Like many of you, I have been stuck at home with my family for several weeks. As some states start to inch their way back to normal, I am conducting a self-interview to get a feel for where I’m at and where I think I’m headed. Hopefully y’all find this useful, too.
What are my key takeaways from the year 2020 so far?
First and foremost, don’t count on anything staying the same other than the fact that nothing is going to stay the same. I know that sounds like some eastern Buddhist philosophy, and maybe it is. They call it impermanence. But when New Year’s came around this year I was ready for X, Y, and Z to happen. I had my life mapped out to a T. But then C happened, and C stands for Coronavirus. Suddenly I learned that all of my priorities had been out of shape. What I truly care about is my family and the future of my family. And the way we treat this planet affects the future of my family, too, so you can bet we’re going to be more environmentally conscious around here.
What was the most fun part of being in quarantine?
Rediscovering a child-like sense of wonder and joy. We got bored around here. One day, I looked up and it was two in the afternoon and we’d all been staring at devices and screens for what felt like a lifetime. I said, “That’s it, we’re going out into the backyard.” The weather was nice, so we dug a slip-n-slide contraption out of the garage and we put on swimsuits and had a ridiculously amazing afternoon laughing and being silly. I felt like I was a kid again.
Are you sick of cooking?
Yes! Oh my goodness, yes. When the time comes, we are going to sit down in restaurants and have a ball. That being said, we have ALL been taking turns cooking, even down to the littlest one. I think that will stay the same. It brings that sense of wonder and joy I was talking about into our kitchen and dining room, and as far as I’m concerned, you can’t have too much of that! I also think it gives everyone a greater appreciation for what the cook has to go through.
Did you lose weight, gain weight, or what?
I put on a few pounds at first, freaked out, and changed some rules about the sedative lifestyle in the house. I might go so far as to say that I look better than when I went into this shelter-in-place/quarantine thing.
Did you finish War and Peace?
I did not. Instead, I realized that Tolstoy and I are not meant to be partnered up. I went onto my library’s website and checked out some Kindle books. I have been reading some delicious trashy thrillers, and I have never been more entertained in my life. I can’t wait to get to bed at night so I can read for about an hour before the lights go out. Sorry, Tolstoy and all you big literature boys. You’re just somebody else’s cup of gin.
Speaking of gin… have you been drinking more?
You know what? I was a little worried about that, but in the end I did not. I do enjoy the odd Google happy hour with the girls. We do a screen chat and it gets a little out of hand. Not drunk out of hand, but just carrying on and laughing. I’m going to say it again: I seem to have re-discovered wonder and joy in my life.
Are there any long-term mental health effects?
I am fiercely protective of my family, and one thing I monitor constantly is the mental health of my loved ones. If anyone in my family seems to suffer from anxiety or depression - beyond the usual day-to-day blips on the radar - I schedule some sort of counseling immediately. And this includes for myself. If anything were to get really serious? I’d look at advanced treatment, such as potentially medication or Pulse TMS.
Any parting shots?
Yeah. Financial security isn’t all there is. I think we’re going to focus on enjoying life a little more around here, and being uptight a little less. I’m not saying financial security isn’t important. We’ll still work hard and be responsible. But we’re going to play hard, too. Life’s too short to spend all your time planning for a day that might not ever get here.
Eczema can result in a variety of painful skin conditions. It causes dry and scaly skin, itchy rashes and painful blisters. There are many hereditary and environmental factors that might lead to the development of eczema, but the cause itself is not completely understood.
While there isn't a surefire cause for eczema, there are steps that you can take to treat flare ups. In addition to lifestyle considerations, your healthcare provider might prescribe treatment for your eczema. One type of treatment may be UVB home phototherapy, which uses narrowband ultraviolet light therapy to decrease the local immune system in the skin. Small light treatment devices are available for at-home use. These devices are portable and hand-held, and when combined with oral medications and topical treatments, phototherapy may help achieve faster results. Modern phototherapy solutions are available for fast and convenient treatment. These options can connect with your smartphone so that you can ensure that you are getting your prescribed amount of light therapy every time.
Another thing to consider when you have eczema is your diet. Food allergies have been linked to eczema, although there is no “cure-all eczema diet” that works for everyone. There are, however, some frequent findings.
While diet itself does not cause eczema, the following six foods might be making your eczema worse:
There’s evidence that having eczema makes babies six times more likely to have an egg allergy. It’s no surprise, then, that such a food might be a problem for some adults with eczema.
Eliminating eggs from your diet can be a challenge, as they are used in many ways. They are folded into baked goods, whisked into salad dressings and used as a binding agent in many recipes, like chicken tenders or meatloaf. Fortunately, If you learn that eggs do make your eczema worse, there are plenty of egg substitutes on the market.
Cow’s milk is another common allergen in young children that some people swear makes their eczema worse. An elimination diet—overseen by your doctor, of course—can help you determine whether cow’s milk is triggering your eczema.
If you decide to remove cow’s milk from your diet, there are tons of substitute products on the market. Choose from soy milk, almond milk, oat milk and more.
There are some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who also have eczema. Some of these people report that one of the several advantages to eliminating gluten from their diet is improved skin.
Gluten is a group of proteins found in many products made from cereal grains, like bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, and cakes. Many products are naturally gluten-free though, like rice and oats. Gluten-free foods are extremely popular, and there is a pretty good chance your favorite pizza parlor offers a gluten-free crust. Just ask!
From edamame to tofu, some people with eczema find that soy-based products make their condition worse. Soy is often a surprise ingredient in products like granola bars and cereals, too, so you’ll want to make sure to read labels carefully if you are trying to avoid it.
Nuts, another common allergen, may make some people’s skin conditions worse. Nuts can be hidden in salad dressings, sauces, baked goods, and breads, so you’ll need to be careful when ordering at restaurants and coffee shops. Because they are such a common allergen, well-managed kitchens should be able to tell you right away if nuts have been used in a recipe.
Finally, some people find that eating fish or shellfish exacerbates eczema flare-ups. While avoiding fish is generally simple, shellfish is sometimes used to make stocks, broths and sauces. You may find your favorite pork ramen, for example, calls for a shrimp-based broth.
If you suspect food is making your eczema first, don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist to discuss possible solutions. A healthy diet, along with treatment options like phototherapy can go a long way in reducing the negative side effects of eczema.
Hi, i’m Ally!
I am a wife, stepmom, puppy mom and lover of all things travel! I am so excited to connect with you all at our local events!