Sunday, October 25

I can’t believe Halloween is less than a week away- especially since the weather is still pretty decent here in Boston, it surprisingly hasn’t been too chilly lately! If fall is flying by this quickly, I can imagine it’s going to be Christmas in no time. I already bought a few Christmas presents for my friends and Nathaniel, even though I obviously don’t have to worry about that for another month or so. I truly love buying Christmas presents for others, so it’s never too early for me. Just you wait, the second Halloween is over I’m going to be putting up my Christmas decorations and playing holiday music.

I love Newbury Street on a beautiful fall day.

If you keep up with my blog every week, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been putting out as much content as usual lately. The short answer is that I’ve been so busy and I’m actually planning on rearranging my blog schedule in November so that I am only publishing two articles a week, rather than three. I definitely don’t want to stop blogging, but I know if I keep setting my expectations too high I will start to feel burnt out and discouraged. I definitely don’t want writing to feel like a chore, and right now, I’m just at a place in my life where work is so stressful and I don’t have as much free time as I would like to. As y’all know, I’ve been trying to rearrange my work load for a while now and find a better dynamic that works for me, because as of right now I’m commuting about 3 hours round trip per day and it is completely unsustainable (particularly for the wintertime as well.) Actually, right after I get my newsletter up on the site, I’m probably going to try to look for a few more jobs on Hire Culture or LinkedIn. Anything that pays a bit more and isn’t a four mile walk sounds like a good alternative to me!

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t feeling too hot last Thursday, but I think having an opportunity to sleep in and relax this weekend really gave me the boost I needed. Nathaniel and I went out on a little date this weekend and had dinner + a lovely walk in Boston, and then, we tried to make a Jenna Marbles-style soap hand, which sadly did not work because we used the incorrect type of soap. However, it was a good laugh altogether, and I have the positive takeaway of now owning four little soap boxes that will be perfect for making journals with!

I’m looking forward to seeing my friends at work tomorrow but I won’t lie, I’m hoping my time at this particular location is coming to an end soon. My managers are aware that I’m trying to transfer out, and even though they’re sad, they have said that they’re here to support me and help me. I’m looking forward to using this week to finish up projects, have some good fun with my friends, and maybe even catch up on a few books that I haven’t cracked open in a while. And of course, I am SO excited for Halloween! What do you guys want to be for Halloween? Let me know below.

Monday, August 17

Look at them! Adorable. 10/10

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but predominantly good! I worked all last week, as I normally do, but this past weekend, I was able to see one of my good friends for the first time in about a year! We met last year at a meetup in New York, and since we’ve stayed very close since, we decided to plan a one-year friendversary weekend together. Obviously it is a calculated risk to take in the pandemic, but we have both been wearing our masks and socially distancing responsibly, and since it was just going to be the two of us and not a giant crowd of people, we felt that it was a safe situation. They arrived Friday evening and left Sunday evening, and altogether, it was a fantastic 48 hours together. We did a lot of hanging out and chatting, as expected, but we also drove around the city and visited some of my favorite spots, such as The Garment District and Grasshopper. One of my favorite moments was sitting on my patio on Saturday night, drinking hard cider and just vibing out together. I’ve definitely been feeling lonely and isolated these past few months, and my circle of who I can really talk to in person is limited, so I really appreciated having those special moments with my best friend. MJ, you are amazing, and thank you for bringing me so many lovely, giant bagels from New York! They are delicious and they’ve been feeding me for days.

Today was my first day at work for the week, and as you are about to learn, it did not go as planned. One of our co-workers tested positive for COVID-19, so we had to immediately shut down the store and our manager has sent us home to self-isolate for 14 days since we were exposed to this employee. It’s obviously a surreal thing to hear, and closing down the store and leaving at 10 in the morning was really bizarre, but it’s actually not as scary or stressful for me as you may think. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very scary and it puts a lot of things into perspective for me, but I’m also aware that I am a fortunate human being and things could be a lot worse. For example, I am still going to be paid for the next two weeks, even though I am not working. I am also surrounded by a wonderful support system who have offered me so much love, including lovely friends who have offered to buy me groceries and run errands for me. I also feel absolutely fine and have no symptoms, so even though I do intend on self-isolating as I am supposed to, I definitely do not think I am infected. However, just to be safe, I have a test scheduled for Thursday, just to give myself some piece of mind. So even though things are strange right now, I just have to look at the positives! I’m basically receiving a paid two-week vacation, I don’t have to wake up at 5 in the morning, and I can catch up on other things I really need to get done. For example, while setting up my testing appointment today, I also went ahead and got myself a PCP with the clinic I called. I’ve needed to set that up for months now, so I’m glad I was able to knock out two birds with one stone. They also gave me some information about how to sign up for a therapist and have virtual visits through their services, and I really appreciated that as well. So things are actually going well, and I’m in a great state of mind. Nathaniel and I’s six-month anniversary is coming up on Friday, and although I sadly won’t be able to see him, I do have some packages coming for him in the mail. Hopefully I’ll be able to see him by the end of the month; I miss him greatly and I can’t wait until the day when we can wake up next to each other and not have to say goodbye anymore. Have a safe week, everyone!

I probably don’t need to begin this by reminding y’all of these ‘unprecedented circumstances’ and I’m sure you’re all tired of hearing it, so I’ll just skip all of that and jump right in. As someone who struggles with anxiety and PMDD, it’s really important to me that I stay in-tune with my emotions and communicate with myself. If I feel like something is off or brewing inside of me, I try to confront it head-on and get to the root of the issue. Sometimes, of course, you just have to stop cross-examining yourself and give your mind a rest. Here are the ways that I take care of myself and practice self love, particularly in tough times like these. 

I know it sounds really simple and cliche, but reaching out for support and upholding communication with your loved ones is so important! It can be as simple as a phone call to a best friend, partner, or family member. Whenever I’m feeling a bit gloomy or unmotivated, I’ll usually call either my best friend, Eli, or my boyfriend, Nathaniel. It doesn’t have to be a vent or a rant; even just having an upbeat, casual conversation can really lift my spirits and make me feel instantly better. In fact, sometimes it’s actually really nice and helpful to take your mind off the things that are driving you crazy, and focus on some more lighthearted thoughts for a while.

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Another way I maintain my mental health and practice self care is by keeping up with a personal journal, and no, I don’t mean my weekly blog newsletter! I have several actual print journals I write in, and unlike my blog content, I don’t share my journal with anybody. I think it’s important to have a special place where you can freely pour your thoughts onto paper, and not have to worry about what anyone else may think. I’m also starting to get into the art of junk journaling, which not only entails writing, but also crafting and sewing! I think it’s really beautiful to journal to yourself, and in most cases, it can give you a lot of clarity about problems you may be having. 

This is one that I particularly struggle with a lot: reminding myself that I am trying my best. Particularly in these strange times with my normal schedule being disruptive, I’m feeling less motivated and focused than usual. I also have ADD, which is making it really difficult for me to focus during my online classes. However, even though I’m sufficiently stressed and sometimes doubting myself, it’s important for me to remember that I am doing the best in these bizarre circumstances- and you are, too! It’s totally okay to feel not on top of your A game, because frankly, nobody knows what they’re doing right now. All you can really do is remind yourself that you are working your hardest in the given circumstances, and try to be gentle with yourself.  

Along with taking physical actions to improve my wellness, there are also a couple of analogies that help me to put things into perspective when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed. The first one comes from a wonderfully funny Buddhist monk named Ajahn Brahm, who posts fascinating lectures on YouTube, by the way. He said something in a video once that really impacted me, and the analogy has stuck with me since. Basically, he compared having lots of different stresses in your life to carrying around lots of heavy rocks in a backpack. He reminds us that it’s important to evaluate what ‘rocks’ we are carrying around, and to decide what weight we can take out of our backpacks and out on the backburner for a while. For me right now, I’m dealing with the stress of online college, finding a job after graduation, coronavirus, moving into my first apartment, etc. Ajahn Brahm’s analogy helps me because it’s a great way to physically envision everything on my plate, and subsequently decide what I can put on hold for a while to make the weight of life more bearable.

Another analogy I really like comes from a book called When You Reach Me. Rather than try to explain the idea, I’ll just go ahead and insert the quote here:

“Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world, like a bride wears on her wedding day, except this kind of veil is invisible. We walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. The world is kind of blurry, and we like it that way. But sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments, like there’s a wind blowing it from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love. But mostly we are happy not to. Some people learn to lift the veil themselves. Then they don’t have to depend on the wind anymore.”

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I’m not sure what it is about this quote that means so much to me, but I think about it all the time (at least a couple of times per week.) Pretty much every time I am reminded of the ‘big things’ in life, I can almost see myself lifting my veil and observing life in a more clear view. The other day, I stepped out of my apartment and noticed that the sunset was absolutely gorgeous. For me, that was such a veil-lifting moment: observing the quiet beauty of the world and forgetting about the tiny stressors in my life for a few minutes. And honestly, since that day, everything has felt a little bit more okay. 

Animal therapy is a hugely successful way to alleviate stress in your life, and I’m very fortunate to have a dog around to keep me company. Sometimes, you really just need a support system but you don’t feel like talking, and that’s where pets come into play as wonderful companions. My dog doesn’t judge me or understand anything that’s going on- he’s just happy to be here, and that’s honestly all I can ask for. Petting animals can also help lower your blood sugar, so the next time you’re feeling stressed or upset, consider adding some animal therapy into your life.

Although it’s just a simple, little thing, taking bubble baths is one of my favorite ways to unwind after a crazy or overwhelming day. I really don’t understand people who say bubble baths are boring. Just bring a book or a podcast with you, or honestly, just scroll through your phone if you really want to. There’s just something utterly relaxing and wonderful about being immersed in hot water for a half hour with a few candles burning. Even better, it’s an easy way to avoid human interaction, so you can have some peace and quiet to yourself for as long as you want. For bonus points, go all out and have a complete spa night, with face masks and cucumbers on your eyes. 

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I suppose this sort of relates to the spa night idea, but lastly, I like to do hobbies and activities that make me feel beautiful- and I utilize that time for myself as being extremely important. For me, this is taking 30-60 minutes to put on my makeup, usually while I listen to a podcast or watch a video. I like the way I look bare-faced as well, but there’s just something about a full-glam face of makeup that makes me feel really pretty and confident in myself. I think makeup is also a great way to get to know your face and embrace your features, which ultimately means finding new ways to love yourself! 

Those are all my tips and ways that I practice self-love and take care of my mental health. I hope you found this article helpful, and maybe you can even draw some inspiration from it! Let me know in the comments how you like to practice your own self-care.

Monday, April 13

Hi folks, hope you’re all hanging in there and gearing up for another week of quarantine. I’m having a pretty good day thus far, and I had a lovely birthday yesterday as well. I’ve already had my only online class today, so now I’m going to designate the rest of my day to get homework done, write content, job hunt, continue packing, and then probably just watch movies. I also need to call the electric company and arrange for our power to be set up in preparation for moving in a couple of weeks, so I guess you could say adulting is going strong.

Now that I’m into the groove of online work and feeling much more motivated and upbeat than I was in the last couple of weeks, I don’t really have too much to update you all on! My life for the next couple of weeks is mostly just going to consist of homework, blogging, hanging out with my mom, and hopefully seeing my boyfriend soon. I’m also going to start getting into the groove of junk journaling, because I’d really like to start some sort of an online shop to make extra money. More updates to come on that!


Thursday, April 16

It’s about 7pm right now, and admittedly, I’ve had a pretty lazy day. I tend to be pretty easy on myself around the time of my period, because I can get really irritable and tired if not. Nonetheless, I’m in very good spirits, and I’m happy to be sitting down with my computer to get writing done.

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Tuesday and Wednesday were perfectly lovely. Nathaniel drove up to see me on a whim, and we went for a drive along the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We also found a little quiet, desolate beach across from a shipyard, so we settled down there for an hour or so and skimmed stones in the water. Afterwards, we got some beach pizza (a favorite of his,) and watched There’s Something About Mary with my mom. So overall, it was a really wonderful couple of days, and I already miss him so much and can’t wait to see him again. I’m so fortunate to have him by my side, especially during these crazy times. 

Anyway, I think I’m going to start re-watching Stranger Things tonight, have a margarita, and go to bed a bit earlier than usual. Like I said earlier, I’m feeling much more tired than usual, so I’m trying to be gentle with myself. I’m also going to be posting a guide to self-care and mental health awareness later this week, so keep your eyes out for that!


Friday, April 17

After my very relaxing ‘weekend’ day on a Thursday, I’m back to keeping up with my productivity. I’m currently having a salad and working on some marketing materials for my internship, which is especially pressing with the coronavirus. Right now I’m working on our social media posts, or resource lists, our response fund, etc. It’s interesting and eye opening to work for a non-profit during a pandemic. 

I was feeling a bit antisocial yesterday, but tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with my mom and watching YouTube videos on the TV together (we’ve been really into Jenna Marbles lately.) I’m really trying to appreciate these last few weeks with her, because we’re both moving away in May and I’m probably not going to get to see her as much as I’m used to! That being said, I’m really looking forward to her coming to visit me at my apartment in Boston, and I can’t wait to cook meals for her and show her around my place. It’s going to be so exciting!