Photo George Pagan III
Life as we have known it has changed.
The COVID-19 virus global pandemic has disrupted and restructured our lives beyond recognition. In just a few months all our lives and habits are now unrecognisable. The one thing we do have is each other.
During this challenging time, let us continue to champion this collective challenge with the spirit of togetherness, a vital ingredient of humanity perhaps we had forgotten. As we move into a new way of thinking, being, working, having had more ‘time’ at home, but self-isolating together, let’s use this head and heart space to ponder deeper fundamental questions in regard to what type of world we wish to see going forward.
Are our collective habits and behaviours, many of which haven’t been in the best interest of our environment nor ourselves as a human race, going to continue post pandemic? We face a new type of economic model emerging, as the reality of loss and financial meltdown continues to manifest around us. Will this spur us into the much needed direction of equality, distribution of wealth and well-being, and not ignore the majority who live day to day or month to month in a cycle of just surviving.
Let’s adjust our mindset to this period of social and economic change as a self-imposed life reset. With our pre-lockdown over demanding lives, we tended to rush from one meeting, place, situation to another, whilst giving our precious time and attention left to often needless social media distractions.
Fear as a manifestation of chaos
Fear always brings chaos, selfishness and disharmony. We have witnessed a manifestation of this around the world, as some people sought to panic-buy their way to feeling safe. Uncertainty abounds, but change is the only certainty and perhaps we can take this crisis period as an opportunity to change not only how we each operate in our daily lives, but to also change our own interpretation and meaning of it. For the very first time perhaps, we all now have extra time and space to reflect what that purpose may be.
Ways to cope with the life changes taking place now
Photo Mitchell Griest
1. Make time for you, first.
Create a fresh new way to start each day by giving yourself your undivided attention first. Start a daily morning meditation before doing anything else active. Meditation isn’t as hard as it may seem. Create a small clutter space in your bedroom for your daily meditation practice to make it easier or if you have a garden do it there. You will give your body extra oxygen through the exercise and it will give you a nice dose of serotonin in return.
Photo Laura Choucette
2. Limit daily news updates
Try and curb the amount of end to end CoronaVirus news updates your mind consumes each day. Limit news and updates to a maximum of 30 mins a day. Pick a news source you trust and set your alarm for specific time to listen.
Photo Lorenzo Spoleti
3. Music heals
Listen to music and increase your daily music listening time any time you feel a ‘news update’ fix coming on. For the first few weeks as Covid-19 coverage escalates around the world, I found myself needing to keep the news on all day. This eventually left me feeling drained and pessimistic. Music on the other hand will bring back a sense of hope and optimism that you need to keep your energy levels up.
4. Make your own all-natural toxic free home, hair and beauty products and save money.
With so much time now spent at home, why not make your own toxic-free products. Here are 3 easy natural recipes I make and use at home, made with super cheap ingredients that achieve maximum results.
5. DIY all-natural home cleaner and cloths wipes in a jar
These super easy all-purpose all-natural cleaning cloths are fantastic to use around the entire house, last for ages, cheap and prevent unnecessary trips to the store. For the rags, I cut-up one of my son’s out-grown white PE cotton t-shirts. All the charity shops are closed.
You will need;
200ml Distilled Water
A sterilized mason jar or pre-used large glass jar with lid
1 pre-used clean cotton t-shirt or cotton towel
15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil*
10 drops Spike Lavender Essential Oil
Make sure any cloth material you use has been pre-washed and thoroughly dry
Cut the t-shirt or towel into 6-8 cms wide strips
Roll the strips into a sausage shape, place into your glass jar
Pour the distilled water, followed by the drops of essential oils over the strips
Secure lid shakes well a few times, ‘stir’ the fabric inside, so the liquid is soaked up by the material.
Place in a cool area, keep out of the sun to prevent condensation.
Use as needed. Hand or machine the rags as needed, hang dry and repeat.
You add 50ml of white distilled vinegar or 5 drops of lemon or orange essential oils to this formula.
*Disclaimer: This recipe is for general purpose cleaning only. Tea Tree essential oil is a known natural antibacterial, great around the house for normal cleaning, but not as a disinfectant Therefore, not effective against the new COVID-19 virus. It is recommended only a compound of undiluted (no water added) 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol would be effective. You can find further professional advice and information here.
6. DIY Homemade Rice Water Hair conditioners are trending on You Tube
Watching hair videos on YouTube – Quarantine has me viewing more YouTube videos than usual. Mesmerised I find myself hooked on “how to” videos, which normally I would not have time for.
Enter the Rice Water hair treatments revival by YouTubers right now with millions of views. You are only a few grains and 24 hours away from the most cost-effective super glossy shiny hair. Tried and Tested.
Rice water is the starchy water residue which remains after rice grains are soaked and has been a secret hair shiner for centuries. According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, women in Japan during the Heian period (794 -1185CE) who were famous for their floor-length thick shiny lustre hair, which remained black and never turned grey as they grew older. This miracle of age reversal and rapid hair growth was attributed to their use of fermented rice water.
Rice has a high starch content and contains many vitamins and minerals helpful to healthy hair growth and lustre including amino acids, B vitamins and antioxidants. Somehow by the powers of word of mouth, it is now one of the most trending hair topics for hair growth, lustre and super shine.
I’ve been using the recipe below for over a month now and must say my hair is extra shiny and lusciously soft. I have thick long curly hair so use a larger quantity of rice/water ratio than below as my hair tends to be dry. I add 10 drops of Argan oil, together with 2 drops each of lavender and rose essential rose oil to my rice water for fragrance. Rice water is now my regular conditioner.
7. Rice Water - Super Glossy Hair Rinse Recipe
You will need
1/2 cup of white rice ( doesn’t matter if basmati or long grain, hope you can find some in the shops near you)
3 cups of distilled water*
Mason Jar with lid (any empty sterilised glass jar with lid will suffice )
Optional: Argan oil, essential oil for fragrance
Empty rice into the glass bowl
Wash the rice thoroughly – discard that water
Add 3 cups of pre-boiled but cooled water to the rice
Soak and leave overnight to ferment.
Strain the starchy water only into a spray bottle/ or glass jar
After shampooing your hair, spritz or pour rice water onto hair and scalp until completely soaked
Leave for 20 mins
Rinse hair with lukewarm (not hot) water.
8. Easy All-Natural Skin Toner - Recipe
You will need
50 ml distilled water ( I use charcoal sticks in tap water)
100ml Witch Hazel
20 drops Jojoba Oil
Mix all the ingredients together in the Spray bottle.
Shake and use as a skin toner, refresher and make up remover.
9. Learn to Paint. Express your creative side
Again, You Tube is a magical resource to learn new skills. Painting is a wonderful way to destress, express emotions and get in touch with the creative side of yourself. First, do some research on what type of painting you would like to create, then go on a creative search.
I highly recommend the Art Sherpa, on YouTube. From Texas, USA She is a colourful personality and offers easy step by step painting tutorials in a fun atmosphere, especially when live streaming. Acrylic live stream painting lessons are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in which you join thousands of others. You can chat, paint, unwind and the level of painting skill varies and is great for beginners.
10. Rekindle old connections in the midst of social distancing. Reach deep into your contact list and reconnect with a friend you haven’t been in touch with for years who gave you the gift of great memories and laughter. I found and reached out to a past life friend on LinkedIn, she now lives in Australia. We worked closely together for years at a cable tv station decades ago in Vancouver. Now back in touch, it is one of the best things I ever did for both of us.
11. Phone your friends
Phone your friends and family in the evening rather than text them. Remember the friend who is a single mother/father or someone living alone.
12. Make a gratitude list to remind you of the positives in your life. Keep it somewhere you will see it often. Like in front of the fridge or on your phone.
Although quarantine might feel like a momentous challenge sometimes, and let’s face it, we are not in normal times any longer. Sometimes being faced with restriction, forces us to look at ourselves and reflect on how lucky we are in fact and to count the blessings we have in our life. Strength often comes through adversity, so see this time also as a way you are strengthening and growing as human beings.
This article was first published May 2, 2020 in Velvet Magazine UK.