Sobriety Pays Off During A Coronavirus Outbreak

The world had to go to a standstill when the number of positive COVID-19 cases soared faster than anyone ever imagined. Almost every country in the East and West ordered a nationwide lockdown and allowed no one to go in and out of the borders. Cities or states were under quarantine, and the local authorities mandated the inhabitants to avoid going out for non-essential reasons.

As expected, many people did not like the new situation that we all found ourselves in. Some were blatant enough to put quarantine in comparison with a house arrest. However, they could not see how fortunate they were to be away from places that might have the coronavirus. While dining in, working, or gambling was prohibited, you could still order takeouts and smoke to your heart’s content.

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I said the latter in a matter-of-factly manner, yes, but it was not a nod towards smoking every day. You should not be emptying a pack of Marlboro or Newport—or both—as if you could only get through the quarantine by doing that. In truth, if you could lay off this habit completely, that would raise your chances to dodge or fight coronavirus.

Why Does Sobriety Pay Off During A Virus Outbreak?

My aunt contracted the coronavirus two weeks ago. It started with flu-like symptoms such as coughing, fever, and body pains. After a couple of days, she got tested along with her husband, who also tested positive. 

The thing is, both patients got similar symptoms around the same time. But my aunt’s husband had it a little worse because he experienced dizzying spells and loss of taste. 

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They blamed it on the fact that he was a smoker, whereas my aunt had never puffed a cigarette in her life. Though he had gone from two packs to less than a pack a day, it still caused enough damage on his body, especially his lungs, to be unable to beat the coronavirus quickly. If my aunt’s husband already stopped smoking years ago, he might not be having this problem now.

What Does A Cigarette Do To Your Body?

It Activates Your Immune System At Odd Times

I read a recent study about a group of non-smokers who were told to use e-cigarettes for the first time to see how the smoke would affect their bodies. As it turned out, it only took 20 puffs before the chemicals forced neutrophils to release DNAs that could form a trap for bacteria. It might sound helpful now, but if it would happen a lot, your immune system might malfunction and work against healthy cells. Once a real threat like a coronavirus comes, therefore, your immunity might be a curse to you.

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It Keeps You Prone To Infections

Many smokers claim that they cannot stop puffing because it makes them forget their worries momentarily. They no longer mind if it alters their odor and causes constant coughing and other health problems as long as they can smoke. 

This effect is bothersome as these people become too ‘high’ to realize what is happening around them. Worse, their cells may be in chaos often, so their body cannot detect or prevent infections. That’s the reason why it is challenging for smokers to win against COVID-19.

Final Thoughts

To end this article on a positive note, allow me to announce that my aunt and her husband are already on the mend. They were in a scary phase in the last 14 days, but both eventually survived the worst symptoms of the coronavirus disease. 

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If you do not want to end up in the same situation as my loved ones, you can do two things:

    • Stay at home
    • Stop smoking

Good luck!

Non-Alcoholic Pastimes While Under Quarantine

I can feel how much newly sober individuals may be struggling to stay away from alcoholic beverages during the quarantine. Your daily schedule is not jam-packed, but you can’t use your free time to go out. You can work from home, but it somehow takes a shorter period to finish than usual. Thus, you may always get tempted to drink your favorite alcohol to pass the time.

In reality, however, you can protect your sobriety by trying other time-consuming yet worthwhile activities.

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Reading

One of the most carefree pastimes to consider is reading. You can do it as soon as you open your eyes, after lunch, before bedtime, and even while taking a dump. It is not restricted to paperbacks or hardbound copies, either. After all, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, and other online stores have a lot of titles in eBook format.

Have you found reading boring in the past? Well, it might be because you are trying to read an uninteresting book. Once you get ahold of a book that’s right up to your alley, you may not be able to step away from it.

Sewing

People have never realized how significant clothing stores are until they have closed to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. The current situation is specifically troublesome for those who love wearing new clothes.

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Well, a quick fix for this problem is learning how to sew. You can order a small sewing machine and some fabrics and watch tutorials online. Start with no-frills clothes like a sundress or tank top. When you get used to it, you may produce a full outfit, complete with a matching face mask.

Baking

Do you love pastries and desserts? Bakeshops can open during a quarantine since they provide food products, so you can go there anytime. However, in case you want to avoid human interaction as much as possible, you can bake your favorite goodies.

Baking should not be too difficult, especially if you already have an oven at home. Considering you have an oven toaster or microwave, that also works. Your creations don’t need to be bakeshop-material—they merely have to quench your cravings while passing the time.

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Gardening

Because of the quarantine, most people cannot go to parks and become one with the soil, grass, trees, and flowering plants. If you miss that, you may try gardening.

It should be easy to buy packets of seeds in the supermarket. You may plant them anywhere in the garden and tend to them every day. This process can take up your entire morning, so you won’t feel like pouring yourself a glass of wine in the middle of the day.

Napping

Napping is a pastime that you should never take for granted. Some think that it is only suitable for babies, but even adults can benefit from it. You can nap anytime during the day from five to 30 minutes to recharge your mind and body.

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A little word of advice: schedule your nap several hours before bedtime. Putting a couple of hours between the two can make it challenging for you to sleep at night.

Final Thoughts

Your quarantine days can be similar to a box of chocolates. Say, you can look for a dessert recipe and recreate it today. Tomorrow, you may work on your garden from sunrise until the afternoon. The day after that, you can sew a new dress or pick an inspiring book. Of course, you should try to nap every day to feel more relaxed than ever.

You should be able to do all these pastimes while the community is still under quarantine. This way, you will be full of energy and extremely pumped to prove your skills when you return to work.

Why Sobriety Matters During A Pandemic

It has been almost a month since the last time that the sunlight has touched my skin. When Governor Newsom announced the stay-at-home policy in California, my family took it very seriously. Only one person can go out, and that happens to be my husband. Even so, he has only left the house twice to pick up the groceries that I have ordered online. We also have a covered garage, so I need not go outside to collect them from the back of the car.

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Interestingly enough, it has also been almost a month since the last time that my husband and I have shared a drink. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, we used to pour a glass of wine (or three) for each other practically every night. We did not have an alcohol addiction; we merely liked drinking while talking about how our day went. It has always been a part of our bonding experience as a couple.

Since our family has been quarantined, our stress level is not high anymore, and we do not feel the need to drink at all. I believe this newfound sobriety of ours matters because of the following reasons:

Your Immunity Will Not Suffer

A lot of people drink in hopes of forgetting their worries or calming their nerves, especially when they feel uncertain about the future. Getting hungover does not feel great in whatever circumstance, but it makes folks feel a sense of normalcy. It’s as if they are saying, “A headache is too small of a price to pay for dealing with our situation.”

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The problem with drinking during a pandemic, though, is that it does not help your immune system at all. The more alcohol there is in your body, the more your immunity will suffer. As you turn into an immuno-suppressed individual due to your drinking habits, you become prone to acquiring the coronavirus.

It Lets You Continue Doing Your Job Wonderfully

Many businesses have been forced to allow their employees to work from home during the quarantine. While some people use this opportunity to spend time with family, others assume that it is a fantastic excuse to drink day and night. After all, the manager won’t be there to reprimand them, and they don’t need to wake up for work in the morning.

Although there may not be too much to do right now, switching into chill mode entirely cannot be ideal. Your boss may still expect you to send a high-quality output at the end of your shift, you see. That cannot happen if you’re always nursing a hangover. If you don’t stay sober now, the alcohol may cost you your job.

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Incredible Circumstances Won’t Pass You By

Imagine yourself opening packs of beer or a bottle of liquor and thinking, “I can finish this beverage in one sitting.” You do empty the bottle(s), pass out, wake up with a hangover, and then drink again. You stick to this routine because you believe that the quarantine will become more tolerable when you need not go through it sober.

The upside of not drinking while quarantined is that there is room for your loved ones in your schedule. They can talk to you coherently; you can bond with them in person or via FaceTime. Your relationships at this point might be better than ever, given that you don’t focus on wasting away during your free time.

Final Thoughts

I get it if you feel too afraid to handle the coronavirus news updates without an ounce of alcohol in your system. It seems challenging to receive positive information these days; the patient and death counts are both rising. Despite that, how can you avoid being part of these statistics if you don’t embrace sobriety now?

Top Student Coping Strategies From Academic Stress

The 2019 Academic Bee recognized not only the top spelling bee students in the country but also tackled the importance of coping from academic stress. If you worry too much about mastering your lessons or you’re too overwhelmed because of your upcoming stress, then it’s probably time to let go of all the stress. Listed below are the top student coping strategies from academic stress. 

Keep On Practicing

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Admit it or not, students tend to put too much pressure on themselves whenever they commit mistakes. Keep in mind, however, that every failure is an opportunity to improve and learn more. What you should do is to treat your mistakes as an inspiration to be better. You can do this by practicing continuously and learning from it. 

Consistent practicing will not only enhance your knowledge but will also improve your time management skills. 

Create A Rewards System

Students tend to get bored and procrastinate whenever they have assignments and deadlines. Therefore, the best way to go about this is to create a rewards system. This strategy will inspire you to finish your tasks as soon as possible. 

For instance, you may give yourself sweets for every 15 pages of reading the textbook. Scientifically speaking, the excitement you feel from this will provide you with a little boost of endorphins, making you more encouraged to accomplish your task. 

Undergo Positive Self-talk

How you talk and treat yourself dramatically contributes to how you see and feel about yourself. If you belittle yourself, then there’s a significant possibility that you will start believing that internal critic. However, if you become your cheerleader and support yourself, then you will have more drive to achieve your goals. 

So, how does positive self-talk work? First, you state the things that you are thankful for upon waking up. Then, throughout the day, talk to yourself about what makes you an excellent person. It can be as simple as giving food to a homeless child or as big as helping a colleague with work. Do these exercises as well whenever negative thoughts enter your brain. 

Take Constant Breaks

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Several students tend to study for consecutive hours on the objective of finishing early. However, studies show that this practice will only hamper your studying. The longer you take in a lot of information, the fewer details your brain can retain because of exhaustion. Therefore, constant breaks are vital. 

What do we mean by constant breaks? If you are doing your homework or studying for a test, make sure that you stop for 10 minutes for every hour that you are working. You can do whatever you like in this short time. You may opt to listen to music, nap for a while, or conduct breathing exercises. 

Always Have A Good Night’s Sleep

You won’t be able to concentrate if you weren’t able to have a good night’s sleep. It might be a little challenging to achieve this, especially if you are catching up with school work, but there are some strategies on how you can. 

One of which is to deny yourself from using any technological device before sleeping. Make sure that the last homework you’ll do is the one that does not require screen time. This way, you’ll be able to relax your brain quickly. 

If you are getting stressed with your endless academic papers and exams, make sure to follow the coping strategies above. Refresh your mind, and you’ll reach your educational goals in no time!

The Benefits Of Cooking Your Meal

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The 2018 Lifestyle Workshop features quick and easy healthy food demonstrations and encourages you to create DIY real food. Even in your busy schedule, your health must be your top priority. Eating a healthy diet reduces your risk of illness, improves your memory and mood for the day. 

These days, most people often let the microwave do their cooking because they think the time spent in chopping ingredients is not worth it. However, cooking your meals is easy, cheaper, and can provide you with skills you will not get by depending on quick eating trends. Here are the following benefits of cooking in your life:

  • Cooking Your Meal Makes You Healthier

People who frequently do their cooking consume fewer calories than those who don’t. When you cook, you get to see the ingredients you’re using, making you more aware of the nutrients your body will receive. People who are less likely to cook their food often eat meals that lack proper nutrition. They often would get their food from fast-food restaurants, deliveries, or buy frozen food. Due to the less diversity found in their diet, they are more prone to weight gain, illnesses, and mood disturbance.

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  • Cooking Saves Money

You’ll be surprised at how much you spend daily eating outside or waiting for deliveries to knock on your door. When you cook your meal, you buy your ingredients in the local market, giving you information on how much you are spending. You can save money by becoming more aware of the things you’re buying.

  • You’ll Learn New Skills And Enhance Your Creativity

You can expand your skills in the kitchen. You can learn essential recipes such as making simple soups, salad, or whole-grain dishes and learn techniques as well, such as cutting veggies, salad dressing, and also master the skill of gathering and preparing healthiest protein alternatives. Through cooking, you might find a hidden culinary interest within you, experiment as you try new ideas, and express yourself through the art of food preparation. 

  • It Can Improve Your Social Skills

Cooking with the people closest to you can improve your relationship as you all get involved in preparing your meal. You can create meaningful conversations and catch-up with your life stories. It can also motivate you to invite other people to cook or share a meal with you. You can find cooking as a liberating and enjoyable experience.