How to Beat the Blues…During a Global Pandemic.

How to beat the blues…During a Global Pandemic.

Full disclosure, this is my first global pandemic, so I am not really sure what I am supposed to be doing? Except for staying inside; it’s pretty clear that we need to stay home.

Things just seem pretty messed up; we aren’t sure what day it is? What we should be doing with all this extra time that we now have on our hands; and we can’t figure out how doing pretty much nothing is so exhausting??

It’s only been 3 weeks and many of us are on the verge of falling into a funk; it’s official, we have the blues!

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I did my best to give my; I have the blues, but there’s still hope out there face, not convinced that I nailed it?? Plus I was trying not to laugh. 

Please note that I’m not a mental health expert; I am just an extrovert trapped in her house trying not to lose her freaking mind! But I am a sharer, so I am going to share 5 ways to help you beat the blues; and then at the end I have an extra 7 super quick emergency Blues Busters just in case you’re having a really bad day…you’re welcome!! 💙

Just Stop It!

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We need to turn off the news!! I have to admit that I’m a bit of a news junkie; I live alone so I always have my TV on in the background and it’s usually on one of the news channels. I like hearing voices chatting, so it’s not dead silent. But the constant cycle of bad news is just too much!! We need to stop!! I think we’re all on information overload at this point and it’s causing us anxiety.

Last week I decided that I needed to turn off the news; I’m still getting my daily updates from the CBC, but that’s it! I also cleaned up my social media feeds and hid or deleted people who seem to be stuck in a negative death spiral; and its had an immediate positive affect on my mood!!
If you just do one of my helpful hints, maybe this should be the one?? But the others are also good, so keep reading!

I just don’t think that you can immerse yourself in negativity and expect to have a good day? Actually I know for a fact that you can’t.

It may be a good exercise to ask yourself; is this adding to my life or sucking the life out of me?? I’m currently trying to keep all the life sucking things to a minimum these days!

Move It!

Soooo it’s taken me two and a half weeks to jump on the, Move It, bandwagon. I know how important exercise is and how it can help beat the blues, blah, blah, blah; but in my defense, I really didn’t have enough time to exercise, what with all the naps.

I’ve started daily walks, not leisurely walks, they are get out of my way, I’m on a mission walks; there’s a difference. I’ve also set the goal for myself that I need to do 3 different online workout classes per week; I’m being very strict with myself, ouff I can be so bossy, lol.

I’m hoping that this level, of Moving It, will help my body combat the levels of chocolate that I am feeding it? Sure, I could reduce my chocolate intake, but that would set me on a blues crash course. I mean, we need to do whatever we need to do to stay sane; giving up chocolate at this point in time would frankly be reckless.

My two fav online workout gals are Robin and Josette! To workout with Josette go to Bend City Yoga’s Facebook page; and to have Robin, rock your butt off; go to Move, Sweat, Live on Facebook or movewithrockinrobin on Instagram.


Make a Plan 

We are creatures of habit and not having anything to do sounds amazing, until you actually have nothing that you need to do. On day 6, I think it was a Saturday, but I can’t really be sure? I slept in until past 10am!! And then stayed in my pajamas all day; I think I had 7 meals that day and took 11 naps?? I woke up the next day and decided that I need structure; actually my mom told me I need structure, but whatever.

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So I’m working on a new weekly schedule for myself, since I’ll be off work for the next two months. Here’s what I am planning in order to beat off the blues and keep myself sane. The point is to have things to do and structure your days, weeks…and months.

  • I am going to set up weekly chats and Facetimes with friends and family. My plan is to schedule a few different chats per week; Monday evenings at 6 will be cousins video time; and then Thursday nights could be the night I talk to my friends in Vegas? Those will be in addition to my regular daily chats with my mom and my bffs; I don’t schedule those, they are spontaneous.
  • I am going to create a weekly menu; I think this will help me remember what day of the week it is? Tuesday will be Taco Tuesday, obviously. I’ll make my menu on Sunday evenings; I’ll take inventory of my food so that I can go to the grocery store on Monday’s if I need anything?
  • Clean UP! When I was traveling for work, I would come home and tell myself that I should clean x or y, but I just didn’t have the time. It turns out that time wasn’t the reason my cleaning projects weren’t getting done? lol. My new schedule will include 10 to 15 minutes of light housekeeping when I wake up each day; I’m just going to get it over with first thing each day. And I’ll tidy up my kitchen every evening before going to bed; it’s a pandemic mystery how dirty dishes just keep popping up out of nowhere??
  • I am going to set aside one day of the week as my deep cleaning day. That way I only have to procrastinate one day a week instead of the full week! I think it’s a pretty brilliant plan!
  • I’m going to schedule my, Move It, exercise time and will do my best to abide by those set times…ish.
  • Special projects; If I’m going to beat the blues, I’m going to need to have a few special projects on the go at all times. One will be to focus more time on my blog. This blue theme/global pandemic/I have way too much time on my hands post was my special project kick off! See, I’m already being super productive!

Learn Something New

My friend Claudia wants to finally learn a third language, another friend is going to sign up for an online painting class. I think that I’m going to attempt one fancy cooking recipe per week; I’ll pretend that I’m a contestant on Master Chef! I’ll take out one of my aprons, that I never ever use, and I’ll organize my ingredients like they do on cooking shows. The meals that turn out will be divided into smaller portions; some will get frozen for later and I’ll give a few single serving portions to my mom. Those that don’t turn out will quickly be forgotten; like they never happened!!

Take this time as an opportunity to do or try something that you’ve been meaning to do or try…in your house, don’t forget that part.

Stay Connected

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Social Distancing is lonely!! We miss our friends, our family and our coworkers. I have added staying connecting in my, Make a Plan, section, because it’s soooo important to stay connected in these uncertain times.

My friend, Nadine, has been great at scheduling regular  happy hour chat times for us; those seem to be very popular these days. Sign up for zoom, get your friends together and try it.
The other day, I was loosing my mind and going stir crazy; so I called up my friend Kenda and we had a driveway date. She set up lawn chairs in her driveway and we sat 10 feet apart and chatted in the spring sun! So that’s an option if you need to see a face in person and not just on your phone or computer.

I also have walking partners; we meet up in the woods, which sounds a bit creepy. We take our separate cars, so we aren’t contaminating each other and we walk and talk loudly staying more than 6 feet apart at all times.

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In order to stay connected, you’re going to have to be a little creative, but you can do it!!

Quick Blues Busters!

This one is going to sound simplistically dumb, but make your bed every morning. It will start your day with a formal purpose. Think of it, you’ll have already accomplished one thing before breakfast; and it’s less inviting to get back in bed once it’s made…so I’ve been told.

Music/Dance

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Feeling anxious or angry? Crank up the tunes and sing!! My two favorite places to listen to music are my kitchen, while I am cooking, and in my car; drives in the car are allowed by the way, so crank the tunes and go for a joy ride!!

Let it out!

One of my friends, who I would never picture as a crier, told me that she cried three times in one day this week; which reminded me of when I was a little girl and I would get out of sorts. My mom would tell me to go to my bedroom and have a good cry and then come back out when I was happy. And it actually worked every time.
I think the point is to release stress; cry, go for a run….do whatever you need to do in order to reduce a bit of stress; let it out!!

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Laugh It Off!

Nothing beats the blues like a good laugh! Phone a friend or watch some Netflix; my go to comedians are Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. I also get a kick out of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars, Drinking Coffee. They aren’t all funny, but lots are; the episodes with Ricky Gervais made me lol.

If you don’t have anyone to call that can make you laugh so hard that you almost pee your pants, let me know and I’ll set up a quick call with my cousin  Brigitte, for a small fee, she’s pretty funny!

Find Your Spirit Animal

I’ve notices that a lot of people are adopting strays or fostering animals lately. That’s because animals are pure love!!
If you’re unable to have a pet of your own, watch pet videos; it’s almost as good as having one of your own? And you don’t have to clean up their poop.

I love Pluto Living on Facebook; he doesn’t think that cats are that important, but I still love him. And my fav singing dog is on Instagram; bee_bee_the_dog. I don’t have any dog pics on my Instagram account but you can still follow me on at: oui-liette; I can be mildly amusing, lol. Oh and every once in awhile I do feature my brother’s cat Roxy, she’s beautiful, but super cranky.

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Thank you for reading, please subscribe below if you haven’t already; and if you liked this post you may love this one: https://oui-liette.org/2020/03/22/5-bad-ideas-to-avoid-during-social-distancing/

Stay safe! Try to see the positive side of things and if all else fails, watch cat videos!!

muah!

Liette

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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