Hey, everyone. I haven’t blogged in about a month. Things have been so crazy for me since the beginning of March. Working in the communications department of a university requires a lot of intensive work during a crisis. COVID-19 opens up questions and decisions that need to be made about students, faculty, staff, facility, services, events, etc., and I have been working 7 days a week and working around 12 hours or more per day in communication planning. I’ve written video scripts, emails, press releases, and web content and I’ve been in meetings pretty much every day (including weekends) until the Illinois governor set forth the shelter-in-place order. This week, I’ve worked from home, but my days are still very long. It’s been exhausting, but good career experience. My heart goes out to all affected by this pandemic, whether directly or indirectly. I have very good friends who are healthcare workers and in the service industry, and I commend and respect everyone who is out there providing for their communities every day.
So, I’m not going to recap the whole last month, but I’ll talk a little bit about what I’ve been up to.
I recently got a thyroid uptake and scan done, but still don’t have the results. It wasn’t painful, but it was a little uncomfortable. My doctor wants to put me on medication to slow my thyroid down. Lately, things have been a little bit better for my physically, and I hope that trend keeps up. I am still not drinking alcohol or caffeine, but the late hours and stress does have me reaching for the sugar a little more than usual, so I need to cut down on that. Speaking of sweet treats, I made the most delicious peanut butter bars the other day. I used gluten-free pretzels, almond flour, sugar-free peanut butter, honey, and dairy-free chocolate chips. These are some of the best “healthier-for-you” treats I’ve ever made!
Other than to go to work and the woods (for some peace), I haven’t left the house to go to a store since March 15, where I stocked up to try and have enough groceries for two weeks. Some of the meals I’ve made include salmon tacos with avocado and seasoned cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs, almond flour chicken nuggets with sweet potatoes and broccoli, veggie burgers with kale gnocchi and cauliflower rice, salmon salads, and potato tacos.
I have lots of frozen berries for smoothies, and I have been using the Amazing Grass greens immune booster, turmeric, and marine collagen in my smoothies. I have a whole immune-boosting arsenal, in fact!
I sometimes get a little nervous that my immune system is impacted by my thyroid function, but I haven’t had a cold or anything in over six months. To protect myself and boost immunity, I take Ester-C, zinc, magnesium, L-Lysine, B-Complex, D, and black seed oil, and I also have monolaurin, tea, and powders. I don’t overload myself every day, but I have definitely been more conscious of strengthening myself regularly.
Speaking of strength, I continue to do my workouts at home. My routine is arms on Monday, yoga on Tuesday, standing light cardio on Wednesday, body weight on Friday, and legs on Saturday. I have been using 5-10 lb weights and resistance bands, but I have taken it easy since my thyroid issues started. I miss my more intense workouts and plan to keep fighting to get back there eventually.
Julian and I still drive through the woods frequently, and sometimes we take brief hikes inside. It’s been a little cold here, but still beautiful in the forest. Tomorrow will be 57, so I definitely plan to walk Oliver. I am very cautious (as I’m sure you all are, too) and my hands are raw from washing and sanitizing so much.
Right before things started picking up at work, I volunteered to help with forest rehabilitation in a preserve near our house. It was so cold and some hard labor, but I had such fun and would really like to continue volunteering.
I know that this outbreak has been pretty disruptive for a lot of people, especially when it comes to things like church, Lent, volunteering, group meetings, etc., and I am looking forward to the day I can get back to doing more. In the meantime, prayer, meditation, and even taking a walk can help you draw from your faith and try to find some peace.
I am sending positive vibes and wishing you all well around the world. I am hopeful that as we band together to combat the outbreak and prevent the spread, things will return to normal soon. Please remember that there are many people out there with underlying health conditions, compromised immune systems, and the inability to fight this virus, so be mindful of your actions and put others first. See you all soon!