As soon as the news hit that COVID-19 was a nation-wide pandemic, and a nation-wide state of emergency was announced, I knew that mental health would be a large topic of conversation.
If only people were interested when there wasn't a pandemic happening, amiright?!
THINGS TO DO WHILE ISOLATED:
1. Read a book: Delve into your favorite novel, or start a new one. Download Audible or another audiobook service if you want to listen rather than read!
3. Spoil your pets: One great thing about isolation is the unprecedented hours of time our pets are now getting with us. I don't know about you, but my doggo was super happy that I stayed home with her. My cat? She would be fine if I left for a week!
4. Do some self care: Self care - like doing a face mask, painting your nails, shaving, etc.- are all important to maintaining your sanity. The truth is that it makes your body feel better, which can actively reduce stress.
5. Set goals: This can help you realign your focus. Sometimes, situations take a toll on our mental health because we have nothing better to focus on. This is even more true in an isolation situation. Make goals and see how you can work toward achieving them, even while isolated.
7. Play some video games: One of my favorite things has become XBOX ONE gamepass. I never even knew it existed. You can download games for free and play them without paying for the full game.
I'm currently playing Outer Worlds, which is admittedly a lot like my favorite game series, Fallout. Jonathan and I played a game called "Afterparty" where you have to escape Hell after suddenly dying. It was pretty cool.
Our smartphones can be so helpful. They keep us connected to friends living halfway across the world, can help us stay in touch with family, and can even helps us look at news reports and perform Google searches.
But one thing our smartphones can't help us with is the Coronavirus currently plaguing the world. There's almost a zero percent chance that you're reading this without knowing at least some information about this Coronavirus. But, if you need a refresher, listen up!
Think about it: we are on our phones almost all of the time. Even if we aren't, we inevitably will pick up our phone when our hands are dirty to use it. I personally found myself touching my phone after pumping gas and stopped myself until I got some hand sanitizer.
HOW TO SANITIZE YOUR SMARTPHONE
All smartphones are different. Do this at your own risk after researching the best thing for your personal phone!
3. Lightly spray a microfiber cloth with the mixture and wipe down the front and back. You can use a
cotton swab for smaller areas like the camera or buttons on the side.
4. Let the phone dry for at least 15 minutes before you put it back in the case.
PLEASE DON'T PANIC
The best thing to do at a time like this is to make sure you're washing your hands and sanitizing those items you use or are around daily. If you are sick, stay home if you can! The U.S. is already starting to encounter cases from travelers. If you feel you have this virus, please seek medical attention.
One thing to remember is how easily people can get ramped up over things like this. We saw similar headlines with ebola, the Zika virus, and swine/bird flu. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken seriously. It just means that we need to be realistic on how it is impacting different areas of the world.
Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages an acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Around Christmas time, we see a spike in this ideal.
I always thought it was interesting that so many people took to shops mere hours after sharing a Thanksgiving meal to nearly trample others for some good holiday deals.
There are many ways consumerism damages our minds. Here are a few:
FEAR OF MISSING OUT (FOMO)
We want what they have, which can make us wildly unappreciative of the many things we do have that other may have to live without.
While this is always a good option, it kind of encourages people to spend money they don't have.
It can hurt to be unable to do what you would really like to for others over the holidays. However, most people who want what is best for you will be perfectly content with fewer gifts or even no gifts over the holidays.
IT CAN MAKE US FEEL DEPRESSED
However, it can be sad if you want or need these things to produce better work, but you simply can't afford them.
HOW TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES
These are a few ways that your mental and financial health can be threatened by consumerism this season. Here are a few ideas to help you resist the urge to go into debt or to battle feelings of sadness related to FOMO:
As you all know, I've been posting content pretty much every day this month either on my channel or right here on my blog. It is around this season and into December when many bloggers and content creators decide to take the challenge of posting something every day on their respective outlets.
Posting every single day, especially when you don't do that already, can take a toll on a number of different aspects of your health. For me, it has taken a toll on my mental and financial health. So, what did I learn and what can someone do if they've been posting every day and are finally coming to the end of their posting spree? Here are some ideas:
TAKE A BREAK
I asked a question on Twitter the other day to see if anyone had suggestions on how to recover when your blogging becomes overwhelming. The answers were clear: take some time off.
My thoughts tell me that this isn't a good idea because all of the most successful content creators credit consistency for their success. However, you can't be your best on your blog or YouTube channel if you're not at your best personally.
GET SOMEONE TO GUEST POST FOR YOU
Guest posting can help to relieve some of the stress you've built up and can help you to take some time off while knowing everything is still running smoothly. I personally haven't had anyone guest post unless it was a part of a series, but I know a number of bloggers do it. It works and it keeps your audience engaged while you're out.
STREAMLINE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
This may cost you a bit of money each month, but it is an investment into the success of your blog or YouTube channel. I know if I had a social media cross-posting tool over this blogoween/vlogoween time, I would have been much less stressed and would have saved a lot of time.
GET BACK INTO SELF CARE AND MAKE A PROMISE
Get back into your self care routine if you slipped out of it, but be sure to make a promise to yourself to put your body and your mental health first. Blogs and videos aren't more important than your health.
TRY NOT TO OVER-COMMIT NEXT TIME
I've made more commitments to do things, so I can't expect that I'll have the same amount of time to do them and do them well. Focus on what's important to you. If you have sick family members, you should plan to see them. However, you should maybe skip a party or something else that is less important to focus on your content.
Halloween is most known for scares and sweets, which can be daunting to those who are trying to stay healthy this season. What could prove to be difficult this season is teaching your children healthy habits to accompany celebrations this season.
While I don't have my own children, I've watched a fair number of them and their attitude around the holiday. Today, I want to share with you four health and wellness concepts you can teach to your children this Halloween.
1: HOW TO EAT CANDY IN MODERATION
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think they should have to do anything they wouldn't normally do for the candy. If they usually do their homework or do some exercise, this will be OK. They already kind of worked for the candy by walking to each house. Just teach them how to eat it a little at a time and teach them about what can happen if they eat too much candy at once (belly aches, sugar rushes, etc.).
2: HOW TO CHECK PACKAGING
This is so terrifying. I'm not even a mom and it breaks my heart to know that some kids might fall victim to this over the season and, unless you're paying close attention to where each piece of candy is coming from, you likely won't be able to know who gave your child this disturbing treat.
You can follow this guide that I found to check your candy and keep hazardous things away from your children.
3: WALKING TO TRICK-OR-TREAT
4: MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA
It would be really helpful if you tell your children that the straight-jacket-wearing, bug-eyed, hysterically laughing crazy person is just a stereotype linked to mental illness. It is important that they know some people do fit that descriptor, but it is rarer than someone with more common mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
As a mental health advocate myself, I always think teaching your children about mental health and letting them know that they can talk to you is always a good idea. Halloween, for this reason, could be a great teachable holiday for tackling this difficult topic with your children.
I love Halloween and Spooky Season probably more so than anyone I know. Just ask my husband, who is already trying to get me to watch White Christmas when I want to watch Beetlejuice.
I myself have general anxiety disorder, and I know several others who have various mental issues such as depression and PTSD to name a few. While I love Spooky Season, and I know a lot of them do too, it might be a difficult time for others with the same illnesses.
In today’s post, I want to talk about the four ways Spooky Season can harm people with mental illnesses.
1: IT IS A GENERALLY FRIGHTENING TIME
On top of the increase of frightening activities, there are people dressing up in what might be horrifying costumes to some. Scary costumes can be a trigger for people with PTSD or anxiety depending on how the costume relates to the person and their experiences.
2: IT CAN BE A TIME FILLED WITH MENTAL HEALTH STIGMAS
It might be annoying or difficult for someone with a mental illness or someone who is a family member of a person with a severe mental illness, to see costumes involving straight jackets or other things associated with “crazy people.” These are also mental health stigmas that the community is trying to overcome. It is harder to normalize and talk about mental health issues when they are portrayed this way.
3: PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO PARTICIPATE IN HAUNTED HOUSES OR TRAILS
I wouldn’t call what my friends did “pressure,” because they always let it go and never made me feel bad about it. However, I know some friends will make their friend with anxiety or another mental illness feel terrible for not going with them.
HOW TO PREPARE
This section is really for those who may be affected by these triggers. If you are one of these people, be sure to stay away from Halloween parties and events, as costumes might be at play here. This will also help you avoid negative stigma.
Be as firm as possible with your friends, and try to be honest with them. If you believe going to a haunted house or on a haunted trail will trigger an attack, do not be afraid to tell them that.
Lately, I've been upping my game on eating healthier. I'm pretty much a dedicated water drinker, although I do always have at least one cup of coffee a day. I recently got some snacks that I love that are healthy and also help address my graving for something sugary or fatty. HERE WE GO!
1: FREEZE DRIED FRUITS
2: CARROTS AND RANCH DRESSING
3: CHEESE STICKS
Happy #WellnessWednesday, everyone. For today’s post, I wanted to brag on my FitBit for, well, a bit! This wearable piece of technology has done wonders for my health. Let me tell you four reasons why you need to get a FitBit (or a similar tracker) for yourself:
1: THEY ARE STYLISH
You can find inter-changeable bands of any type, I personally like my silver magnetized one.
2: IT DOUBLES AS A WATCH AND NOTIFICATION CENTER
3: THEY CAN HELP YOU KEEP TRACK OF VIRTUALLY ALL FACETS OF YOUR HEALTH
4: YOU CAN ADD FRIENDS, BE A PART OF A COMMUNITY, AND PARTICIPATE IN CHALLENGES
Add them as friends and you can participate in challenges like “Work Week Hustle” or “Weekend Warrior.” If you win, you are given a “badge” on your app! It’s a virtual way of congratulating you on working so hard.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Do you use a fitness tracker? If so, why? If not, is there a reason?
North Carolina is an amazing place to live. However, I wish we didn't have such humid weather in the summer. Last week, things at my job ramped up. We had a ton of photoshoots and things to attend outside and my hair and body was having none of it.
Naturally, when you're busy, you forget to keep hydrated. That's exactly what happened to me. A few days ago, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I knew immediately that it was due to dehydration.
So, since my blog has served as a source of information gathering for myself and for all of you lovely people reading this, I wanted to look up some tips on how to stay hydrated in humid weather. Let's get started:
1: AVOID THE HOTTER HOURS
2: DRINK ELECTROLYTES
Sports drinks like Gatorade help to replenish your electrolytes, which keep your muscles from cramping while also keeping you hydrated. It also helps that sports drinks are flavored!
3: LIMIT SODAS AND ALCOHOL
4: EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
College season is rapidly approaching. Some of you reading this might already be in college or have children who are already on campus somewhere. Trust me when I say that the freshman 15 (or the freshman 50 for some people) is a thing. Additionally, burnout, anxiety disorders, and depression can form during collegiate years.
I will say that I didn't do the best I could to stay and my best. But, I know some things now that I wish I had known then! In today’s #WellnessWednesday post, I will be giving you a few tips to assuring your mental and physical health stays as balanced as possible during your time in college. Let’s get started!
LEARN QUICKLY THAT IT IS OK TO SAY NO
Learning quickly to say no so that you can focus on your mental health and your scholastic health will be good in the long run.
DON’T TREAT THE CAFETERIA LIKE A BUFFET
It may be tempting at first, but use your will power to keep yourself away from eating excessively.
SAY NO TO FAST FOOD RUNS EVERY NOW AND THEN
ENGAGE YOUR SPIRIT
For some, this means going to church. For others, it may be meditation. Heck, some people may connect with their spiritual self with a face mask, a lit candle, and some soft music. Do what you can to engage your spiritual side.
TRY TO WALK EVERYWHERE
I also wore makeup and dressed relatively nice at least a few days a week. I drove at that point. However, when I lived in my sorority house, I was able to walk to classes and the cafeteria with ease!
MAKE YOURSELF A SCHEDULE
It is so important, and it is something I wish I had known years before.