How Are You Coping?

August 5, 2020   50 Comments

I wish I could talk to each of you and ask you how you are doing. I run this sunny corner of the internet but I know we are in a storm.

How Are You Coping?

To be frank, I am finding that it is increasingly difficult for me to be sunny or feel useful. Yes, I am here sharing zucchini recipes but given the crisis - my work feels a little silly.

It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a global pandemic - duh. The question is how much of these emotions can one handle without descending into mental illness.

My answer is about 4 1/2 months. It took me about 135 days before I became overwhelmed by negative emotions.

I held off depression, a mental illness that I have had before, with coping mechanisms but then it got me. I feel listless, unmotivated, tense, and deeply sad - it is becoming impossible to shake.

I know I am not alone - more than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.

I wonder about all of you. Are some of you (like me) starting to feel yourself crack from the collective pain we are in? I don’t think there is anything to be ashamed about and of course this crisis is tough for everyone - but we can share.

Talking to people you trust can help.

I am now talking to you, my dear reader. I know I must maintain a healthy lifestyle but I bought donuts, ice cream, and potato chips at the store yesterday. They all looked like they needed to go into my cart.

I know that sleep is important - but I stayed up binge watching TV until 12:00 AM last night.

Yesterday, I made it to the gym for socially distanced weight training and I shared my feelings with a good friend (some positive steps).

But, I know I need to get help because I am feeling so low (and I bought junk food :).

I will begin anti-depressants ASAP but I wonder about therapy. What can I say but the obvious? My grief over the deaths and the pandemic spread is real. My worry about my kids’ education and my immune compromised neighbor is real. etc etc etc

I do have some skills that I can employ to manage my emotions. Mainly, I try to stay in the moment and try to be grateful. I will work on sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and reaching out to friends and family.

I want to offer the comment section below as a place for you to share how you are doing. Maybe it will help to write it down and share it with all of us. Worth a try?

In addition, I want to share this page on Coping with Stress from the CDC. One article is entitled “Pandemics can be stressful” - you think? There are some good resources on the page.

How are you doing? Please share.

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I'll start. I'm okay but I have been working all along although partly from home. My spouse and I are both employed and are introverts with no family nearby. Thus we are accustomed to communicating at a distance. It is difficult not to be with our friends (we live in a hotspot) or do any of our group activities but we keep in touch with our groups and have embraced the things we can do (gardening for him, reading for me). We both cook and bake and thus haven't changed our eating habits much these days.

I love that you post food things and recipes. One pleasure I can still embrace is reading about food, then experimenting in the kitchen. So your zucchini recipes, etc, are most welcome and it makes my day when I see a new post from you.

Due to food allergies, I rarely eat much in the way of processed food but there is one brand of potato chips that doesn't set off my immune system. I was insanely happy (in more ordinary times all out of proportion but in these times perhaps a more reasonable reaction) when I saw a seasonal flavor of this brand of potato chip I last had during a large group event last year. Not only did I really enjoy the flavor but I enjoyed the memories of an activity I love but will likely not engage in any time soon. Because it was a food memory and not strictly an event memory, it didn't trigger all the sadness that comes with not being able to do what we love. So I bought a bag of the chips and have been adding a few to my lunch each day. Perhaps not physically healthy but definitely a boost to my mental health.

There definitely have been difficult moments and I have to stay conscious of maintaining good health habits. But I have also been trying to give myself the same grace I extend to others. It definitely isn't easy but so far it has been mostly possible.

If you feel the need for therapy, go for it. Sometimes talking with a professional can help in different ways than just talking with friends or family. I have not felt that need but I also have friends with whom I check in regularly for all our sakes and we have identified local resources in the event that one or more of us needs help. Just knowing there is help available has been sufficient so far but in the event that changes, we have tried to be prepared.

Thank you for this opportunity to be open. Although we don't know each other, I consider this space to be part of my food community and I am grateful for all who are here.

YEs, yes, yes. I was doing okay until last week. I went into my office to pick up some stuff as I am not going to be going back in for months (if ever). My boss who I have not seen since March is working in the building again and he came into my office to ask me something.The short, positive interaction I had with him for some reason caused me anxiety and still does. I think it is the realization that I won't be physically interacting with any of my coworkers and what does that mean? Before that I was thinking of it but not to the anxiety levels I am now. Instead of using this time to watch new tv shows or get caught up on movies I’ve missed, I’ve been rewatching shows from the 50s-60s-70s. I’ve read that’s an anxiety coping mechanism. I have been swimming every day that I can in my condo’s outdoor pool so at least that is one good thing.

After being home for eight weeks ,I was feeling pretty down . I was cooking ,baking and my favourite reading . Not planning meals became easy , now back to work feeling better but I know that the storm of Pandemic is not over . Be safe everyone . Here in Canada 🇨🇦 it is better . Have a great day 😀😀😀😀

Thank you for sharing what you and many of us are going through.. This is never talked to enough. I don't turn the TV on during the day. I can't stand the crazy of it. I worry also about all the everything going on.

THANK YOU FOR SHARING what you are going through. Keep this forum open to always do that

Your not alone in this struggle. !!

I guess I have pretty good coping skills...I find happiness and peace in small things; a sunny day, a beautiful lawn, flowers, fresh air and the health and well being of my family and friends. I try to study the numbers and look behind the headlines. We were in Florida for the winter and came back to Michigan in June. I noticed that the media shouts the cumulative numbers multiple times a day about how bad things are - however they leave out so many other details. The testing facts, the fact that people get tested repeatedly, the death rates (people are dying of other things but often it is labeled 'COVID') when it's not. A man was killed in a motorcycle accident and the death certificate named the cause of death as COVID19...because he had tested positive.

When I hear these things I feel less confident in the sensationalism of the media and that seed of doubt that we're not being told the truth about everything helps me. I try not to take everything to heart...however I'm not foolhardy and I do wear a mask whenever I go out, wash my hands diligently, use hand-sanitizer frequently when I'm out; minimize being around other people, avoid crowds and sanitize frequently touched surfaces in my home.

I'm as frustrated with my diet as I was this time last I can't say that I'm doing any worse or better due to the social/political storms going on around me.

I have worked from home for 11.5 years so that's not really any different than it's been for over a decade...

Try to find your solace, what makes you happy - look for it. Sending my best!

Please don't stop your wonderful blog! Look forward to it! Am I depressed: Yes! Am I bored: yes!!! Can't travel and eat out! Getting tired of cooking! Husband spouting political rants and raves. He's "the sky's falling" (admittedly so) and I'm the "glass is half-full." Since I'm from the soda & tv generation, watching certain series over and over! Gilmore Girls, Little House on the Prairie and Mike and Molly my favorites. Yes, the munchies are from boredom, and I have my favorites. Everyone has their coping mechanisms. Need to get back to Silver Sneakers! OK; have had my say..Thank you!!!God Bless You all! Hope everyone out there stays safe & healthy!

Receiving your Snack Girl emails is a definite plus during these times. And thanks for being so open and honest. I’m a pretty positive person, but I am an extrovert and having so many activities curtailed was quite depressing. At least I am back at the gym now and have my dancing sessions via Zoom. But now it’s a worry for schools returning, my daughter is a teacher, and fear for shutdowns due to a second wave. I try not to think about it. We have to just take things a day at a time and find some laughter every day. Stay strong 🤗.

So good of you to reach out to your readers! I’m experiencing this whole pandemic similar to the grief stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Sometimes all the stages in one day! 😂 I try and be grateful for what we have-food, a comfortable home, a pool, a beautiful new granddaughter, work that I love (I’m a therapist and can work from home) What I miss most is time alone and time with friends. But my husband and I are trying new recipes. Some new rituals: every lunch time we watch reruns of The Office. Laughing really helps. He’s not working and walks every day. I’m seeing more people than ever and find it difficult to get exercise in during the week. He’s lost weight, I’ve gained a bit. Sigh. I try also to think of what generations before us have endured and know they had it so much worse during times of war or crisis. We will get through this....Thank you for connecting with us.💚

Thank you for your honest post. I lost my mom on March 8. Two days later my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was away from home until Memorial Day assisting my dad with diagnostics and radiation. Finally home and my 14 year old dog was failing miserably and he died in June. All of these stressful events have taken a toll on now my marriage. My response was anger and my husband decided he needed a break so he moved out. Almost impossible to see a mental health professions and I do not want to do a video chat. Sad state our world is in. I know I’m not alone in wishing it would improve. I keep wondering what’s next? Killer Bees? Trying to muddle through. Again, thanks for sharing some “real” in what otherwise is a platform for fake.

I understand Lisa, and you need to know your blogs are helping me cope. You still give me new cooking ideas and I've been cooking since I was 3 years old.

I know you did some marathons. I have never done that but movement and exercise is one of the best antidepressants that we have. how about some sort of Marathon? An individual challenge? My martial arts group has done push-up and sit-up challenges and posting their videos on Instagram. But I know you could develop a marathon challenge for all of us. And maybe include zoodles somehow! Zoodles just make people happy; is such a funny name! I just love your blog!

Sending you a hug, Snack Girl! (Air hug, to be safe...)

And while I’m at it, air hugs to all of us. I am far from a digital human but I have definitely found some daily strength in continuing to read selected blogs- yours is always on my list!

Take care, everybody xo

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been having the same feelings of late and like you been trying to cope with daily exercise, getting the right amount of sleep and eating properly. It's hard but when I see that others are struggling, I know I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your experience. We are all in this together and it's so good to talk about our feelings and know that it's normal to feel depressed and sad at times. Wishing you a wonderful day :)

I’ve been very fortunate bc all my kids were home for 4 months, we were quarantining together and it was like catching up. My oldest has since left and will be back at college(military academy)so I worry about her situation. The weather here for us has been unbelievable so that has made it easier as well to be outside and get exercise.

I strongly believe if I hadn’t changed to a keto lifestyle over 2 years ago this whole pandemic would have made me very depressed. I’ve been intermittent fasting and doing pretty well. At the beginning I did feel as though I was drinking alcohol more frequently...and it really started to interfere with my sleep so I cut way back.

This year has certainly been a learning one. I try to see the good in the time I have. I just bought a book called ‘this is your brain on food’ talks about gluten causing depression and anxiety which I def believe. I’m excited to see other things I can eat to help. I realize how good I do seem to be handling this and I have started telling my husband who is an ER doctor ‘things can always be worse’...just turn on the news it’s crazy!!!

Our school district has decided to start online learning for the first 30 days which a lot of parents are unhappy with, so that will be a change soon. I will have two kids from college and the other from I’m sad for them to be living this during what should be a happy time in their lives. I’m just trying to stay positive and I know the food I eat is definitely helping!!

These are very stressful times. A world wide pandemic is a lot to deal with. I thought I was going to need professional help after 89 days away from work. Then we got called back to work. What helped me was going out and doing something- walking, finding new recipes, art(even though I’m not very good at creating), talking to friends and family. Also keeping my days as regular/normal as possible helped. One more thing, things are slowly getting better. We will get through this situation. We have to deal with it, and one day we will be able to look back on it as something that has occurred in the past.

Good morning! I know it's hard. I was feeling down, too, and knew I had to make some changes. You know, keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result is madness, right? So, I started Noom (changed up from WW for a little bit); bought new running shoes, and got outside to run. I started a project with building a shed (so far I have only broken ground, but it's my long term project so I keep reading on construction ideas and I've never built anything like that before so it's a challenge); I started finding very old Singer sewing machines and fixing them like they were shiny and new (a few I sold on eBay for a little profit); I vowed to only sew my own clothes for a year (I'm the worst seamstress ever and last sewed in 1980 in Home Economics class); I got yarn for a project; and, finally, I downloaded all the best sellers on the NY Times Best Seller list to read. So, keeping busy. Additionally, I'm Facetiming with my family who is 1000 miles away in Pennsylvania (I'm in Florida) and I've kept working. So, all in all, I've been super busy and that really helps. And, still, I keep cheating on my diet. Oh well. There're only so many hours in a day. Get some sleep Snack Girl. It will make a world of difference. Then you can wake up early, get some workout in, and post some amazing recipes for those of us who struggle in the kitchen (I am a horrible cook and if my husband were not home, I'd survive on PB&J sandwiches every day. He is a wonderful cook, but not for a healthy lifestyle.) So cheers to you Snack Girl! Keep going. Keep plodding if you have to, but keep going. You'll see the light soon. We love you!

Thank you for opening your heart to us. I’ve been reading your daily emails for a long time. But, until today, I never knew the real person behind those recipes.

Opening your heart and struggles to all your readers could not be easy.

I, too, have gained weight and struggle to remember how easy it was to lose my initial weight. I bash myself each morning when I weigh myself.

We will get through- day by day.♥️

This is totally why you are one of my favorite bloggers!!! You are real and you CARE!! it comes out in each and every one of your posts!! THANK YOU! I had this very conversation with my daughter yesterday. She has been taking antidepressants for a year now and she finally found the one (after trying several with her Dr’s help( that works for her and she gives it total credit for her ability to get thru this pandemic with no highs or lows or anxiety or sadness. I have had anxiety...worry and sadness and told her I feel I start to sink mentally then am strong enough to bounce out of it and she said I need to discuss this with my Dr because she is concerned one single episode could sink me mentally —especially my anxiety issue) in this pandemic. And now I am now beginning to take a low dosage anxiety, depression medication —as she said with ‘no shame’ but gratitude there is help out there with a phone call to the Dr. . As for social distancing... I limit myself to quick grocery and farmers market runs and we carry out occasionally . I walk at the park when I can..being outside helps. I miss traveling, beach trips, and seeing my friends and HUGS!!!! I still feel ‘frozen’ to a standstill of not even starting with cleaning and home projects that I should and want to be accomplishing tho... and my wanting to cry every time I walk out of the grocery after diligently wearing my mask once I get into my car and take my mask off—it always hits me how strange it feels to stay so distant to my fellow human beings.... and I haven’t even touched on my WW journey!!!

Saying all of this, I an still determined to rise above these feelings and get thru this!!!!!!!!❤️

Thank you, thank you for talking about this topic that most people avoid like the plague. I am not doing well. I suffer from anxiety and this has definitely upped it. I am an introvert by nature, so working from home was wonderful. I did my job, avoided too much news, and cooked three meals a day. Wonderful. Returned to work and the anxiety went through the roof. Also, I live above my parents. My father expects more than I can give and hasn't yet accepted that I am not a superhero. I struggle between guilt and people's expectations. This gives me the impetus to seek some professional help. I want to do right by everyone, but I need to do for myself otherwise I will be no good to anyone. Thanks for listening and for bringing this out into the open. Blessings to you and yours!

Thank you for your honest post. I lost my mom on March 8. Two days later my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was away from home until Memorial Day assisting my dad with diagnostics and radiation. Finally home and my 14 year old dog was failing miserably and he died in June. All of these stressful events have taken a toll on now my marriage. My response was anger and my husband decided he needed a break so he moved out. Almost impossible to see a mental health professions and I do not want to do a video chat. Sad state our world is in. I know I’m not alone in wishing it would improve. I keep wondering what’s next? Killer Bees? Trying to muddle through. Again, thanks for sharing some “real” in what otherwise is a platform for fake.

Dear Lisa and fellow Snack Girls, thank you for your comments. I share so Many of your feelings and experiences. One different element is that my husband and i retired to Costa Rica last year. We had planned to save money, return to Florida and return to sea the kids and grandkids several times a year. So we are adjusting 2 retirement, living in a very small house, one bedroom and living in a foreign country and learning the language. We are so glad that we don't have to worried about work. But it is a transition. When the covid-19 came, we are are in a country that takes it seriously and has National Healthcare. So it has been contained pretty well, but when the country opened up again this nation of huggers and inter generational households has had a spike. My husband is addicted to the news and like I say, I can't getaway from the TV news in the small house. But I go for a walk or out on the porch and we watch comedies on Netflix. Lisa, I recommend you try talk therapy. I'm not sure that antidepressants will work if you are not clinically depressed, just situationally depressed. My best friend in Florida was depressed when her husband died and some other things happen, and finally took my suggestion and went to therapy. It is helping her a lot. And your

Blog is helping a lot too. I am having fun trying new recipes, with very limited equipment and Access to American products (it took me a month to find Hershey cocoa powder, they had it with sugar for hot chocolate) We are exercising a lot, swimming in pool and ocean,and biking. I walk/ran a virtual 5k with my college alumni all over the World. So keep your recipes coming- you ARE helpimg us!

Hi, Thanks so much for your blog! Especially this post. It's been difficult dealing with the pandemic as it is for everyone. My mother (90s) got very sick and was in the hospital for about 1 month before we decided to put her in assisted living. She is not happy there at all and shortly after, they shut down visitors, so we had to go to the window. It has been very difficult with her being angry, unhappy, and going through physical difficulties and mental difficulties. She is on the first floor so we were able to go to the window, and now we can go into visit her but I worry about her mental health and I'm afraid things might shutdown again and she will feel more trapped. I'm hoping for better days when everyone can feel safer! I look forward to your blogposts everyday - thank you!

Thank you for reaching out and sharing! I also have a job that sometimes feels like fluff, but people need that more than ever right now- a positive distraction that helps them think of better times. My mom is in chemo so hasn’t left her home since the end of February. Tomorrow I am taking her for a haircut (or head shave due to

Chemo) and then cooking her a nice lunch- she has prepared all her own meals for the last 5 months (except for the occasional grilling that my dad might do.).

Keeping a gratitude journal has helped keep my focus away from the negative- and when I can’t think of anything, I can remind myself of the good by reading my own journal. Everyone take care! Be kind and love each other. And please wear a mask. It’s a sign of smartness not weakness!

So glad you chose to share this with us. I am in my late 70's and I have issues with depression. Fortunately they have been minor but I am a little concerned it will get worse. I hate not being able to spend time with my children and grandchildren as we are very close and love to spend time with each other. Zoom as a group once a week, plus all the phone calls and texts doesn't quite cut it. Plus we both have health issues, my husband far more than me. That being said, I know that I am in a far better place than many more people.

I spend an hour a day at least with my Bible and two Bible devotions and time in prayer. That prayer time is for other people, including those who hate and are far from God. It eases my mind and if I do it at the beginning of the day, the day goes so much better.

I stay away from any news on tv except for local. I want to hear weather and sports (big sports fan) and what is happening in our small area. I do know what is going on in the rest of the world, that is why I pray so much. But reading and quilting also keep me busy. I cannot do many physical activities due to some physical disabilities but I keep my mind as busy as I can.

I am happy for those of you who can go out and swim, walk, run, etc. Go do and put in some extra for me.

I do pray for depressed people, so I am praying for all of you also.

Hi to all. I love reading your blog! You have the right mix of info, humor and girl power. Please do not stop your blog.

I’m retired and my husband is working from home in the basement. We do have space from each other. We stopped watching the news early on. I take an antidepressant and that helps but remember, you can’t just start and stop them. I think Tele-therapy might be great. My sister says it helps her a lot.

I volunteer at a nonprofit and we have a thrift shop too. Between Zoom meetings and restocking our store for when we can reopen, I have somewhere to go other than the grocery store - but always with my mask and only a few people working at a time. I’ve also started playing online card games with my neighbors. You can see the players in real time. Our dog loves quarantine!

Stay busy (I love some of these ideas), get rid of “stuff” while you’re home, walk or ride, and mainly be kind to yourself. Eat a potato chip if you need it w/o guilt. We’ll all need to lose a bit when this is over. Thanks to all!

Thanks for sharing your struggles. I seem to be an a 4-day cycle--three days of coping pretty well, then one day where overwhelm saps my energy. I know I'm spending too much time on social media and have made some progress there, but as an author who uses S.M. to promote her books, I can't avoid it entirely. Hubs, an extrovert, is faring worse than I. A weekly family Zoom helps, as do other online connections. Laughter helps us too--we've been watching lots of silly TV shows and stand-up comedy. I hope you find your way out of the slough of despond soon.

Thank you, Snack Girl, for being so honest. It's not easy battling depression/being depressed.

I look for small, simple things to be happy about each day. I am grateful that I'm employed (a music teacher, whose district is going online for the first trimester), and have a great home to live in. My eating has been a struggle (not new) but I have consulted with a nutritionist (in addition to Weight Watchers) and she has helped me 'even out' my food choices. I work to remain active by walking in my neighborhood and riding my newly refurbished bike! (it's amazing what different muscles are needed to ride up a hill!) I was swimming at our local university, but that pool has been closed since March (I'm in Michigan). So I miss that. I've been doing a lot of reading - it's a cheap escape! I limit my news watching. I've been listening to some podcasts that I enjoy while I walk or do work at home. I chat often with friends and family (no family geographically close to me - 2.5 hours away). No one has lived through a pandemic like this one, so there is no plan book for how it's supposed to be. Just do the best you can, and we'll get through it.

Yes, it has been difficult not seeing my mom, grandbabies, daughters, church family and friends. I did not realize how important socializing was until this. Like they say "you don't miss your water, until your well runs dry." I've had my moments of binging, sadness, loneliness, etc. But I am learning to take it one day at a time. Enjoy the moment, don't judge myself to harshly, pray, exercise, read, sew, crochet, and journal.

Hi, Just what I needed and the exact moment I needed it. . I am very grateful that you shared your feelings, very brave of you to be so honest. I just happened to go thru my email and there you were. LOL I am trying to keep from feeling so lonely. I live by myself have a wonderful family and good friends but sometimes there is nothing like your partner saying things are going to be ok. So many wonderful women to relate too.I just wanted to say Thankyou for this topic, your honesty,and to anyone who might need it.....Its going to be ok. I truly believe that. Everyone take care and be well.

Thank you for checking in. At first, (since I live in NYC) it was overbearing. In the beginning, the numbers kept going up and it seemed as there was no end in sight. The trailer refrigerators for those who have passed, not enough room in the hospitals, people separated from their families.... Horrible!! I cried almost every morning hearing the reports on television. Watching people on line to purchase food and items that were never a problem before was overwhelming. I began to use the "time home" to reflect on my own life and to spend "quality" time with God. It was the only thing that gave me peace, which was praying and reading my Bible which I had always done. My life began to have a new perspective. How much did I REALLY cherish my life and the life of others? How important were things to me? So what I couldn't get a manicure or pedicure or go shopping? Was it THAT important? Priorities no longer were priorities. Everyone in my family (husband and two kids including myself) had the virus. So I'm grateful for life. We are all well. We learned through this, that we HAD to have each others back. COVID 19 has made me think about "life". I cherish every day I wake up.

The retirement community where I live started a free meal a day back in March until July. Now we can order a meal if we so choose. I enjoy cooking and glad I can back to it. Our retirement community to still on lock down, so families still can't visit. Masks are required. I am able to go shopping or other errands. I found life has been good; so long as I follow rules due to health issues have put me in high risk Our community is slowly getting back to normal, still no outside groups for entertainment. We have had only a couple of case, no deaths, this includes out nursing facility; only about 5 employees in over 1400 residents and employees. Hope everyone stays well.

We also live where no relatives are near. We move to a small town in central Florida in Oct of 2018 when my wife retired, I retired in March 2014. We don't go out to dinner anymore but sometimes (rare) order takeout. So we are home almost all of the time. One way that I have kept busy is picking up the guitar again, which I gave up on 30 years ago, I practice everyday and am enjoying it very much. Another thing we are doing actually started in May 2019, we started a facebook page that just for people that live in our subdivsion, something to connect all of us, new neighbors. A few months ago We added another Facebook page for buying and selling, like a community flea market. There is always something you can do to pass the time and have some fun doing it. I am 68 and my wife is 65, hang in there friends it's going to get better!!

Thank you for your heartfelt blog post today. I can understand how being focused on fun recipes may not feel important sometimes, given the life and death matters happening all around us, in vast numbers. But as other readers have said, being able to rely on your blog for tasty, healthy, and fun recipes is a highlight for me, especially spending so much time at home. This space is also a community of sorts, which is so important now! And knowing what to do with all this zucchini August offers?? Priceless. And yes, this week has been the hardest one yet—my husband’s business is a health club, and it’s in jeopardy. But on we go. We are survivors!! Keep on keeping on!

Thank you for such a vulnerable post. Just know that you are not alone and you have so many people that appreciate the ray of sunshine you bring to all of us with your posts. We will all get thru these trying times and look back and realize how strong we all are. Sending virtual hugs to all.

Thank you for sharing your story and reaching out to ask how we are. My emotions have been all over the place since the pandemic started. In talking to other people, I realize that I am not the only one at all! I had thought my depression and anxiety were pretty well managed, but I think it's normal for it to increase when we're all dealing with a very real situation over which we have little control. I encourage you to consider therapy if you feel like it would help. I have found it to be very different during a pandemic when many of my fears are very reality-based, but it is still good to get support, realize you are not the only one, and try to figure out the best way to cope.

I always enjoy getting your recipes and having you share your thoughts, and I do appreciate you sharing this with us as well.

Thank you for putting yourself out there and keeping it real. I'm recovering from a brain injury from a January 2020 accident. This pandemic could have been really depressing for me. The only specialists I've seen in person are my orthopedist and my neurologist. Everyone else does video visits. My hubby runs errands and helps with a local food bank. He has little to no contact with the patrons who pick up food from the food bank. He mainly transports the food from one location to another location. I have taken to riding along in the car with him during his trips. We have also gone out for food (dinner) pickup and sometimes dine in restaurants. (We're very picky about where we go) All of that gets me out of the house. On Saturdays a group of long time friends (5 of us) do a Zoom chat. We talk about everything under the sun. It makes me feel refreshed and refueled. I've also been undergoing testing for some additional issues that are accident related. I really do appreciate all of the steps that are being taken to protect our health. I gave up trying to go to the gym. I just don't feel safe there. I try to walk around the neighborhood or up and down all of the isles at the grocery store. I'm a stickler with wearing my mask and washing my hands. I carry hand sanitizer and wipes in my purse. I have made the decision to be happy. Things could be so much worse. I firmly believe that ultimately, things will turn out just the way they are supposed to. I do my part, find my happy place and leave the rest to the man upstairs.

Thank you for sharing and shining your light during these challenging and uncertain times. Every day I cope differently. Some days are Jammie days and I indulge in comforting foods. Some days are uplifting and I extend my light to others. What I am learning in this unbusy time is that we have to feel what we are feeling, process it and it moves on. It is almost a miracle to become aware. My daily thankfuls shared with others are my inspiration.

Find the good is my daily mantra.
My affirmations are-
I am well.
I am safe.
I am strong.
And so it is. Be strong and take care.

Thank you for sharing, I know it wasn’t easy. I too am starting to struggle, more so now that 4 months ago. I have been working from home and too close to the refrigerator. I worry for my husband who recently had a heart attack ( 1/4/20) which is how this horrible year has started. I’m afraid to get sick and bring it home to him. I don’t know who to believe anymore and the company I work for has been less than helpful adding additional duties above my job description. I don’t recognize this world anymore and that scares me. I am told o should be grateful I have a job, and I am but I am stressed and overwhelmed with life. Your posts are a little normalcy in an scary world. Stay safe , stay healthy !!

I have suffered most of my life with major depression and anxiety. It is some worse now. But, the hardest is with 33 year old son who have severe autism. He lives in group home about 15 miles from me. I always had brought him home every weekend but because of the quarantine, I couldn't go get him. He thought I wasn't coming because he had been bad. A couple days into it, he called saying he was being good so when was coming to get him. That broke my heart. About a month or so he got to start coming back home! We are doing some better now! Take care everyone!

Thank you for being so generous in your sharing in this post. Discouragement was widespread in our virtual community digitally “at church” last Sunday when even the pastor shared that this is a time when we feel like we don’t have enough. Enough to cope. Enough to solve this. It was candid and he’s a very positive person and still is. But this is our reality. And he got so many emails and texts thanking him for being transparent. Like you are here today.

I never actually cook anything anymore. I had a big family and cooked for years and I basically assemble fresh foods primarily. But I read your blog every post because I like you, the person behind the blog. I like your generosity. I like your sense of humor. I like your giving us the reminder to be healthy and that things don’t have to cost a lot and that we can take care of our families if we have them etc. You’re a very positive part of my life. I was also deeply moved by your post in regard to Black Lives Matter. That went out of your normal pattern but I felt it was so appropriate as we also struggle also for racial justice as we become more aware and all this in a global pandemic. Thank you for being yourself. You are the gift. God bless you and those dear to you ❤️❤️❤️Mary

It’s comforting to know I’m not alone. Thankfully I babysit my grandchildren (18 mo & 4yrs) which keep me exhausted 3 days out of the week & run to my moms who is 100 yrs old. So that’s keeps me going but my free time all I do is pick on junk. So tired of cooking, cleaning etc. Miss going out to dinners & friends always exercised & starting to not want to do it. Still do it but less of it. Miss the normalicity of life. Having to think twice about going somewhere. The mask! Oh the mask!! The news! I really believe God is sending us a message. Everyday I remember to feel thankful for what I have because there are so many that are much less fortunate. So heads up, be thankful, kind & 🙏🏻 What goes around comes around. This too shall pass. It has to

I have been thinking about your post all day and I am so heartbroken that you are experiencing these feelings. I wish I had a magic potion or the ability to give you a big hug and tell you everything is going to be ok. I know it is not that easy. These times are beyond overwhelming and unprecedented. The uncertainty is the most difficult part to deal with. History tells us this will end and life will go back to a normal we will all adjust to. I promise you things will get better. I am fortunate that I have never experienced clinical depression but I do know sadness and despair. It can be very hard to handle, when these feelings start to take over I think of all the things I have to be grateful for. I don’t mean to over simply what we are going through, but however difficult we need to stay positive. You are not alone and I want to thank you for all of the wonderful support you have provided all of your folllowers! Be well!!! ❤️❤️❤️

I am a teacher and go back to work on Monday! I am usually very excited about this time of year, but have been spiraling with anxiety over what this year is going to look like. Ugh.

Some of these comments break my're all going through so much! Snack Girl my prayers are with you. This is such a difficult time for everyone but for people with depression or anxiety it is piled on. Give yourself grace for buying a little junk food. You're human and you're stressed.

I myself found myself eating pint after pint of ice cream during this time. I have several risk factors for Covid and since it affects so many people with obesity so negatively I decided last week it was time to get it together! I am not building my immune system, eating clean and exercising and that is not a winning strategy for fighting off potential illness.

I try to focus on the things I have going for me. I'm very busy working at home (I'm in technology and since March it has been MAYHEM trying to get every computer maker more product to get the whole world online!). I have a home, I have food, I have many blessings.

I haven't had any of this boredom people have been complaining all. I haven't tackled big projects or baked any sourdough bread or tie dyed any tee shirts. :) No pandemic hobbies. I mostly work and attempt to get a few things done around my house. Sheltering in place alone has been challenging, but luckily I spend a lot of the day on meetings with people on the phone or video so I'm not short on conversations. I've done some socially distanced outdoors meals with friends. But we're being very careful in California as we still have a lot of cases. Take each day at a time, and as my pastor says....dole out grace like you're a dealer! People are extra sensitive and vulnerable right now so they react to everything. We have to be kinder and understand where everybody is coming from. It is grief we are all universally feeling. Blessings to you all. Keep those recipes coming Snack Girl!

Snack Girl, I’ve been reading your blog for years, you always put a smile on my face :)

Well, I feel like a hypocrite for saying this, but my husband and I are doing OK. He has a home business repairing antique clocks. And, we have several acres of grass he has to mow. We have a dog who requires walks.

Our church building is still closed however our pastor, including our organist, sends online services every week. When we planned our home, I wanted a lot of windows, several of them huge. I was gaining a lot of weight because I was baking and of course everything needed to be eaten with a lot of ice cream. I stopped baking and have lost that weight. Prayer helps a lot and I highly recommend it. Thanks for asking us how we are doing. Robin

I seem to slip from being okay to not from day to day. I was okay until a few days ago when I found out we won’t be able to travel to Maine for my granddaughters wedding because of Covid rules. I’m tired of all of it. I can’t think about it without crying and my eating is out of control. I feel the slippery slide into a dark place trying to snag me. Thank goodness I have a God who is still in control. I just need to hang on...

I so understand. I feel like that brick wall is up ahead and I don't know when I'll hit it. One of the anxiety causing thoughts is my inertia. I always told myself, I'll do this, or sort papers, or clean the basement when I have more time. Well now I have time, but I'm berating myself for not using it productively.

On the other hand, Lisa, I love getting new recipes, or reviews, or thoughts about healthy eating that keep me looking forward. We are here for you and each other.

Hi all,

So nice to read how everybody is coping. I thought I was doing really good-even working in health care. I was eating well, walking, doing consistent weights, and then bam. Last Sunday I just couldn't do anything. It was like all the stress of the last 5 months just hit me. I listened to myself and just stopped-stopped working out, stopped cooking, and stopped sleeping when I tossed and turned in bed. So I've been getting up at night and just trying to get through the days. I appreciate all your thoughts and am hoping to get turned back around. I'm still working in health care and am hoping that the less I ask of myself outside of work will make it easier at work when I have to dress for a covid patient or tell the next person to please keep their mask on above their nose the whole time they are in the building.

Hi Lisa! Thanks for your honesty. I think it's helpful to see what others are feeling, and know you're not alone in this.

I'm at home with my two adult daughters, one who is working from my home. We try to keep to a schedule, and have developed little rituals, like Saturday night movie night. We're working our way through the Marvel movies. We give each other lots of space and make sure it's a judgement-free house. Need to lay down at 1pm? Go right ahead!

Somedays I feel ok, somedays I feel really down. I recently started working on building up running miles to get to an ultra-marathon. That has given me some purpose. Always working on fitness, and since menopause has been very mean to me this past year, fitness has been a big task!

Work....this will be interesting. I'm a high school nurse. So when (if?) we go back, I'll definitely be in the hot seat. I am not looking forward to that, but I'll deal with it when it comes. I spent all of July on a committee to plan re-opening our schools, and was super-stressed by that. I went in thinking "we can do this!" and realized very quickly that this is going to be a hot mess. I think we came up with a really good plan, but there is no way to keep our students and staff safe. And for a nurse, that is stressful.

I think it's important for all of us to monitor our mental health and do what we can to keep ourselves healthy physically and emotionally and get help when we need it. Hang in there!

Doing okay now, I have my ups and downs but can usually shake them. What concerns me is winter. I always feel down in winter. I have never been officially diagnosed, but my doctor mentioned that I may have SAD. I tell my friends I am solar powered...I love the sun. Going for a walk or even mowing the lawn can leave me energized. But winter...I can’t stand being cold and it’s always so dark. I hope this is over by then, but realistically I know it won’t be. Winter will be hard.

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