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Getting back on track with the “new normal”

 

I am happy to report that where I live we have entered “phase one” of the return to “normalcy.” I live in New York. I am not sure if the “phases” are the same for everyone.

As per the state of New York;

Phase One will allow construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain businesses to reopen, as well as many retailers for curbside pickup, in-store pickup, or drop off. Phase One retail categories include clothing and shoes, electronics and appliances, web and mail-order, florists, jewelry, luggage, and sporting goods, among others.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting businesses can also resume, as can landscaping and gardening businesses, drive-in movie theaters, and low-risk recreational activities like socially distant sports such as tennis.

I am grateful that we are slowly but surely moving towards normalcy, but what will be the “new normal?”

My husband and I talk about it all the time. We wonder how different things will be once we’ve gone through all the phases. Will life resume the way it once was? Will we have to always wear masks and practice social distancing? It can keep you up at night just thinking about the possibilities.

This is such a stressful time. Probably one of the most stressful times in modern history. The only other time I can think of are the events surrounding September 11th. I have a heard time sleeping because I’m so frazzled. I have been doing a slumber search almost every day for tips on how I can “de-stress” and get a decent night’s sleep.

Even my kids, who are 23 and almost 21 years old, are stressed out about things. I hate seeing them that way.

Our daughter already speaks with a therapist, which is great. I hope she is expressing all her fears and concerns with him, as well as us. I know it’s better to let your feeling out instead of keeping them inside.

Our son does not speak with anyone other than us. We always talk to him about things, but we sometimes feel that maybe he should talk to someone else, in addition to us, to make sure that his mental health is in check.

My son has always been a “worrier,” even as a little kid. That has not changed now that he’s a young adult. In addition to the current events, he’s also losing his job in August (they are closing down).

Did you know that a lot of insurance companies cover the costs associated with mental heath? Thankfully our insurance company does. If you are interested in learning more about whether or not your or your insurance company pays for mental health, you might want to check out this good article.

I hate it that people attached a stigma to reaching out for help when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, stressed out, depressed and a variety of other normal, human emotions. If anything, I applaud people who make their mental health a priority. There is nothing wrong with seeking help. It makes you a better people, inside and out, when you don’t bottle up your emotions.

I personally have gone through pretty much every emotion you can think of lately.

  • I’m scared because I don’t want to catch the virus (I’m considered “high risk”).
  • I’m concerned that I won’t get back my job – ever – and having to look for a new job along with hundreds of other people.
  • I’m worried about what my job will be like, if I am able to get it back. What precautions will be made? What will be different? Will we still have the same number of children in our program?
  • I’m somewhat depressed (not in the full sense of the word) because I’m stuck at home 24/7 and I miss being able to go out, swing by my favorite stores, and stop for coffee.
  • I’m kind of happy to have the time I need to get things done around our home, as well as to rest after my surgery next week.
  • I’m angry when I see people not following the rules.

I can literally go on with more emotions. My point is, I think all of us have experienced every human emotion lately, which is why I think more people should consider taking better care of their mental health.

This pandemic will not last forever. Why not come out of this “on top” by getting your mental health in check and taking care of YOU.  Take care of your physical health too. Now is the time to get in shape, not gain weight. Trust me, I know how hard it is to distance yourself from the fridge when you are stuck at home 24/7. I’ve put on 10+ pounds, which is another issue that is depressing me.

I know that a lot of people have lost their jobs recently, due to the pandemic. Most people who lost their jobs do not have access to health insurance. If that is what happened in your situation, and you think you really want to talk to someone, you can also check out your local Department of Mental Health. They might be able to offer free help, or charge on a sliding scale.

Do you take care of your mental health? If so, how? Do you visit a therapist or counselor? Do you practice meditation? Do you talk to your friends? I would love to know how you deal with “issues” when they arise. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

New normal life concept with the final piece alphabet.

Kimberly

I have partnered with BetterHelp to bring you this information. Although compensated, the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

My family and I find ourselves glued to the television every night to watch the local and world news. In the past, watching the news was not something that interested any of us, most especially my kids. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we all find ourselves curious to see if the numbers (deaths, new cases, recovered…) are going up or down. We are also interested to see if there are any probable vaccinations on the horizon.

Another thing that interests everyone in my family is what stage of returning to “normalcy” different parts of our state (New York) are in, and what life is like in other parts of our country, and around the globe.

We reside in the suburbs of New York City, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus here in the United States. The city has the highest number of cases and deaths. It’s also probably one of the last places in our country to fully open up and return to life the way we remember it to be.

The county where I live just opened up to allowing elective surgeries again. I was on the phone right away with my surgeon to see about scheduling for the surgery I need on my shoulder/arm (torn tendon). I have been living with constant pain for WEEKS and I need to get this fixed so that I can start to function properly again.

I cannot wait for my life to get back on track. The last time I was at work was March 12th. I have also been outside of our teeny, tiny condo about a half a dozen times since then, and that was only to go tot he bank for quarters to do laundry (we have to pay for the washer/dryer in our condo building basement), and for doctor’s appointments. That’s it! To say that I have “cabin fever” is an understatement.

I have felt very isolated for several weeks. I do enjoy the company of my family, but my husband and son have never stopped working (they are “essential workers”), so they have been out of our home for 8 hours a day, five days per week. I did have my daughter at home with me for a while, but she has also returned to work (restaurant). Now it’s just me home alone with our cats and Goldfish. I do talk to them, but it’s not the same as talking to a real person.

Feeling alone and isolated is at an all time high these days. It’s just not me. It’s affecting thousands, if not millions, of people here in the U.S. and around the world. Being stuck at home 24/7, and for some, with no human interaction, can have long term effects on our overall mental and physical health.

Human beings are social creatures by nature. Without social interaction and connecting with others, we risk the chance of mental and physical ailments. In fact, loneliness has been linked to health issues such as cardiovascular health risks, inflammation, obesity, and accelerated aging. In addition, suicide is also a risk for people who feel alone (mentally and physically alone).

I won’t go into too much detail about the risk factors of social isolation and loneliness, because I am not a medical professional. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I would recommend reading this article about the subject.

If you find yourself feeling alone and missing being able to interact with other people (even those outside of your immediate family), here are some things you can do.

Connect with family, friends and co-workers on Zoom or other video conferencing platforms. 

Technology is an amazing thing. Back when I was a young adult, I could never imagine being able to talk to a friend on a mobile device (and not tethered to a wall by a cord). Nor could I picture myself watching a blockbuster film in my hand, on the go. It blows my mind thinking about how much life has changed since the creation of things like smartphones and tablets.

With today’s technology, you can connect with people around the world with a simple platform. Not only can you talk to other people, even multiple people at the same time, but you can also see them in real time. How amazing is that?

My cousin connected with me through an app called Marco Polo. It’s like video conferencing, except the other person (or people) don’t have to be online at the same time. You can record video messages any time it’s convenient for you, and those you wish to connect with can watch your video (and respond) when it’s convenient for them. We have been using this app for a few weeks now, and I love it. Even my 70+ year old aunt uses the app and has sent me a video message with it. It’s amazing!

Participate in a “drive by” (or create one yourself).

Are you familiar with a “drive by?” It’s very popular these days. A “drive by” is when a group of people get together to form a parade (in their cars!) and drive by a person’s home (or a place of business). As drivers pass by they honk their horns, shout out special messages (“Happy Birthday,” “Thank you,” “Congratulations…”), and sometimes hold up signs (passengers, not the driver) and balloons. I’m actually participating in one this evening for our friend’s daughter’s birthday, which is today. A group of people, in their cars so it’s compliant with social distrancing, are meeting up at a specific spot on their road, and then at 5:30 we will begin our procession and drive past their home, honk our homes and should out “happy birthday.” My husband (the crazy person that he is) is going to dress as Santa and run out and place balloons and a gift on the end of her drive way (again, social distancing). He was SUPPOSE to be dressed as Mr. Potato Head, but the costume (when inflated) doesn’t fit in the car. The only other costume he has is Santa. Our friends know we’re silly people, so they won’t be shocked one bit. LOL!

You can find information about “drive by” events on Facebook (check out any local groups in your area). You can also create your own group and set up events. Not only does it get you out of the house in a safe manner, it’s a great way to connect with others and maybe even make some new friends.

Go “old school.” 

I know this might seem crazy, but taking a pen to paper and writing an actual letter, is another great way to feel connected with others. Not only that, it gives you something to look forward to in your mailbox. You don’t even have to make a trip to the post office. You can purchase stamps online and have them delivered to you.

Pick up the phone! And I don’t mean texting. 

It’s so easy to shoot someone a text message. But a text cannot convey emotions. Typing “LOL” doesn’t have the same effect as hearing someone laugh.

Instead of texting your friend or family member, pick up the phone and actually CALL THEM. You connect with people so much more when you can hear their voices. A text can never replace that.

Ge out of your home. 

If your part of the country is opening up quarantine restrictions, but you still must maintain social distancing, you can still meet up with people.

My daughter and her friends are great at getting together, without coming together. What I mean is, they “hang out” but keep their distance at the same time.

Once they met in a local parking lot, each bringing their own lunch, and they sat in their cars (parked close to each other – but well past six feet apart). They were able to see each other and have a conversation without getting too close.

Another time my daughter and a friend of hers met at a park where not too many people hang out and went for a hike, the whole time keeping their distance.

If your area no longer requires a quarantine, I would strongly suggest meeting up with family and friends in creative ways, but keep your distance.

I’m sure there are plenty other things you can do to keep from feeling isolated and lonely.

Please consider the mental and physical health of others you know that might be experiencing the negative effects of being isolated and feeling lonely. Please check in on these people often, most especially the elderly.

Be healthy and stay safe!

Kimberly

*I have partnered with BetterHelp on this post. Although compensated, the entire post was written by me and not influenced in any way. 

Teen Stress is Real–Hyland’s Safe & Natural “Serene” Can Help

 

Let’s face it, this is a stressful time in our world’s history. People are worried about catching the COVID-19 virus. Some people have lost their jobs. People around the globe had to self-quarantine. It’s been a mess all around.

It’s understandable that adults can be under an extreme amount of stress, most especially if you have lost your job and have to worry about paying bills. Even home schooling children can cause a lot of stress.

Did you know that children and teenagers can feel stress too due to the pandemic? Learning from home is a huge adjustment and missing spending time with friends can be extremely hard on a young person.

There are things adults can do to ease the stress in their life, but what about young adults and teenagers?

A company called Hyland has a product that is non-habit forming and can help ease the symptoms of stress. The product is called Hyland’s Young Adult Serene.

Young Adult Serene is made with a homeopathic blend of natural active ingredients to help ease stress symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, sleepiness and irritability.

The tablets dissolve quickly, with no side effects. They are non-habit forming and non-drowsy too.

Hyland’s Young Adult Line also includes safe and natural remedies for acne and menstrual symptoms.

Acne can cause stress – and a lot of it. I remember when I was a teen and I woke up to a pimple. It would ruin my day! I would look for anything I could to fix it ASAP. I’ve even tried toothpaste on a blemish to help get rid of it. I’ve been that desperate at times.

Thankfully I outgrew acne. My son was lucky where he barely had any pimples. My daughter on the other hand, sadly she had (and still has) a bad case of acne. She’s on prescription medication for it.

Hyland’s has a product called ClearAc. It is an acne medicine specially formulated for a teen’s skin. Clear skins starts from the inside out, so Hyland’s developed a homeopathic blend of natural active ingredients to stimulate the body’s own healing, naturally.

In addition to my daughter having to deal with acne (she’s turning 23), she also has terrible periods. They are not as bad as they were when she was younger (and prior to going on birth control for her acne). Back when she was a teen she had horrible periods. Even my son would complain about how moody and nasty she was during “that time of the month.”

I felt bad for her. I knew she was in a lot of pain and discomfort from the cramps. The best I could do is get her over the counter medications to help ease the symptoms. I am not a fan of giving my kids medications unless they truly need it. I feel the same way about myself.

Hyland’s Young Adult line has a product called Young Adult Moon. It’s a caffeine-free formula that helps with cramps, irritability and backache.

Moon is caffeine-free, hormone-free, and made with natural active ingredients, just like their other Young Adult products.  Moon also does not contain any harsh anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID’s).

Hyland’s sent me these products to try out with my kids. They are young adults (currently 20 and almost 23). I was told that these products could work for them as well.

With the Serene product, both of my kids tried it out. My son said that he didn’t notice a difference when he took it. At first he thought he did (maybe it was psychosomatic?), but then he said he wasn’t really sure. As for my daughter, she said that the product helped her. She said, and I quote, “I feel more chill” (do people even use that term anymore?). She keeps this product next to her bed.

Whether it works or not for her, I don’t know. But she believes it does, so that is all that matters to me. It’s a homeopathic formula, so I don’t have to worry about her taking medications.

When it comes to the ClearAC, I can’t really comment much on that. My daughter’s acne issue has been pretty good lately. However, she was using this product to see if she had any breakouts. She didn’t, but I don’t know if it was due to this product, or just that she’s been doing better lately with break outs.

When it comes to the Moon product, my daughter tells me that her cramps were not that bad and I don’t think she was really that irritable. She says she was irritable, but both my husband and I didn’t think she was. Trust me, we have seen her irritable side, and it’s not pretty. Ha Ha.

As a parent, I am concerned about what my children put on, and in, their bodies. I am all for homeopathic remedies whenever possible.

If you are interested in learning more about these and other Hyland’s products, visit Hylands.com. That brand is also all over social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Getting counseling when and where you need it.

 

Life as we know it has changed… A LOT. It’s hard to believe that we’ll ever return to “normalcy,” and if we do, will it be a new type of “normal” from what we were used to prior to the pandemic.

My family and I talk about what the future might be like when the COVID-19 is a thing of the past. Will we always have to practice social distancing? Will we always have to wear masks out in public? Will we always have to wipe down everything we purchase before bringing it into our homes? The more you think about these things, the more stressful it can get.

I would want nothing more than to hug a friend right now, go shopping without a mask, and attend a Memorial Day barbecue. BUT… I know that situations like that might have to hold off a bit longer until it’s safe to do so.

I consider my family blessed. Aside from being furloughed from my job until possibly September, and being bored out of my mind being stuck at home 24/7, things have not been that bad. My husband and son kept working, and my daughter was only out of her job for a few weeks. We’ve all been healthy (thankfully) and we’ve been able to get by OK. Sadly, that is not the case for others. Some families have lost several family members to the virus. Some people have lost their jobs indefinitely. Others have no idea where their next meal is coming from and how they are going to pay their rent/mortgage. The pandemic has hit some harder than others.

Getting over the death of a loved one or a beloved job is hard. Combined with all the other stresses this pandemic has caused, it might not be as easy as it once was to make our way through it. For this reason, having counselors available is even more important than ever. But how can you meet with a counselor when you are confined at home and most places are closed? There is one way around it – telephone counseling.

Telephone counseling allows you to connect with a certified counselor from anywhere, and often, at any time.

Connecting with a counselor over the phone works just as well, if not better, than in person. For shy people, like myself, not having to look someone in the face when discussing problems makes opening up easier. When you can open up easier, you are able to get out all that is bothering you.

Taking advantage of telephone counseling is also great for busy people who might not otherwise have the time to drive across town to meet up with someone. If you are a parent, not having to look for a sitter is also a bonus.

I like the idea of being able to speak with a counselor from the comfort of my home. You can sit and chat while in your stain covered top and ripped pants and no one will know. You also don’t have to worry about your hair or make up (I’ve barely worn any make up the entire time I’ve been stuck at home during the quarantine).

As a bonus, you also don’t have to worry about a parking spot or getting stuck in traffic and running late to your appointment.

This excellent article explains in more detail whey phone counseling is a great option for many people, as well as frequently asked questions people have about telephone counselling – https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/counseling/get-telephone-counseling-when-and-where-you-need-it/

Since most places are still under quarantine, and many places are not opened, getting counseling over the phone is a great option. I would recommend meeting with a counselor in person, even one you plan on utilizing entirely over the phone, just to put a face to the voice. However that is not possible right now for most people.

Utilizing the telephone to connect with a counselor would be vital for many people right now. I’m not sure if people know that telephone counseling is even an option. It pains me to think of all those people who are in dire need to speak to someone, but are not aware that they can connect with a counselor over the phone.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the help and guidance of a counselor, whether it’s related to the pandemic, or from other issues, why not give telephone counseling a try? You have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain, by trying it. Even if you find that it’s not for you, and you prefer a face-to-face meeting, taking part in a telephone counseling session is better than nothing – at least until the time comes where you can safely do a face-to-face meeting.

Would you take advantage of a telephone counseling session if it was available in your area? Why or why not? You are welcome to explain your reasoning why if you feel comfortable leaving a comment (no worries, the information is not collected – it’s just for my own curiosity). If you wanted to know my answer, my answer would be “yes.” I say this because my daughter sees a counselor and he’s been doing telephone sessions since the quarantine kicked in. She “meets” with him every few weeks, just to touch base and see how things are going. He also charges half of the price he normally charges in person.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with BetterHelp to bring you this post. Although compensated, the post was written entirely by me. 

Got to go? Make sure you have a “Restroom Kit” on hand

 

Let’s face it. We all have to “go.” It’s just a part of life. Thankfully for most people, when it comes time to use the restroom, we usually have a clean one to visit, whether it’s at home, or at work. But what happens when you are not at either place?

Public bathrooms tend to be some of the grossest, nastiest places to visit. I’ve seen restrooms so bad that I would rather do my business in the woods then take my chances using a public toilet.

Some places are kind enough to offer users those toilet seat covers (thankfully), but not all places do. I have had to resort to covering the toilet seat with toilet paper, just to protect my “assets.”

Have you ever gone into a public restroom only to find there is no toilet paper? I’ve had that happen plenty of times too – even at my job! I had to admit it, but I’ve had to resort to using paper towels. They are not exactly the softest paper to use “down there.” If anything, it’s a bit too rough, but it’s better than nothing.

What if you find toilet seat covers, toilet paper, but no soap or wipes? Eww… you don’t want to go without washing your hands, most especially today. We all know how very important hand washing is, now more than ever.

What if you had to use a port-a-potty? Those are the worse!

What if… and this sounds downright terrifying… you find yourself in a situation where there is no toilet seat cover, not toilet paper and no soap to wash your hands? Yikes! That is a nightmare situation. I have had that happen to me before, and I have left to find other facilities, or simply “held it” until I got home or work.

Fear not! There is something you can do in such a situation. Simply break out your Restroom Kit. What is a Restroom Kit you might ask? It’s one of those ingenious ideas that you wonder why no one thought of it until now.

The Restroom Kit is a compact (about the size of a deck of cards) “kit” that contains the things you’ll need in a public restroom – a toilet seat cover, ample toilet paper, and hand wipes.

Seriously… why has no one thought of this until now?

I was sent a few kits to check out for myself. I had planned on opening one up to take pictures of what is inside, but then I thought to myself “why?” I think it’s safe to assume most people are familiar with what toilet paper looks like, and I’m sure most people know what a toilet seat cover and hand wipes look like. I didn’t see a need to waste a kit just for the sake of taking a picture of toilet paper.

This brief video shows you want you get inside the kit.

 

This is a MUST have wherever you go – and “go.” Stadiums, parks, stores… wherever you find public restrooms.

The kits are small, so they can easily fit inside your purse, backpack, coat pocket, glove box and just about anywhere else.

The Restroom Kit is available for purchase online. They are available in 3-packs, and all the way up to a 500 pack (that’s A LOT of public restroom visits). The more you purchase, the lower per cost of the kits.

You can also get a sample kit to check out for yourself, but you do have to pay a shipping & handling fee (I’m not sure what that is – I’m sure it depends on your zip code).

I LOVE this idea. I gave my husband and each of my kids a kit to keep on them when they are out and about (they have them in their cars). I keep mine in my purse.

If you are interested in learning more about the Restroom Kit, visit TheRestroomKit.com. The brand is also on social media. All of their links are found on the top left of their website.

What do you think of this fabulous idea? Have you ever found yourself in a public restroom that was missing vital necessities?

Kimberly

*I received free products samples. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Orthopedic Doctors: When You Should See an Orthopedist

 

If you have been in an injury, you should see an orthopedist to get your bones checked. Here is what you need to know about orthopedic doctors.

Most people have one main doctor in their life, their family doctor. And while a family doctor is great, they normally don’t specialize in a specific field of medicine. If you need specialized help, you’ll need to visit a specialized physician.

There are 120 different fields of medicine, and orthopedists provide an important role. These doctors focus on your musculoskeletal system, which includes your bones, joints, and nerves.

Keep reading to discover when you should see orthopedic doctors for your bone health.

When Experiencing Chronic Pain

One of the most important times to see an orthopedist is when you’re experiencing chronic pain in your bones or joints.

23% of American adults suffer from arthritis, but very few of them understand this disease or do anything to treat it. Diagnosis of arthritis and similar diseases occur when a person experiences long-term joint pain. These diseases can be the result of overworking your joints, aging, or underlying conditions.

An orthopedic doctor can help you manage your pain and provide exercises to help increase your range of motion.

After an Injury

Orthopedics also serve as injury doctors if your bones or joints experience a trauma.

Broken bones, fractures, dislocations, and tendon tears are all injuries that are best treated by a specialist. You could receive treatment from a general doctor, an orthopedic doctor provides specialized care. This means you can recover quickly and regain your former strength.

You’ll want to make sure that you find an orthopedic doctor who specializes in your specific injury. For example, if you were in a vehicle accident, you’ll want an orthopedist car accident doctor. But if you injured yourself playing soccer, you’ll want a doctor for broken bones that specializes in sports injuries.

While Recovering From Surgery

Another common time to visit a specialized bone doctor is when you are recovering from surgery on your bones or joints.

While surgeries are meant to help heal your bones or joints, they also put a lot of stress on these areas. You don’t leave the operation room with a full range of motion and no pain. Instead, the recovery process can take weeks or even months.

Orthopedic doctors will help you recover from your surgery with rehab. In most cases, you’ll meet with a physical therapist for your weekly appointments to properly exercise your bones and joints. Then, you’ll visit your orthopedist for milestone appointments to track your progress.

Orthopedic Doctors Keep Your Bones Healthy

Even though you may not have heard of orthopedic doctors before, they serve a very important role in keeping your body healthy. Without proper bone health, many everyday tasks can quickly become impossible.

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, was in an accident, or are recovering from surgery, ask about seeing an orthopedist.

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