those of you who don’t know, Johnny and I chose to sit out on Thanksgiving with our family this year. So, believe me when I say, I was completely touched when my darling Kate of Live In The Nautical suggested that we FaceTime on Thanksgiving day.

Kate has been one of my best friends since lifewithlilred began. It’s crazy, because we’ve only met each other in real life once but I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything through our constant back and forth via our blogs, social media, texting, and FaceTime. I am so thankful to her because she knew how shitty I was feeling on Thanksgiving and she took time out of her celebrations to talk to me. It meant so much and I really do treasure the times that we have to see each other and catch up.

I wish that I could see my friends right now and I know that a lot of you do too. Is a video chat the most ideal way to see them? In normal times, no. But things are far from normal right now so I’d say video chatting is friggen perfect. It’s hard to feel so isolated but Johnny and I have been doing our damnedest to stay safe since March. FaceTiming has helped with the loneliness and if you are feeling down, then schedule a chat with one of your besties. It can only help and I think you will feel much better after. I know I did. 🙂 ❤

How do you keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic? What do you miss the most about “normal” life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah