stress

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COVID-19 Health & Safety in Health Food Stores

Published April 6, 2020 by Maryanne

Health Food -- My coconut wrap, arugula, avo, tomato, coconut cheeseCoconut wrap with avocado. tomato, and arugula 

Yesterday I had a horrible experience in a health food store. The owner sent me an email apologizing, so I won’t “name and shame” but I think it’s important to share my experience in case others have something similar happen to them. And I made a promise to myself to never support them again after what went down.

First, this is MY POLICY…

Beginning today, I am no longer supporting mom and pop “health” food stores who do not respect the boundaries of COVID19. This includes: 1. Cashiers/managers and other workers NOT social distancing. 2. Stores that do not sanitize their carriages; 3. Store that have a “policy” for CUSTOMERS to wear those vinyl/latex gloves because they are unsanitary when used incorrectly; 4. Stores that do not clean their parking lots that are filled with said gloves discarded on the ground.

Now, my bad experience…

There’s a health food store I’ve favored for over a decade. They had everything. Great produce, mineral make-up, toiletries, and perfume that doesn’t test on animals (I’ve used cruelty free products since 1996), and even a great selection of incense.

Two weeks ago, I noticed they had vinyl gloves for customers to wear to shop. These types of gloves never sat well with me. In fact, I think they are disgusting. Nevertheless, I put a pair on and within seconds I was pulling them off because I could feel my sensitive skin reacting to them. I tossed them in the garbage. I shopped, then afterwards I went to my car and noticed these gloves were discarded all over the lot. The store didn’t take care to clean up and put them in the garbage. I found this to be vile and was proud of myself for not participating in the glove thing.

Yesterday I went back to the store and now it was mandatory that customers had to wear gloves. I told a cashier that I couldn’t wear them because last week they made my hands red.

Well, she took it upon herself to come out from behind her cash register and scold me — two feet away from me! Not at all social distancing. Now I was freaking out because I knew this person was a smoker and not in the best of health. Even though I’m very healthy, I didn’t want her to pass it to me, if she had it, then I might pass it to someone else who isn’t very healthy! So not cool.

At this point, I’d also like to say, that this store does not sanitize their carriages. This is something that never bothered me before. I am not a germ phobic, but now with COVID19, I can’t…

Anyway, I told her I was going to contact the owner of the store because she was harassing me. She went nuts and told the manager of the make-up department that I was going to tell on her. What a big baby! The make-up manager wasn’t much better in insisting that I wear the gloves. It made no difference to her when I said I was a professional writer/author and I couldn’t afford to have my hands get red, itchy, or whatever else would happen because two weeks ago I had a bad reaction to the vinyl gloves. Did she give a shit? No. Instead the two women continued to behave like scary, uptight school marms as they went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about “store policy.”

I was like, “forget it,” and left. Without groceries.

Then I called one of their other stores to speak to the owner. He wasn’t there but another manager told me I could go back into the store wearing WINTER GLOVES.

REALLY?! WINTER GLOVES?! That is even more unsanitary! I practically laughed in her face.

I left feeling defeated. It was a 25-minute drive and now I had no groceries for the week. When I got home, I researched and found this wonderful article from Men’s Health: You Shouldn’t Be Wearing Gloves To Go Grocery Shopping

I smiled to myself and posted this on Facebook. A nurse friend said the article is correct. Being right was cool, but it didn’t take away from the drama of being yelled at by two misinformed puppets who seemed to take a sadist delight in ganging up on a friendly, happy, petite, attractive woman. It was an extreme level of catty I haven’t experienced in a long time; from two mean women who were stuck in a go-nowhere job. Perhaps they were pissed that they had to work during the COVID19 pandemic. But that is not my problem. They should take it up with their boss.

The incident took it’s toll on me and I had a headache since last night. This is when I realized, you can’t call a place a health food store when it’s stressing you out, because STRESS IS NOT HEALTHY!

Later that day, my husband took me to Whole Foods. Over the years I had my issues with that store too, but to my surprise, the way they were handing things was impressive. They had customers lined up outside, letting people in as others left. Everyone was politely standing six feet apart. The wait wasn’t bad at all, especially since it was a gorgeous spring day.

Inside some were disobeying the six feet rule, but my immune system is pretty stellar so I wasn’t worried. Especially their mouths were covered with masks and they weren’t scolding me, so no accidental spit was coming out of their mouths like how some people get when they yell.

When I paid, and I am not an Amazon Prime member so I don’t get a discount, my total was 20 percent less than what I usually pay at that mom and pop store. They also carry some brands I like that the other store doesn’t.

So until this pandemic ends and I can go food shopping every day like I used to and support other mom and pop health food stores, I think I’ll be just fine going to Whole Foods as a one-stop shopping place.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

Decadent Therapy!

Published October 15, 2017 by Maryanne

Cake PhotoThat couch! It’s a beautiful thing!

(Me at Cake, NYC in the 1990s, the decade of Prozac Nation)

It always cracks me up when someone tries to win an argument by suggesting that the person they are arguing with needs therapy. Therapy-shaming is ignorant. Therapy is something everyone can benefit from, and only a narcissist would think they don’t need therapy.

Every successful, truly happy person I’ve ever met has been clearly vocal about their therapist. This leads me to believe that people who ain’t too proud to admit they could use a little help are the ones that learn to move mountains in life.

“Asking for help is always a sign of strength” – Michelle Obama.

“It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you.” -Katy Perry.

Since the 1960s, therapy has been in vogue. For part of the ’60s I wasn’t even born, but I became aware of the power of therapy in the 1990s. I was in my early 30s — and we were in the musical age of grunge. Back then, it seemed like everyone was depressed. Books like “Prozac Nation” were top sellers. Kurt Cobain killed himself and it was documented that some fans followed suit and killed themselves too. People started to become aware that depression and bipolar and stress were real things — for real people. And all the cool people started going to therapy.

Jumping on the band wagon, I tested the waters with a few therapists back then. The problem is, like anything else good in life, it takes some time to find a good one. But the effort is well worth it. Over the years I found a couple good ones — and from time to time, their wisdom still seeps into my brain and it’s very helpful.

Earlier this week one of my favorite friends took me to a Katy Perry concert. I wasn’t familiar with her music; then during the show, I fell in love with it. Every song was amazing — and empowering. And her stage show was epic.

I Googled Katy Perry and was incredibly impressed by all she did. She wrote all her songs; songs that had hooks, songs that were clever and fun, and told me Katy Perry could be an old soul. It made perfect sense to learn that such a super high achiever goes (or went) to therapy.

And here I am relating, because I’m at a time in my life where my career took an incredible turn for the better, which goes hand in hand with stress. Then when it comes time to “down time” you have to spend it more wisely, being more choosy about the people you want to connect with.

Once things started getting super good, career-wise, I took the advice of a few friends and started letting go of things that no longer served me. Life was always precious to me, but now even more so. Each waking moment has to count. I needed to manage my personal life like I manage my career.

So, by the advice of a psychic, I cleaned out my Facebook page, getting rid of people I’m not relating to and probably would never see again in my life. (And in their favor, they probably wouldn’t care if they never saw me again; so if they want to be snarky about it, they can post those unoriginal memes that say, “The trash took itself out.”).

I also let go of writing for two freelance publications I felt were holding me back; whether it was the stress of not liking a particular editor, or always chasing after checks that were notoriously late. It was just something that was no longer necessary to my being. TW = time wasting.

It’s a huge relief knowing that I’ll never get an email from either publication again. And I take even more comfort knowing that there are people I really can’t stand and I’ll never have to see them in my Facebook feed again!

If only every problem everyone had could disappear with a “delete” button or just saying “I quit.” But, no, that’s not going to happen.

I look so good on paper. I have the most amazing, adoring husband; the most creative, loving girlfriends; and I get to make a living as an editor, writer, and public speaker. How cool is that?

The bottom line is — I’m human. I get nervous. I get scared. I have bursts of unhappiness. I terribly miss loved ones who passed and are waiting on the other side. I worry about things that may never happen. I am too sensitive for this world.

So what do I do about it? Call a therapist. Unfortunately the one that helped me the most 10 years ago has long retired.

I found another I really like. She wasn’t in my benefits network and offered to help me find others that were. When she sent an email with names and numbers, after researching them, I wasn’t feeling it. I shook my head. I wrote back to her, “But I want YOU!”

It made no difference to me that I’d be paying out of pocket. From my short phone call with this woman, she deserves my top dollar! And, I’m worth it. My first appointment is in two weeks.

I can’t wait to get on that couch, put my cute feet up, and have some girl talk with an intelligent age-appropriate woman who wowed me over the telephone in a short consult session.

God bless that good ‘ole glamorous indulgence called therapy. If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, it’s good enough for me! ❤

I feel better already!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a three-time author. Her second book, the fictitious “Love Cats” deals with the issues of selfish people. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513)