Thursday, 21 May 2020

Fitness Update #3: Burn-out Cures & Home Workouts during the COVID-19 Lockdown

I have accidentally discovered how to recover from burnout 
while on lockdown during this COVID-19 pandemic.
I did not know that one needs to recover from burnout.... did you know?
Apparently one does. 
I thought if  I took a few weeks or a couple days off and rested, 
then that would be enough to recover.
I thought burn out was all about being tired. 
I was wrong. 
 I have been walking around tired, 
but also possibly dehydrated and  probably nutrient deficient too. 
I have been trudging through life wondering, 
"Why the daily constant struggle to get out of bed?"
I would wake up feeling like I hadn't slept,
And go to bed feeling like I'd ran a marathon.
Coffee was no longer working...

I took five days off at Christmas time, 
but still the same lack of energy and motivation persisted.
There was a week where every day someone kept telling me how tired I looked.
I went into panic mode, ready to go to the clinic to get all kinds of tests done.
 "I must be dying..."
 I was just soooooo exhausted.
You see...I am still dealing with the trauma 
of watching my late Dad's renal system fail,
and now coming to terms with the fact that I could not stop it.

My boss tells me I need to take a break. 
She says I must take time off.
She has confirmed I look drained.
My panic doubles,
So I complain to Bae,

Me: I am tired all the time, that's not normal,
 might go in for a check up.

Bae: You might be dehydrated, 
try eating some cucumber every day,
My mum used to tell us to do that. 

Me: I hate cucumber!

Bae: Just try it. 

So I try it. 
I add one to my daily diet.
It works!
 But I hate eating fruits and veggies
Why? Because of childhood.... 
Childhood and the privilege of being able 
to dislike food that is healthy. 

I take three weeks off as my boss advises.
Meanwhile pandemonium is enshewing outside

Kenya has just announced it's first,
 a lady of Indian decent returned from America.
Entebbe airport is still open.
The pandemic is slowly creeping up on us. 
You can feel the paranoia growing in Kampala.
I saw a man in the pharmacy with matching pastel blue mask and gloves.
He was buying malaria medicine.
 I decide to stay home,
Only going out to buy essentials or to meet friends.  
I planned to be a blanket blob catching up on my series during my leave anyway..
COVID -19 has made it possible.

So days into the partial lockdown,
 I am chugging down the cucumbers and noticing a difference,
but I still don't like them
Do you recall the snozzcumbers from the BFG book?
 Then I remember my bestie gave me a  juicer.
So one day I juice a whole cucumber and add lemon.
Not to bad... drinking makes it go down quicker....
And each day I add something to make the juice bearable
And  Boom!!!
My energy and motivation return...
I wake up happy to wake up.
I have a joyous light skip in my step.
Two weeks later, I 'return' to work excited and ready. 
I am working from home with a healthy juicing buzz, 
while the country is now in full lockdown.
And it dawns on me burnout is very very REAL
and its not just about sleep & rest.
I need to eat healthy too.

Anyway my fave juicing recipe includes these....






Also since, no private cars are allowed on the road,
 I have been walking more on the weekend,
and working out from home during the week.

Here are some of my  favorite home workouts from You Tube. 

Low Impact Cardio

Standing Cardio Workout

Ballet Body Sculpt 

Full Body Barre Workout

Thanks for dropping by!
Comment below with your fave workouts or juicing recipes. 

All photo credits: Unsplash

Saturday, 2 May 2020

My Current You Tube Picks For The COVID 19/Corona Virus Lockdown

What an odd place in history to find our selves in. Right?

I mean who knew a pandemic would shut the whole world down in 2020?

Anyways... I digress....back to why you are here.

When not working, I have been filling my free time watching interesting things

I thought I would share videos/stories/visual essays that I enjoyed watching in the past but also,
stuff I have recently discovered on You tube.

So here you go...

Watching History Buffs pick apart a movie makes me wonder how much historical inaccuracy is gotten away with, but then again... doesn't it also show how uneducated we are as audiences?
 If you have some down time, sit  and watch these two..


The Last Samurai

Also these Fashion Experts from Glamour Magazine taught me a thing or two
 about Aladdin (the 1992 version), 
and Titanic

Did you know about the unknown community of Chinese-Americans
 who have lived in the Mississipi Delta for over 100 years?

This was a random recommendation from You Tube,
There was something fresh and new about the series that made me revel in it. 


Or how about you learn why you can relate.... even forgive  Miranda Priestly's 
character in the  movie the Devil Wears Prada...

And while we here let's talk about Emily and how we are all workaholics...

After we can talk about why we don't like Helen in the movie Bridesmaids 

This next ones are five videos for the creatives, Enjoy..

Leena Norms 

Wheezy Waiter


Linda Barsi

Peter McKinnon

And then here are some to remind you of the importance of good mental health...

Dr Karen

Kati Morton

Iz Harris

Then these are just random ones that touched my heart when I was watching them.
They made me laugh,
they made me think, 
They reminded me that I am human. 
I really hope you enjoy them too

Beleaf in Fatherhood

Luchi Loyale

 Crystal Newman

The Bump Love Ladies! 

(I just love the quietness of this vlog)

There that's my list for now. 

Otherwise  I hope you are taking care and keeping safe during this interesting time in our lives .

Thanks for dropping by. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Dear 12 year old me, we’re currently living through a global pandemic!? - COVID-19

*Please note this post was written near the end of March*

Dear Maria

I am writing to you from the year 2020.

It is the month of March, Women’s Month. You are in an apartment, by yourself, drinking your third cup of coffee watching a series called ‘The Morning Show’. A global pandemic is taking place.  This afternoon the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed he has tested positive for the Corona Virus/ COVID-19. Soon his Health Secretary will announce he is positive too, oh...and HRH. Prince Charles also has the virus. A few weeks ago the Prime Minister of Canada went into self-isolation, with his wife who also tested positive. Even Tom Hanks has it! WHaaaaaT!? I know…this is crazy! The people who we assumed would be protected by privilege, are not safe. This virus is highly contagious, spreading from person to person, and coming for anyone and everyone if the correct precautions are not taken.

"Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds " 

"Don't touch your face" 

"Practice social distancing"

"No private cars allowed on the road."

"No public transport for the next two weeks."

"All stores and malls closed, only supermarkets and markets can stay open to sell food."

" Stay home...stay safe." 

So far there are 800,000 cases and over 42,000 deaths registered globally. Allegedly the virus came from people eating a Pangolin (your clan totem) in a place called Wuhan in China. Possibly a bat infected a pangolin, then the pangolin infected a human, investigation are still taking place.  I saw some news reports in December 2019 but didn’t think much of it till in February 2020 it reached Europe, and then America. Then I watched a clip of Iran’s Deputy Health Minister announcing he was infected and  thought, “Wait!!! now our Health Ministers are sick during a pandemic??”

I promise I am not making this up!?!

Remember how you once stumbled on Dad reading a book called The Hot Zone by Richard Preston about the Ebola outbreak in East Africa? You casually asked him about it, and being the passionate microbiologist he is, he began to explain to you the science of outbreaks, and because it wasn’t your favorite subject (pop culture) your mind switched off after his fifth sentence, but you expertly carried on nodding in time to his speech and enunciation to appear interested. You might want to ask him if you can read it now.

By the way you live in Uganda. Somewhere in Kampala. ‘Kla’ in text language for short. You are about to discover your love of Email and SMS slang. (Spoiler Alert: three years from now you will get your first mobile phone for your birthday, a Nokia 5110…Enjoy.)

Currently Uganda has 33 cases of COVID-19. Tests are still being done. Given how quickly this virus spreads, the number is expected to rise.  So H.E, the President has closed the airport and all schools for the next 30 days; public transport is banned till 14th April. We now pray from home, churches and mosques are off limits too, unless you are getting married… but only five people including the Priest can be part of what is now dubbed the ‘Scientific’ wedding. Rumors are swirling on a social media platform called WhatsApp, that more drastic measures will be announced after the President meets with his Cabinet today. This is all in an attempt to get everyone to stay home and slow down the rate of infections.  

Once again… I promise I am not making this up!?

Don’t panic.

This will all work out eventually. Uganda has plenty of experience in outbreaks and because you are working for your dream organization, you know for a fact we are ready for this fight. Our national healthcare system could not handle hundreds of thousands of people infected with this COVID-19. There is shaky video footage circulating (news travels fast in 2020), of people on ventilators because they are struggling to breath. Footage of first world country hospitals complaining about running out of medical supplies like oxygen and protective gear for Doctors and Nurses, frightens me when I  start to wonder how many working ventilators we have in this country, and how many health workers can actually successfully incubate a patient while under the pressure of life or death.

 This country ‘lock down’ is early, essential and timely. A good call by the President. There are some setbacks, and many are complaining,  It was a tough call to make but as I said essential. 

Between a rock and hard place as they say...

 There’s my update from here, in the future

 Let’s move on to lighter happier things, let’s talk about you…

The year is 1999. Everyone is anticipating what will happen as the world enters the new Millennium, the year 2000 is approaching. (Spoiler ALERT: Nothing…I repeat nothing really happens…just the clocks and calendars will change, and the school term will start on time without any glitches. No apocalypse ….I repeat no apocalypse will occur.)

You are finishing the safe bubble of primary school, heading into secondary school. This is the year of Britney Spears – Hit Me Baby One More Time, Christina Aguilera- Genie in a Bottle, Destiny’s Child – Bills, Bills, Bills and Backstreet Boys – I Want You Back. Pop princesses and boy bands are the thing, which makes me cringe now, but please go ahead, you must live your life.  

Give Mum and Dad a big long hug and tell them thank you for ALL that they do. They are very protective of you and your siblings, but when you start working and traveling on your own. You will understand and appreciate why.  

This gift you have of being unseen is a fantastic one. You can move silently, with your quiet Aries-like determination achieving what you want to in life, and not what everybody tells you, you should. It also means you can observe and learn. Observe, carry out a little research, consult, learn, then make moves. This is your method. Keep doing this.

It will see you win an election in university with only a week to prepare your campaign.

It will see you start to work for your dream organization 4 years after graduating from University.

And at this very moment, in 2020, aside from the pandemic, it means you are learning and have learnt from many masters, people who are exceptional at what they do.

The point I am making is... you get to choose how this all goes, and you get to do it all at your own pace. Don’t feel pressure to go with the crowd. I know a strong part of adolescence is the desperate need to fit in so seamlessly, but I want you to know you can be you and it will be okay.  

So continue…continue on your own quiet path. There is nothing about it that I would alter.

Enjoy it. You are going to be given so many opportunities you never saw coming, because God and life have given you the chance to be you. I know you will feel all the emotions. You will languish, be confused, grieve, hide, and sometimes fight with yourself and for yourself. That is life though, and it makes me smile as I drink my coffee all by myself in this apartment. 

I smile at what is to come for you, 
and how you will learn who you are. 
I am proud of you, 
even before you have started. 

All the best my dear,
You will get there!
Lot’sa love (or ‘luv’ as you currently sign all your letters in 1999)

photo credit: Unsplash 
( I was challenged by Pru Nyamishana to write this. Thank you Pru.)

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

In 2020 Affirm Yourself!


My name is Maria, and I attract bullies.

Or rather I allow bullies in my space,
both physically, mentally
and yes and even digitally too.

 I am admitting on this blog
 that I play my part in
bringing toxic relationships into my life.

But no more.

I cannot bow my head and sit quietly.
In 2020, I realize I have put in the work.
I have slogged to get here,
and a reward for myself is being done. more.
This chick is done!
You know when you just know?
Well I more than just know.

My healthy boundaries are up.
Not everyone will have access to my space.
I will respect others' spaces as well.

One self-care activity I will do this year,
is affirm myself positively.
I am tired of the negative conversations in my head,
there is a bully living inside me too.

I have said some-not-so -nice things to myself.
But this is being left at the foot of 2019.

In 2020 all internal dialogue will be mature and positive.

I am already working on my  Louise L Hay affirmations as I write this:
"Life loves me."
"It's only a thought and a thought can be changed!"
"It is safe to look within."
"Deep at the center of  my being is an infinite well of love."
"I am love and I am at peace."

I used to think affirmations were such an odd thing.
How could being a friend to yourself be a priority?
And where is the time to do it?
But simple things can be such great blessings.
Especially when life is tough.

If you would like to also positively affirm yourself click here  for more affirmations.
Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comment section .

Photo credits : Unsplash