Surviving the COVID Winter

Are you running out of ideas on how to live happily in your chosen den until the COVID deluge subsides? I look at the situation like a job without stressful deadlines. Being retired from medicine has its value. I no longer work but continue to read medical information every morning in many specialty areas and the latest science of COVID-19.

Here is what I have done to stay focused, healthy and survive the latest variant virus:

  • Vaccine: get the immunizations and boosters recommended by experts at the CDC and avoid false information from unreliable sources. Socially distance and wear N-95 masks.
  • Keep a schedule. Focus on goals for future months in warmer weather and when the virus wanes.
  • Get up early. Watch sunrise. It’s a great way to start the day with a cup of coffee. Clouds are beautiful and constantly changing like a flickering campfire.
  • Stay up very late (or take a nap and set the alarm) to watch meteor showers or Northern Lights. https://earthsky.org
  • Take early morning drives with the dogs, coffee, classical music and find photo ops.
  • Bake bread. I have tried many cinnamon roll recipes and finally adapted one to suit my likes. It’s easy to eat a whole pan in a couple days, so I don’t do that very often.
  • Exercise at least a half hour every day so you can eat those cinnamon rolls and not gain weight.
  • Take up Yoga. It’s good for your mind and body (Buy a yoga DVD or find a class on YouTube until you feel comfortable in a class after Omicron subsides.)
  • Reading some new books or rereading some classics. Here is a good book for healthy living, Keep Sharp – Build a Better Brain at Any Age, by Sanjay Gupta, MD.
  • Do something you have been putting off like improving your health and diet. Check out the Mediterranean diet (my choice for years). Add the 5/2 method for weight control. My book Your Heart gives an overview but there are many online sources.
  • Write. Keep a diary. Start a memoir. Do you have a book in your head telling you the story needs to be written? Now is the time. Try NaNoWriMohttps://nanowrimo.org Finish the first draft of a book in a month; I did on my own that last February. After many rewrites and critique partner improvements, I finished the novel last month. It’s my 8th book in ten years.
  • Join a writing group. I have been a member for decades and recently past president of https://authorsoftheflathead.org  A of F meets weekly at FVCC and with many classes on Zoom.
  • Grow some plants. I make ICU rounds in my sun room checking on plants that need medical interventions. I am currently enjoying a blooming Hoya, an orchid, a little lime tree and a gigantic avocado I grew from a seed.
  • Do some home improvements and de-clutter. Get out a paint brush. Change a room. Clean a closet. Take a few loads of clothing and unused clutter to charity. Recycle electronics (Best Buy and Staples take many items at no charge.)
  • Take an online art class. I’m taking classes with https://boldschool.com. There are many YouTube online art classes.
  • I’ll end with another cure for COVID social isolation, Vaxine. She is our German Shepherd mix, adopted from the shelter a month ago. The joyful 2-year-old learns quickly. She is funny, smart, loving and pesters our 12-year-old Lab, Gracie.

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