My New COVID “Normal”

As someone who is a fellow eczema warrior in the pre-COVID normal times, I have learned how this condition can affect my life. Managing my eczema can come on unexpectedly which causes a lot of stress and overwhelming feelings just getting through the pain. It can delay my daily, weekly, and monthly plans and affect how often I get to spend valuable time with friends and family. It taught me the required skills on how to be quick to switch gears and be flexible from one thing to the next.

The unpredictability of eczema

For me especially, I have learned how to adapt and embrace change, which includes work, home routines, and responsibilities. When in the course of my plans, eczema symptoms (feeling awful, getting swollen, managing that inescapable itch, etc.) can arise when I least expect it. I then go from being a worker and wife to becoming a patient requiring immediate bed rest.

The uncertainty of COVID-19

Since March 2020, we are all now dealing with these very uncertain circumstances with the COVID-19 crisis pandemic and its related effects causing interruptions and limitations to everyone and everything in life. When adding the regular eczema circumstances plus the current COVID dynamic, it makes for an interesting opportunity. After these past four months of more waves of uncertainty and careful reflection, I had chosen to challenge myself with a few items to embrace the new “normal”:

A good night's sleep

I am now getting a good night’s sleep. For me, I find that getting at least seven to eight hours helps me energize and rest to be productive the next day.

Fresh air and sun protection

I am getting more fresh air with the added importance of sun protection given my special health situation. Depending on the day, I take walks around the neighborhood where my minimum is 30 minutes, but I take longer walks on the weekends. I do make sure to wear a hat, mask, sunscreen, and bring water bottles and a light jacket to avoid getting sunburned.

Cooking and gardening

I have picked up at least two hobbies doing something enjoyable for me. There are two hobbies that I have increased my time on these few months: cooking and gardening. When I am focused on these two activities, I find that I have more creativity than I would have thought. I have increased my cooking skills for new dishes that I would never have considered before. Because I had given myself the challenge to spend more time outside, I was even able to properly care for two older plants that I had that for years and now are blooming.

Connecting with loved ones

I spend time connecting with my friends and family virtually over the phone and computer. Since the start of the lockdowns, I even taught myself how to use a new online program to create a surprise birthday party for my husband. As a result, we now have weekly connection calls with friends and family. We also have even started new traditions of celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, family game nights, etc.

Adapting to the unpredictable

As a result of all of the current uncertainty, I have embraced my newfound activities. I enjoy learning new skills, trying new foods, grow new plants, and seeing my community as well as enjoying nature. Now I look forward to seeing what happens next.

What are your favorite hobbies that you enjoy? Also, what technology platforms do you find best to stay connected to friends and loved ones?

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