Hey there, pack mates! The Earthy Alchemist, here to share some valuable insights with you. Today, I want to discuss something many of us face more often – the invisible menace lurking in the air during wildfires. Wildfire smoke is no trivial matter, but there are ways to stay safe and entertained indoors when the outside world is cloaked in haze.
Wildfires have become more frequent and intense as the seasons shift and climate change looms large. With them, a host of harmful pollutants fills the air, posing a severe health hazard to our precious pack members. We all have apps on our phones to track the Air Quality Index. Here in New Hampshire today, a thick haze again obscured my view of the lake and mountains.Across the world, I read about of wildfires in Loutraki, Greece – a neighborhood near where I have family, and although they are safe – thankfully – indeed, they are dealing with poor air quality. Ironically, despite having active fires nearby, their air quality Index reads 51 US AQI PM2.5 vs. my town’s current 117 US AQI PM2.5. What’s PM2.5 – it’s good to know what this means since it can affect your health. According to my Air Quality Index app – PM2.5 particles are floating particulate matter in the air measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less. That’s so small that it can be absorbed into your bloodstream upon inhalation. So, this pollutant is something to understand since it poses the most significant health threat.
Between the smoke-filled, poor-air-quality days and the torrential downpours that make it impossible to be outside, I managed to steal a moment of bliss in my garden. Despite the haze of Canadian wildfire smoke, I nestled on my very uncomfortable porcelain ornate garden stool that could use a cushion. I weeded away, savoring the melodious words of my audiobook, Here’s to Us. I highly recommend listening to audiobooks while weeding – I find time flies when I am absorbed in a good listen. I feel a deep connection to the earth in precious minutes like these, as if our roots intertwine and whisper secrets. The scent of the rosemary and tomato plants, accompanied by the tender caress of the breeze and the songs of the birds, created a harmonious symphony that soothed my spirit. It’s one of my favorite feelings. I am grateful for these moments.
With an eye on the clock, I savored the time outdoors without overextending my stay. An hour it was, no more, as I listened to the audiobook’s tales of life, love, and resilience. Then, with gratitude in my heart for that serene escape, I returned to the safety of my den, where clean air embraced me like a warm hug – despite being cold from the air conditioner filtering the air. Ah, what a delicate balance it is – enjoying the wonders of nature while safeguarding our health in these challenging times. But with mindful actions and awareness, we can still bask in the wonders of the great outdoors, even as we cherish the comforts of our indoor adventures.
When the air quality takes a nosedive, it’s time to retreat indoors. Gather ’round, pack, and huddle in the safety of your den! Keep those windows and doors closed tight to keep the smoke at bay. If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning, crank it up – it’s like having your very own air purification system!
Now let’s delve deeper into staying healthy amidst the smoky haze. Hydration, my friends, is a magical elixir that can work wonders in flushing out those pesky pollutants from our bodies. Breathing in polluted air can irritate our airways and lungs, causing discomfort like coughing and wheezing. But fear not, for staying hydrated helps to thin the mucus in our airways, making coughing up those bothersome particles easier. Not only that, but it keeps our airways moist, providing a protective shield against further irritation. So, let’s raise our metaphorical chalices and drink up – water, clear broth, unsweetened tea, whatever tickles your fancy – and keep ourselves refreshed and ready to howl with vitality.
When the air quality is poor, it’s essential to be mindful of our physical activities. You see, my active pack members, engaging in strenuous exercises can increase our breathing rate, exposing us to even more pollutants. But fret not, for we have a cunning plan. If you must be active, why not seek refuge indoors or find a spot with pristine air quality for your escapades? By doing so, you protect yourself from unnecessary exposure while still getting your much-needed dose of fun.
So, let’s sum up our master plan for days with less than stellar air quality: Stay hydrated like a true Earthy Alchemist, and drink plenty of fluids like water, clear broth, and unsweetened tea. Remember, sugary drinks won’t do the trick, so let’s leave those behind. Fill your plates with the bounty of fruits and veggies, with their high water content, to keep you refreshed and satisfied. And when you’re out and about, exercising and exploring, take those well-deserved breaks to rest and hydrate – after all, we’re in this adventure together!
With these tips, my dear pack, we can stay hydrated and vibrant, even amidst the haze of wildfire smoke. So let’s drink up, stay wise, and be ready for whatever this unpredictable wilderness throws our way!
Now, for our brave pack members who must work outside despite the smoke, fear not; there are things that you can do to protect yourself! Equip yourself with an N95 mask or respirator – your lungs will thank you. Take breaks often, dash back indoors to breathe clean air, and recharge when you can. If you labor in areas with heavy smoke, consider seeking refuge in well-ventilated buildings or using fans to keep the air circulating. And remember, always listen to your body – if you’re feeling unwell, take a break and prioritize your health.
But when the smoke gets unbearable, it’s time to find adventure within the cozy confines of your den! As a wolf with a love for exploration, I know that staying entertained indoors is crucial. But first, let’s talk about the importance of having the proper air filtration in our cozy dens. I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to keep the air we breathe pure and invigorating. With wildfire smoke and various pollutants floating about, having a reliable air purifier can be a lifesaver. These magical devices work tirelessly to filter out those pesky particles, ensuring that our den becomes a sanctuary of fresh, clean air. So, consider investing in a top-notch air filtration system – your lungs will thank you, and your pack will howl with joy at the difference it makes!
Instead of scrolling the hours away – use your time indoors productively.
There are always more than enough indoor chores that we put off – or at least I do. There are the financial things we could be more focused on – downloading and categorizing the monthly charges from the credit cards into a financial program or spreadsheet. Not so much fun to do but important. Again, I find that the time goes much faster when I am listening to a good book or podcast.
Then there are the “fun” things like going through closets and drawers to go through clothes to purge, donate, and keep. It’s always good to look around to see if there is anything that you can contribute to the local community thrift shop or church for others in need. Then you can always have the option to unleash your creativity! Embrace your inner artist and dabble in painting, drawing, writing, or crafting. The possibilities are endless, and creating something with your hands is genuinely fulfilling. Or perhaps you have a thirst for knowledge. Dive into the vast realm of online courses and tutorials, where you can learn anything from cooking delightful treats to mastering coding skills – talk about a howling good time! I take many classes online from teachers on Masterclass, BBC Maestro, and Patreon in various topics, including writing, drawing zen meditation, and cooking.
Howl excitedly as you gather your pack members for board, video, or thrilling card games. I have always loved playing games – board, dice, card, lawn games – you name it, I love playing them. The conversations, bonds, and memories formed over game sessions are unforgettable! When you have had enough bonding time and need to retreat for some private time, why not lose yourself in a captivating book? Reading is an excellent way to unwind and escape into other worlds, leaving the worries of wildfire smoke behind. And, of course, if you need help picking a book, check out my reviews on Goodreads for a selection of must-reads.
I live with a musician, so music is a part of my life. Mark is always playing his guitar, playing one tune or another. Let the soothing sounds of music fill your space as you relax and rejuvenate. Create a playlist for your commute to work or the trip you plan to take. Explore new genres – music has the power to heal our spirits. We tend to listen to the same old thing all the time – mix it up! You will be surprised at the music you might like. For instance, earlier today, Mark asked our Alexa AI to play something – I forget exactly what he wanted it to play, but what it played was a very catchy tune that made you want to dance. The song, according to our Alexa activity log, is Maahi Ve by Shankar Mahadevan, Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Madhushtree, Loy Mendonsa, Ehsaan Noorani & Javed Akhtar. I guess they couldn’t decide on a band name. It was a fun song, and we will listen to it again sometime – it was happy music that made you want to move your body to it.
Remember the importance of spending quality time with your pack. Whether it’s playing games, listening to music, watching a movie, or simply sharing stories, cherish these moments of togetherness. And when cabin fever creeps in, take a break from the pack. Embrace some downtime by taking a nap, relaxing bath, or simply sitting in silence to reconnect with your inner wolf. Remember, the key is to find indoor activities that bring joy and fulfillment. And even indoors, make it a point to venture outside for fresh air and bask in the sunshine when the smoke clears.
So there you have it. Wildfire smoke may be a formidable foe, but we can protect our health, connect, and thrive amidst any challenge that comes our way. Stay safe and curious. Let’s continue to seize these precious moments, both inside and out, finding solace in creativity, knowledge, games, and togetherness. As the wildfire smoke dances in the distance, we’ll hold on to our strong bond and navigate this journey together. Here’s to us, my dear pack, facing each day with courage and wisdom. Embrace life, literature, and everything in between as we journey through the ever-changing wilderness of life. Inch by inch, step by step. Until we howl again, let’s keep thriving and howling with joy!