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July’s Supply & Demand: Learning to Maximise Wellbeing in the Midst of Stress

July’s Supply & Demand: Learning to Maximise Wellbeing in the Midst of Stress | A Chronic Voice

Bothering

As the COVID-19 pandemic draws on, I must say that I’ve become less bothered with my appearances. This includes how I smell, and how presentable I look. I mean, not that I stink, I still shower daily – a necessity in a humid climate like Singapore. But previously, I’d feel a little naked if I had forgotten to dabble some perfume on before leaving the house. Now, I don’t even wear jewellery for a bit of shine. My eyebrows are unkempt but I’m not fussed. I mean – we’re all hidden under those stuffy masks.

My number one gripe whenever hospitalised is the inability to shower. Wipe downs are not the real deal; I remember when I was hospitalised for two months and couldn’t even use the bathroom on my own. Towards the end they allowed me the occasional half-day leave, and going home for a shower, albeit with help from mum, was absolute bliss. The little pleasures in life matter a great deal.

Demanding

As you may know if you read my entry for last month’s prompts, Horace flew away and could never be found 🙁 A day after his disappearance, his parents started getting it on hardcore. Like 10 times a day. Now we have six chicks and they are demanding little suckers!

Their parents can’t keep up with the regurgitation and feeding (their throats must be sore!), so I’ve stepped in earlier than usual to help feed their babies. Usually I begin hand feeding the chicks at around 2 – 3 weeks, but now I’ve started even the youngest one at a few days old. Thank goodness I’ve had some experience or I might have freaked out. Balvenie (chick #6) is so tiny, like a giant sized ant, and so fragile with a tiny little beak and blind. How precious life is, though. It’s also fascinating to watch the formula go down their throats and into their crops, as their skins are still translucent. I also love hearing their cute little purrs as they get some head rubs.

Nourishing

Tying that in with the next prompt – nourishing. I usually don’t feed my birds too many seeds as it’s bad for their diet (it’s like McDonald’s for birds). I give it to them in the afternoon as treats. But for now, I allow them to eat all they want – they have six ever-hungry mouths to feed, and better fed than starved to death! They’re constantly screaming at me for more food, so I let them be. The formula I’m feeding the chicks has at least plenty of nutrients in it, so hopefully they grow up nice and strong.

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One sleepy dinosaur.

A post shared by Sheryl Chan (@achronicvoice) on

I, too, need to nourish my own wellbeing. I’ve been neglecting it, not entirely by choice with the increased workload and timelines. Although I will admit, I could have managed my time and stress better. I’m terrible at both, but I’d like (need!) to make an attempt. To say to myself ‘stop’ consciously, even though I don’t feel like it, or am ‘in the zone’.

To let myself feel discomfort and quit before I go overboard, and do too much in order to feel productive and ‘good’. It’s a bit (a lot) of an addiction for me. Over time I hope I’ll get used to that discomfort. It’s discomfort that’s good for my long term health and wellbeing. In order to nourish myself in this instance, I need to subtract, and not add. To return to a state of stillness and calm, and not fill myself up with more.

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Productivity Can be Addictive Quote
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Telecommunicating

I’ve had a few telemedicine sessions for my less urgent doctor appointments, which I have found to be such a time saver. Medications get delivered for free too, so that’s another huge time saver. The queues at the pharmacy can drag on, and as I usually have many medications to collect. It can take up to two hours waiting for them, and waiting around in a public place for a chronically ill person is physically exhausting.

And whilst Zoom and Skype meetings with friends have been popular…guess what? I haven’t had a single one – only for a podcast interview. I don’t have enough friends, it seems, or my friends are like me. I don’t like talking on the phone, or communication via screen much.

Tolerating

It’s been difficult in the house with the lockdown and lock in with my family! Usually I’m alone at home on weekdays, working or blogging. Now everyone is home so space is compromised, volumes louder, and *ahem* arguments increased. It really is a test of patience and communication.

Now that the lockdown is easing up a little (for now), I take any opportunity I can get to escape from the house for a breather. My new favourite café is Wheeler’s Estate, as it’s outdoors and spacious. Plenty of space to breathe and work. The food is a little on the pricey side so I need to save up for these treat days, but at least it’s delicious, and the change of environment to a natural one makes me happy.

That’s it from me for now. It’s been pretty busy with work so am late to my own linkup party, and it’s a bit of a rushed post this July! But I loved reading all your entries and catching up with the group. Hope to see you again in August!

*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.

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July’s Supply & Demand: Learning to Maximise Wellbeing in the Midst of Stress | A Chronic Voice
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20 comments

  • Hi, Sheryl! I loved the little video of your birdies. Life is a constant balancing act isn’t it?

    • Thanks Kathryn! Will update (of course ha) next month on their growth and new looks – they grow so quickly 😉 It sure is, and those who learn how to balance live the best, I believe 🙂

  • Another fantastic and honest post, Sheryl. I am so sorry that Horace has failed to reappear, it must be so sad and painful for you. The baby birds are gorgeous, and I am sure it is successful in keeping you distracted and providing lots of pleasure by caring for them. I think we are tolerating having to spend so much time with the same people day in and day out! I hope it is becoming easier for you, and can take some time for yourself. Take care and hope to see you again next month!

    • Hi Rhiann, yes I still miss the little brat, and hope he is happy somewhere out there. I am doing okay, just been flaring so that sucks. The birds are cute as can be (though many think they’re ugly at this stage, but who isn’t ugly at this stage, ha!). Yes endurance is the most important life skill, patience! :p Sending love! xxx

  • Lovely to hear about the new chicks. I can totally relate to being cooped up with the family. I can also relate to not liking talking on the phone too, and as for zoom, it’s not made it’s way into my vocabulary or life yet.

    • Yes they do keep me semi-occupied and are adorable! And yes, now that working in cafés are allowed I go out nearly every day, which isn’t exactly a good solution either as I come back fatigued haha.

  • Sheryl,
    Ah, the tensions of being cooped up! Glad the birds found a way to deal with it all, and glad the chicks are providing you with such a positive distraction!
    I’m glad you are able to get your meds shipped in, and the telemedicine appointments have gone so well! A change of scenery can be invigorating, so glad things are opening up enough to give you that opportunity!
    Keep up the great work Sheryl, I love participating in the linkup!

    • Hi Alison, I’m so happy you enjoy participating in the linkups, too! I find it so interesting to read how everyone interprets the prompts! The chicks are great, soon they’ll have to go to new homes, though. I’ll probably keep two cheekiest ones 😉

  • I read this post yesterday and your point on nourishment really stayed with me and I thought I needed to regain some control with my diet again so today I attempted making gluten free and vegan bread. Today, I’m here to just thank you for reminding all of us about nourishment.

    • Yes I’ve been thinking about my (bad) diet of late again haha. I need to fix that and want to. Thank you for your kind words Shruti!

  • Hi Sheryl, your prompts have led to such great opportunities to share this month.
    I’m so sorry Horace hasn’t returned. I was thinking of him earlier this week—I happened to see two red parrots fly by outside my doctor’s office. They’re definitely not native to Washington state so I wonder if they were pets who got out and found each other. I wish Horace was with your family, but I hope he’s found a new one.
    I’m glad the baby birds are doing well—I can’t believe how tiny they are!
    As someone who also really wants to feel productive, I appreciate what you shared about accepting the discomfort of stopping a project before you want to. Discomfort now is much better than a flare later. It’s something I constantly need to remind myself. I hope you’re able to find that balance too!
    Hope the rest of the month holds good things in store for you!

    • Thanks Cassie! I do enjoy reading everyone’s take on the prompts every month. It’s refreshing and eye-opening and a taste of culture and chronic illness experiences, too 🙂 Bit of armchair travelling, if you will, haha. Yes lots of birds that jailbreak unfortunately. And it’s sad when others who are not familiar with birds claim that birds are meant to be free and couldn’t stand their cages. In fact, birds do treat their cages like home – it’s safe and comfortable. Who knows what a bird really thinks or needs, they’re not human 🙂 Anyway, I digress. Yes I still miss Horace, but am happy that we have six little ones now! Soon I’ll have to find a couple of them some loving homes, though 🙁

  • Wow to the horny birds! I guess it’s pretty obvious in the human world that sex lives might improve once kids leave but who knew for birds too?
    Lovely to read an update on your life, each one gives me more of a glimpse into your world .

    • Haha yes, daddy was actually depressed for an entire year with Horace stealing the limelight. I thought it might be that, but turns out it *really* was that. He’s much chirpier now lol. THanks Naomi, always good to read yours, too!

  • Ah, six baby chicks to look after! How sweet, although maybe a little noisy and lots of hard work too?! It must be lovely to have a distraction from lockdown and feeling cramped up inside.

    • They aren’t too noisy thankfully, as they’re not big birds! The feeding does take a bit of work mostly because of my joint pains, so even a small 1ml syringe hurts me after constant pushing and pulling. They’re worth it though <3

  • I love that Horace’s parents were so determined to give you new babies to care for! Sounds like they went a bit overboard, though! I’m also finding more enjoyment in just being me and not worrying too much how I look. (However, now and again a photo of me pops up and I’m uhh…a bit self-conscious. I really don’t look in a mirror but in the morning, so that’s freeing! Glad you found a getaway. The photo you shared looks YUM-O! How long do they let you stay? At one place my cousins visited, they had a strict two hour time, no matter if you were ordering more food or drink or not!

    • Haha they sure went overboard! Need to remove that nestbox soon-ish before they start making more lol. Haha yes same, sometimes I look in the mirror and go ‘oh gosh!’. And the café allows us to stay all day so it’s great! I love cafés that have an outdoor space the most 🙂

  • I’m sorry that Horace didn’t reappear but, wow, you have baby birds to take care of.
    I’ve also had no zoom or skype link ups. I’m actually quite glad about that because I’d really need to smarten myself up! Lockdown means staying home and there’s no chance of visitors so I slouch about in my old comfy clothes all the time with messy hair.

    • Hi Elizabeth, yes, the feeding is making my hands sore with the lupus and sjögren’s haha. But they are so cute and worth it. Yes I hate Zoom/Skype to be honest. Enjoy your stay home time! 🙂

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