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Monday, April 27, 2020

What People are Struggling with During Quarantine...

It's OK Not To Be OK |

While I never want to draw attention away from the countless deaths this virus has caused, I still want to make sure other important issues are being talked about, like mental health. We are all stuck at home with our thoughts right now. For some people, this can be dangerous. Many people are also losing out on major events in their life such as graduations, proms, and weddings. People are also having their life plans disrupted or pushed back. We need to remember that everyone has the right to grieve during this period. Now, more than ever is the time to take care of OURSELVES. We need to remember, though, to be gentle. This is not a time to be exhausting yourself. Our bodies are going through a global pandemic and that in itself is pretty amazing. That being said, I thought it would be helpful to have some of my friends share their struggles and how they might be dealing with them. This is to remind you that you are NOT alone. 

Viv: During quarantine, I'm struggling with working from home and not being able to decompress or step away from work. I felt like I was sleeping in my office so now in the morning I have a get ready routine so I don't going directly from my bed to my desk. I've started to move around during the day and get up from my desk more. At 5 when I'm done work, I shut everything down and tell myself to start "me" time and I avoid reflecting on work until the next morning when I clock back in.

Cat: Something that I have been having a hard time with during quarantine is loss. Throughout my college career (2016-now) I have always had a rough spring semester. I had really thought this was my year, senior spring semester, graduation just in sight! The semester was off to a decent start but then I got some unexpected news of the passing of a friend. One month later and this loss has been magnified through the loss of the rest of my undergraduate career. No more senior celebrations, no honors recognition, and as of right now... no graduation ceremony.  I know that the current situation is necessary and extremely important, but this loss is hard to process. The first few weeks were okay, however now a month later I’m starting to get back on track. I’ve made a happiness jar where I record one good thing to happen each day and I make sure to get a least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. These two things have greatly helped me, sure there are days that are harder than others but finding things that I can do to make myself feel good has become a huge priority during this time. I know this isn’t easy now, but I think I’m starting to see the lesson in it. My body and mind needed attention and now I am starting to become happier than I’ve been in a long time.  

Nikki: So I was scheduled to take a CNA class in May to become a certified nursing assistant. This would allow me to work through the school year to get hours to apply to PA school. Now with all this craziness I can’t take the class for the certification and can’t work for the hours. Needless to say, I’ve accepted that I’m going to have to take a gap year after college to get hours to apply to PA school. Basically, my whole plan is ruined.

Thank you to my amazing friends for being brave and sharing their quarantine stories! Now, more than ever is the time to reach out to a friend. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Stop saying "It's Okay", it's not.

The Art and Responsibility of the Apology | Unpublished Ottawa

   This past semester, I had the biggest privilege to student teach in a 2nd-grade classroom. Throughout this journey, I learned so much about teaching, but I also learned extremely valuable life lessons. I remember one day the kids came inside from recess and there was an altercation between the two students. At this time, I was still in the observation stage so I was able to witness how my cooperating teacher handled this confrontation between two students. She made each student state both of their sides to the story and it turned out, as usual in 2nd grade, that is was just a miscommunication. My co-op then asked the students to both apologize to each other. After one of the students apologized the other student replied with "it's okay". Me, thinking this was normal, looked at the other student waiting for their apology, but my cooperating teacher said "don't say that, try saying "thank you for the apology", we don't want anyone thinking behavior that hurt you is okay". I was shocked by this. This was honestly never something I had thought about being so important, even into adult life. After my co-op handled the situation, I said to her that she just turned on so many light bulbs in my head. I could think of countless times I told someone it was okay even when they hurt me. I could easily say this was one of the most valuable things I had ever learned. We as people need to stop allowing behavior that hurts us. There are so many ways to reply to an apology without making it seem like the behavior was okay. You could say things such as, "I accept your apology", "I hear you", or "I appreciate your apology". When you tell someone something was okay it's giving them the right of passage to do it again. We need to learn to stop saying "it's okay" when it isn't. 


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Body Acceptance over Body Positivity

At the age of 22, I have heard of and seen more people with body image issues and eating disorders than I should see in a lifetime. Luckily, we have many outlets that are available to help us and get the word out. But, unfortunately, those outlets are always not the best.
It seems that we tend to live in a world of "body positivity", but I believe we should live in a world of "body acceptance".
Many people accept the term "body positivity", but others do not. When you are telling someone to be positive about something, especially their body it can lead them down a path of spiraling negative thoughts. Some people might feel that if they are incapable of feeling positive about their bodies then they are doing something wrong. If someone is feeling ashamed of their body, telling them that they shouldn't can be harmful. This can make someone feel guilty. Often times, this feeling of guilt can bring on "fear motivation". This is a term that I have recently discovered and had made myself aware of. This means that you are changing yourself out of fear to look a certain way. This is not where healthy change comes from. Rather than guilting ourselves or scaring ourselves into changing, if you really want to change you need to accept yourself. This leads me to why body acceptance is so important.
Everyone has their days where they don't like their body. No matter what you look like. That is a normal feeling. Some days you're going to completely pig out on Ben&Jerrys and some days you're going eat as healthy as possible...and guess what? That is OKAY. We need to start accepting ourselves at every moment possible, even at the bad ones. We need to understand that sometimes it is okay to not feel positive about ourselves, we just have to accept it and make sure we don't let one bad thought turn into a bad day, week, or even a lifetime.
Attached below is a 5-day challenge to get you into the mindset of acceptance. I challenge you to do it. The photo is from @thefabstory on Instagram! I highly suggest following them.


Monday, April 13, 2020

Trying this thing again...

If you're reading this, you most likely know that I have started this blog many times before. You might be thinking that I am just going to do a few posts and not follow through again. If this was about 6 months ago, or even a month ago, you would have been correct.
Since the world has come to a halt in the past month, I have had nothing but time to think. I have thought a lot about my past and my intentions for the future. I realized the joy of independence and the importance of self-love and self-care. Within those categories, comes my happiness. One of the things that makes me the happiest is writing and bringing happiness to other people. That is what I am doing now. I am restarting this blog and choosing happiness. I have gained a new mindset and I am more than excited to start this CONSISTENT journey. 
Please explore my website and feel free to give me ideas for weekly writings! I will be uploading at least twice a week.

choose happy.
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