I’m trying to mix things up. And, so today’s post will not be about interior design, for the most part.
It’s more about living in our interiors.
And living through a pandemic.
And, moving forward into the new now. It will pass, but it will never be the same. However, that might not be such a bad thing. I read somewhere that we’ve been naughty and so God decided to send us all to our rooms.
So, this post is about surviving AND thriving through this Pandemic. Although I do realize that the hardships that many of you are having is creating additional stress. Therefore, I’m going to do my best to help you through it. At least for a few minutes.
First the good news:
Many of you have sent me the kindest notes and hoping that I’m doing okay. I am. Despite the fact that I’m up too late again, I’m doing well and feeling fine.
However, I rarely leave my apartment. And, when I do, the first thing I do upon returning is I head straight for the bathroom and my bar of dial soap. Then, I scrub my hands for a solid minute.
The bad news is that one of the custodians working in my building was recently diagnosed with the virus.
I do not know if anyone else in my building has it. But, quite possibly. I am hearing about cases and deaths all around me. I am living in the highest concentration of this disease.
While New York City has more cases, the population is 9 times what it is in Westchester County. And, the majority of the cases are in southern Westchester County which is where I live.
See that large black dot? I’m in there, somewhere.
But, really I’m fine.
And, I’m not naturally an overly anxious person. However, it is natural to feel some level of worry. And, I imagine that all of us do.
The way it manifests with me is a kind of lethargy.
And, being sedentary only makes it worse.
So, here’s what helps me. And, of course, feel free to share what you’re doing and what helps you.
As we’re basically confined to our homes, how do we combat that feeling like there are cement blocks attached to our feet? The reality is, it’s caused by NOT moving enough. And yet, it feels impossible to move. Right?
But, when we don’t move, we get de-conditioned. And, that will lead to all sorts of other health problems. So, how do you start moving when the very thought makes you want to crawl back into bed?
Well, DO crawl back into bed and start with gentle stretches.
I also find it very beneficial to stand up and reach down and touch my toes with my hands. Then, I hold that position for at least a minute. This is very good for your nervous system and also allows the blood to move down to your head.
Remember to stay hydrated!
When I’m in the kitchen and washing up or waiting for water to boil, I will do calf raises or knee bends. For you ballet dancers out there. I do my calf raises in first or second position and plies in second position.
If I really can’t get moving, going outside for a walk is enough to get me started.
The next thing I’ve been doing as much as possible is a ballet barre.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a real barre, so I use a chair. I find it helpful to butte the chair up against my big cabinet.
A silver lining, for me, to this heinous situation are all of the amazing professional level ballet classes/barres that have cropped up on youtube. The following are my favorites so far. And, they’re not in any particular order. If you have no interest in ballet, please skip ahead. Or, enjoy the videos!
Maria Khoreva has a gorgeous ballet barre with wonderful accompaniment. If you recall, Maria is the 19-yr-old super-star from St. Petersburg and a first soloist with the Mariinsky Theater.
Her ballet technique is text-book perfect and so is her English. You may recall that I’ve mentioned her a few times before. In addition, there are also some other videos of Maria stretching and her endurance cardio training. I watched it one day and actually got nauseous watching her. haha. She’s a beast. A very pretty, sweet beast!
The next ballerina to give an exquisite barre is near and dear to my heart. She’s 27 now and a soloist with American Ballet Theater, Skylar Brandt. As it happens, Skylar is from Purchase, New York. And, I have known her since she was 10-years old as we studied at the same ballet studio! It was obvious, even then that she was destined for great things. She’s ahhhhmazing!
Andrey Klemm of the Paris Opera gives another gorgeous barre with the etoile, Amandine taking it. She is sooooo clean! Plus, you get some gorgeous live piano music and well. And, handsome Andrey. (I have un petit crush on him.)
And finally, from the Dutch National Ballet is another beautiful
barre given by ballet master, Ernst Meisner. The first couple of barres are terrific, however, he only demonstrates the first side. The third one, (linked to above) however, he demonstrates both sides. But, it is a very beautiful exercise, no matter what and also with fantastic live piano music.
Of course, the majority of you aren’t ballet dancers.
However, if you studied ballet in your youth, you’ll probably be able to follow these master classes. I promise you will feel better. Ummm… later on. Ballet is hard! But, it’s the best exercise, IMO.
However, if there’s some other form of exercise you love to do, that’s probably on youtube, as well.
I’ve always found that when I feel good, I get more accomplished and I’m happier.
So, my best advice is to try and keep moving. You’ll thank me later for giving you that push. If you miss a day, it’s okay, but try to do something at least 4 or 5 days a week. And, if you have kids, get them moving with you, too.
Speaking of kids. I saw a bunch of college-aged boys hanging outside Houlihan-Lawrence. They were right on top of each other, too; about 8 of them and blowing smoke in each other’s faces.
Have you heard the new word for that? “Covidiot.”
Oh, and, to spice things up, there was a cop parked across the street. I stopped him as he was walking back to his car. He was young and very nice and just shook his head that he had already “yelled” at them. haha. I wanted to say, I think you need to give them a ticket!
But, then I went to the grocery store.
The killer grocery store.
Oh, Laurel, why aren’t you having your groceries delivered?
Thank you. I TRIED to! I ordered groceries a week ago for a Tuesday pickup and Tuesday morning, they canceled my order!
But, I’m going to try again with Fresh Direct that looks really good. Instacart was the service that crapped out on me.
In the meantime…
When the shite hit the fan mid-March, I went on a Sunday evening to my local grocery store. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I snapped the above image. No toilet paper! (or meat, milk, bread, bleach on and on…) And, the next time I went in, there were no paper products at all. Nothing.
Last week, in our local online newspaper, a cartoonist, Clay Jones, shared some of his work, gratis. The first one is my favorite. And, so I emailed him and asked him if I could share it with my readers and he said, yes.
haha! Please check out Clay’s website linked above for more of his brilliant and humorous cartoons.
The next part is about keeping ourselves and people we live with safe, during the pandemic. That includes doing our part to stop the spread. In addition, not just safe, but thriving.
However, there’s been so much confusion surrounding this virus. And, even the CDC is making it up as they go along. All of this time, they’ve been saying, “no masks, unless you’re sick or taking care of someone who’s sick or you’re exceedingly vulnerable.”
I read that they’re afraid we won’t have enough common sense to still maintain our distance. However, people have gotten sick from folks who are walking around sick but don’t know they’re sick. That’s the problem. And, it’s why we must still stay away from people.
I guess we all have heard that we DO, after all, need to wear a face mask when we venture outside.
Oh, very important. I’m going to share and link to a lot of personal care products. By law, I need to tell you that none of this constitutes medical advice. And, nothing I’m sharing is guaranteed to keep you safe from disease.
But, I thought it would be fun to share some products that I think are interesting and/or might be useful. Some you might know about and some, you might not.
First up. You have to check out Etsy for personal protection masks!
There are zillions of them. I’m not exaggerating. And, not only that, but there’s a mask for every person and occasion. Note: the links will be in an upcoming widget. But, the widget doesn’t have any commentary. Before, though, I want to single out a few of the masks.
Many of these masks are pleated or come with a pocket to put in an additional protective barrier/filter. That’ll be in the widget too.
Again, I am not saying that these masks will keep you safe. They say the most critical thing is to wash your hands and don’t touch your face!
Chlozzbylibby – chic face mask, reminiscent of a Hermes scarf.
There are masks to match every outfit in your wardrobe.
no matter how formal
Or tacky. Really? Who wants to walk around with a fabric rose over their face? But, I suppose it’s better than a surgical mask.
But, if you want a face, they have those too! haha
Overyourheart – Etsy – cotton face mask
They even have masks for couples. Hey guys! You’re not six feet apart!!! I guess they’re quarantining together. I’m jealous. Damn…
Below are many more masks. For more information, please click on the individual images. Of course, there are hundreds more.
Below are some more utilitarian products you might need to have on hand. I figure that people are going to be shopping from home more than ever. And, like here, some of these things are not available in your local stores.
And below are some interesting hand sanitizers and soaps.
And, a few interesting dispensers. A couple of them are hands-free. I don’t know anything about these products. But, most of them have excellent reviews. And, I love the idea of supporting these small boutique companies. Besides, you cannot get the likes of Purell now. They are reserving all of it as they should for the hospitals. Therefore, please check on the ingredients to see if they suit your needs.
Thanks, guys. Hope that was helpful in some way. Please feel free to share what you’re doing or not doing to cope with the pandemic.
Oh, and please check out the newly updated HOT SALES! Many new things to see and some other changes.