Tag Archives: pandemic

Boosted Up!

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Boosted Up!

Hello! This past Tuesday, I got my updated Moderna booster and flu shot in tandem. While I am SO happy to have received both to continue to do my part in keeping others safe, I will say that it was about a bitch lol. I reacted pretty poorly to both the second vaccine and the first booster so I’m not sure why I expected this one to be any different. I’m also not sure why I scheduled it smack dab in the middle of the work week SMH!

For about three days, I experienced a lot of fatigue, aching joints, and soreness at the injection site. It honestly felt like someone took a hammer to all of my joints, especially around my pelvic area. Not only did I deal with the aches and pains but, come evening time, I had the chills. Then, it would transform into a fever and I would sweat all night in my sleep. I have hair dye all over my pillows and sheets to prove it. Double SMH!!!!

When Johnny and I got our second vaccine, he had to keep reminding me that this was better than having Covid and I had to keep reminding myself of that this time around. While that’s easier said than done, it would do everyone well to think of it this way. After having a rough go of it post vaccine, I could not even comprehend having unvaccinated Covid. In fact, when Johnny and I did finally get it this past Christmas, we experienced no symptoms whatsoever because of our vaccines and boosters.

I have read several articles where the side effects from the boosters and vaccines are a huge deterrent from getting them. And coming from someone who has had such bad reactions, I truly get it. However, I’ll continue on with every additional installment because it’s important to do so. Johnny and I have so many high risk people that we love and we are terrified of getting them or complete strangers sick. This alone makes every two or three days of feeling downright awful worth it every time.

As the weather gets colder and gatherings move indoors, it is so important to get yourself vaccinated and boosted as well as following Covid protocols. If you are worried about it, you can take some comfort in the fact that you more than likely won’t experience as horrible side effects as yours truly. Let’s all continue to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

How did you react to your Covid vaccines and boosters? Are you team Moderna or Pfizer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Up To?

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What Have I Been Up To?

Hi! It has been a while since I’ve filled you all in on the comings and goings of my day to day life and, honestly there’s not been too much! The weather in good ol’ Akron, Ohio has been total crap with heavy snow and rain making outdoor activities few and far between. We actually had a close to sixty degree day earlier this week and then the temperature plummeted again, which was such a cruel tease of spring weather!

With both mine and Johnny’s busy work schedules, we spend a majority of the time during the week at home. However, we do try to have an outing every weekend, which is a nice change of pace from a year ago when we legit weren’t doing anything because of the pandemic. We’ll usually go have a drink at a bar or lunch at a restaurant but our best outing was definitely our evening in Cleveland seeing Jesus Christ Superstar. Other than getting married, this was seriously one of the most exciting things that we have done since the start of the pandemic lol.

The time at home is just fine, though, because Johnny and I have a lot of work to do! As I’ve mentioned before, we are trying to move into a three bedroom apartment soon and need to get our place in tip top shape for a walk through. I am so looking forward to the additional space and it will be great when we are watching our little niece. I can’t wait to have her over for sleepovers filled with our favorite Disney movies and dancing while Johnny plays guitar!

When we’re not cleaning and organizing our space, I have spent a lot of time both cooking and reading. Thanks to Pinterest, I have been able to shake up my dinner menu and it has been a lot of fun! I forgot how much I enjoyed cooking until I began trying new recipes instead of the same old favorites time and again. I have also been trying to finish a book per week and am currently working on Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. Keep it posted for a Lil Red’s Book Club review soon. πŸ˜€

Obviously, we don’t lead the most thrilling lives at the moment but I love our happy little bubble no matter what. When the weather changes to more moderate temperatures, our activities will pick up once more. Including going ice skating at least twice a month for me. This January, I stopped attending my lessons because the Omnicron variant was skyrocketing in Ohio. I can’t wait to go back once my evenings aren’t filled with cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning.

That’s about it in Lil Red’s world right now and, as always, keep it posted for all of the latest and greatest! ❀

What have you been up to? Have you done anything exciting recently? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Coronavirus Pandemic & Mental Health

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The Coronavirus Pandemic & Mental Health

Mental health has always been a sensitive topic. It’s equally important to physical health, but many believe otherwise. Mental health problems include anxiety, depression, insomnia, and phobias of different kinds. Earlier, people ignored these problems, but now, we know better.

Due to strong efforts by many mental health experts, the world became aware of these conditions and saw their effect on children, teenagers, and adults alike. But the number of patients shot up drastically during the pandemic.

How did the pandemic effect mental health?

People lost their loved ones to Covid, which worsened mental health across the globe. Every day felt worse than the last and it felt impossible to visit our friends and family. Everybody was scared for their lives, and fear is not good for mental health.

Companies laid off people, which increased unemployment and caused worry. Lock downs shut down schools, children were forced to stay home, work from home became a norm, and people had to live in isolation, leading to many mental health problems.

The whole situation created immense pressure in the minds of adults and children. It’s hard to recover from the tragedy of this scale. The environment of uncertainty and danger created hopelessness that’s hard to manage. All of these problems trigger mental issues such as anxiety and depression.

Are young adults depressed?

Surveys have shown that young people are more prone to mental issues due to the pandemic. According to aΒ study of healthcare students at the University of Jordan, it is found that students are suffering from high anxiety, which can also hinder their learning abilities.

Young adults have reported a lack of sleep and a rise in negative thoughts. They crave losing masks and attending events like they were supposed to at this age. The constant fear is always there. What if this never ends? The financial risks are also to note. Colleges might be closed, making it hard for students to study and get good grades to qualify for better courses or jobs. They lack the skills taught inside colleges to make them excel in their respective fields.

Many studies point towards a global mental health crisis due to the pandemic. Young adults are prone to mental health problems like stress and anxiety. Loneliness during the pandemic has made young adults susceptible to depression.

What to do now?

Now that things are looking up, we all must work hard to get our mental health on track. Find people who face similar issues as you and talk to them. Create groups where you and your peers can share their struggles during the pandemic and afterward. Form pacts to put in efforts towards the betterment of your mental health.

These include eating healthy and exercising regularly. You can even hire a trainer who has done an offline or online PT course so that he or she is equipped with the knowledge to help you work out. Having a personal trainer allows you to learn how to get the best out of each workout session. They also suggest diets and healthy habits curb negative thoughts and promote better sleep.

Mental health issues need treatment and professional care. Schools and colleges can hire therapists to take care of students and listen to their struggles. They can also conduct group sessions with professionals to solve problems on a larger scale.

There is also nothing wrong with using medications when necessary. Severe levels of depression need selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or selective serotonin or norepinephrine inhibitors. Tetracyclic antidepressants are also recommended for depression along with bupropion. Organizations, schools, and colleges can have clinical psychologists prescribe medications.

It has always been important to take care of your mental health but even more so when living in these scary times. Be good to yourself and brighter days are ahead soon!

Snowy Saturday OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Snowy Saturday OOTD Bonus Pictures

Hello everyone and welcome to some bonus pics from my Snowy Saturday OOTD! This was probably my speediest photo shoot to date because it was freaking freezing outside! It also took my hands several minutes to thaw out afterwards from throwing snowballs… Anything in the name of fashion lol.

My Johnny was such a trooper to snap these pics and, needless to say, the rest of the day was spent hibernating after just five minutes in the cold. I think this is enough winter for me! Check out these extra shots and you might want to sip some hot chocolate while doing so to keep warm:

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As I’ve mentioned before, the past several winters in Ohio have been insanely mild and, although we all knew a massive snow storm was coming, it still took everyone by surprise. In fact, Johnny and I can’t even remember the last time it snowed like this because in one night, Akron was covered in sixteen inches of snow. The winter wonderland is visually beautiful but I am so ready for spring!

While winter has never really bothered me before, that did a complete one eighty with the pandemic. Since Johnny and I have been laying low for the entirety of COVID-19, our activities are severely stunted once the cold weather hits. No hanging out in the fresh air means that most of our days are spent with our programs, board games, video games, and record player. It’s not the most awful thing ever but I have been craving an outdoor date day in the worst way.

Not many outings means no dressing up, either, which is something that I miss desperately. So, when I do brave the outdoors, I have to put my best OOTDs forward. Naturally, my coffee date with a girlfriend fell on the coldest morning ever but fashion called and I just had to pick up the phone! I love the outfit that I came up with but am hoping that the next time I bust it out, it’s at least ten degrees warmer!

What has your winter been like? How do you spend snowy days? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Managing Working Remotely When You’re Feeling Ill

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Managing Working Remotely When You’re Feeling Ill

If one β€˜good’ thing has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that people have been staying at home when they feel ill, rather than dragging their sick selves into the office. However, with working from home becoming more and more prevalent, and looking like it is going to be sticking around for the foreseeable future, more and more people will be logging in and working from home while feeling less than perfect. Of course, in an ideal world, we would all stay in bed and rest, but we are realistic enough to know that this is not always possible, particularly if you work for yourself.

In this blog post, we will look at how to manage your work when you are feeling ill:

Dress comfortably:

One of the benefits of working from home is that, unless you are forced to participate in a video call, you can get away with wearing whatever you want. Usually, to be productive and get in the right mindset for a working day, we would advise you to get up and get dressed into something work appropriate. However, if you are ill, take advantage. If a hoodie and sweats are comfortable and keep you at the right temperature, then wear them. If you want to stay in your PJs, stay in them. If you do have to attend a video call, throw a smart jumper or shirt on for the call – no one will notice if you are wearing your cat print PJ bottoms!

Eat well and stay hydrated:

While it can be tempting to load up on carbs or just eat junk food when you are unwell, it is even more important than ever to eat well, if you can manage it. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies for that vitamin C boost and do not forget the good old chicken soup – always a winner when you are sick! Have a look here to find out how to make chicken broth. Try to avoid drinking too much coffee, and stick to water to keep you hydrated and fresh fruit juice for extra vitamins.

Try to rearrange or delegate as much as possible:

Make every effort to postpone any meetings that you know you will not be able to attend over the next few days. Make sure that everyone is aware of the changes and reschedule things accordingly. You can also ask if someone can record the online meeting or take notes so that you can review them afterwards.

Look at breaking up your workday:

Breaking down your job into smaller, manageable components will help you as you begin to recover.Β  When you are sick, you will not be able to complete things as quickly as normal, so this is a great method to avoid a productivity slump. If you are supposed to work for eight hours, see if you can do four hours and then have a nap before completing the second half of the work. The last thing you need to do is overdo it and end up back where you started, or worse.

Prioritize important tasks:

A sick worker’s output is only about 60% of what it would be under normal circumstances. As a result, you will need to plan out exactly what tasks you will be able to complete while sick. Prioritize the things that must be performed during your sick day by examining your deadlines and schedule.

Be reasonable with your expectations:

Acknowledge that you will not be able to work as hard as usual when you are sick. Do not push yourself too hard and do not let yourself get exhausted. If you go overboard, you could put off your recovery or make yourself sicker. If you need to get things done, do so, but do not forget to take a break.

Reward yourself for small achievements:

Each day, give yourself a reward for accomplishing your goals. Sick days are the perfect time to indulge in some of your favorite comfort foods, hot beverages, naps, or your favorite movie. You should be proud of yourself for managing to get so much done despite your illness.

The important thing to remember is that if you feel too ill to work, you need to stop and rest. While it may be inconvenient, it will be even more so if you run yourself into the ground. Stop, rest, and you will recover and be back before you know it!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

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Happy Haulidays: Husband’s Family Edition

Hello! Due to the high rates of COVID in Ohio, Johnny and I have had to have late Christmas celebrations with our families. This is why you haven’t seen any OOTDs or Hauliday posts recently but keep your eyes peeled because they are still going to happen! This past week, we celebrated with Johnny’s family and one of his aunts who is just wonderful and it was such a great time.

Living during a pandemic is insanely difficult but especially during the holidays as Johnny and I want to protect our vulnerable populations as much as we can. We haven’t seen his family as much as we would like so it was so nice to be able to share a meal, catch up, and open presents. Johnny’s family so generously gifted me with the following:

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Hanging out with Johnny’s family after so much time apart was the best gift of all, of course, but I am so appreciative of everything that they treated us to. I love my cobweb earrings the best of all and I am tickled by the gift from Johnny’s dad of the flashlight/screw driver/whistle/everything else lol. It is such a dad gift and I am obsessed – even if I don’t quite know how to use it. πŸ˜€

I am also very touched by the ornament from his mom made for caregivers, although we all had a laugh about how we couldn’t read the sweet sentiments that were on it. Johnny and I have been diligently working through our holiday chocolate – my favorite being the chocolate covered chips. I have never tried one before and it is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. I could seriously eat twenty bags of them!

The piece de resistance of our holiday haul had to be the new air fryer for the both of us. We meant to buy a new one after we got married as ours was on the fritz but we just never got around to it. It finally went kaput a few months ago so we were thrilled with the new appliance. We have been air frying literally everything and have missed it so much. The novelty of air fried food never wears off. πŸ™‚

Although we didn’t keep up with our Miller family tradition of watching Christmas Vacation together, it was still an amazing celebration. I am so thankful to have two beautiful families to join in the holidays with and have my fingers crossed that we can celebrate next Christmas on time altogether! ❀

How did you celebrate the holidays this year? What is your favorite gift in your holiday haul? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

All Boostered Up!

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All Boostered Up!

Hello! This past Friday, I enjoyed a much needed day off to get my hair done for the holidays. As always, my time at the Shear Shop was fabulous and the excitement of the day didn’t end when I left the salon… If you want to call getting the COVID-19 booster shot exciting, that is. Lol, but I do! After my appointment, I met up with Johnny at Walmart to get our Moderna boosters just in time for the holidays and I am so happy!

Originally, we had our booster shot appointment scheduled at CVS only to learn that they didn’t carry the Moderna booster. Luckily for us, though, Walmart had it readily available and you can schedule an appointment or just walk in for your vaccines. We went with the latter option and were on our way home in under ten minutes. πŸ˜€

Despite my eagerness to get my booster shot, I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little nervous. For those of you who don’t remember, my second shot of Moderna knocked me out for about three days and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to feeling crummy all weekend long. So, imagine my surprise when I woke up on Saturday morning not feeling completely miserable.

That’s not to say that I didn’t experience any side effects at all. On Friday night, I woke up several times in the middle of the night either feeling really hot or freezing cold. I also had a lot of tenderness in my arm and was tired all day Saturday. But that was about the worst of it and it was a vast improvement from shot number two so I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

With the holidays fast approaching, I can’t recommend getting vaccinated enough to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while you celebrate. Do make sure that you call the location of where you’re getting vaccinated beforehand to make sure that they have your preferred vaccine available. Let’s kick COVID’s butt all together!

Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots OF MODERNA!

How are you safely celebrating the holidays this year? Where did you get your COVID vaccine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Just So You Know!

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Just So You Know!

Hello! Johnny and I got married on June fourth and, as many of you know, we very much wanted to have a Halloween reception. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we just weren’t comfortable with this but are aware that our friends and family wanted to send us gifts. We never bothered making a registry, which we probably should have lol but we are accepting donations to our honeymoon/new microwave fund! If you would like to send us a wedding present, my Venmo handle is: @Sarah-Mushenheim

We so appreciate the well wishes from everyone and wish that we could have celebrated our big day all together. As always, thank you for your unending support and we love you all! -Sarah and Johnny ❀

Must Have Products For Ultimate Relaxation

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Must Have Products For Ultimate Relaxation

With the pandemic still going strong and cold weather on the horizon, there is no better time to turn your home into a relaxation station to keep yourself safe and warm. Today, we are going to look at a few key elements to provide for the ultimate R&R experience from the comfort of your house or apartment. Let’s get to it:

Sound Machines:

Sound machines are an ideal option if you have trouble sleeping or concentrating when working from home. These handy little machines can give you a range of different sounds from white noise to crashing waves and rain falling. Not to mention that they are great for soothing infants! Sound machines can be a perfect replacement for keeping the TV on before bed if you need some noise to fall asleep as it will eliminate the harsh lighting, which is doing you no favors as you try to nod off.

Speaking Of Sleep:

Speaking of sleep, when was the last time that you got a new mattress? Your mattress should be replaced, roughly, every seven years and a brand new one will do wonders for relaxation. Do your research and find a quality mattress for sale so you can sleep peacefully every night. A new mattress combined with a sound machine will surely help you feel more well rested when the alarm goes off in the morning.

Soothing Hobbies:

There are plenty of hobbies that are, easily, more relaxing than others and include everything from knitting and reading to adult coloring books. Engaging in a hobby that promotes mindfulness is a great way to step away from the stress of your day to day life. Spending some quiet time with yourself lost in a good book or creating something beautiful is one of the best ways to spend a snowy day in.

Soft Lighting:

Harsh, bright lighting is never conducive to helping you relax. Of course, brighter lighting in appropriate areas like your kitchen and office are a necessity. However, you can opt for softer, dim lighting in the living room and bedroom to increase your relaxation even more. Dim lights enhanced by twinkling fairy lights or a Himalayan salt lamp will create a lovely ambiance and can allow your body to get in a more zen state come evening time.

Ready, set, relax with the products above to turn your snow days in into much needed R&R time for you!

Bath & Body Works September Freebie

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Bath & Body Works September Freebie

Hi! Treating myself to my favorite bath and body care is one of my favorite things to do, which is why I love shopping with Bath & Body Works. When you shop their sales or their amazing semi annual sale, you can score the best deals and I always look forward to replenishing my beauty care hoard with them. What’s more, they are constantly sending coupons in the mail for freebies and percentages off your purchase. This past week, I picked up this super handy September freebie:

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better freebie than a pocket sized hand sanitizer! When it came to picking out which scent I wanted for my hand sani, it was important to me to find one with a fairly neutral scent. The last hand sanitizer by B&BW that I picked out years ago was a fall fragrance but it was so overly pungent that I never wanted to use it. While there were more exciting scents to choose from, I ended up with Be A Good Human, which is a simple citrus fragrance.

This pocket sized hand sanitizer is ideal for being on the go since it fits so comfortably on your person or in your purse. Although it was an inexpensive freebie, I was so happy with it and thought that it was a great idea on B&BW’s part. I will definitely be using my Be A Good Human sanitizer often and plan on purchasing it again once I run out!

What is your favorite Bath & Body Works scent? Which store offers the best freebies and promotions? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah