Sunday, March 19, 2023

5 Things I love about masks that have nothing to do with Covid-19

5 Reasons to wear a mask that have nothing to do with Covid with an image of a green KN95 mask on a pink background

Please note: links may be affiliate links in nature. If you purchase through them, I may earn a small commission -- thank you in advance!
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of mask wearing, there are some people for whom wearing a mask has multiple benefits that have nothing to do with Covid-19. I happen to be one of those people. 
I love wearing a mask for several non-Covid reasons and I hope doing so will become normalized even after Covid-19 is far in the past.
Here are five NON-Covid reasons why people might wear masks even after the pandemic is far behind us:
As I write this, we are rapidly approaching my least favorite season of the year -- spring! I know, I know! Chances are you love spring and can't wait for summer, but I suffer from such serious and widespread pollen allergies that I can't stand the two seasons. I'm sniffling, itching, wheezing, and more from mid-March through mid-September. 

What does my hated of spring and summer have to do with masks? Well, one byproduct of mask wearing during the Covid-19 pandemic is my discovery that masks were MORE effective in dealing with my pollen allergies than most medications I've tried over the years!

As with my allergies, it turns out that wearing a mask has greatly improved my asthma! 

Cold weather, despite how much I love winter, is my primary asthma trigger. Wearing a mask means the air that enters my nose and mouth is already slightly warmed and thus I'm not prone to a coughing attack and possible asthma attack. 

Since the pandemic started, and since it has largely been considered to be over, I've had zero cold-weather induced asthma attacks! The difference? I wear a mask outdoors when it's cold.

If dust, pet dander, or odors bother you while cleaning, wearing a mask is a great barrier! It will block a lot of dust and dander while you clean, but you can also dab a tiny bit of your favorite essential oil onto a mask to help cover unpleasant odors when you clean.
Side note: my favorite essential oil is a peppermint-eucalyptus blend from Thrive Market. You can shop Thrive HERE. If you are first time Thrive shopper, you may qualify for 40% off your first order! 

I have two dogs, one of which sheds a lot. Cleaning up her fur, especially after grooming, is made more pleasant by wearing a mask. Both are senior citizens and we live in an apartment. One of our dogs is old enough that she goes to the bathroom so frequently that it would be difficult to take her out to the park. As a result, we have a dog potty on our patio. It is not fun to clean up. Wearing a mask with a dab of essential oils has made the job much more tolerable.
Much like my experiences with asthma and allergies, I've had far fewer colds when mask wearing -- even post-pandemic. I don't know about you, but I hate coughing, sneezing, and having to blow my nose all the time. I hate it enough that wearing a mask is worth it.
If you are a woman reading this, you probably have men (and maybe even some women) telling you to smile randomly and without reason. They don't take the time to learn anything about you (and you probably don't want them to anyhow!) and they don't take a moment to consider that maybe you aren't smiling for a reason -- but also, do we really want to go around smiling 24/7? Sounds creepy and exhausting, right?

Wearing a mask has really cut down on the number of people that randomly, and without reason, tell me to smile. I happen to be an incredibly serious person, and I LIKE BEING SERIOUS. I find joy and fulfillment in my serious nature. When you tell me to smile, you disregard who I am as a person.
Wearing a mask resolves that for me. 
What are some non-Covid reasons that you might continue wearing a mask post-pandemic? Leave a comment and let me know.
P.S. -- Mom2MomEd is about to undergo a re-brand and re-focusing, including getting a new name. I'm a middle aged single mom to an adult child and living in the city. I love to travel, but also care about and am worried about the environment. I love drawing and crafting and selling on Etsy, and a bunch of other stuff. You'll be seeing a shift away from topics related to younger kids or generalized educational content and more towards single, middle aged mom life. I would love for you to stick around, but I also will understand if that type of content just isn't for you.

P.P.S. -- My drawing and illustration Etsy shop now has an associated YouTube channel! Right now, I am primarily filming ASMR drawing videos (visual content with ambient sounds, such as the sounds of my pen on the paper). Check it out HERE. If you read the video descriptions, you'll find a link to my shop (I'm waiting for YouTube to verify my account, so you may have to copy and paste the link) and a discount code for the shop!

P.P.P.S. -- The Mom2MomEd Etsy shop will be closing on March 31st and items from that shop will transfer to my drawing and illustration shop.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

My favorite YouTube channels for simple living, de-cluttering, and lifestyle

My favorite YouTube Channels for simple living, decluttering, and lifestyle

Last week, I mentioned that I've been watching a lot of YouTube (read the post HERE). This week, I'm giving you a run down of my favorite channels. Most of what I watch on YouTube focuses on simple living, de-cluttering, and lifestyle with a few other topics sprinkled throughout. 
A to Zen Life: This channel features a family of four that downsized from mom's near hoarder status to fitting all of their possessions into 8 suitcases which they then took with them to move from the United States to Germany. The mom, Marissa, posts videos about de-cluttering and minimalism, mom and family life, routines, frugal and simple living, and more. 
Benita Larsson: Benita is my style and home decor guru and lives in Sweden. She is a single mom of an adult son who downsized several times and now is a dedicated minimalist but with a realistic streak, noting that minimalism means different things to different people. She regularly de-clutters and talks about simple, intentional living. 
Carter Sullivan: Carter is a 20-something young woman who vlogs about her daily life, career and personal goals, books, productivity, goal setting, and so on. She also is very realistic and up front about her mental health. She reminds me a lot myself at her age (I'm literally old enough to be her mom). Carter is in Canada.
Cecilia Blomdahl: Cecilia and her boyfriend live above the arctic circle on the island of Svalbard. Her channel is fun and funny. She vlogs about life in the arctic north, the highs and lows of extreme sunlight and extreme darkness. She also shares occasional book content, de-cluttering and home renovation content, adventures, and more. I like that she basically radically transformed her life by moving to Svalbard and has leaned into it. 
Jules Acree: I'm not sure how old Jules is -- late 20s? -- but I really like her aesthetic and her approach to productivity and working from home. Her home is clean lines and simple, but also soft and comfortable. Jules is from the United States.
Levi & Leah: Levi and Leah are a Canadian younger couple in their late 20s/early 30s who are committed to intentional living, the environment, healthy sexuality, and adventure. At times they feel a little out of touch with reality, but I still enjoy their vibe and approaches to life. 
Mallikkas Life: Mallikka is Danish and closer to my age -- maybe a few years old (I'm 48 as I write this) and she posts about frugal living, de-cluttering, and being intentional in life. Her channel is pretty straightforward. She's fun and funny too. 
Max & Occy: Max is an Australian van lifer who lives in his van with his dog, Occy. He's chill and cool, has lots of great adventures, but he's also very open about mental health issues and life challenges. 
Natalie Bennett: Natalie is in her late 20s, maybe very early 30s, and vlogs about decluttering, home life, life with kids, and journeying towards minimalism. Every now and then her husband also appears in her vlogs and he's pretty funny! I like that Natalie is generally very upbeat but also realistic about life with kids.
Not Just Bikes: The dude behind this channel is from Canada, but he and his family live in Amsterdam now. They go everywhere by bicycle and his channel is dedicated, primarily, to going places by bike and bike friendly city design. I aspire to being car free and going everywhere by bike, by foot, or by public transportation. I also live in a US city that has a reputation for being extremely bike friendly -- it. is. not! My city has a lot of work to do in this area!
Propel: The guy behind Propel is based in New York City, but also has strong ties to California. He is an e-bike shop owner and much of his channel is dedicated to topics related to e-bikes, alternative transportation, and similar topics as those found on Not Just Bikes.
Roots and Refuge Farm: Roots and Refuge is the vlog of Jessica Sowards and her family as they homestead and build up their family, home, and business around all things homesteading and gardening. Jess is passionate about homesteading, home gardening, and self-sufficiency in terms of food. I am working on improving my patio container garden every year and have learned a lot from Jess. You can buy her first book, The First Time Gardener, HERE (this is an affiliate link -- thank you in advance for any purchase through this link as it may result in a small commission for me).
Sustainably Vegan: This channel is hosted by a young woman from Great Britain who recently moved to the United States with her husband. She is a calm presence amid the chaos of the world! She is primarily focused on frugal and simple living with a lot of cooking. 
This Crazy Life: Ok, I'm a total nerd, and I love to watch "clean with me" videos! Amanda, the host of this channel, often shares home cleaning and organizing videos, day in the life videos, and occasionally home renovation and home decorating videos. She also regularly shares recipes -- she is on a semi-restricted die that I relate to. I like to turn on her videos for inspiration to clean and organize my own home!
Whispering Willow Farm: Jill and her husband are friends with Jessica Sowards and family from Roots and Refuge, listed above. In fact, Jill's family bought their home from the Sowards! Jill is another passionate home gardener turned homesteader and farmer. I've learned a ton from her! In addition to gardening content, she also shares cooking videos, often focused on sourdough bread and fermenting. 
Wild We Roam: This channel features a young family exploring alternative lifestyles. When I came across their channel, they were van lifers in Europe (they are from the United States). Since my finding them, they have also lived on a boat, lived in Hawaii, and recently moved to be closer to family when they became parents. They currently are working on building a shipping container home and a homestead. 
Yoga with Adriene: Adriene is such a calm, gentle, soul! She teaches yoga through her videos, but she is very loosey-goosey and encourages viewers and participants to go at their own pace and adjust things as they need to. She is not a strict teacher at all!