Our Quarantined Life

quarantine update header

So.
Here we are.
Ending the 11th (or is the 12th) week of physical distancing/quarantine measures.
We have come to accept that this is the new “normal”.

How I’ve been holding up

Honestly.
Not well.
I’ve been battling with the worst case of hives ever.
After suffering for two weeks trying all the over the counter anti-histamines available, various anti-itch creams and lotions I went to see my doctor. My doctor assumes its due to stress and seasonal allergies. I was given prescription strength allergy medicine and a topical cream. A week later I was back in her office. After blood work came back normal, I was put on a week of prednisone and stronger cream. The hives themselves are now gone, but I am still just as itchy. I still wake up scratching myself to the point of bleeding in the middle of the night. So now it’s back to the prescription allergy medicine, but twice a day AND Benadryl at night. My doctor made me promise to get a minimum of thirty minutes of relaxing alone time. HA! Every couple of days I’ve been able to squeeze in an oatmeal bath and watch an episode of Battlestar Gallactica.
Alone? Not really. I am “Mom-ed” the whole time. At least my skin is getting some relief… right?
Every time I get the slightest itch I slather myself in Aveno Eczema Relief lotion. I am making myself some sweet violet and dandelion skin oil and balm to help with my skin.
I am the most moisturized person in all of time and space at this point.
Lady Cassandra, be jelly!



Alas, I have ended up with cellulitis from scratching my legs.
Antibiotics, more topical cortisone creams, anti-bacterial topical creams, and even more allergy medications.

Mentally . . .
A few break downs here and there.
Mostly related to being overwhelmed by starting back online classes.
There were some severe technical issues on the university’s part. I wasn’t able to get my books on time as they weren’t posted until after the classes started. I am the type of person who prefers to read a week or two ahead and really know what the prof is talking about.
I am catching up.
It doesn’t help that the summer term is a very condensed term.
I also never thought I would admit this, but I miss my bus ride to school.
Turns out, that was my me time.
Just me (well strangers on the bus too) and my podcasts or my books to catch up on reading. I miss the walking to the bus stops and campus.
At the same time, I do like being to wake up and attend my lectures in my jammies.

How about the kids?

They’re alive.
So yay!
To be completely honest… way too much screen time.
School has reopened for the middle kiddo, but it’s optional.
For their mental health we decided to keep them home.
The wee one’s preschool is closed for the foreseeable future. They’re private so they aren’t eligible for government subsidies to cover the extra cost for teachers.
No grade 6 graduation and no preschool graduation. I think the lack of preschool graduation bothers me the most. We’ve decided to slowly introduce the kids to homeschooling as they predict the second wave to hit us in September. Something to at least keep their minds engaged and earn their screen time.

The Pets?

Hermione, our usually independent and sassy cat has become very stressed and needy. She has started meowing excessively at night and carrying her toys around. She usually avoids us, but has wanted all the pets lately. We purchased an interactive feeder to keep her and Asimov entertained.
They have both taken to sitting on my school work … while I am trying to work.

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Slowly Re-Opening

Quebec is slowly re-opening.
Inter-regional travel is allowed.
We can now leave our city.
Non essential stores with doors to the outside world are re-opening.
Hair dressers are set to re-open between June 1st and 15th depending on their location, as long as they have an exterior door as a main entrance.
On private property, you can gather outside. A limit of 10 people from a maximum of 3 households.
Some provincial parks are reopening, although they are encouraging people NOT to travel to them. Same thing with cottagers. You can travel to check on your cottage if you HAVE to, but you are asked NOT to stop in the small towns on the way.

Mood Boosting Foods

mood boosting food

Fatty Fish – Omega-3

Containing Omega-3 essential fatty acids, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel – even sardines – provide your brain with this nutrient that your body does not produce. Our brains are made up of mostly fat, so it’s important to consume Omega-3 through your diet. Consumption of Omega-3 has been linked with lower levels of depression. It is also very good for your joints, eyes, hair, skin, and nails.
Simply add fish to your meals 3-5 days a week.

Not a fish eater?
Me neither.
You can find some high quality supplements. You can also purchase algae based Omega-3 if you chose not to consume fish. Things I look for is the coating to help with fishy burps. Enteric coatings help to ensure that the pill doesn’t doesn’t dissolve until it’s passed through the stomach. Another thing to be aware of, the dosage. Sure you can find a mega bottle of 1000mg of “Fish Oil” at your local super centre, but if you look closely, you generally get minute amounts of Omega-3. LOOK at the make up of your fish oil. Generally, it’s only a very low amount of DHA and EPA.

You can get Omega-3 from nuts and seeds as well,
Often the amount of DHA and EPA are much lower than with fish or a supplement. Nuts also have Omega-6 which in excess, can cause inflammation.

food boost mood

Additional thoughts on fish consumption.
Try to make sure that your fish, or fish oil is free from mercury and sustainably caught.

Complex Carbohydrates

Full of fibre, complex carbs will help to stabilize blood sugar and help to keep moods and energy levels consistent throughout the day. Most complex carbs are a source of B vitamins which can help improve mood by increasing levels of neurotransmitters.
Bonus: fibre helps fill you up so you’re less likely to overeat chips and ice cream.

  • Fibre rich fruits such as apples, berries and bananas
  • Whole grains
  • Fibre rich veggies such as broccoli, leafy greens and carrots
  • Beans and other lentils

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in many mood boosting compounds including flavonoids, caffeine, theobromine, N-acylethanolamine.
Look for 70% or more cocoa content and watch out for added sugars.
It’s best to enjoy 1-2 small squares per day.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi contains probiotics, the good bacteria, that your body needs. Up to 90% of your serotonin is made in your digestive tract so it is important to keep to keep your gut healthy. Look for sugar free versions that you can flavour yourself with berries, cinnamon, vanilla and honey.

Coffee

Caffeine acts as a mild anti-depressant by increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, mood boosting neurotransmitters. Caffeine increases alertness and attention by preventing adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness. Decaf coffee has also been shown to increase mood, possibly due to the presence of antioxidants.
Enjoy 1-2 cups a day, but limit consumption in the afternoon and evening so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

mood booster coffee caffeine

On the flip side . . . too much caffeine can cause restlessness, anxiety and sleeplessness. So don’t over do the coffee.

Who am I to offer advice?
I am a certified NESTA Lifestyle and Weigh Management Specialist.
I have also worked in the natural health and supplement industry for over a decade. Still, all of this is simply advice. I am sharing information. Talk to your physician or medical professional before making any changes or starting a new program or supplement. I am not here to diagnose. prevent, or treat any disease or illness. I am simply offering advice from a nutritional standpoint.

If your brain doesn’t make the chemicals it needs — store bought is fine!

Please don’t be afraid to talk to someone or get help.
There’s no shame in taking medication to help with moods.
And if one doesn’t work, talk to your medical professional.
There are so many options.
Click here for a list of worldwide helplines


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