March 2020 was looking to be a really great month for me.
I had three weeks left of my 5 (painfully long) years of college, had a few interviews in the process for my post-grad job, and had already begun virtually apartment hunting for my move to Miami. (I even found an apartment with a mango tree in the backyard…. Could it be more tropical than that?!)
Then disaster struck. Literally. The COVID-19 pandemic that has taken a toll on the global community couldn’t have come at a worse time – but really, was there ever a good time for a pandemic?
It would be extremely selfish to act like I’m the only one severely affected by this pandemic, but as this is my blog, allow me to grieve what could have been for a tiny paragraph.
On the evening of Thursday, March 12, I got an email from my school *strongly recommending* that we moved out of our campus housing by Sunday morning to help stop the spread of coronavirus. In roughly 48 hours, I somehow managed to pack up my entire life for the past 5 years into suitcases and bright blue Ikea bags. Due to how quickly things transpired, I didn’t get a chance to really say goodbye to the city of Philadelphia, my college campus, or any of the friends I made in college.
To make matters infinitely worse – my graduation ceremony is canceled for the time being. As a first-generation college student, not getting to walk across the graduation stage in a cap and gown and celebrate all the hard work and sacrifices my parents and I have made to get me there is nothing short of devastating. And let’s not even talk about what getting a post-grad job is going to look like after this is over….
Pity party over. While I am upset and this is an emotional time for me, I’m grateful that I got to come back home to be with my family during this time, that I’m healthy, and that I’m even in a position to be staying at home, practicing social distancing. If we’re being honest, I haven’t left the house since I got back from Philadelphia on March 14th. I’ve gone outside for fresh air but haven’t dared step foot in public. I’m a little bit of a hypochondriac and as soon as I heard the words ‘social distancing’ I was fully prepared to stay home.
That being said, staying home is hard! There are so many cool places to see, people to hang out with, and experiences to be had. For now, the best thing we can do for our community is to stay home. Because my school was in session year-round, I haven’t lived at home with my family for more than a week since I was 18 years old. And now we are around each other 24/7… 🙂
I wanted to share my tips for staying sane while staying at home – it gets repetitive quickly, and that might have you not in the best headspace. The most important thing right now is keeping yourself healthy, physically and mentally. Read on to see some of the things I’m doing to entertain myself and keep myself busy.
I’ve never been an intense workout type, but I love to get my body moving and break a sweat. I’ve been watching Bailey Brown’s workout videos for almost two years now and she is just amazing. Bailey’s super fun and her workouts are seriously like working out with a friend that’s trying to help you get in shape. She has her own workout program called BBFIT and recently released an app to go along with it. The workouts vary and use optional equipment like a pilates ring, resistance bands, light weights, and more for toning. She also sends out monthly workout calendars and mini e-books with nutrition advice and other wellness-related things! I really find they are the best workouts to do at home and trust me, they will kick your ass.
BEING MY OWN BARISTA
Since cafés are out of the question, I’ve been playing around with making fun drinks at home to treat myself. My two faves in rotation are iced matcha lattes and iced coffee with a vanilla maple foam. They’re super easy to make, taste better than Starbucks and are way less artificial.
Ingredients: matcha powder, ice cubes, non-dairy milk of choice (I use oat), and water
Combine all ingredients with your preferred measurements into a cup with a sealable lid and shake until combined. I like to pour it into a mason jar because it looks pretty and drink with a reusable straw 🙂
Iced Coffee with Vanilla Maple Foam
Ingredients: Iced coffee, vanilla extract, maple syrup, non-dairy milk of choice (I use oat)
Pour the desired amount of milk, a drizzle of maple syrup and splash of vanilla extract into a milk frother. Once done, pour on top of your iced coffee and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top. Sip sip.
There could not be a more perfect time for Nintendo to release Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. I’ve been playing Animal Crossing since I was in elementary school, and this game is probably the best edition yet! The premise of this game is that you visit a desert island and it’s your job to improve the island. You can plant flowers, invite characters to live there or collect rare fauna for the island museum. The graphics in this game are AMAZING and the characters have really improved. This game has helped take my mind off what’s going on in the world and have fun while doing it. I was even able to custom design a Glossier sweatshirt for my character!
So I was already doing this before the pandemic, but I’ve found that scrolling through Pinterest and making vision boards has really helped me during this time. I’ve made vision boards for the summer, for my future apartment, for my future self, etc. Who do I want to be? What does she look like? What does her space look like, what does she say and think? Visualizing the future through making creative mood boards is helping me look forward to the future instead of being scared of it. Check out my Pinterest here.
Now’s the time to watch all those movies and start those shows that have been queueing up on your watchlist. It’s never been a better time to dive into 2000s rom-com, rewatch Gossip Girl (I’m starting to lose count how many times I’ve rewatched), or binge one of Netflix’s crazy docu-series. Did anyone else watch Tiger King? Obsessed is an understatement. Finishing 2020 with Joe Exotic energy.
Self-care looks different for everyone, but take time to take care of yourself, whether that’s physically, mentally, or both. I haven’t been wearing any makeup to let my skin just mellow out. I’ve been taking long showers and using all my expensive lotions and body serums to really treat myself. Do more face masks, do yoga, practice mindfulness, start gratitude journaling – this is a great time to find what helps you chill out.
REMINDING MYSELF IT’S OK TO NOT BE OKAY
This is an unprecedented pandemic. No one has ever had to deal with something like this before, especially not people of our generation. We don’t know how to handle the new stress and disruption in our daily routines, and that’s OKAY. It’s okay if you’re feeling emotional, or angry, or even grief. Don’t let social media tell you you NEED to be productive during this time or you NEED to be working on your ‘summer’ body, or you NEED to be doing anything. If the best you can do is get out of bed, that’s fine too. I find writing to be cathartic – let your emotions out. Pick up a pen and some paper and just write. You will be surprised at what comes out.
I hope some of these ideas will help you stay sane while social-distancing. Do you already do some of these? Let me know below how you’re keeping yourself sane during this time. Stay safe, and take care of yourself ♡ It’s only temporary.