Bloating. Even the word itself is ugly. It feels round and insulting. Normally, these descriptive words would translate directly to how I feel towards my own bulging belly. However, now, I am working towards the opposite (even as difficult as it is).
It seems like the world has come to a temporary halt. I’m not sure about all of you, but these past few months have felt like I’ve been living in a dream that I can’t seem to wake up from. (Though, not the good kind of dream, of course.) Even with things slowly starting to open back up, these feelings haven’t lessened any.
Wherever you’re from, whatever your current living situation may be, please know my heart goes out to you. I am thinking of all of those who have gotten sick/know someone who has, those who don’t have a good home life and are stuck in a toxic environment, those surviving off of what little food is left in the house, those who have lost their source of income and are unsure of how to pay their bills now, those whose mental health feeds off of social interactions, those whose major plans have been drastically changed or cancelled, and those who are just struggling to cope during these weirdly terrifying times.
I’ll be honest– waking up everyday, I am hit with a feeling of helplessness. The things I’ve been looking forward to for months– concerts, vacations, my summer job– all have become a source of sadness as each and every one became cancelled. And yes, I am completely aware that these “hindrances” that I’ve listed may seem like shallow, first-world problems, but everyone deserves a right to their feelings.
However, as with everything, I always push to look on the positive side of any situation. Although the current state of the world is worrisome, exhausting, and simply scary, there are still things we can do to help our mental states. If you’re sick of everyone being overly optimistic in times like these, then feel free to hop off. I am not saying everything is going to be okay and disregarding all of the damage being done to practically every aspect of life. However, I also am not going to sit here and let it get the best of me.
So, if you’re having trouble finding ways to alleviate some of your anxieties, here are few things that I’ve personally done at home that are helping me to stay as sane as one can while in quarantine.
Because the glass isn’t half-empty, you’re just more hydrated now.
It is the middle of January in New England, yet it was a balmy 60 degrees the other day. Although this is a sure sign of climate change, I took advantage of the warming Earth and went walking with my dogs.
It was when I was walking my big lug of a Bernese Mountain Dog, Darla, that I seemed to have a moment with myself. I suddenly had felt the urge to stop in the middle of the road and close my eyes. I’m not sure if it was the sun beaming onto my face or the wind’s warm gusts, but in that moment, everything felt at peace.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”– Plato
It has been months since I last wrote a post on here. Although it makes me feel decently ashamed of myself for not keeping up with something I truly love doing, I need to accept that this whole blogging/writing/journaling thing will take a bit of time to get the knack of. It is a learning curve, after all.
Excuses for why I haven’t been writing are unnecessary. Life happens, priorities get off track. All that matters is that I’ve come back to it and have not given up blogging for good.
This past summer, my body was in the absolute best shape that it has ever been in. I was exercising regularly, eating well, and just giving my body some much-needed attention. It was definitely the definition of a self-care summer.
So, to no surprise, I spent the summer taking a record-winning number of mirror selfies. And, not just any mirror selfies. I had my (almost) abs exposed and my leg muscles flexed. I felt good, baby! During those months, I actually enjoyed wearing crop tops and never passed up the opportunity to take photos at the beach.
Seeing genuine evidence of my personal growth made me feel incredible.
I don’t know about you, but I always see these BEAUTIFUL photos of smoothie/acai bowls plastered all over my Instagram explore page. (Then again, maybe that’s just because I’m obsessed with stalking through food accounts.)
I always used to make smoothie bowls at my friend’s house after we got back from the gym. Well… I suppose I truly wasn’t the one making them. My friend would simply give me an assortment of ingredients to choose from, and then mix up the creation herself. The bowls always turned out tasting, and looking, amazing.
However, when I moved back to school (away from my smoothie goddess of a friend) and tried to recreate these bowls myself, my first few attempts were absolute failures. Even with the same ingredients that we used, I still always ended up with too thin of a consistency or too chalky of a texture.
That is, until a few days ago.
I miss my mom every second of every day.
I feel it most at night, when I’m laying awake by myself. There are only so many things that can distract your mind when you’re in the silence of a darkened room.
It happens with long car rides too. Car rides can actually be the worst. I have an hour and a half drive from my university to my hometown, and doing it alone is enough to drive me mad some days. Podcasts aren’t so effective if your brain chooses to ignore them, no matter how hard you try to listen.
This summer, my boyfriend and I got lost driving through Canada. And, I mean lost. No cell service, no maps, and very little knowledge of the French language.
This may sound like an opportunity for adventure, an opportunity to just throw our heads back and have a spontaneously care-free drive until we somehow stumbled upon our destination.
But, that’s just not how life works (at least mine, anyway).
My mother was an incredible gardener, filling our yard with gorgeous flowers season after season. And, to this day, my father works wonders in our vegetable garden, growing all of the beautifully delicious vegetables that feed us all summer long. Yet, even with their talents in tending to plants, I have never been one to have a green thumb.
I bought a cactus and another small succulent last summer to have as decoration in my dorm room. However, I over-watered my cactus, rotting it out only a short two weeks after buying it. Then, I almost killed the remaining succulent the exact same way (because I clearly didn’t learn anything from it), until my dad came to the rescue. Here we are a year later, and he has kept my little “succy” alive and well. Though, he did not let me take it back to college with me.
So, inevitably, this summer I got three new plant friends as replacements. Does my dad know? He sure does. Is he going to end up caring for them when I begin to kill them off? Absolutely not! I am determined to not let it happen again.
When I was little, I remember trying really hard to like oatmeal. My mom had it for breakfast almost every morning, and of course, I wanted to be like her. Yet, no matter how much brown sugar and cinnamon I dumped onto my bowl, I still could never understand her love for it.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and a friend of mine was now raving over this new-to-me creation called “overnight oats.” I was oh-so excited to try out her recipe, until I actually tasted it… then the excitement went away completely. I figured I was out of luck- it was just meant for me to dislike oatmeal. That is, until a few days ago.