Making Quarantine Work for You

Everywhere I turn, on social media or in real life, I hear people lamenting about how much weight they’ve gained, how much junk food they are eating, how much they are drinking, how slothlike they’ve become and how bored they are. Or, on the flip side, how stressed they are from pushing themselves so hard to keep busy and learn new skills at this time.

Here’s an idea: Make quarantine work for you!

Make this the time that you eat clean, get fit and do the things that you might usually think you don’t have time to do, including practicing self-love, self-acceptance and the fine art of doing nothing.

A few suggestions I have are:

reading that great book you never seem to have time for, going for a solitary walk or run in nature, having a meditation session of just “being” at the beach or another favourite place in nature, learning how to cook new dishes, teaching your pet a new trick, creating structure in your day by taking a number of 15 minute yoga breaks, pampering yourself with a homespa experience, nourishing your body with delicious, nutrient-filled food, reaching out to friends regularly, either online or socially distancing in person, stopping to smell that beautiful spring flower and really seeing that sunset.

There are so many ways to make this a nourishing time for your body, mind and soul while we all wait to see what happens next.

Staying Healthy during a Pandemic

Panic surrounding the covid-19 virus is spreading every day with the world slowly but surely shutting down, one service at a time. Panic buying of toilet paper, fights in wine stores and general hysteria seem to be prevailing.

In reality though, there are a lot of things you can do to stay safe and healthy and none of them involve stock piling TP in your home.

Staying calm, well rested, connected to friends and family, and nourishing our bodies should be priorities right now. Here are a few more tips to keep you healthy during this anxious time:

  • Eat lots of fresh fruit, veggies and take your vitamins to keep your immune system healthy
  • Don’t panic. Panic and anxiety are huge immune suppressors. Stay calm.
  • Meditate. Do yoga.
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Walk in nature. Nature heals.
  • Don’t completely isolate. Being part of a community strengthens our immune system and uplifts our mood.
  • Do something nice for and elderly person or immune compromised person. They are the ones who are truly at risk.
  • Refuse to live your life in fear and greed.

This too shall pass. Be balanced, care about others, wash your hands, do the elbow bump, and we will survive this beautifully.

I’m ending this post with a few photos from my morning nature walk. Nature will always calm, heal and rebalance.

Memories not Things

Nick is patiently waiting for Santa Paws this evening.

Luckily though my little pup isn’t really expecting any presents because a) he’s a dog and b) I stopped buying Christmas presents about 8 years ago.

When I stopped buying presents the Holiday magically went from being a grind to a beautiful time of the year that I 100% look forward to. Instead of feeling the pressure of having to buy (maybe – probably) unwanted gifts for people who already have everything they need, I can now just relax and ask people out for drinks or dinner or for an evening at my place instead. Then we can focus on what I think the true meaning of the Holiday are: celebrating the friendships and connections you have with the people you care about in your life.

Getting together instead of spending money on things is easier on your budget, way more fun and relaxing and very eco-friendly. Imagine what our landfills look like after Christmas. Full of wasted paper, tinsel, online shopping boxes and bubble wrap and cellophane. Not very healthy for our beautiful planet.

Giving up gift exchanges was the key to unlocking the magic of this beautiful season for me. I highly recommend.

Wishing everyone a magical Holiday Season full of love, food, hygge and happiness.

Life Lessons from a Terrier Mix

Earlier this afternoon my little Terrier, who had been running wild around a sandy beach at low tide with me, decided to chase after three huge Canadian geese.

Each goose was probably at least 10 pounds heavier than him so it was pretty funny to see him chasing after the large birds. My friend who was watching the shenanigans with me commented “I’m surprised the geese haven’t gone after him. He has no idea how small he is, does he?”

He made a good point since there were more of them, they were heavier than him and Canadian geese have been known to be fierce, hissing at and even chasing people who venture too close to them.

But I knew exactly why the geese ran from my little dog. My dog fully, unwaveringly, 100% believes he is an 80 pound pit bull. And, because of this, he has a huge, confident energy.

I’ve seen him go after large, powerful dog breeds and he never gets hurt. I think he believes so strongly in his power that other beings end up believing he is powerful too.

Imagine if we all had that kind of confidence; if we all believed that we had the power to influence our lives as much as my little pup believes. We would be unstoppable. We wouldn’t stay in less than loving relationships, we wouldn’t let our work be anything other than our passion and we would believe that we are deserving of all good things.

We would be courageous in standing up for others and ourselves and our confidence would shine. Imagine how much happier our existence would be. Add a little empathy and compassion to the mix and imagine how much happier and successful this world would be.

This thought brought to you be a stubborn, confident Terrier mix.

Hiking and Appies

I love a trek to St. Mark’s Summit on a misty fall day.

Being surrounded by nature’s beauty makes my soul sing.

And, after a chilly excursion to the mountaintop, this dish helps to fill your hunger and warm your soul:

Savoury Puff Pastry

The Pastry:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 14 T butter, frozen
  • pinch salt
  • 10 T chilled water
  • 1 T lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Place butter in the freezer overnight
  2. In a jug, mix together water and lemon juice and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Everything should be cold so you can put the bowl in the fridge to chill.
  4. Grate the frozen butter directly into the flour mix. Stir the frozen butter into the flour with a knife.
  5. Add the liquid, holding a little back just in case you don’t need it all. Add just enough water to keep the pastry together.
  6. Bring the dough together to form a ball, then place in fridge for at least one hour.

The Recipe:

Form puff pastry into little boats. Int the centre, add sliced cherry tomatoes and a layer of bocconcini and top with a fresh basil leaf.

Bake at 250 degrees for half and hour. Serve. Warm your soul.

Sunset Yoga

Yoga is not just repetition of few postures – it is more about the exploration and discovery of the subtle energies of life. ~ Amit Ray

Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame. ~ B.K.S lyenga

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self. ~ The Bhagavad Gita

Namaste