Tag Archives: covid-19

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

 

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

Don’t Forget The Following When Cleaning Up At Work

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Don’t Forget The Following When Cleaning Up At Work

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all gotten in touch with our inner neat freak and that isn’t a bad thing at all. Our houses have all been cleaned and sanitized top to bottom and if you are not working from home, the same level of care when it comes to keeping your house clean should apply to your work place. Most people typically spend forty plus hours at work per week and it is important that they are safe during that time from injuries or illnesses that can come from an improperly cleaned space. Always keep the following in mind when you are completing your chore check list at work:

Check For Spills:

In a warehouse setting, spills that haven’t been cleaned up can be really dangerous for employees. Be sure to do a once over of your work space both before your shift and after to check for any spills that could cause you to fall and hurt yourself. Your company might even want to consider concrete polishing to keep the work floors nice and clean.

Clean Commonly Used Surfaces:

Can you imagine how many times per day the light switches, door knobs, or coffee pot is being touched at work by other employees? It’s probably even more than the already high number you have in your head! A great thing for employees to get in the habit of is sanitizing a commonly used surface after you are done using it so that it is safe for the next employee to get the door or pour their morning coffee. Commonly used surfaces that aren’t properly sanitized are a breeding ground for germs. Don’t forget the faucets and paper towel dispenser in the bathroom, too!

Helpful Hints:

There are a lot of great options out there for contact free access to hand sanitizer, paper towels, faucets, and hand soap with automatic dispensers and one less thing that employees have to touch is one less thing to clean! As mentioned before, can you imagine how many times those types of surfaces are touched per day? And, more often than not, by hands that need to be cleaned if the dispensers are in the bathroom! And, hopefully, gloves are being provided by your work place because, although they are annoying to wear, they will definitely help to slow the spread of germs.

Doing your share to help keep your work place clean will make it a safer environment for you and your coworkers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

 

Why Online Pharmacies Are Essential During The Pandemic

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Why Online Pharmacies Are Essential During The Pandemic

Unfortunately, 2020 was the year of the COVID-19 outbreak. The virus, also known as Coronavirus, which is highly contagious and causes a whole host of health problems, is spreading fast all around the world and needs to be contained as soon as possible. From respiratory problems to joint pain, no one wants to catch COVID-19. To avoid catching the virus, many individuals and families are staying at home and minimizing their time outside. Of course, this is great, however there are still occasions when someone may need to venture out and buy some essential items. One of those essential trips may be to the pharmacy. However, that trip can be avoided thanks to online pharmacies. Here’s why:

Pharmacies are often filled with poorly people. There are people who need to pick up prescriptions for illnesses and those who need to seek medical advice from the pharmacist. Although these people may not look like they have COVID-19, they could be asymptomatic, meaning they’re carriers of the virus without even knowing it. Someone who is asymptomatic may head to a pharmacy to pick up some plasters for a cut and pick up five or six boxes of plasters looking for the ones they would prefer. Without realizing, they have potentially contaminated those plaster boxes with respiratory droplets which could then infect someone else. Heading to a site like www.pharmacyonline.com.au and ordering essentials online can completely eradicate the possibility of catching COVID-19 whilst waiting in line to collect a prescription or make a purchase.

Another reason you can use an online service is if you are actually feeling under the weather yourself. This also applies to any illness, not just the virus going around. If you’re feeling poorly or perhaps your household has come down with the flu or a bug, do not go to a pharmacy. As previously stated, the pharmacy is often filled with sick people and going into a pharmacy knowing you’re ill could make their conditions worse or introduce them to viruses their body hasn’t come into contact with before. Plus, if you’re feeling poorly, you’re probably feeling too weak to stand in line either, making the online service a more practical solution.

If you have small children, especially infants, an online pharmacy can be a lifesaver at times. Imagine, it’s late in the evening and you suddenly realize you have run out of formula. That’s not ideal! With an online pharmacy you can order your formula from the comfort of your own home without having to worry about waking a baby and taking them to the store. Not to mention, pharmacies are not open 24 hours a day, so you’d often have to wait until the pharmacy opens anyway. Ordering online and opting for next day delivery is a great way to keep on top of baby supplies without having to leave the house. Plus, babies are vulnerable when it comes to viruses and bugs so ordering online is a great way to keep them out of harm’s way.

Finally, even if you do venture out of the house to buy essentials, it’s not guaranteed that the pharmacy or store you visit will have everything you need. Whereas, if you were to browse an online pharmacy, you would be able to buy anything you need from the comfort of your bed or couch. From vitamins and minerals to make up and perfumes, you can purchase a whole range of products. Some of which haven’t been restocked in stores as shipping and distribution has been disrupted due to the virus. You could even discover new products online too as a physical pharmacy can only sell so many product ranges.

It’s important to stay safe during this pandemic and shopping for essentials online rather than heading to a store is certainly one way to look after yourself and others.

A Great Day

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A Great Day

Hello! Whenever Johnny and I ask each other how work went for the day, our usual response is “it was day”. Lol, not bad not good… Just day. With the monotony of pandemic life, it has been a while since either of us have had a day that really knocked it out of the park. However, this past week I had a Grand Slam of a day and I am still thinking back on it with a big smile.

To start with, as soon as I got to work in the morning, my client asked me “Can I call you a name?” I replied with, “Well, it depends. Is it a nice name or a mean one?” With a grin he told me, “I wanna call you Lucille Ball… or the Pink Panther” and my heart basically exploded. It was the first time he acknowledged my new hair since I got it done and I know for a fact based on his new nicknames for me that he loves it. 🙂

I was still in a great mood when I arrived home from work so I did not think it was possible to feel any better but I was wrong! Johnny and I never sit on the same couch because both of ours are way too small to comfortably seat both of us. However, that night, we snuggled up on one of the couches together and talked for hours. It reminded me of when we first started dating and it was such a lovely flashback to have.

For the grand finale, Johnny picked up his guitar and played old country songs while I picked up our Guitar Hero guitar and strummed along, lol. After a while, I even picked up his other guitar and tried to match what he was so expertly doing. We also did a charming duet of “Bye Bye, Love” and it was just so much fun that we hadn’t even realized that over three hours had passed!

With the struggles of pandemic life, my Great Day felt like a lighthouse in a never ending streak of the same old same old. It also makes me appreciate the tiny sunshine breaks even more and I will not be forgetting my day any time soon. ❤

What was your last great day like? Can you play any instruments? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Stressed? Let’s Change That!

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Feeling Stressed? Let’s Change That!

We all experience stress every once in a while. That’s a given. At the end of the day, stress is a natural response to dangerous or potentially harmful situations that we have evolved to benefit ourselves. But when you experience stress on a regular basis, it can become a problem. Stress can result in detrimental effects on your overall health and well being, from physical harm to emotional harm, mental harm, and even resultant behavioral changes.

Unfortunately, right now, many of us are stressed and have been stressed for a long time. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in all sorts of unwanted changes in our day to day lives, from health concerns to worries for loved ones, job loss, financial troubles, social isolation, loneliness, and more. Stress is a logical response. However, you should, where possible, be doing everything you can to minimize your experience and symptoms of stress. Here’s some more information and a few suggestions to help you along the way:

Identifying Stress:

Stress is pretty simple to identify. Here are some of the warning signs:

Physical Impact:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems

Emotional Impact:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Sadness
  • Procrastination or lack of Motivation

Behavioral Impact:

  • Emotional Outbursts
  • Undereating
  • Overeating
  • Withdrawal from Social Situations

Reducing Stress:

There are many healthy stress reduction methods out there. Here are some you may want to discuss with your doctor and try out:

  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Meditation and mindfulness are calming practices that can help. Try following tutorials and apps.
  • Getting Enough Rest: Sleep is an important process for your body to rest, resolve trauma or injury and illness. Make sure to get your recommended eight hours a night.
  • CBD: Some studies have found that CBD can reduce stress symptoms. So, why not try out some CBD candies and see how they work for you?
  • Getting Organized: Sometimes stress can stem from a lack of organization. Try organizing your life, tackling issues and concerns, and giving everything more structure.
  • Massage: While spas may be closed, you could try out some massage at home using foam rollers, massage balls, and more. This can release tension.

Know When to Ask for Help:

Of course,  stress can also be a symptom of underlying mental health conditions. So, if you are ever feeling overwhelmed, that you can’t cope, or that you are experiencing excessive or unnecessary stress, make sure to reach out to your doctor. They’ll be able to identify and diagnose any conditions and recommend the best course of treatment for you. There are also support groups, helplines, and mental health charities who can help too!

Most of us are bound to feel stressed right now. What’s important is that you don’t simply accept stress as a given part of day to day life. This is something that can be managed, handled, and even overcame. Hopefully, some of the above information will help you get started out on the right foot when it comes to managing your stress properly and effectively.

Featured Image By: Pexels

A Day In The Life Of Lil Red

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A Day In The Life Of Lil Red

Hello! I told you that I would be using some of the writing prompts that I suggested for all of you yesterday and here I am – surprise! Yours truly knows a thing or two about writer’s block and, honestly, the best way for me to combat it is to think of a ton of different post topics and go from there. So, as per my own recommendation, I am going to take all of you through a normal day for Lil Red, pandemic style. Here we go:

Morning:

I typically wake up to start getting ready for work around seven. It’s a bit of a mad dash for me because I need to shower, write, and do any other last minute preparations with the hope of leaving for a client’s house at eight fifteen. This may seem like a lot to cram into an hour and a quarter but I have been dedicated to this morning routine for years and it would be weird to change it up now. I also find that I am less likely to keep hitting the snooze button when I have a few things to accomplish before I even leave for work! 

Afternoon:

My afternoons are dedicated to my clients and trying to find fun ways to keep them occupied at home during the pandemic. I love my job so much and have been an Independent Provider for people with special needs for over three years now. The pandemic has definitely put a damper in a normal day at work as community integration is my specialty but I think that I am better at my job for it because I have had to get so creative with endless days at home. No matter what we do, I am always thankful for time with my clients and get home anywhere between three thirty and five during my work week.

Evening:

Once I get home from work, I still have a bit of paper and computer work to take care of before I can settle in with Johnny for dinner and an episode of whatever show we’re watching. Right now, we are working on three different ones: Castlevania, the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, and King Of The Hill as our comedic palette cleanser. Johnny and I will sometimes play a few video games, as well. I am currently still working on Mario Galaxy and it is so much fun! I also like to incorporate some time into all of my evenings to read and practice the five languages I am learning on Duolingo for a mental work out.

My days have felt rather blah lately but after writing out a typical day in my life, I have realized that I actually do a lot even during the pandemic. I feel proud of myself for sticking with all of my routines and still trying to make every day a great one despite not feeling my best. Here’s to safer and happier times to come!

What is a day in your life like? Which shows are you currently watching? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Have Some Writing Prompts!

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Have Some Writing Prompts!

Hello everyone and happy February! Can you believe that we are already one month into 2021? I, personally, am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that we are quickly approaching the one year mark of when the bars, restaurants, and salons first shut down in Ohio on March 19th, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Time really seems to be flying and dragging on at the exact same time.

This pandemic has done us writers literally no favors and I understand how hard it is to come up with daily content better than anyone. And, as we approach the one year anniversary (worst anniversary ever) of the coronavirus, writing can seem even more daunting as this limbo we are all stuck in feels never ending. If you are struggling to come up with content on your page, fear not! Lil Red is here to help with some writing prompts and I can’t wait to see what all of you come up with:

  • How have you adjusted to life during a pandemic?
  • What has been your favorite memory during the past year?
  • Valentine’s Day is almost here! Do you have any ideas for at home dates and gifts?
  • The pandemic has put many big events on hold. Did you miss out on any concerts or plays?
  • It’s never too early to start your spring cleaning! Any tips on the best ways to deep clean your place?
  • How has your personal style changed since the pandemic?
  • Working from home? What are the pros and cons, in your opinion?
  • Do any of your friends run a small business? Now is the time to support them by giving a shout out on your page!
  • What is the most binge worthy series you watched during the pandemic?
  • What is the most unputdownable book you’ve read this past year?
  • Where do you turn for inspiration when you are writing?
  • Describe a typical day in your pandemic life.

Believe it or not, this post is as much for me as it is for all of you because I will be using some of these prompts, myself! If you plan on using any of the above, let me know so I can check your post out. 🙂 Happy writing!

What do you do when you have writer’s block? 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