Treat Yourself to Spooky Self-Care in October

31 ways to take care of yourself this in October! Here is an October Self-Care Tracker. Feel free to do these in any order you like. See how many pumpkins you can get as you re-dedicate yourself to self-care.

Thursday, October 1. Take a twilight stroll and enjoy the beautiful full Harvest Moon today.

Friday, October 2. There are many needs right now. Victims of the California wildfires is one. Make a donation, no matter how small. If all you can afford is a dollar, donate a dollar. Send generosity into the universe.

Saturday, October 3. Decorate your Halloween home.

Sunday, October 4. Wash your hands with Halloween soap from Bath and Body Works: Vampire Blood (berry, jasmine and plum), Purrfect Pumpkin (pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla) or Candy Corn Treats (candy corn, lavender and marshmallow).

Monday, October 5. It’s Mindfulness Monday. Doing one thing while staying in the moment is similar to meditation. Slowly savor a cup of hot apple cider while relaxing.

Tuesday, October 6. Take a Pumpkin Spice coffee break.

Wednesday, October 7. It’s Work Out Wednesday! Work out…with a pumpkin!

Thursday, October 8. We all have to wear face masks. Why not make it a Halloween one? Here are some Halloween design face masks from Etsy.

Friday, October 9. Mail Halloween greeting cards on World Post Day, using USPS Halloween stamps. You can buy cards at Dollar Tree (2 for $1) or make your own.

Saturday, October 10. Take a historic ghost walking tour, such as the Old Town Alexandria Ghost Walking Tour (for older children and adults — it really is spooky).

Sunday, October 11. Take what my son calls a “spooky house ride” — a leisurely, evening drive to see homes decorated with Halloween lights, pumpkins and spooky decor. And it’s pandemic-safe. First stop: the Ni Family’s Halloween display and lights at 2528 Drexel Street in Vienna, Virginia.

Monday, October 12. It’s Mindfulness Monday. Maybe it’s too hard to remember to write a gratitude journal entry every day. But could you write an entry once a month? Today, write down what you are grateful for today.

Tuesday, October 13. Tingle with Autumn ASMR. These types of videos are best enjoyed with headphones or ear buds, as most of them are whispered or spoken at low volume. Some people use them to fall asleep.

Wednesday, October 14. It’s Workout Wednesday! Play Halloween music and dance! Or do your favorite workout. Here’s a playlist.

Thursday, October 15. Take a free, live, online Halloween craft class.

Friday, October 16. Tonight is the New Moon. This is a great time to take healing bath while you ponder your intentions for the rest of the month. Light some candles in your bathroom and soak in a bath with Epsom salts or your favorite, scented bubble bath. Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that can relax your muscles and ease tension.

Saturday, October 17. Pick the perfect costume for your personality and style. Will you be a witch, devil or ghost this year?

Sunday, October 18. Make Pumpkin Pancakes for breakfast. Pumpkin is loaded with beta carotene, fiber and other nutrients.

Monday, October 19. Reduce stress with a Halloween meditation.

Tuesday, October 20. Laughter is the best medicine. Listen to this Halloween episode of the old-time radio program, Our Miss Brooks (1949).

Wednesday, October 21. It’s Work Out Wednesday. Try this “Thriller” themed Zumba dance class.

Thursday, October 22. Treat yourself to Pumpkin Marshmallow Latte scented hand sanitzer from Bath and Body Works, while supplies last (5 for $8).

Friday, October 23. Watch a black and white horror movie from the 1930s or 1940s. Or make it an at-home film festival and watch one a day until Halloween! Don’t forget the home-made popcorn. My favorites: Dracula (1931), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Cat People (1942), The Mummy (1932), The Wolfman (1942), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) and The Black Cat (1934).

Saturday, October 24. Have you ever taken a walk in a cemetery? Explore one of the many serene and beautiful and historic cemeteries in Alexandria, Virginia. Other options: the National Cemetery in Falls Church (for its beautiful sculpture fountain) and historic Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

Sunday, October 25. While social distancing, spend the day outdoors and visit a pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Monday, October 26. Irish immigrants brought their ancient traditions associated with Halloween to America. And that’s why we have jack-o-lanterns! Carve a jack-o-lantern or two on National Pumpkin Day. Creativity is a stress buster, making this a seasonal self-care activity! Be sure to roast the seeds, too. They are full of healhty nutrients.

Tuesday, October 27. Take a cat nap on National Black Cat Day.

Wednesday, October 28. It’s Workout Wednesday! Here is a yoga routine for all of you zombies out there.

Thursday, October 29. Today is National Oatmeal Day. Have some oatmeal for breakfast or try oatmeal as a low-calorie, light dinner, if you are trying to lose weight. Oatmeal has lots of fiber and can help lower your cholesterol. You can flavor plain oatmeal with apple butter or pumpkin butter for a fall treat.

Friday, October 30. Make some vegetarian chili. It will taste even better tomorrow. I usually make this chili for Halloween dinner.

Saturday, October 31Happy Halloween! Tonight it is also a full moon and it is a Blue Moon. Offer a pandemic-safe, no-contact or low-contact trick or treating experience. Mark off 6-foot social distancing spaces with jack o lanterns or luminaria or other markers. Alternatively, set up a table at the end of your driveway for trick or treaters. Pass out individually sealed bags of treats for trick or treaters or leave out a bowl of treats.

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October Days to Celebrate

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October – maybe one of my favorite months of the year! Almost everyone thinks about Halloween and Pumpkin Spice Lattes when they think about October. But did you know that October also is the month we celebrate National PoetryDay and National Art Day? If you enjoy politics, mark the dates for the Vice Presidential and Presidential debates. They should be interesting.

Here are some special days and recognition days you may choose to observe in October. While you’re here, check out some of the online and in-person events on the fall and Halloween calendars.

1 Mid-Autumn Festival/Harvest Moon/Hunter’s Moon/Nat. Pumpkin Spice Day

2 Intl. Day of Non-violence/World Smile Day/Nat. Walk to School Day/Nat. Maintenance and Custodian Appreciation Day

3 Nat. Poetry Day

4 Nat. Taco Day/World Animal Day

5 Amazon Prime Day/Nat. Child Health Day/UNESCO World Teacher’s Day

6 World Cerebral Palsy Day

7 Vice Presidential Debate/Virginia: Walk to School at a Distance Day

9 Announcement of Nobel Peace Prize/Fire Prevention/Home Fire Drill Day/World Post Day

10 World Mental Health Day

11 Nat. Coming Out Day

12 Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day/Farmers Day

13 Nat. M&Ms Day

15 Intl ShakeOut Day (earthquake drill)/Global Hand washing Day/Maths Day

16 New Moon/Intl. Sloth Day

21 Nat. Apple Day/Reptile Day/Nat. Medical Assistant Day

22 Presidential Debate

24 United Nations Day

25 Nat. Art Day

26 Nat. Pumpkin Day

27 Nat. Black Cat Day/National Mentoring Day/Navy Day/World Occupational Therapy Day

28 Nat. Chocolate Day/Nat. First Responders Day

29 Nat. Cat Day/Nat. Internet Day

30 Nat.Candy Corn Day

31 Halloween/Magic Day/Blue Moon/Uranus visible/Samain/Nat. Caramel Apple Day

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Happy National Coffee Day! Freebies

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Good morning! How about some free java?

You can get a free cup of coffee at Krispy Kreme today. Rewards members may also have a free donut.

You can get a free medium-sized cup of coffee (or iced coffee) at Dunkin Donuts with a purchase.

Other places are offering discounts today. Check your apps for regional specials.

Coffee is really good for you. People who drink coffee regularly are at a much lower risk for fatty liver disease and liver cancer. It may also lower your risk of getting dementia, diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Decaf has also been shown to reduce your risk of stroke and drinking two or more cups of decaf a day lowers your rectal cancer risk by 48%. Decaf is less likely to give you acid reflux.

How do you take your coffee? Regular, decaf or half-caf? Do you prefer iced coffee or hot coffee? Do you take it black? Sugar? Creamer? Flavored creamer?

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Self-Care September – Week Five

Self Care September Tracker

Sunday, September 27 – Take a nature walk around your neighborhood. Take photos and post your favorite one on this Padlet. Some inspiration: spiderwebs, leaves, mums, pumpkins, squirrels, pinecones, birds, streams, trees.

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Monday, September 28 – It’s Mindfulness Monday again! Let’s try a grounding activity to get in touch with the present moment. All you need is a piece of candy or a cough drop. This is called 5-4-3-2-1. It is useful for anxiety so it is good to practice it so you can use it when you need to. Place your feet flat on the floor, hands on your lap. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Look around and notice five things you see. Next, notice four things you feel — your body on the chair or your feet on the floor are two things you might notice. After you have done that, notice three things you can hear. Next, notice two things you can smell. Now, place the candy or cough drop in your mouth. Think about the flavors you are tasting. How do you feel?

Tuesday, September 29 – Today is National Coffee Day! Did you know that people who drink coffee have less incidence of liver disease? Enjoy a cup of coffee or decaf (maybe with some pumpkin spice creamer?) outside, first thing in the morning. Enjoy the serenity of the morning and nature.

Wednesday, September 30 – Workout Wednesday (A Harvest Moon Walk) – The moon is full, or almost full, anyway. The moon will rise at 6:52 p.m. today so if you set out at 6:30 p.m., you will have a nice, twilight walk before it gets dark. 

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Ghost Tours in DC and Virginia

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Do you have any spooky plans for this fall? Ghost walking tours are still taking place in DC and Northern Virginia during the pandemic. Guides and participants wear masks and social distancing is observed. For even more space, choose the scavenger hunt option or book a private tour for an additional fee. You can use contactless payment for gratuities.

Haunted DC Walking Tour on Capitol Hill

Visit one of the most haunted buildings in the world—the United States Capitol Building. Pass by the Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. Hear stories of feuding ghosts of past lawmakers, haunted souls surrounding the Trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators, phantoms of past presidents and the curse that surrounds everything on Capitol Hill.

Ghosts of Georgetown Walking Tour

Discover the hidden history and local legends of Georgetown on a 3-hour ghost tour. Learn about supernatural occurrences and listen to true crime stories as you traverse the cemeteries, churches, and alleys of the city’s oldest neighborhood. Visit locations with reported hauntings.

Review: “The walk through the historic Georgetown homes was peaceful and pleasant. I was really impressed with the level of detail. We got to hear awesome, spooky stories about historical figures while standing outside their actual homes. It really felt like being part of history. The tour takes place in the dark, but thanks to streetlights you get to see some impressive homes and buildings, and the tour doesn’t move so fast that you can’t take some great pictures.”

Haunted Old Town Alexandria Ghost and Pub Walking Tour

On this 2.5-hour guided ghost tour and pub crawl, a costumed guide will lead you through hidden alleyways and tell you tales from the historic places and haunted buildings along the way, including the historic Carlyle House. During the tour, you will also stop at historic Old Town pubs to enjoy a beverage (cost of beverages not included).

Review: “It took us to bars and areas of the city we had never been. We learned so much about the history of Old Town and about paranormal experiences in the area. We went on Halloween, which was especially fun and spooky, but this would be fun any day in the fall.”

Haunted Washington D.C. Ghost and Pub Walking Tour

This 2.5-hour, haunted walking tour covers approximately one mile. Hear stories of ghosts, presidents, prohibition and pubs. At a stop in front of the White House, learn about the White House ghosts and take photos. Costumed guides lead the way through Lafayette Square, with time to enjoy a beverage at each of four “haunted” pub stops. A beverage purchase is not required, but it’s not included in the ticket price.

Review: “I loved all the ghost stories she told, especially the vampire one. All of these stories were rooted in D.C.’s history, which was fascinating. The bars we went to were very nice and we were given enough time to enjoy a drink at each place. I recommend this tour for couples and groups of friends as well as out-of-tours and DCers who are looking for something exciting to do for the night.”

Washington, DC Ghost Scavenger Hunt

This 2-hour independent activitity is about half the cost of the guided tours. Using the provided “Let’s Roam” app, you visit haunted sites, answer trivia questions, solve challenges and take photos. Each player chooses an intereactive role. DC stops include the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Decatur House, the White House, the Renwick Gallery and Lafayette Square.

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Self-Care September – Week Four

Download the Self Care September Tracker.

Sunday, September 20 – Did you know that generosity is a form of self-care? The act of giving or contributing makes us feel good and gets us in touch with important parts of our identity, such as our character strengths, skills, preferences, values and purpose. Much has been said on the subject of random kindness and how it may not be the most productive form of generosity. Instead, think about where you are certain your gifts or talents would be most needed and appreciated. Make a donation of your money or time to that cause — any amount counts.

Monday, September 21 – Gratitude is an essential aspect of self-care, because it is so good for you. Today is World Gratitude Day. I invite you to share what you are grateful for on this Gratitude Padlet. You can be anonymous, if you wish.

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Tuesday, September 22 – Today is the Fall Equinox. Join me for A Fall Equinox Virtual Tea 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST. Here is the Zoom Link.

If virtual tea parties aren’t your thing, you might like this Fall Equinox Meditation.

Wednesday, September 23 –  Workout Wednesday: Fall Yoga  It’s Mindfulness Monday again! Although this video is for kids, I like how she uses rhyme and fall imagery. Also I am new to yoga so this is the right pace for me (and maybe for your kids, too?) Take your mat and laptop outside and do some yoga with me!

Thursday, September 24 – See if you can go a whole day without complaining about anything or criticizing anyone. When you feel like you are about to complain or criticize, pause. Breathe. How can you restate your thoughts (even in your head)? How can you remain solution-oriented, patient and positive? Was this difficult for you? Or did you feel lighter and more in control of your life?

Friday, September 25 –  Autumn Stables Watch Party. Mar Vista movies are kind of like Hallmark Channel movies but not quite as mushy and usually more clever.  We’ll see! I looked all over for a fall-themed movie we could watch  for free and found this one on TubiTV. You don’t have to register to watch it.  Here is the link. 

Saturday, September 26 – Relax by gazing at the stars tonight…It is Astronomy Day, after all.

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Arrr! Talk Like A Pirate Today!

Ahoy, matey. It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!

You ask: why on earth should I talk like a pirate?

Why: The Pandemic. Do absolutely anything you can do to relieve the incessant stress and angst of 2020, even to the point of almost-certain personal mortification.

More Why:  Free Stuff. If you walk into a Long John Silver’s today and talk like a pirate, you will get a free piece of fish. And if you DRESS like a pirate, you will get 2 piece fish basket. That’s something to tell your grandchildren.

How: Don’t go overboard with it or anything.

  • Change your Facebook language setting to “Pirate.”
  • Blog or tweet in Pirate (note to self: done).
  • Talk like a Pirate to your kids. What are they going to do, move out?
  • And my favorite: talk like a Pirate to a pet, because they don’t judge.

Pirate Lingo

  • Ahoy! – Hi, there!
  • Aye – Yes.
  • Arr! – That’s right!
  • Blow me down! – Oh, my goodness!
  • Cackle Fruit – eggs
  • Doubloons – coins
  • Grub – food
  • Heave, to – stop
  • Jolly Roger – the pirate flag with a skull and cross bones
  • Lad, lass – young person
  • Matey – Friend
  • Me – My
  • Me Hearties – My Friends
  • Port – left
  • Savvy? – Know what I’m saying?
  • Shiver me timbers! – No way!
  • Starboard – right
  • Ye – You.
  • Yo ho ho – Exclamation of pleasure.

By the way, did you know there were lady pirates? Some of the most notorious pirates in North Carolina were women!


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Set your intentions with the New Moon

Tonight is the New Moon. Just as this is the beginning of a new lunar cycle, some believe it is also a good time for new beginnings — a fortuitous time to visualize your fondest dreams and to attempt to manifest them into reality.

Here is an easy New Moon enchantment to try. Remember to only wish for good things for yourself and others that happen in a way that does not harm anyone else.

You will need a piece of paper, a pen and a white candle, which symbolizes sincerity, hope and new beginnings.

Alternatively, you could use a yellow candle, which is associated with Mercury and the day, Wednesday. Yellow candles are good for intentions related to knowledge, school, focus, communication, travel and optimism.

But since it is fall, maybe you would rather use a pumpkin-scented candle. It is really up to you to use whatever makes you feel calm, focused and magical. Even a birthday candle or electric tealight will do.

On the paper, write what you want to happen, in as much detail as possible. Slip the paper underneath the candle. With your feet flat on the floor, take three deep, cleansing breaths, and light the candle.

Gaze into the flame and visualize your wish coming true and what your life will be like with this new reality, like a vision board in your head. (Consider making a real vision board before or after this ritual.) What affirmations come into your mind? If you feel self-doubt or anxiety creeping into your thoughts, just notice these thoughts and feelings, without judging, then gently turn your mind to a more optimistic and constructive direction as you reflect on your intention.

What does quiet determination and calm confidence feel like to you? You might imagine positive energy in you and all around you, supporting you as you set this intention. If desired, you may ask for the strength, resolve or resources you need to make this change happen (from God, Spirit, the Universe, benevolent beings, your best self, etc.).

Take all the time you need to connect with the thoughts and feelings this intention inspires. When you feel ready, feel gratitude for being heard and express your thanks, silently or aloud, three times.

Extinguish the candle and place the paper somewhere safe while you work to make your wish come true. Burn the paper on the next full moon, which is Halloween.

Safety tip: never leave a burning candle unattended.

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Celebrate Oktoberfest Pandemic-Style

Yes, it’s true: sadly “Oktoberfest” in Munich, originally scheduled to begin September 18 this year, has been cancelled. And yes, the Vienna, Virginia and Winchester, Virginia Oktoberfest events have also been cancelled. Even Das Festhaus at Busch Gardens Williamsburg is closed for the month of September, although Busch Gardens is open. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Oktoberfest while remaining safer at home! And you can have it anytime you wish.

Having a home-style Oktoberfest involves just a few elements to be fun.

Create a pandemic-safe Oktoberfest beer garden

If it is just you and your family, you could set up a table and chairs outside or use the picnic table you may already have in your yard. But if you prefer, you could also decorate your dining room and have an indoor celebration.

Here’s an article on how to DIY an authentic beer garden in your yard. 

Because of the pandemic, I can’t recommend gathering together with people outside of your household in person, even outdoors, for an Oktoberfest celebration. But there are work-arounds! If you want to celebrate with friends or family outside of your household, one idea would be to order from the same restaurant (like German Gourmet or Old Europe, below) or to divvy up cooking and contact-less delivery tasks (for example, one family prepares and delivers the  dessert, another, drinks, another, entree, etc.). Then you can set a time to enjoy the dinner together, virtually, through Face Time or Zoom.

Put up Bavarian-style decorations

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make it look like a party. Even just some blue and white streamers would be fun. But if you want to go all out, order some Oktoberfest party decorations or tableware. You can order these online from Party City. When I last checked, some items, like the paper plates (pictured above), were on sale. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Serve beer or non-alcoholic options

You can find German beer at Total Wine and some grocery stores. Hacker-Pschorr-Weisse is a Bavarian wheat beer that has been brewed since the 1400s.  However, there is no law that says you have to drink beer to enjoy Oktoberfest! You could also serve apple juice or cider or German apple soda, or even lemonade or iced tea.

Play Oktoberfest music

Of course, you need background music. Here is more than an hour of traditional  music I found on YouTube.

Learn how to polka!

It’s easy! Here is a video that shows you how.

Learn a few Bavarian phrases

I put these how they sound..not how they are spelled 🙂

  • To greet someone – Sair-voose! or Groose Got
  • Beer garden – sounds just like English, practically
  • Cheers! – Prohst
  • Pretzels – Brehtzen

Serve a Bavarian-style meal

My favorite part of Oktoberfest is the delicious food!  Wondering what to serve? Here are three options, from least to most expensive.

Make your own feast. Here is a sample menu that is easy to make with grocery store ingredients.

  • Soft Pretzels
  • Bratwurst (Boars Head or Dietz and Watson are good brands)
  • Pickled Red Cabbage (comes in a jar)
  • Warm German potato salad
  • Pickles, sauerkraut and German mustard
  • Bavarian swiss cheese, Butterkase cheese or cheddar cheese
  • An assortment of breads and rolls
  • Apple Strudel, German Chocolate Cake or Black Forest Cake for dessert

Pick up deli-style takeout from German Gourmet. Don’t feel like cooking? You can buy these foods ready made or as platters at German Gourmet deli, bakery and store on Columbia Pike in Falls Church. I recommend the bratwurst sandwich and red cabbage and potato salad sides. They also sell a variety of rolls, desserts, sausages, beer and apple soda.

Order an authentic German dinner for delivery. My third option to suggest would be to order a delicious dinner from the Washington, DC German restaurant, Old Europe. Old Europe is offering Oktoberfest dining and they deliver up to 20 miles! Including draft beer and desserts! You can also order ahead and pick up food curbside. Their food is authentic and amazing and the menu is extensive. For example, appetizers include potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream, cherry soup, and pork liver pate, among others. Their house salad is very good and different from the ordinary. Entrees include a vegetarian schnitzel, a sausage combo with sauerkraut and warm potato salad (highly recommend) and beef sauerbraten with red cabbage and dumplings (highly recommend), among others. They have several desserts, including Black Forest cake. They also offer catering with individually packaged meals or family style meals for carryout or delivery.

I hope you decide to include celebrations, such as Oktoberfest, into your plans this fall. We all need something fun to look forward to. Pfiat di!

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Self-Care September – Week Three

Sunday, September 13 – Today is National Positive Thinking Day. Join me in painting a rock with an image that symbolizes positivity for you or maybe a favorite positive word. Then upload a picture of your rock to this Padlet so we can see it! Will you keep your rock or place it outdoors for someone to find?

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Monday, September 14 – Today is National Coloring Day. Coloring for adults is a mindfulness activity that can help alleviate stress. Here is an autumn mandala you can print and color with pencils, crayons or markers.

Tuesday, September 15 – Fall is a great time to de-clutter. The problem is most thrift stores aren’t accepting donations during the pandemic. You could still de-clutter paper, magazines and other items that can be recycled, though.

Wednesday, September 16 – It’s Workout Wednesday again! This time I am sharing a free weights exercise routine for beginners. Like the other workouts, you can do these while remaining safer at home. You can get free weights from Five Below, if you don’t have them.

Thursday, September 17 – The Self-Care of Forgiveness:  New Moon Forgiveness Ritual. In this ritual, you are clearing your energy by letting go of past hurts by others and disappointments you have about yourself. This is not to say you accept unacceptable behavior. You can hold onto the lessons while releasing the pain. If it is getting in your way, it is time to let it go. You will need a piece of paper, a pen, matches or a lighter, and a can, ceramic bowl, iron pot or other vessel safe for burning. You may also burn a rose pink candle and/or put out a rose quartz. Some water is also good to have as well as any cotton gauze. In a quiet space, write a letter of forgiveness to anyone or situation that has wronged you. Write another letter forgiving yourself for any disappointments. Drink the water, as you need it. When you have finished these letters, take three, slow, deep cleansing breaths. Go outside for the burning part of this ritual. Tear the paper into little bits and put it into the can (or other vessel). Place on a fire-safe surface, such as the ground or concrete. If you have a small piece of surgical gauze (it must be cotton), that makes a good fire-starter. Light a piece of paper or the gauze and burn the letters, watching the smoke go up. Say a prayer, if you like. Bury the ashes or dispose of them in flowing water. Be sure to extinguish the candle if it is burning.

Friday, September 188Fall Bucket List/Vision Board Virtual Workshop 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Here is the Zoom link. Bring your completed or almost-completed vision board or bucket list, plus your craft supplies, glue, scissors, tape, etc. If you have not made one, you can still attend and get inspired. A Fall Bucket List is a list of things you would like to do in the fall. There are many examples online. A Vision Board is a poster board or cork board collage of images, stickers, drawings, sayings and other media that you may build around a theme for something you wish to happen or a personal goal. For example, if you created a Fall Vision Board about walking for exercise everyday, you might include motivational sayings (see Pinterest for examples), photos of people walking in the Fall, pictures of trees, etc. Feel free to either or both. During this half hour, we will share our vision boards and bucket lists to motivate ourselves and inspire others. If there is time left over, we can work on them.

Saturday, September 19 – Today, call, Zoom or Facetime a loved one to get support and give support. Social connection is an especially important part of self-care during the isolating condition of the pandemic.

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