Coping Strategies

September 19, 2020

I have been having a hard time figuring what to write about to keep the blog going. I know most of my readers are interested in life in Mexico but at the present time life here is mostly life at home. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

We do go out – to the stores and twice to eat out at a very carefully selected spot – but mostly we are at home. We’ve enjoyed working in the garden and buying pots and plants for our patios and in general nesting in our new place.

Before the pandemic we had been going to the gym but even though they’ve reopened we haven’t been back. I started walking and running in circles in our sala fresca upstairs for exercise. Then we added an elliptical machine and a couple of weeks ago I bought a second hand track stand for my bike. With the addition of a jump rope and some hand weights and yoga pads, we have a pretty decent home gym. That’s it in the picture at the top. The sala fresca has screens and we have our hammocks tied to one side there too.

During my workouts I used to listen to music almost exclusively but then I started listening to podcasts and I have learned so much! Many topics I listen to then send me to learn more. For example I have started learning more about Ayurveda, holistic dentistry, and lots of different health and wellness practices. My days are getting full learning about things and incorporating new routines into my life.

I got very interested in Gua Sha. Do you know what it is? It’s a traditional Chinese medicine method of facial scraping to encourage lymphatic drainage. I got interested in this back when I had cancer and now I have the time to do it – and I do, every day before my work out.

Most days I also do oil pulling, use my neti pot (which is supposed to help keep covid-19 at bay), practice pranayama and meditate.

I have rarely missed a day of exercise and am happy to say I have lost 20 pounds. I still have more to lose but I have so much energy now I am going to head outside to the bike path and run at least part of the time now, starting tomorrow.

Along with the exercise being at home so much and all my focus on health I have been eating better than ever. I thought I would try being vegan but decided to stay a vegetarian, just give up what I call “big cheese” which I know I had been eating too often. I recently shared some photos of what I’ve been eating on Instagram if you are interested, they are below. As you can see from the pictures, I have a rule about raw veggies with every meal!

So even in these awful times, with daily horrifying events in the US and anxiety for everyone at an all time high, I have worked out a system for myself that keeps me healthy and manages my stress level. What are all of you doing to keep sane these days?

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Pruning roses, trimming lavender, propagating curry leaf by seed, harvesting pomegranates fill my morning. Taming the disobedient mint and other invasive plants puts me back in control of something and back in touch with the senses. Letting the moon’s stages dictate when to plant root crops, when to plant leafy vegetables, when to fertilize, and when to do nothing instills order into my universe of Groundhog Days. A bountiful harvest of lettuce, a lousy one for squash reminds me to take it all in stride. The satisfaction of crunching snails, constant battles with one vermin or another. No one’s ever accused me of being a fan of nature, but I find strength and solace in my suburban garden.

      Cooking shows or podcasts have never been my thing, but a friend suggested I peel my eyes away from Tiger King long enough to look at Simon Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, which led to buying the eponymous book, which then led to listening to her podcasts at

      Sometimes I feel like I’ve been training my entire life for La Cuarentena. I don’t go out to shop as often as I did pre-Rona, but I do so more purposefully now, going to Costco once every two weeks, a weekly pickup from an organic tienda that has my stuff already crated up for me upon my arrival, having Walmart deliver what’s needed, and picking up whatever at the corner abarrote and fruteria. I go out for lunch about once every two weeks, go to the beauty shop once every two months, but I don’t feel like I’m a hermit.

      1. Hi Jennifer, I love your comments! Your garden sounds so wonderful. We loved Salt Fat Acid Heat too – and thanks for suggesting her podcast, I will check it out. Your comment about training your whole life for the quarantine speaks to me – I am enjoying it too. I do miss “normalcy” like not having to think about where to go and at what time it will be less crowded, etc… but I am self sufficient too and have plenty of things to interest me. I wish we were neighbors, I’d love a tour of your garden. Maybe one day!

          1. Oh, man! I had to google it but now I want some! I think I better go see what kind of hearty stew I can rustle up! Oh, I made an order (finally) for seeds from Baker Creek, looking forward to all kinds of crazy radishes, bitter melon, french melons etc. Thanks so much for sharing their info.

            1. Into the Instant Pot went: eggplant, sweet potato, onion, garlic, zucchini, green bean, tomato, okra, carrot, sweet peppers, olive oil, Turkish chile, fenugreek, coriander.

              Baker Seeds take about 2 months to reach Mexico, but they’ll get here eventually in a padded envelope with a free packet or two of seeds.

    1. I always enjoy reading your blog posts! Keep going. I wish I was somewhere other than USA. We do have a home in Mexico but it’s not far over the border and really lacks the culture I was hoping for. But it’s an escape we can go back and forth to. Or at least we used to. Not now with the virus and everything else going on.

      1. Hi Andrea, Thank you! I will keep going – after all these years how could I not? Hopefully you can start to go to your Mexico place again before too long. Thanks so much for commenting, I sure remember your blog fondly. How your kids have grown! Take care amiga

    1. You have become so proactive about preventing the return of the cancer! I’ve done very little in that regard, maybe I’m in denial. At least I’m very careful to avoid getting Covid. I don’t know if you’d call this “coping” but I took in 7 newborn puppies and life has changed radically. They have to be fed every four hours now that they’re 3 weeks old (it was every three at first!) and it takes at least 1-1/2 hours to feed them all. Add in cleaning and formula-mixing time and I end up with about six hours a day, counting sleep time, to myself. It’s hugely tempting to rely on takeout and delivery for our meals, but I’ve resisted so far. Big plus: I have gotten really good at falling asleep five minutes after hitting the pillow. Sleep of the dead. Two didn’t make it, for inexplicable reasons (our vet doesn’t have very good testing equipment, so he has to guess), but the remaining five keep me plenty busy. They’ll be eating gruel by the end of the week, hopefully, and then they can be adopted. I’ve been doing this now for over 10 years and will keep at it until they cart me away. Bliss Cochran, Las Rescatistas

      1. Hi Bliss, I think all the love you give (and receive) from all the animals you care for is protective against cancer! At least I hope it is! You do so much, your feeding schedule sounds so challenging. I hope you can have a bit of a break once they are weaned. Kudos to you for all you do. Take care amiga!

    1. Hi, I’m stuck in California for the duration. When the air is safe to breath and I’m not doing my shift at my parent’s house (my siblings and I take turns going over and making sure that my 90+ year old parents eat, take their meds, and do some housework for them) I have been working on putting in a garden in my husband’s house. Moving dirt seems to be my exercise of choice. I think you aren’t alone in making a home gym.

      I went AWOL on my diet and put on 15 pounds! Having a vegetable garden encourages me to eat more veggies. I feel so much better when I eat less carbs. I was a bit depressed for a bit and ate a lot of pasta, bread, and brownies. So if you are wondering where those pounds you lost went, I found them.


      I’m so glad you mentioned the neti pot, I need to start using mine again.

      1. Hi Theresa, What a challenge you and your siblings have. It can’t be easy. I hope you find some reward in it. My parents died young so I often wonder what it would have been like to have them my whole life.

        I have had a very hard time losing weight for the last few years, I think for most of us older gals it has something to do with insulin resistance, I think I must have turned a corner with that. The low carb helps with it too I think. And fresh veggies are always good! I hope the smoke is gone for good and that you have a nice winter in California. xoxo

    1. Hi Nancy, I love the Sala Fresca room and the wall color is just the best. I have been know to paint the ceiling of my kitchen that color yellow while the walls were a cream color. Happiest color for a kitchen ceiling! Enjoy your blog posts no matter the subject. Thank you sharing with all of us. SandyM

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