COVID-19 · Current Events · mental health · Self Care

20 Positive Affirmations to Use During the Pandemic

One part of my daily routine that really helps set the tone of my day is my recitation of positive affirmations. If you’re anything like me, maybe you think that sounds hokey. I did when I first heard about them. Now, saying my affirmations is one of my favorite parts of the day.

Speaking positivity into my life is super helpful and powerful, especially as someone who struggles with mental illness. My mental illnesses oftentimes cause me to assume the worst in situations, but affirmations remind me of the positive.

Positive affirmations have been especially helpful this year as the world turned upside down, and everything became uncertain. So, if you’re interested in using positive affirmations, I thought I would share 20 that have helped me during the pandemic.

  1. I will focus on what I can control.
  2. I react peacefully and calmly to any situation.
  3. I do my part to keep myself and others safe.
  4. It is okay to just survive right now.
  5. I am strong and independent.
  6. Worry can not change my circumstances.
  7. I love myself enough to push through.
  8. I can do it. I know I can.
  9. I have the strength and resourcefulness to deal effectively with whatever happens to me.
  10. This feeling will pass.
  11. My feelings are allowed to be here.
  12. I don’t worry about the things I cannot control.
  13. I find happiness in the smallest of places.
  14. Every day is a gift.
  15. I can persevere.
  16. I am doing my best.
  17. I have the ability to cope.
  18. I’m stronger than I think.
  19. I am strong.
  20. I will live in the present.
COVID-19 · Current Events · mental health · Self Care

What to Do When the World is Falling Apart: A Guide to Self Care During Troubling Times

Are you angry at what is happening in our country and fighting racists on Instagram? Do you find yourself unable to tear your eyes from social media and the news? Did you have to pull out a book, a candle, sleep medication, and a sleep meditation just to get a few hours of sleep?

Hi. I’m Katie. And if you can relate to any of the above, congratulations! You’re a human!

The world (okay namely The US let’s be real) feels like a dystopian movie. In the past 12 months, we’ve had a devastating global pandemic, Black Lives Matter Protests, wildfires in California, record unemployment rates, and now a terrorist attack at the US Capitol.

In other words… it’s a lot. Life is overwhelming. And that’s not even taking into consideration anything that is happening in your life!

I know that on the day of the terrorist attack… I was angry. And I wasn’t alone. Watching such a preventable attack on democracy and human decency is horrifying, especially considering how many discussions were had about race and white supremacy this summer. But I’m angry. And I’m ready to battle racists in the comments and take down white supremacy, and I think you are too.

BUT. To do that… we gotta take care of ourselves. We can’t get burnt out. It’s easy just to spout out rhetoric, but we have to be at our best for this.

So, if you’re feeling at a loss, here are x ideas for self care when the world is falling apart.

Meditate

I wrote a blog post about some of my favorite meditation podcasts. I’m currently using Insight Timer, which is an app, and I try to meditate every morning and night. I’ve become so much more self-aware!

Move Your Body

Okay this is a big one. Movement will give you endorphins, and also will let you take out your rage on something. If there was ever a time to invest in a punching bag, it’s now.

Eat

Okay, I’m not encouraging you to binge eat, but listen, if you’re craving ice cream right now, eat the dang ice cream. If you honor your cravings instead of pushing them away, you’re actually less likely to binge eat. And let’s all be real, we know that chocolate makes us feel better.

Talk to a Friend

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is open up to a friend about how we’re feeling. You can just text and ask when they’re free to chat, and just express your feelings. I’d recommend talking with a friend you know feels similarly about everything going on.

Cry

There is something so cleansing and healing, and sometimes even empowering, about a good cry. If you need to cry, let yourself do so without embarrassment.

Take a Bath

Light some candles. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Use your favorite bath bombs or bubble bath and just clear your mind and relaaax. This is a great way to relax your mind and get the tension out of your body, which I think we all need right now.

Talk to a Professional

There is absolutely no shame in talking to a therapist or mental health phone line. They are trained to help you cope through difficult times. I go to therapy at least once every week, and I can say with full honesty that it has truly helped me get through the past year, and the past fifteen years. Here are some mental health resources that might help you: The Crisis Text Line, Mental Health America, & NAMI.

Create Something

Expressing yourself through art is effective and powerful. Write a poem, a short story, a novel, paint, color, etc. Creativity is a powerful.

Recite Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are so important in my life. I say them every morning and night while brushing my teeth, and throughout the day. Positive affirmations really help me recognize and change destructive thought patterns and negative self talk. I use the app ThinkUp and also add affirmations that I write, or sometimes find on Pinterest.

Read a Book

Choose a childhood favorite, or a book that you know will be light reading material and escape into another world.

Bake or Cook Something

Play some music you like, and make something that you can enjoy. Baking and cooking are great ways to nourish both your mind and body. You can even make something for a friend, which will really bring joy to both you and them!

Take a Nap

Hey, if you just need to drift into dreamland for a bit, there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re exhausted by everything going on around us, try taking a short nap to rest your body and mind.

Journal

Journaling is another essential part of my daily routine. It helps me process my thoughts and emotions in a healthy and effective way, which I think we all need right now.

Listen to Music

Taylor Swift just released her two bonus songs from Evermore and they will definitely make you feel things other than blind rage.

Give a Gift to a Friend

St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as having once said “It is in giving that we receive” and I really think that’s true. Maybe it’s because giving and receiving gifts is one of my primary love languages, but I get so much joy out of giving someone something that brings them happiness! It doesnt have to be anything huge, you can Venmo them and treat them to coffee one day, or give/lend (if you can bear it!) a loved one a book you already own and think that they will ejoy!

Watch an Entertaining Movie or TV Show

The Office is on Peacock now, and 17 Again was just added on Netflix! Also have you heard of Our Lord and Savior Bridgerton?

Unplug from Technology and/or Social Media

I try to take a weekend every month to log out of Instagram, because it is so beneficial (and necessary!) for my mental wellness. I absolutely love the community I’ve found on Instagram, but I can get wrapped up in the constant busyness of the app. Especially right now, it’s okay if you need to unplug for a day or two for your mental health.

I hope that these ideas are helpful and help bring you some peace, but remember that there is still hard work to be done. We have white supremacy to take down, after all. Once you are ready, come back to the battle. Your voice is needed.

COVID-19 · Current Events · Entertainment · Lifestyle · podcasts · politics · Uncategorized

Top 5 Daily Podcasts to Keep Up to Date with What’s Going On.

One thing that has consistently kept me going through this time of social isolation is podcasts. I listen to them when I exercise, or am cooking, or am just doing things around my apartment. Listening to podcasts is also how I keep up to date with our crazy world. Here’s a list of informative daily podcasts that will keep you up to date with everything that’s going on, with links to the shows on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. *Disclaimer* I am left-leaning, so my podcast listening habits may reflect that.

  1. Consider This from NPR

2. The Daily

3. Up First

4. Start Here

5. What a Day

COVID-19 · Entertainment · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

4 Movies that I Streamed on Netflix During Quarantine.

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Recently, I shared 8 TV series that I watched on Netflix during my time of social distancing (Read here). Today, I’m sharing the movies I watched. I’m definitely much more of a TV show person than a movie person (though I do love movies!), so the list of movies that I’ve watched is literally half the size of the TV shows I’ve watched. Granted, these are just the movies I’ve watched on Netflix, so that’s another variable.

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (no longer available)

Although I was born in the early 90s, I did not grow up loving the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe I’m too young (I definitely grew up more in the early 2000s), maybe it’s because it was just my sister and I growing up. I definitely remember my boy cousins who were a few years or more older than me loving the turtles, but it just wasn’t a part of my childhood beyond that.

A few of my cousins organized a cousin movie night over Zoom at the beginning of quarantine, and this was the choice. It was super fun to see my cousins, most of them in their 30s and with kids of their own now, geek out over the movie. I did enjoy the movie as well, though some of the sexist and racist undertones definitely didn’t hold up. Unfortunately, it is no longer available to stream on Netflix.

2. Back to the Future

For our second virtual cousin movie night, we were originally going to watch the second TMNT movie, but we unfortunately had to postpone it, and when we finally were able to all reconvene, Netflix had taken all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies from the 90s off its platform.

So, the organizers decided we’d watch Back to the Future. I had seen this before during my childhood, but to be completely honest… I knew it best from John Mulaney’s standup set. So the entire time we were watching the movie, I had John Mulaney’s voice commentating on the absurdity of the film in the back of my head.

But beyond the weird… incesty and fat shamey and rapey undertones of the movie (YIKES), it is a fun movie with a lot of nostalgia. It brings you… back to the… past.

3. The Reputation Stadium Tour

I have a confession to make. I. Love. Taylor Swift. Like a lot. I have since the first time I heard her sweet, fake little southern voice singing about Tim McGraw 10+ years ago. And while when she made the switch from country, I was initially upset, and felt like I wasn’t able to relate to her music the same, I eventually (took 4ish years) came around and recognized the genius of her newer music. When Lover was released last year, I was so excited that it felt like I was back in high school, giddy and excited about my favorite singer again. What a time.

One of my best friends is another Taylor Swift fan, and we’ve had countless deep discussions about Taylor’s music and legacy. So a few weeks ago, we decided to watch the Reputation Tour together over FaceTime. Before that, Reputation was probably my least favorite of Taylor’s albums. I just didn’t feel like I could relate, and it felt darker, and Reputation era Taylor felt so different from the Taylor I fell in love with ten years ago.

That all changed when I watched the Reputation Tour. Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t count the times my jaw dropped out of amazement. The outfits. The stage presence. The sets. The dancing. The lyrics. It felt like such an immersive experience. It changed my life and I will now defend Taylor to the death even more.

4. The Wrong Missy

I’m pretty picky about comedy. I feel like my taste in it is very specific. My favorite stand-up comedian is John Mulaney, and the first “adult” comedy movie I truly enjoyed was 21 Jump Street (Forever a classic). When The Wrong Missy was recommended to me, I figured I’d give it a try, because I liked the cast, and hey, why not?

It was fine. It’s not something I was like “OMG I have to tell everybody to watch it” about, but it is something I’d recommend if you’re looking for something light hearted and silly.

What movies have you been watching during quarantine? Did you get to watch TMNT before Netflix pulled it? What are your thoughts on The Other Missy? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll talk to you next time!