As the World Reset Series continues, I introduce you to musician/astrologer/writer Danielle McElroy. Danielle is the first Canadian to appear in my series. She and I have many things in common including we both eat a vegan diet, we’re both sensitive to chemicals (I also lived for several years isolating myself because of this health condition), we’re both writers, and we’re both professional astrologers.
While many people around the world are experiencing physical distancing and staying home, many people have health conditions that forced them to live this way for years or even decades. We’ve been through the struggles, the grieving, and learning to adapt to a new way of life (that seems freaky to others). Now, the entire world is learning what if feels like to live behind a mask or to not socialize because of toxins in the air.
How many weeks have you been in lockdown?
Danielle McElroy–Six weeks. Oddly, it hasn’t felt that long.
Living in isolation isn’t new to you. Explain why that is.
DM–For the past 27 years, I have been dealing with a severe chronic illness that has limited my ability to leave my home, work, or socializes. During some of my worst years, I was bed-bound and using a wheelchair. Interacting with other people was exhausting and increased my physical pain so even though I disliked being alone, I had to get used to staying home and spending most of my time by myself. To stay busy, I started to work online from my home as a part-time copywriter and consulting astrologer. So when COVID 19 hit, not much changed in my life!
How are you keeping your mind, body, and spirit healthy during this particular lockdown?
DM–The same way I usually do! Over the decades, I had to learn a lot of coping tools in order to deal with my medical condition and also to deal with isolation, depression, and grief. Currently, my health is good enough that I can do a little yoga or go for a short walk each day.
I have a couple of friends I can phone and talk to when the isolation becomes overwhelming. I do energy work every day. For the most part, food is my medicine so I spend a lot of time preparing whole food plant-based meals. And being able to work still is a real blessing, even though the pace has slowed down due to COVID 19.
Are you taking up any new hobbies or learning something new?
DM–Actually, no–since I have always been stuck at home, I am just carrying on with my usual work and hobbies (I play the piano.)
What skills and personality traits work well for you during the lockdown?
DM–For me, it is the ability to slow down, get out of my head and really listen to my body. I’m learning how to self-soothe anxiety. I have gratitude and counting one’s blessings. Turning away from the mainstream culture in order to reflect and discover what truly nourishes my soul and individual path in life.
Self-discipline and a work routine during the week while goofing off and eating some “junk foods” during the weekends. (You have to break up monotony so that each day isn’t the same as the next.) Also, I have a lot of black humor.
What daily practices have you been able to keep up with?
DM–I recently injured my shoulder which means I am doing less yoga than I would like to be! But it is slowly coming back.
Are you alone or with family? And if you are with family members or with others, what advice do you have for others in the same boat?
DM–I live alone.
What practices do you have in place to keep yourself virus-free?
DM–Before COVID-19 I only went to town to get groceries once every 3 weeks (I live out of town and I don’t have a car so it is hard to go in more often than that). So that habit was helpful because it works well now for physical distancing. I am chemically sensitive so I avoid hand sanitizer.
I have a mask but I can’t breathe well in it, so I don’t wear it unless it is mandated. I do wash my hands more than usual. I have a range of Holistic medicine I turn to if I feel like I am coming down with something and I have stepped up those– oregano oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin A (for infection), Zinc, Brazil nuts for selenium and some homeopathic formulas for the immune system from the company Dr. Reckeweg. I also increase my energy work if I am feeling like I am battling a bug.