Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Staying Sane During Lockdown During Covid-19

So, at first there wasn't a lot of change for me when the CV-19 lockdown started, I'm home a lot anyway and work from home as an online tarot reader. We have one car, so I pretty much only get out to go to the store when my husband gets home unless he stops. No biggie, right? 

He's in an industry that was still considered essential when the initial "stay home" order was issued in PA and non-essential businesses had to close. People were asked to stay home unless necessary to get supplies like food and essentials. Building supply and hardware stores like Lowe's and Home Depot have been allowed to stay open, and so my husband discovered people are flocking to them like it's Christmas shopping season because they've decided that all of those projects they never have time to do can get done. 

He's seen people coughing as they're walking in, old people going in and coming back out empty handed, and whole families going in and out because people are going there just to get out of the house. And because the majority of the population can't stay home, now his industry is also shut down except for emergency repairs and as a sole proprietor we can't collect unemployment. 

But on top of this, neither of us is used to him being home all of the time, and he's a fidgety man who can't sit still and do nothing all day for time on end. Well, okay, it was only for a week, we figured we can survive it. But now it's been extended to a month. A whole month of being confined to home with me and the dogs! 

We're working hard to ensure that our marriage will survive this. It's one thing to work together and live together, it's another to be cooped up together with few avenues of escape. It makes me wonder how long we can all stay sane and not just how many babies may come of this, but also how many divorces. Not kidding.

So, what can we all do to keep our sanity? So far, I'm finding that taking time outdoors as much as possible helps. Luckily I can take breaks during the day because I am my own boss. Throwing a ball for the dogs and tossing a football with my husband, going for walks in the neighborhood and lots of reading are helping me. Also, meditation, Reiki and yoga help a lot. We're drinking a lot of herbal teas with things like elderberry, turmeric and ginger in them and taking baths. And we're continuing to eat a healthy diet rather than succumbing to cravings for junk food.

I hope you're also finding ways to relax, stay calm and stay healthy and maybe even strengthen your family bonds rather than fighting or bickering. It's a good time to do all of those things you don't normally get to do like get caught up on your reading or favorite shows, but please don't do unnecessary projects that require you to go out to purchase supplies right now.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Why I Identify as Celtic

The map above comes from Wikipedia and shows the area inhabited by the early Celtic tribes. As you can see, it covers a vast area of Europe, and my roots are in many of those countries since my grandparents were: 
Paternal grandfather--100% Irish
Paternal grandmother--50% German, 50% Luxembourg
Maternal grandfather--50% French, 50% English
Maternal grandmother--50% Dutch, 50% Scottish

As you can see, I'm an Indo-European mutt when you look at this map! Although Irish is my largest ancestry at 1/4 of my gene pool, Celtic is most likely at least 80% of it since they spanned such a large part of early Europe. I haven't had any DNA testing done yet, mainly because I was waiting last year until after we moved, and again now I'm on hold until we move and I have my new address. I was too focused on raising a puppy to worry about DNA testing this past year. 

So, I heard someone recently say that Celtic isn't a people, just a scholarly term, but I disagree. To me Celtic is the identity of the majority of my ancestry and cultural heritage. Yes, it spanned many lands, tribes and languages, but so does my family heritage. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Health and Life Update

I've been doing the Keto way of eating (diet is such a misunderstood and misused word, but this is what it actually means) for a couple of months now and I'm starting to see results that tell me that I'm on the road back to health. Being in my mid-50s and having just entered menopause last year makes this more of a challenge on top of the damage done by eating foods that harm my body like sugars and grains, but one thing I firmly believe is that "impossible" only means "I'm possible", that it might be more difficult but it's still doable. The trick is not to give up.

I can tell that my thyroid hormones are getting regulated because my hair is growing back and I'm going down in size. One size to be exact, though the scale isn't moving. So I've stepped away from weighing myself. My cortisol levels are also lowering despite the stress of selling our house and moving out of state, or the fat wouldn't be moving off of me. All of this means that my adrenals are also healing and thereby my master hormone, Leptin, is getting into balance as well. That's truly the trick, getting all of your hormones balanced. 

It's why we gain weight during stressful times: not only do we eat poorly then, tending to reach for sugary "comfort" foods, but we also have a hormonal imbalance. Things like meditation help at those times, and eating healthy foods, walking, getting out into nature. These have longer health and stress-relieving benefits than the fleeting pleasure a candy bar or macaroni and cheese provides. 

I have more energy and I'm getting stronger too, mainly because part of what I'm doing is beginning to work out and move more. It's a gentle short workout, nothing major because of my age and physical condition right now, but enough to start strengthening and toning so that I can start a more vigorous work out later this year. Moving will help because there will be more trails to hike and swimming will become an option again living near lakes and the ocean. Right now I don't have the stamina, so that will need to be built up again, but I'm determined to do it. 

It feels good to buy pants a size smaller and to donate some of my tops that are just getting way too big, favorites or not, and to see and feel the signs of progress! It also feels good to have more energy to play with my pups and do everything that needs to be done here for moving, including all of the cleaning and packing. I look forward to unpacking some of my smaller clothing and wearing it after we move!