Living Through a Pandemic (How to Stay Positive During COVID-19)

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If you are like me, you may be at home due to stay at home orders in your area. My job closed its doors today and may not open again for the foreseeable future.

Many businesses have reduced hours or are closed to help stop the spread of the virus. So it’s not like I can go to Disneyland any time soon.

In unprecedented times as this, it is essential to stay positive and motivated.

I believe the best way to go through difficult times is to look for the good, and if there is no good, try to create it as best you can.

Here are 10 ways to stay sane and healthy during the coronavirus:

1. Start a grateful list or journal

Begin writing about what you are thankful for. It can be anything, big or small.

Think deeply about the things in your life you may take for granted.

It doesn’t even have to be lengthy-start with 5 things and go from there.

Robert Emmons, an expert on gratitude, has shown through research that gratitude can lead to multiple benefits.

He mentions those who practice being grateful in their daily lives reported being more optimistic and happy.

Here are a few things I am grateful for today:

  1. Having breakfast with my hubby
  2. Having EGGS to make breakfast (a few days ago Smart n Final and Walmart were sold out)
  3. Coffee…mmm
  4. A roof over my head
  5. My loving family and being able to communicate with them
  6. Blogging at home
  7. My plants and pets
  8. My kind neighbors

2. Tackle some decluttering

Have you been inspired by Marie Kondo and her methods of living a clutter-free lifestyle?

I’ve seen her show on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and as a new homeowner, I was inspired to not end up like the people on her show.

I am starting with going through my boxes of greeting cards, and throwing them away, but keeping the extra special ones.

Next, I am going through junk that has been hiding deep in closets, drawers and storage boxes for years.

I am also finding stuff I don’t need anymore that is in good condition and posting it on OfferUp.

3. Make you own cleaning/sanitation supplies

I made my own hand sanitizer (my hubby’s idea!) since stores are sold out of them.

I had isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and aloe vera gel and just mixed the two together, about a 1:2 ratio, for every one part aloe vera, mix in two parts rubbing alcohol.

I had an empty sanitizer bottle which I used for my hand sanitizer.

The kind of Aloe Vera gel I used was perfect as it didn’t make the mixture sticky when used.

Another fairly simple cleaner is a DIY vinegar spray! Just mix half water with half white vinegar, lemon rind and a few drops of essential oil.

Place in a spray bottle, shake, and you are ready to clean windows, mirrors, inside the microwave, bathtubs, outside of the toilet, kitchen drain and more! (don’t use on granite as it is too acidic)

4. Make your own bath-bombs

Scented warm baths are a relaxing way to wind down after a stressful day.

Why not create your own Lush factory in your own home?

Ingredients:

Bath bomb mold

1/2 cup Baking Soda

1/4 cup Epsom Salt

1/4 cup Citric Acid

1/4 cup Cornstarch

3 tsp Castor Oil (or Almond oil)

1 tsp Essential Oil

Gel food coloring

Water from a spray bottle

Start with mixing the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the castor oil, essential oil, and gel food coloring together.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and start mixing. The mixture will start to thicken up a bit and make teeny clumps.

Next, use a spray bottle to add the water. I find this is better than adding in the water all at once because it allows me to control the moisture and it won’t’ activate the citric acid and baking soda.

Keep spraying the water in little by little, and mix until the whole batch is moist and can form a shape in your hands.

Finally, place the mixture in your bath molds. Do not refrigerate, as this will cause the bath bomb to crack. Allow to harden for a few hours. If you won’t be using immediately, wrap in food wrap to keep the bath bomb intact.

5. Time to inspect your kitchen

Do you have spice jars that need labeling?

Or perhaps there are expired cans in the pantry that need to be thrown away.

What about the freezer-anything that is taking up unnecessary room?

I love all things organization. Kitchens are one of the main rooms used in a home, so now is a perfect time to thoroughly organize your kitchen, so everything is easily accessible and space is optimized.

Now is a good time to look at your pantry buying habits. You would be surprised by the number of wasted nonperishable foods that can accumulate on the shelves.

I bought these shelf organizers from Amazon (no surprise, that is where I buy most of my online purchases from) and they make my dishes easily accessible.

6. Take a break from Social Media

I bet if you were to open Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. it would not take more than a minute to find some disheartening news about the Coronavirus.

Another downside to social media is we tend to fall into the comparison trap believing other people’s lives are so much more enriching than our own.

I deleted my Facebook a few years back (after having an account for 9 years) and have never looked back!

I was definitely hesitant for a long time before doing it-thinking am I going to miss out on what’s going on around me? Will I lose connection with friends and family? Nope and nope.

I realized the people who I was close to, we both made efforts OUTSIDE of Facebook, and if any big news happened, I generally would hear through the grapevine, or from the person themselves.

Not saying to delete your accounts cold turkey-social media, like any good thing is best with moderation. Just maybe hide your social media app or turn off the notifications for a bit on a so you don’t see the bright red notifications staring you in the face.

7. Bake cookies or try a new dessert

I am a HUGE fan of anything DIY and baking.

One of my weaknesses is chocolate chip cookies. The other weakness is donuts. Both were proudly featured at our wedding.

Now if you like oohey gooey soft cookies, I suggest you follow my mom’s recipe below:

Ingredients:

1 cup Vegetable Shortening

1/2 cup Butter

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Brown sugar

2 Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla

3 cups Flour

1/2 cup Oatmeal

1 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp Salt

12 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Mix the wet ingredients then add in the mixed dry ingredients, add chocolate chips last. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

8. Develop your green thumb

Do you have any houseplants that need some TLC?

Do you have any kitchen scraps that can be regrown?

Are there weeds in the backyard?

Don’t be intimidated by plants-I used to think I didn’t have a green thumb at all.

Several years ago I decided to buy some succulents. I knew they were drought-resistant, and I had a much easier time with them.

Once succulents “grew” my confidence (ba dah dah!) I researched low maintenance plants there are so many plants that need little attention.

Many plants are easy to propagate too. See how I propagated another Swiss Cheese plant here.

Here is a list of gorgeous low-maintenance house plants that I own:

  1. Epipremnum Pothos devil’s ivy
  2. Monstera Deliciosa swiss cheese plant
  3. Philodendron Cortadum heartleaf plant
  4. Dracaena Deremensis corn plant
  5. Spathiphyllum peace lily
  6. Sansevieria Laurentii snake plant
  7. Dieffenbachia dumbcane
  8. Ravenea Rivula majesty palm
  9. Succulents-in general

9. Turn on your favorite music genre and workout

Working out is a great way to boost your endorphins and release stress!

Also, as many of us will be cooped up at home for the next several weeks, it is a good way to burn off some energy so we can sleep easier.

I think of my puppy I had years ago-he would be on his best behavior when he had a good workout, whether I took him on a hike or to the dog park. He also fell asleep faster when he exerted his little puppy energy.

Working out is proven to improve mood, keep you mentally sharp, reduce the risk of heart disease, just to name a few! Medline Plus has more on the benefits medlineplus.gov/benefitsofexercise

10. Do What Makes you Happy

Lastly, do what you would love to do more of if you had more time.

That typically never happens, but because our world is going through a virus pandemic, now we DO have the time to use our time more how we would like to use it.

Let your creative juices flow and find a DIY project to make on Pinterest, or make a scrapbook.

Do you enjoy painting or drawing? Go outside and look to nature to paint something amazing.

Do you enjoy writing poetry, working on a puzzle, knitting, quilting?

I find working with my hands and creating a meaningful project is so rewarding.

My husband and I have quite the laundry list of house projects, and I am so excited that I get to take the time to focus on these projects.

One of the projects I completed was painting our oak bathroom cabinets in our master bathroom.

I also painted our garage floor, as it was pretty ugly for a garage floor. I still need to apply a second coat, but it already looks incredible.

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