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It’s such an odd balance, isn’t it? Recognizing that people are suffering, there is a lot of pain and uncertainty in the world, and some days are much better than others. But, also, rejoicing in the extra family time, celebrating the little victories, and using this time to root into more of who we are. I didn’t know what to title this post. My first thought was, “How I’ve Been Keeping Busy Through Quarantine” but then I didn’t want it to seem like busy as a badge of honor because it’s not. Then I thought for a second about “thriving” but that’s no good either because I (and probably you too) am far from thriving. I like the idea of flourishing. The middle zone between rooting and blooming. The growth period. And a lot of times in that growth period, shit can still hit the fan. Growth can be hard. But, there’s really only forward at this point. I settled on “staying productive” because that’s what it feels like. It’s how I’m keeping busy but also doing things that serve my soul, productivity is the means of getting there, just like flourishing.
My pendulum swings real far in one direction to the other. Some days I’m powering through and feeling like a rockstar, while others I’m a ball of tears spending all day in bed. It’s painful knowing a lot of people are struggling financially, or the fact that we all know someone who is fighting this virus, or horribly even lost someone to it. It’s painful missing friends, wanting to hug those you love and going stir crazy through self-isolation. It’s hard, and unfortunately, there’s no other way around it but through.
What’s helped me a lot is developing some kind of flexible routine. Whenever I notice myself getting down, I return to something that brings me comfort or decide to tackle a new challenge I’ve been meaning to try. It’s been helpful to healthily distract myself so that I can keep on keeping on. And I thought, “hey, maybe there’s a trick or two that might be helpful to you.”
Here’s what I’ve been doing during quarantine.
If the ads on my phone haven’t catered to me before, they’ve been spot on through quarantine. I feel like every single ad that pops up is written just for me, and I have clicked until my heart’s content. This has resulted in a few buys, most specifically courses.
I’ve always loved taking courses but have really enjoyed using this time to learn. It’s a great distraction from the outside world and also gives me knowledge on a topic I’m really interested in. I’m even more obsessed when I can get a good bang for my buck, and a lot of different options. So, when one of my favorite boss ladies, Jasmine Star, came up as an ad with an amazing course through a platform called CreativeLive, I was sold before I even clicked through. CreativeLive includes a library of over 1500 courses ranging from crafts to finances, business to music, and a little bit of everything in between which you can access anytime, anywhere.
Jasmine’s course, Social Media Bootcamp, is almost 12 hours of what feels like a weekend retreat to learn all things social media. I’ve felt so inspired and like I’ve learned a ton, and I’m not even halfway through yet. There are so many incredible courses just like hers that are offered. Plus, CreativeLive is currently doing a 50% sale on the creator pass and tons of deals over the entire platform (Jasmine’s class is normally $149 but I snagged it for $29).
Of course you need Netflix and chill time, but when you’re feeling inspired to try something new, I highly recommend taking a digital course. And CreativeLive should have everything you’re looking for.
Save 40% on all CreativeLive classes through May by clicking here
If you could describe my perfect cozy afternoon it would include: rain hitting the windowsill, a perfectly-steeped cup of tea, a great book downloaded on my kindle, the fuzziest blanket, and my knitting needles.
I’m honestly smiling just thinking about it.
Knitting has always been a great de-stressor for me. Moving my needles has always calmed my anxiety, and focusing in on a pattern is a great way to distract yourself for a few hours. One of my favorite ways to knit is by getting a kit. Knit kits are shipped to you with literally everything you could ever need to make your dream project. I could peruse We Are Knitters or Wool & The Gang for hours just looking at all their unique patterns and designs. I’ll usually settle on a sweater or blanket, and then just have to wait a week or two until it arrives in the mail. They include super detailed, easy-to-follow instructions and I’ve never had too much trouble learning one of their patterns. It’s really helped me go from an amateur knitter to someone who can knit up a sweater on the weekend.
The other nice thing is that once you’ve ordered a few kits, you begin to really build up your knitting tools and will be able to order less down the road so you’ll save more money in the long run.
Overall, kits are definitely my recommendation for anyone wanting to get into knitting. I also have an exciting deal for you thanks to We Are Knitters. If you use my code during checkout, you’ll get $12 off your order (as long as you’re spending $40 or more). Instant savings!
THE CODE: MGMI2J18G
Knitting has been a sacred experience for me and I love seeing other people find solace in it too. Let me know if you decide to pick up some needles! Who knows, maybe we can even start a zoom knitting club or something someday.
If I could live every day feeling great without having to leave my bed, I probably would. I love nothing more than being cozy. But, my body needs movement in its life, and I guess the lactic acid in my system agrees.
I’ve always been an avid fan of yoga, but during this slower season moving really slowly just hasn’t felt as right for me. So, I’ve turned to more heart-pumping forms of activity known as brisk walking and an exercise called The Class.
I know, you probably let out a giggle when I said walking as one of my heart-pumping activities, but if you get a good pace going it can be a great exercise for your body and also easier on your knees than running. I love getting up early in the mornings and going on a walk with my mom. We usually get into deep discussions and I always come back feeling like my body and soul are on fire. Plus, we’re breathing in the fresh air and getting our daily dose of vitamin d. It’s a win all around.
The only way I can describe The Class by Taryn Toomey is like a moving meditation with the cues of yoga but the activity of a cardio/dance class. The music is killer too. They’ll play anything from Coldplay to Florence & The Machine to Common to Latin music. It’s just a smorgasbord of whatever helps you get out of your mind and into your body.
I’ve told pretty much anyone who will listen and at least 5 of my friends have already joined the bandwagon.
If you’d like to try out a class yourself, they’re offering a free 14-day trial and I highly recommend you give it a go. I pretty much can promise you’ll fall in love with it.
Remember how I mentioned my perfect afternoon included a great book downloaded on my kindle? Yeah, I wasn’t joking.
When I was a kid, my parents used to bribe me to go to social events by saying, “you can bring your book with you!”. I was (and still am!) an introvert through and through. Books have always been like magic to me because they can transport us anywhere. When I get into a story, it can feel like my own life is put on pause while this life happening inside the novel is fully played out. During this time where we can’t leave our houses or much less travel, reading is the closest thing we have to adventure.
If you’re looking for a good reading list, check out my post on my favorite slow living books. It’s been weird but during this time I’ve loved getting into genres that I wouldn’t normally read. I was sucked into Normal People by Sally Rooney for about three days, and lately, I’ve been powering through thrillers of all kinds. I’m currently reading The Wives by Tarryn Fisher and it’s been a page-turner so far.
What’s on your quarantine reading list?
I guess knitting falls into the category of making too, but I feel like it deserves it’s own spot on this post because of the impact it’s had on my life. So, making is all on its own. To me, making is covering things from painting to embroidery to gardening. Anything that gets your hands busy and focuses you in on a craft.
I’ve been practicing my painting skills by following Bob Ross tutorials on YouTube. My sister and her boyfriend brought some canvases and paint down with them when they joined us for quarantine and we’ve had a couple nights in just painting. I never really thought of myself as a good painter before (I actually thought I was horrible), but the Bob Ross videos are so easy to follow and actually really fun. I’ve been surprised by how our paintings have been turning out.
Another way I’ve loved getting into “making” is by taking little classes online. My favorite resource for this has been Bluprint. It’s basically the home for any type of craft or activity you can imagine, taught by skilled instructors, at any level. There’s everything from sewing to quilting to baking, and I love how interactive the whole site is. It definitely makes learning a new craft easy and fun. I’ve been dying to take the succulent gardening class and have also been meaning to pick up one of the quilt kits. It’s basically the a slow living person’s dream.
They’ve got free previews of all the classes, but they’re currently offering 50% off unlimited passes, or you can just buy each course individually. Lots of fun options and plenty of good stuff for all your crafting dreams.
Get 50% off Bluprint classes by clicking here
It’s been a dream of mine to create a sourdough starter for years now, but with all the traveling I do it never seemed like a good time. So, I’ve been using staying at home as the perfect excuse to get into making sourdough (me and the rest of Instagram, apparently). I’m currently waiting on my dutch oven to arrive to actually bake my first loaf, but creating the starter has been such a fun and therapeutic activity that I’m already in love with sourdough. I think my family is sick of me talking about it, but I don’t think they’ll be complaining when they get fresh bread every morning soon.
The resource I’ve been using on this journey is Tess Weaver’s Sourdough At Home course. Tess is the sweetest and I love following her journey with sourdough, homesteading, plant-growing, and more. Her Instagram is such a little sanctuary and watching her stories every day is so relaxing. You can currently buy her course by messaging her on Instagram, but she’s working on a site to sell it on soon. The course includes tons of videos of Tess walking you through the whole process, and I can’t wait to taste all my hard work in what I’m sure will be a delicious loaf.
And there you have it, friend. This is what’s been keeping my going during this wild time in our lives. As you can tell, I really love utilizing this slower time to actually slow down, from making things from scratch to just taking more time in my day to enjoy being. I hope that if you can, you’re using this time to remember what’s most important to you. I’d love to know what activities you’ve been doing throughout quarantine, so let me know in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!