Coronavirus – Is it OK to not be OK?

Coronavirus – Is it ok to not be ok?

I consider myself to be a pragmatic optimist; I try to see the positive in every situation, but I am also able to adjust to pretty much any situation once I’ve had a moment to digest and recalibrate.

But this isolation situation is kicking my ass!! Have you ever realized how fortunate you are and then felt a bit of guilt for throwing yourself a pity party? That’s normally where my mind goes when I start thinking, poor me. I realize that a lot of other people have harder struggles than I do; so I tell myself to buckle up buttercup. In the past this way of thinking has served me well. It’s made me power on, and I have full intentions of powering on this time too, because I know that this too shall pass.

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But is it ok to not be ok for a moment? This week I’ll find out if I get laid off or not? Last week three of my friends and 3 of my family members lost their jobs. It looks like I will celebrate my 50th birthday alone, by myself in my apartment…in Moncton; not in Palm Springs with my friends as planned!!! The one year anniversary of my dad’s passing is creeping up on me stirring up crazy flashbacks. And I feel that things are just going to get crazier before they get better; that’s a tough thing to process for an optimist. So I think I am going to need a freaking moment!!!

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I was chatting with a friend on the phone today  and at one point in the conversation I asked her if she was having an anxiety attack? She was; we talked about nothing and anything until it subsided a bit. She suggested that I write a post about feeling anxious, worried and depressed.  

My posts usually have a funny or optimistic vibe; but I think there maybe some comfort in hearing that others are also struggling? So I am diving in here; this whole thing is just plain and simply fucked up! The world has come to a complete stop! And I’m sorry, but at this very moment, I am having a hard time finding the bright side or an immediate silver lining!

Ouff! There, I said it! It’s out there and to be honest, it feels good to blurt that out and release it. And for your mental health, I think that you should give yourself permission to lose it as well; but then, please find it again.

Maybe we should schedule our losing it outbursts so we don’t all lose it at the same time? Yes, that’s a good idea; we’ll need to take turns losing our shit. Let’s try to be extra kind to ourselves in these next few months; yes, I said months.

As a rule I try, and think I do a pretty good job, to not compare myself to others; but lately, with all this free time spent on social media, I’ve caught myself being a bit envious and I think others may be as well??

So if you’re not preparing gourmet meals for yourself/mate/family every night; it’s ok. If you aren’t creating daily super adorable Tik Tok videos with your children; it’s ok! If you want to punch your significant other in the throat because you can hear them chewing or breathing; it’s ok! If you live alone and have been wearing the same yoga pants for over a week; it’s ok!! It’s all ok!!

Anything that is helping you survive in isolation, that doesn’t hurt anyone else, is ok!! Ok?

That being said, if your not ok moments lasts for more than a moment; please call your folks, FaceTime your friends or set up a patio or driveway date with someone you love. And if that doesn’t help, please call your doctor and have a chat with them. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel like you’re going to be ok.

I was on the phone with my mom today; she must have sensed that I was having an off day because she told me that I need a project. She said that I don’t do well when I have nothing to look forward to. And of course she is right! She’s always right. So in order for me to be ok, I am going to need a fun project. So watchez-vous! My creative juices will be flowing, which can get scary?? Lol. Try to find something that you can do for yourself to help you be ok.

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To recap; it’s ok to not be ok for a moment. It’s ok to lose your shit, but then, please find said shit and keep on keeping on. No one’s life is perfect so avoid comparing yourself to others. Use any and all tools that are currently helping you survive. Find something to do that is going to help make you feel ok; and finally if you’re not ok moment is lasting more than a moment, please reach out for help.

Stay safe and let me know how you’re doing.

muah!

Liette

PS – looks like we all have extra time on our hands, sign up to receive my posts sent to you via email. They’re super amusing!! 🤣

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Physical Distancing While Socially Connecting

Physically Distancing While Socially Connecting.

5 ideas to help us feel good while we do good.

My previous post; 5 Bad Ideas to Avoid While Socially Distancing, was a funny attempt to lighten the mood a bit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the heaviness of our current situation; this post isn’t as funny, but I think it will help make us feel good.

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Let’s get started! Here are my 5 ideas that will help us feel good while we do  good!!

Feed a Friend

And by friend I mean a support worker!! This is my second week of working from home; and like so many of you, I’ve been working in my pajamas and eating chocolate chip cookies for lunch.
To be honest, I’ve struggled a bit being isolated, but do you know who is struggling more? All the healthcare workers, truck drivers, grocery store workers, pharmacy workers, flight attendants, pilots, ticket agents, airport security people, cleaners, corner store and gas station people, 911 operators, police, ambulance employees and so many more!!!
They are working extra long hours so that our society doesn’t completely fall apart.

Those of us who are stuck home seem to be cooking up a storm in order to stay busy; why don’t “we” make a bit extra and drop off some food to someone we know who is working their butts off for the rest of us?

Is your cousin a nurse or a Cosco cashier? Call them up and tell them that you are dropping off a lasagna or homemade soup on their front step, so that they can relax with a home cooked meal after their shift.

On Sunday, my mom and I made a bunch of pâtée chinois; which in English translates to Chinese paste??? It’s meat and potatoes, so not sure what funky French person came up with that name? Lol, it’s Sheppard’s Pie; sorry I digress.

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Single servings of Sheppard’s Pie. My mom put cheese on hers, I went without.

We made a bunch and dropped some off to my brother and his wife. He works in a manufacturing plant, they make air exchangers for hospitals and big buildings. My sister in-law works for an airline; she’s been working crazy hours helping Canadians get back home; knowing that she’s getting laid off soon. 😕

They were so happy to get our goodies; we also gave a few to my mom’s senior neighbors who are scared to leave their apartments.

It warms my heart that others are « feeding a friend » too. My bff’s family own and work at Gustos, an amazing restaurant here in Moncton. Sadly they have had to close until this craziness passes (but will be opening for limited hours daily for Skip the Dishes orders soon). They happen to make the world’s best cheesecake! What did they do with all the cheesecakes they had left after closing??

I’ll tell you what they did; they, as a family, cut up mounts of cheesecake pieces and packed them up and delivered them to hospital workers!!

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Team Judson/Malenfant, my bff with her teenagers doing good for others!

Random acts of kindness

This is probably the easiest to do, be open to being kind and helping others when the opportunities present itself. I dropped off magazines that I was done with and left them in front of my neighbors door with a note the other day; she was thrilled. My across the hall neighbor, who is in his seventies, was outside the other day cleaning off all the cars in our parking lot after a dusting of snow. Canadian Blood Services is in need of blood, book an appointment and save a life.

Is your neighbor or family member one of those still working? Offer to walk their dog? Offer to pick up groceries for them. It doesn’t have to be super complicated.

Be thankful

This one is similar to being kind, but a little different; be thankful and say thank you. I was at the grocery store the other day and I thanked the cashier for showing up for her shift. She was a bit caught off guard and smiled and thanked me for thanking her; man I love Canada! She said that she stays 2 hours after her shift everyday to help sanitize the store as they are short staffed.

I have an office job, I sit at a desk, when not travelling, if my boss told me after my 8 hours that I needed to stay an extra 2 hours to help clean the office, I don’t think I would be very happy? But she has been doing it for over a week! So thank him or her!!

When you go to your corner store, thank the clerk, the grocery store staff, the pharmacy staff…If you are somewhere getting necessities and you see someone who is working,  thank them.

Let’s all just be thankful that when push comes to shove; and when some of us are called to take one for the team, that they do so without hesitation. They show up! So thank them!

Phone a friend

Everyone is saying that we need to be Social Distancing; I heard someone online mention that this is not what we need. We need to be physically distancing from each other, but we need to find a way to socially come together so that we are not alone. I thought that was a great point.

Check in on your friends, family and coworkers. Use technology to stay connected; I have a zoom video date with 3 of my bffs later tonight. And one of my friends in Las Vegas has set up a social mixer video call for this weekend.

I have been FaceTiming with friends all week and my boss has asked that our conference calls be video calls. I can’t imagine being home alone for weeks at a time without seeing the smiling faces of loved ones.

And if you are having a really bad hair day, then skip the video chats and talk on the telephone, old school.

Be kind to yourself

My first week inside I started feeling bad because I wasn’t motivated to work out in my living room or run up and down my stairs. I was comparing myself to all those people who are posting their workouts online. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that people are doing all of that. But I was feeling bad about myself because I had zero motivation to join in. And do you know what? That is ok; we all deal with stress and anxiety differently and we need to give ourselves permission to deal with things in our own way.

Want to have cookies for lunch, go for it! Don’t feel like getting dressed on a random Wednesday? That’s fine!! Do you and do what you need to do to comfort yourself and make yourself feel safe and whole.

I do think we need to be on the lookout for signs of depression in ourselves and our loved ones. But needing to retreat for a moment to re-calibrate ourselves is fine.

For the record, today is a random Wednesday and I am dressed and I just got back from an one hour long walk in the woods! Oh wait, it’s only Tuesday…or is it Thursday?? Oh shit I don’t know what day it is?? But I have real pants on! lol

My last helpful, be kind to yourself, hint is to turn off the news for a bit! At this point, I think we are all aware of the gravity of the situation, but hearing it over and over and over again isn’t helpful; for my mental sanity anyway.

I’ve been seeking out funny and ridiculously silly videos to balance things out a bit.

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Ok the hat, the hair and the face are all the same shade…not good! lol

If you have any other suggestions on how we can do good, please share!!

And if you haven’t read my 5 Bad Ideas to Avoid During Social Distancing, here is the link; it was super amusing, lol.

https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/22/5-bad-ideas-to-avoid-during-social-distancing/

Thank you for reading, sign up to receive my blogs via email if you haven’t subscribed yet; seriously, you’ve got lots of time on your hands!! Lol

muah! stay safe and sane!

Liette

 

The Coronavirus; is this how we die? No! Wash your damn hands!

The Coronavirus; is this how we die? No! Wash your damn hands!

Full disclosure, I am not a doctor or a healthcare professional, but I am very well read and informed. I also travel (on planes) for work a lot; and have lots of friends who also travel for work, so I do feel that I have some valuable precautions to share.

First of all, let’s put things into perspective; statistically speaking if you live in North America you’re more likely to die from a shark attack or a snake bite than you are from the Coronavirus. That being said, it’s freaking scary to hear how fast it’s spreading every time you turn on your computer or the television.

There have been 80,026 ish cases reported in China so far, which sounds like a lot, but to put things in perspective, again; the population of China is estimated at over 1.428 Billion!!

And if you want something to be afraid of; here are some stats that should scare the shit out of you! The US CDC estimates that influenza, which is the flu that goes around every year, has affected (made sick) 9 million to 45 million people since 2010! Of those 140,000 to 810,000 needed to be hospitalized and between 12,000 to 61,000 have died… from the regular flu!

Can you imagine what life would be like if CNN started keeping count of everyone who was hospitalized and died from the flu? People would never leave their homes.

So let’s all calm the F down a little, because here’s the thing; the Coronavirus numbers are just going to keep increasing as more people are tested. So let’s chill out a bit and see what we can do to protect ourselves from the actual flu and not just the Coronavirus.

Wash your damn hands!

It maybe a bit frustrating to be told that over and over again; but even with all of our advances in science, the best way to prevent ourselves from getting the flu is still to wash our hands.

Here’s a shocker; most of us aren’t washing our hands properly. That’s right, most of us need a reminder on how to properly wash our hands! A squirt of soap and a few seconds under the tap isn’t going to cut it anymore.

wash your hands

You should be lathering up for at least 20 seconds! And get a cloth ready so that when done, you don’t have to touch the dirty faucet with your clean hands.

DON’T use bathroom air dryers!!!

If you only retain one thing from this post, please let it be this point! I speak from experience on this one; I got the nastiest flu a few years ago while traveling and I am convinced I got it from bathroom air dryers.

Think about it for a minute; the air dryer pulls air from the bathroom and heats it up, then spits it out onto your freshly cleaned hands! This may give you nightmares; but do you know what floats around in the air in bathrooms? Fecal particles and other funky bacteria are floating around in there! And the heat from the dryers just makes all those things grow faster.

Some air dryers now have HEPA filters that will cut down some, but not all, of the funky stuff growing in the dryers. But how do you know if the mall’s air dryer has a HEPA filter? You don’t! So wash your hands and get the hell out of that bathroom, with your hands dripping wet, as quickly as possible, lol.

I’ve starting hoarding napkins in my purse; if I encounter a bathroom with air dryers only, I am all set! I’ve also started carrying a packet of disinfectant wet towelettes with me; which leads us to our next tip.

Disinfectant Stuff

I have never been paranoid about germs and I still don’t think we should be overly obsessed; but I do think we need to create new habits for our new reality. One of my new habits is that I carry a plastic baggie in my purse that contains wet wipes and a small bottle of hand gel sanitizer. Make sure that the ones that you buy contain 60% alcohol. You should probably also throw in a small tube of hand lotion; all that washing and sanitizing is going to dry out your hands.

As mentioned above, I keep a small stash of napkins in my purse as well; perfect for drying my hands or if I need to touch something that looks gross, lol.

When Flying

A few weeks ago I shared a post on how to not get sick while flying; here is the link if you want to read: https://oui-liette.org/2020/01/27/how-to-not-get-sick-on-a-germ-infested-airplane/

Part of my new flying habit is that before getting settled in my seat, I wipe down every possible surface around me; window, tray table, arm rests, head rests… with an extra large Lysol pack that I have in my travel bag; on my last flight, I shared with my seat neighbor, he was very thankful.

I also have a baggie in my purse with latex gloves; yes, my purse is filled with various baggies, lol. I try really hard to avoid having to use the washrooms on board, but if I do need to go, I am ready! I put on a pair of latex gloves; I leave the bathroom without washing my hands; I remove my gloves and put them in a separate baggie and then wipe my hands with my towelettes. Latex gloves would also be a great option for really scuzzy bathrooms, not just airplanes bathrooms.

Do you need a mask?

Authorities are telling us no; and that we should stop buying them so that they are available for medical workers. Most of the masks that you see people wearing don’t actually block the virus out anyway; only the N95 masks will actually help prevent you from getting sick.

I have an N95 mask, my local pharmacy had a bunch on display the other day so I grabbed one. I will keep it in my travel bag in case of an emergency. What will constitute an emergency? Maybe someone sitting next to me who is clearly sick?

Other precautions

  • Don’t touch your face; this one is a tough one for me. I am forever touching my face, but am trying to be more mindful.
  • Stop shaking hands; chances are the person you are shaking hands with doesn’t really want to shake your hand either?
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow, a tissue; just cover your mouth with anything, but your hands. Then just to be safe, sanitize your hands after anyway.
  • If you do get a cold or are not feeling well, stay home!
  • In addition to creating a plastic baggie of disinfectant stash for your purse or travel bag; it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a mini survival kit for your home.
    • If something happened that you would need to stay in your home for a week or two; what would you need?
    • This is something you should have for natural emergencies and disasters; not just for this darn virus. Being prepared is never a bad idea!

I hope this post helped put a few things into perspective and has helped to calm your fear, just a bit?

Thanks for reading; feel free to share! And please, wash your damn hands!!! No seriously, go wash your hands…now!! And when was the last time you disinfected your phone or keyboard??

Muah!

Liette