Tag Archives: quarantine

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.

More Fun & Games

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More Fun & Games

Hello! A few weeks ago, Johnny surprised me with a bunch of board games for us to play together and the last one in his haul arrived in the mail earlier this week. We have been having such a good time playing something other than Diablo III nonstop and are especially partial to the adventure board game, Horrified. Clearly, we enjoy more intense gaming options but that doesn’t mean we don’t like silly games too – and the latest addition to our board game collection definitely falls under that category! Check it out:

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Johnny and I are both huge Seinfeld fans and after purchasing Seinfeld Clue, he couldn’t not get the Festivus board game! Lol, Johnny and I were both in stitches just from the box and the directions. We have yet to play it because we think it would be better with more people but are excited to try it out during future game nights with our friends. As the box states several times, it really is a Festivus miracle and has inspired Johnny and I to get our own Festivus pole come the holiday season.

When we’re not saving our village from movie monsters in Horrified, Johnny has just started helping me with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I spent my childhood watching my siblings play Zelda games and while I have tried playing a few, I have never beaten one. Johnny, on the other hand, has beat them all several times and promised me he would guide me through Ocarina of Time when we inherited our friend’s Nintendo 64 and all of his old games. I’m still getting the hang of it and I am so glad to have Johnny’s expertise every step of the way.

Finally, I just beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door which Johnny got me for Valentine’s Day. In my youth, I rented this game from the video store but couldn’t beat the final boss so I was thrilled to reign supreme well over a decade later lol. The Thousand Year Door was such fun to play and I can’t wait to get the N64 Paper Mario so I can have the complete collection!

What is your favorite board game? How about your favorite video game? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Quarantine Routines

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Quarantine Routines

Hello! I’ll tell you what, ever since March 19th (The day bars and restaurants in Ohio temporarily shut down) my life has changed drastically. For my big girl job, I provide care in home for people with special needs and, now, more than ever it is my responsibility to continue staying healthy for those who need me.

Due to the nature of my job, going out for frivolity is the last thing on my mind. Back track to 2019 and it was the only thing on my mind, lol! Going to shows with Johnny, restaurants, movies, TJMAXX!!! Ugh, I miss all of that so much.

My “normal” routines of going here, there, and everywhere definitely seem to be a thing of the past. So, obviously, I had to fill up all of this newfound free time with other things. They are still fun for me, of course, but I don’t think any of these options trump my bimonthly TJMaxx shopping trips with my mom. Haha, check it out:

Reading:

I have read so many freaking books in the past six months, it is insane. My goal has been to try and finish at least two to three per month and I have achieved it every time. It has been fun to experiment with different authors like Lucy Foley and Ilaria Tuti. Both Johnny and I have also been enjoying our Audible subscription for books on tape, as well. We are always open to author and book suggestions so keep them coming!

Language Learning:

Yes, I currently am still learning French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German on Duolingo. I make an effort to try and practice each language four times per week, bare minimum, and so far so good. What I would really like to do in the next month or so is purchase the Duolingo Plus subscription so I never run out of hearts while practicing. This seems very necessary when learning five languages and, once I get Duo Plus, I’d like to start learning a sixth. Any ideas as to which one?

Online Shopping:

Maybe once or so per week, I will take ten to fifteen minutes to browse through some of my favorite online stores to window shop. Mainly TJMaxx, Unique Vintage, ModCloth, and Nasty Gal. It is definitely not the same as regular shopping but it somewhat satisfies that itch to go browse the aisles in person!

When I’m not aimlessly scrolling through websites and saying “oh that’s cute” about basically everything, I am trying to do some early Christmas shopping. With a long list of people to shop for, it is never too early to start the Xmas process and I am pleased with the slow and steady progress I’ve been making.

Movie Nights:

Johnny and I have decided to put a halt to finding something we can both agree on when it comes to movies. Now, we alternate whose pick it is for our movie nights and it has been great! Normally, Johnny will pick a war documentary or movie and I will choose a horror, psychological thriller, or foreign film. I love being able to see all of his favorites and it is exciting to rack my brain and browse through our streaming services to select my next pick!

Are these new routines the most exciting? Well… No. But they are as exciting as I choose to make them and I still always end up having an awesome and totally safe time at home. 🙂

What should Johnny and I watch next? How about a great new suggestion on Audible? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Weekends

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Quarantine Weekends

Hello! Going from being out and about every weekend with Johnny at the beginning of this year is a far cry from what we do now. With COVID and the fact that my county is now in a threat level red, our weekends have went from full and busy to full of binge watching in the blink of an eye. The worst part? The weekend still ends quickly even though we’re not doing much of anything, lol!

Johnny and I have a pretty standard weekend format that goes a little something like this: Video games, movies, and TV. I am currently obsessed with the video games he gifted me for our anniversary so I have been playing a lot of Paper Mario and Diablo III. We also take turns picking movies to watch in between our viewings of The Last Kingdom and SuperStore – both of which I highly recommend.

Does it sound boring yet? I know it does but it actually isn’t all that bad. For the first time literally since I started working at sixteen, I have weekends that are completely agenda free. All I have to do is sit on the couch and stay safe and I’m confident that Johnny and I can keep doing that.

One of the best parts of our weekends is actually thanks to the change in weather. Because fall temperatures are upon us, it has cooled down our apartment significantly. Believe it or not, I find myself telling Johnny “I’m cold” more often than not now. This makes being stuck in the apartment much more tolerable and there is nothing better than bundling up in hoodies and blankets while it’s nice and crisp in and outdoors!

Speaking of cooling down outdoors, I can’t wait to start taking hikes and doing all of the Halloween themed activities soon. Have fun and keep on staying safe. ❤

How do you spend weekends in quarantine? What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

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Quarantine Life: It Can Still Be Fun

Hi! When I first moved into my apartment, I LOVED that shit. Seriously, it was awesome. A young business owner going here, there, and everywhere and then returning to my cool little place once the day was over. The annoyances of every apartment like loud neighbors and crappy air conditioning didn’t seem so bad because, in all reality, I wasn’t there that much.

Fast forward a year and some change later and, now, my boyfriend and I are confined to our apartment on the daily. Our on the go life style of a blogger (me) and working musician (he) got severely cramped by the coronavirus and the minor annoyances at chez nous have turned into major headaches.

Despite our quarantine living quarters not being ideal (It’s like living in your own personal sweat lodge.), Johnny and I still manage to have fun in our tiny little sauna. So, I am here to remind you that it is still possible to enjoy yourself from the safety of your home. In fact, the fact that I know I am safe at home makes my time that much more enjoyable.

It has been a big change to go from constantly being out to sometimes being fearful to leave the house. Unfortunately, that is the current state of things right now and once I accepted that boredom came with being safe, I felt a lot better about being home. It took Johnny and I while to come up with the perfect combination of at home entertainment but now that we have hit our sweet spot, this whole quarantine thing ain’t so bad. (Our most effective combo is playing The Office after Law & Order SVU.)

Yes, we have consumed more media content than is probably recommended for a lifetime but we still experienced new things. For example, Johnny bought me my first LEGO set and since then we have been hooked on building together. Or who can forget Hanks For The Memories when he introduced me to Forrest Gump and I taught him a thing or two about Cast Away.

Lame? Yes. Super fun? Obviously, or I wouldn’t be blogging about it! Now is the time to watch all the TV you can, so get hooked on a series with some friends and gab to your heart’s content. Watch something totally random. Order a book you would never read on your Kindle. Try cooking a difficult but delicious looking recipe. Your activities are, admittedly, limited at home so you might as well try to keep them interesting!

The most important thing I try to remember as Johnny and I continue to hunker down is a positive attitude. Of course, I’m not thrilled by any of this. But, it’s the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. I also keep in mind that I will never get the chance to sit through an entire season of America’s Next Top Model in one day totally guilt free again. That is a positive and it makes sinking into the couch and hearing Johnny’s disgruntled comments about my favorite show all the more sweeter. 🙂

How do you keep a positive attitude during the coronavirus pandemic? What has been your favorite hobby to pass the time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Taking Care Of My Mental Health In Quarantine

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Taking Care Of My Mental Health In Quarantine

Hello! Living in a quarantine style state can be very taxing on one’s mental health. It’s hard when you can’t see your friends as often and every day outings that you used to look forward to have become a thing of the past. As someone who has struggled with depression for over a decade, I know first hand that it can be very easy to fall into a slump when you’re confined to the four walls of your home day in and day out.

So, how do I keep a positive attitude despite hardly ever leaving my apartment? A healthy mixture of the following keeps me right on track:

Scheduled Pampering:

Once a week, typically over the weekend, I always enjoy using a new face mask. I like having a “treat” that I look forward to and experimenting with different face masks is a fun and cheap way to try something new. I ordered a pack of six different sheet face masks from Amazon and got twelve in total for ten bucks. I thought it was a steal and now I have something new to try for the next several weeks. Score!

Getting Enough Sleep:

I think one of the most important things that one can do, especially if they are currently not working, is to continue with their normal sleep schedule. It is very easy to fall into the trap of staying up late and sleeping in until the following afternoon and that is not good! Try and maintain your regular schedule throughout the day as much as possible. I always find that a sense of normality makes me feel better and a good night’s sleep tends to do the trick, too. 🙂

Exercise Your Mind:

There are so many fun apps and games that are designed to make you think. Believe you me, I enjoy a video game or movie marathon just as much as the next one. But, so much mindless entertainment can leave your brain feeling mushy. Spend an hour or two a day with a good book, a crossword puzzle, or even building with LEGO. I promise that it will be a welcome break from whatever show you’re currently binging and your brain will thank you!

Talking About It:

We are all dealing with the current state of things differently because we have never experienced anything like this before. Everyone is feeling nervous and scared and those feelings can continue to fester into something debilitating if you keep it all bottled up. Have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member and voice what is concerning you or giving you anxiety. You will probably find that they have a lot of similar fears and that is usually really comforting to me and, hopefully, for you too.

With the times that we are living in right now, it is easy to let your own self care fall by the wayside. So, use the tips above and get yourself back to baseline and, then, beyond!

How have you been taking care of your mental health? What make you feel better? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Writer’s Block? Have Some Quarantine Writing Prompts!

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Writer’s Block? Have Some Quarantine Writing Prompts!

Hello! Depending on where you live in this great big universe, you might have been or currently are living in a state of quarantine. As for me, I have been in a lock down lifestyle since March 19th in Akron, Ohio. Other than leaving the house to go to work as an “essential” employee, I probably go out two times a month for groceries and appointments.

Maintaining a blog in normal times is hard work. However, maintaining a blog in a time of quarantine is a whole different ball game. I, myself, have had a difficult time coming up with daily content and sometimes it feels impossible to come up with a blog post for the day.

Back in early 2020, I could find inspiration to write about anything from a quick trip to TJMaxx or an adventure outing with friends. Fast forward over half a year later and the most exciting thing I have to tell you guys is when I get a new LEGO set. Lol, so I understand better than anyone what it means to have writer’s block right now and there is no shame in it!

If you are coming up with question marks for your page, try writing about the following:

  1. Have you picked up any new hobbies or perfected an old skill in quarantine?
  2. What have you been binge watching lately?
  3. How many books have you finished? Which one was your favorite?
  4. How has your garden or potted plants been growing?
  5. What has been the most difficult part about being in quarantine?
  6. What has been the best part about being in quarantine?
  7. Have you cooked or baked anything new?
  8. How has your beauty routine changed since being in quarantine?
  9. How has your work or day to day life been affected by the coronavirus?
  10. What are you most looking forward to doing post quarantine?

We are all having a hard enough time right now so don’t let your blog be another thing that stresses you out. And, if you’re curious how to become a better editor, follow the link to perfect your post. Use the prompts above and tag me in it so I can read it, too! 🙂

Much love. -Sarah

Harry Potter Great Hall LEGO Set

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Harry Potter Great Hall LEGO Set

Hello! While in quarantine, Johnny and I have been enjoying putting together LEGO sets including ones from Harry Potter and Star Wars. Johnny bought me the Hogwarts Clock Tower set for my birthday and we had such fun assembling it that I went ahead and bought the Great Hall set a few weeks later. Although the bigger sets are a bit pricey, they are worth every penny in the hours of entertainment that Johnny and I get out of them.

We stretched the Great Hall set out over the course of a weekend while Harry Potter movies, Impractical Jokers, or The Office played on TV. After at least five solid hours of building our Great Hall was finally complete. The best part? Attaching it to the Clock Tower, of course! Check it out:

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While the Clock Tower set is specifically from the Yule Ball scene in The Goblet Of Fire, our Great Hall set combines imagery from both the first and second films. Don’t believe me? We have Professor Quirrell and the basilisk to prove it! Our sets are, technically, not the most cohesive right now but our two sets combined look AWESOME… From the outside, at least.

In comparison to the Clock Tower set, the Great Hall had a lot more pieces which made it a much more intricate and time consuming build. All the while, it was insanely hot in our apartment so spreading it out over a few days was definitely the move. As always, Johnny and I have a great system when it comes to our LEGO construction. He takes care of all of the detail work, which is impossible for me to do with my nails. I, on the other hand, handle a lot of the big pieces and everyone wins!

Johnny and I like to buy a new LEGO set every few months and I am already looking forward to my next Harry Potter purchases. What’s on deck? For starters, the Whomping Willow set! Then, I would love to add the Astronomy Tower, Hagrid’s Hut, and the Quidditch Pitch. Hey, it’s Harry Potter so I have to dream big! 🙂

What has been keeping you entertained in quarantine? Who else enjoys building with LEGO? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Quarantine Beauty Routine

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My Quarantine Beauty Routine

Hi! Living in a lock down state has definitely put a damper on my beauty routine. In fact, I can probably count on under ten fingers the amount of times I’ve put a full face of makeup on since March nineteenth. Sure, it’s nice to be feeling myself after I beat my face but, at the end of the day, it’s not like Johnny and I do anything so what’s the point?

Every once in a while I’ll put some mascara and blush on but, for the most part, my face has been au natural. Because of that, I have really just been enjoying doing face masks on my already blank face in the evening. I have also incorporated a night time skin care routine into my beauty regimen. I used to not have one, as I never took my makeup off before bed. But, now, I always apply my serum, eye cream, and moisturizer before bed too.

Although I miss doing my makeup, I like sleeping in before work more! Lol, what I really miss is shopping. I’m not comfortable making my rounds in a store like TJMaxx or Target yet. And, when I find some cute, in season clothes online I realize that no one will probably see me in it till next year so what’s the point? I mainly have just been ordering my skin care online and extra hand soaps from Bath & Body Works when I need it.

On the bright side, this lack of shopping and applying makeup has saved me money. The lack of going out to restaurants and bars and doing my eating (And drinking!) at home also saves me money. So, when the fateful day comes that I can finally have a TJ’s shopping trip without having a panic attack, I know the haul that will be purchased will be totally guilt free. Score!

What do you miss doing most while in quarantine? How have your normal routines been affected? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Things I’m Missing

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Things I’m Missing

Hello! Johnny and I have been living in a lock down style state since March 19th when the restaurants and bars in Ohio closed down. Since then, the only things I have left my apartment for other than work has been the grocery store, gas station, and my monthly nail appointment. And, on occasion, we might have a friend over for a drink through serious social distancing in my living room.

Despite being constantly surrounded at home by “entertainment” like the TV, streaming services, video games, books, and board games there are definitely some activities in the community that all of the America’s Next Top Model marathons in the world couldn’t replace. I eagerly await going to all of the following once it is safe to do so:

TJMaxx:

Lol, of course TJ’s was going to be the first on my list! You guys have no idea the amount of TJMaxx related memes that I have been sent by people who have genuinely been thinking of me during this pandemic for that reason alone! I miss going on my monthly shopping trips to TJMaxx with my mom more than anything but we have all been picking and choosing what we do very carefully. For example, my monthly “treat” outing is visiting the nail salon where I feel most comfortable. I know I wouldn’t feel safe in a store full of people so online shopping has been the move for months now.

But, trust and believe that as soon as I feel one hundred and fifty million percent okay, TJ’s will be the first place I visit. I have plenty of birthday gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I intend on using them on a gigantic haul. It’s always nice to have something to look forward to, haha. 🙂

Restaurants/Bars:

It’s not like Johnny and I went out a ton pre-coronavirus but we would usually go to the bar or out to eat maybe once a week or so. These outings were the best last summer when we could have drinks on all of the outdoor patios in Kent. It was just such a nice way to spend an hour or two after work and I miss being able to unwind with our friends.

Most of all, however, I miss going to the bars where the band my boyfriend is in, The Outside Voices, would play. Going to their shows over the weekend was always something we really looked forward to and I know it has been so hard on him to not be doing anything musical. In fact, I think he misses performing just as much as I miss shopping at TJMaxx and that’s really saying something.

Guilt Free Hang Outs:

I have been able to Skype with and social distance hang out with a few of my friends on occasion. Of course, it’s always nice to see them whether that be on the laptop screen or at the opposite end of the room. But what I really miss is being able to hug them and interact more closely. For example, when Lea usually comes over we like to curl up on the couch and drink wine. Not so much anymore, lol.

I miss all of the little things that I never thought much of before. Big hugs goodbye, sitting on the same couch, or venturing out for random adventures – just for starters. A lot of thought goes into doing just about anything now and I miss the spontaneity that comes with guilt free hang outs with all of my besties.

What are the activities that you’re missing the most right now? Do you have a safe “treat” outing that you participate in? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah