Living with COVID-19
Updated: Jan 14
As I stare out of my window, the sun is out but it's deceptive because it's bitterly cold in the wind. New Year started in Caerphilly in much the same way it ended. Quietly. There were no bells and whistle parties celebrating the New Year, no big rush to the January sales this year. No big rush, in fact to get back to school or work. Caerphilly has been in some sort of lockdown since September and so we are learning to live with the new normal. COVID-19 has taught us one thing; to keep our loved one safe, we have to stay away.
I've been exceptionally lucky so far, none of my immediate family have been unfortunate enough to contract the virus, yet. I do know a few people who have had it, or are currently isolating because of it though. My daughter wants to know, quite rightly, why it's okay for 2-year olds to socialise in nursery when it's not okay for primary and secondary pupils. At least in "big" school, children have some understanding of why they can't socialise. You have no hope of explaining properly why you can't with a 2-year old and as she points out, there is no PPE roll out for teachers or other staff!
If you have the answer, I'll pass it on to her, I promise!
And with it brings other issues. My dad needs an urgent referral but, at nearly 87, with no vaccination yet, he is reluctant to go to hospital for an appointment because he's more worried about catching COVID-19. My mother wants to know whether her cleaning lady can come to the house, as the floor needs mopping, so even arranging mundane tasks has suddenly become challenging for folk.
And how many of us throughout both lockdowns have put on weight? (but I digress, more about that later - I'll do a whole blog post on stress & eating soon).
Being asked to sit on your sofa for long periods is so necessary at the moment, but it is neither good for your physical health nor your mental health. We won't have the same access to outdoors as we did throughout the summer and if you live in Wales, you'll know that we normally get enough wet weather to float an ark! So all this got me to thinking. How could I support you with your mental health, if I can't open the clinic for massage, one of the best ways to calm a stressed mind & body?
A conversation with someone via a zoom call then changed everything. Did I have a pack of oils she could send to someone who is recovering from COVID-19 but who still has symptoms and was in need of some extra support and a little boost? No, I didn't.
From this simple question, the COVID-19 recovery pack was born; a combination of Ti-tree bath salts, a rollerball for mood and energy and a sleep support blend. It took a little time to decide on the best oils as you always have to be careful. Some of the oils you can't use with certain medical conditions etc. so finding oils that were "universal" was a crucial first step.
Ti-tree is renown for being an anti-viral oil (a good start) but did you know that it's also good for boosting immunity? I'm told the salts smell fantastic too, so that definitely made its way onto my list fairly quickly as I'd already made a set up for a market that was cancelled before Christmas. As COVID-19 is first and foremost a virus which attacks the respiratory system, finding an oil to support respiratory function was next. Frankincense is excellent for this. Lemon & Peppermint are also excellent anti-viral oils and are great for supporting your mood & providing support for fatigue. Now to decide on the best way of using them. I thought about it for a bit and decided that by combining them in a rollerball, it was possible to offer a portable "pick-me-up" to complement the immune-boosting soak. All good. That left one more to find. Hmmmm...
Now sleep is the most beneficial thing you can have when you are poorly, as it is through sleep that the body repairs itself. So a supportive sleep blend seemed the obvious choice. Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood were also obvious choices because of their heavier, sedative, languid, soothing and calming properties. I don't know if you've ever handled Sandalwood oil but it can be quite gloopy!
As Aromatherapy is exactly that, "aroma" or smell and we know that one of the symptoms of COVID-19 is often losing this sense, this posed something of a problem. So what better solution then than a massage oil. A soak in the bath with the Ti-tree salts, followed by some calming oils on the skin about an hour before bed to support a restful night. Seemed like the most sensible solution. It can take up to 2 hours for some oils to be absorbed though, so always apply the oil after your bath, not before!
And if you had managed to retain your sense of smell, you'd also have the option of using the oil in a burner or diffuser (rule of thumb for a diffuser is 5 drops of oil to every 100mls of water used by the way). Two for the price of one within the pack too. I'd happily take that!
I have no idea whether I had COVID-19 or not back last February. There were no tests then. I just know I had two really bad chest infections, one after the other and then an ear infection, and that the symptoms hung around for months. It was like having ants running around in my chest! It would go away and then come back. Using oils certainly helped me to eventually shift it, so if I can support you or someone you know in feeling a bit better, having been there myself, and give you a little boost along the way, then my heart is a happy one. None of the oils will cure COVID-19 but it is my hope that it will bring some relief to those of you who still have lingering symptoms, at least until the vaccine programme can be rolled out & we can try and get back to a much more normal, normal!
Stay safe, everyone!