I have debated A LOT about whether or not this was the right platform to share this, but since I will be talking about food in here, I decided to go ahead and share it, so please proceed at your own risk! I do not claim to be extremely knowledgeable abut this topic or any other, I’m just simply sharing what has worked for me.
I was never intending to write about this subject, but while I was at work this morning, I ended up having to jot down a bunch of random thoughts, and so I’m going to attempt to share these. Please bear with me as I’ve never written this type of post before, and as someone who generally doesn’t share my thoughts unless requested, (and even then, I do so with difficulty!) I’m stepping out of my comfort zone here!
I didn’t realize it, but apparently this post has been cooking in my head for a while, because when 2 coworkers requested fewer hours this morning so as to avoid COVID-19 (what else would I be talking about!?!?!) as much as possible, these thoughts just came FLOODING in.
My first thought was (assuming they’re in good health and have no one in poor health to be taking care of that they need to be around.) this is pure selfishness. Yes, you need to be careful, but PLEASE do realize YOU aren’t the ONLY one that would like less exposure, and therefore your request will be forcing us to pick up your hours which will -in the end- expose us (and you!) to EVEN more, than if you were willing to come work your 6 hour day.
But then, I calmed my mind down and thought rationally about this. It has everyone on edge, and we all need to do our part to stop the spread, even if it DOES mean reducing your hours. (Which works out well, because then if you want less hours, the people who want/need full time are still able to get their hours in without having to lay anybody off!)
Here are my random thoughts about staying calm in this chaotic world of today we live in. (Even without COVId-19 making its way around & affecting the whole world.)
And, without further ado……here are several things which can help you DO YOUR PART. (It really is the little things!!)
1. Do your part to STAY HEALTHY! Take a deep breath, wash your hands & wash them often! (My hands feel like the Sahara Desert, I’ve been washing them so often with work and whatnot!)
- Stay hydrated. One of my favorite ways is to mix 1/3 c. lime or lemon juice, baobab powder -amount depends you!- (found online here at the Trim Healthy Mama Store or find at your local health food store or Walmart), 1 Hydrate package [or sweetener to taste], add water to fill quart jar ¾ way up, combine well. (I like to use this USB charged whisk.) Add ice to fill jar, then ENJOY!
- Cut processed sugar out of your diet. There is a STRONG link between your immune system and your sugar intake!
- Rest, not just physically, but mentally, too! (More on that later!)
2. Stay in and cook! If you’re not a fan of cooking, this is the perfect time to learn. There’s LOTS of beginner tutorials online! This cold, rainy, & windy spring weather is perfect for soup. (Especially if you’re not a fan of hot soup in the summer! Take advantage of this! Here’s a great soup that will boost your immune system and warm up your insides:
- Sauté 1 chopped onion & 3 peeled and chopped carrots in some coconut oil or butter on medium heat until beginning to soften.
- Add about ¼ c. finely chopped or grated ginger, 2 minced garlic cloves, pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper, 1 T. curry powder, ¼ t. black pepper, & salt to taste (start with 1 -2 teaspoons. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, 1 or 2 minutes.
- Add 2 cups lentils (I like red ones.), 8 cups chicken broth, & 1 can coconut milk. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add a few cups of cooked chicken and a package of spinach (fresh or frozen), and cook until chicken is heated and spinach has softened, about 5 minute. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Topping with fresh cilantro adds a perfect pop of freshness.
- If you don’t like lentils, omit them. Add 2-10 oz packages frozen cauliflower (or 4 -5 cups chopped fresh) to the sautéing veggies in the first step & and reduce the broth to 4-6 cups.
- Cook until cauliflower is tender, and then scoop out about ½ of the cauliflower and purée with some of the broth in a blender until smooth. (Or just use an immersion blender until desired texture.) Continue with adding chicken and spinach.
3. WALK! There are 3 different types to take:
- A regular, mind freeing, quiet & relaxing stroll through your neighborhood, a jaunty trek through the woods, or a leisurely walk through a park. (While keeping social distancing in mind!)
- My little sister (who is slightly prone to anxiety) does this type & it works wonders for her: a music (or podcast) walk. Charge your AirPods (or plug in your earphones, if you’re like me!), connect to your favorite music (or podcast), place in 1 ear (so you’re still aware of your surroundings) & walk to your hearts content, fast or slow, you set the pace! Breathe in the freshness of the outdoor air and take in the EARLY springtime beauty!
- This one was inspired by Naomi, over at WSAW who encouraged her followers to do this: Take a social distancing walk, snap a few photos of what has stayed the same amidst the chaos. There’s just something comforting about that and one thing we know: spring is still coming as evidenced by the rain we’ve been getting!4. Teach yourself something new, or finish a project that’s been pushed to the side for lack of time. (This lack of time probably won’t apply if you’re considered one of the necessary workers!) I’ve recently decided to teach myself how to crochet and I’ve rather enjoyed it. (When I’m not taking out rows because I forgot to count my stitches!)
5. Start a new book series,or start a reading challenge & invite your friends and family to join -virtually, of course!- For a reading challenge, I’d recommend this one from Tim Challies.
6. Take steps to keep your mental state healthy. In a recent article I came across, the first suggestion was ONLY check the news ONCE A DAY for your best mental health. Find a reputable source or two, get the most recent & up-to-date facts, and then STOP if you don’t want to go crazy. So, stay informed, but don’t obsess! Don’t get so obsessed & fearful that it controls you and dictates your life. (Please follow all of your local Safer At Home orders and federal suggestions to avoid spreading COVID-19.)
7. Call your friends & loved ones. Let them know you’re thinking of them even if you can’t see them. Pray with them…for each other and for this country. (And world). Prayer changes things!
8. Be thankful!Gratitude is a wonderful boost for the immune system. Thank your grocery store cashier, thank a truck driver, thank someone in the medical field, and hey, even thank random people for remembering social distancing and staying at home! Thank God for the life He’s given you and that you thus far have remained healthy.
9. Go for a drive around the countryside. It’s an easy way to get out of the house and still practice your social distancing. Catch up on your favorite podcasts, or simply enjoy the solitude! I can promise you’ll feel better when you return home from your drive!
10. Bake something!If you enjoy baking with regular sugar, I’d suggest these delicious, tried & true recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Cookies from Apple A Day
- Sour Cream Cookies from Knuckle Salad (I prefer to add nutmeg in place of the lemon and then dip them in a basic powdered sugar glaze.)
- Cranberry Date Bars from Taste of Home
- Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Oreo Pie from Kevin & Amanda
If you’re trying to avoid sugar, here are a few of my favorite sugar free options:
- Lemon Cheesecake Crumb Bars
- Raspberry Cheesecake
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough from My Montana Kitchen
- Vanilla Pudding Cake for One from Briana Thomas
11. And last, but not least: Rest in God! As Psalm 42:11 says: “..hope thou in God: for I shall yet PRAISE Him who is…….my God.” Find your hope in Him, rest, & trust. (Isaiah 26: 3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.) Yes, we MUST do our part in helping this pandemic to stop, but God is ultimately in control.
I’ll close this with a verse that many have been taking to heart and living during these times: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)