My Morning Routine

Source: Canva

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA, I’ve had some health concerns recently so I took a break to focus on my mental (bad) and physical (worse) wellbeing. Anyways, my daily routine suffered for a bit and I’m trying to get back on it.

Wake up around the same time: During the week, I wake up between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and lay in bed until it’s absolutely necessary to get up. Depending on the time, I can set my intentions for the morning and squeeze in some housework before I begin my lovely workday.

Move that old body: I like to move my worn down body so I’m not cramped up and feeling any more awful. I either stretch, pace around my apartment, and if I’m feeling spicy I’ll do a cardio workout. Since I’m not out in the community anymore, I’ve had to find new ways to keep doing the bare minimum for physical activity.

Keep caffeine on deck: It doesn’t matter if it’s coffee, tea, Red Bull, I just need something to help keep myself awake. In the morning I will drink coffee, and in the afternoon I will switch it up and treat myself to a sugary energy drink. (No, I do not get enough sleep. Yes, I am dehydrated).

Find a good playlist: Spotify has been a life saver during this ~panorama~ to get me through hours of case notes and assessments. I usually pick lo-fi playlists or jazz because it keeps me on my toes. Of course, you can listen to anything you want. I find that if I put on Netflix, I’ll be more distracted and end up binging a show instead of….well you know, working.

What kind of routine do you follow? Do you like to switch things up to keep things interesting?

A Little Reminder

Sometimes I stop and remind myself during the day to be patient and not rush what I’m doing at the moment or the goals I’m working on. Especially now, since I spend all my time at home I tend to get lost in my thoughts and put unnecessary pressure on myself to get stuff done. I don’t know who else needed to hear this, but I definitely did.

Things I’ll Be Doing Differently

As I’m sitting in my make shift workspace, I can’t help but think of who I am now compared to who I was at the beginning of 2020 (mainly procrastinating but we can pretend I was deep in thought). I was inspired by this post to make a short list of what’s changed, and what’s been working.

First of all, I will be starting this new year alcohol free! This is probably the biggest change I’ve made since last year. I realized I was getting fat and sassy during quarantine, my two least favorite feelings, and am taking a break from drinking. I hope when indoor seating opens back up, I can meet up with my friends and maybe have a beer because I’m not about to sit in the cold.

I am also being mindful of my physical activity; I started working out in 2019 and fell off, well, because of the pandemic. At the end of 2020 , I started to reinvest in exercising and drinking more water (goodbye RedBull). Honestly, I am really tired of having my knees ache when I walk more than 50 feet, so now is the time to work on strengthening them, as well as my lungs because ~asthma~.

How many times will I plug meditation? It doesn’t even have to be for more than 10 minutes a day. I will be continuing to meditate when I have the time, and have been practicing for a year. Meditation helps ground me when I’m feeling anxious, which is nice considering I’m stuck at home for days at a time.

Journaling is another ritual I will continue into this year; organizing my thoughts and being able to process… stuff has improved since I began. It’s not every day, but I’m working on journaling at least 3 times a week. Now I have a reason to continue to buy cute notebooks from the store.

What are some changes you are making this year, or what are you continuing to practice in the new year that’s benefitted your mental/physical/spiritual health?

Quick Rant

Something that bothers me, especially in my 20’s, is when people ask you what your “next steps are” in terms of marriage, having children, going to school, etc. To be honest, it gets on my last damn nerve.

There’s always this pressure to accomplish so much in a short period of time. I would just like to say, it’s okay to take your time and not have a plan set for yourself. I believe people can start over at any given time and not be tied down to one career/ home/ partner/ etc. It just doesn’t sit right with me that society constantly tells us to settle down and “hustle 24/7.

Maybe I want to nap!

It’s the Little Things (not a Good Charlotte reference)

Source: favim.com

I watched Soul over the holiday weekend, and it made me think of moments I enjoy in life that have kept me sane, especially now. I always try to remind myself to be present and not get caught up thinking about the future, because we can’t control everything. This list isn’t the most relatable, but I hope I can give you a few laughs or maybe even inspire you to make your own.

  1. A brand new trash bag in my trash can
  2. “Sleeping in” until about 7:30 a.m. on weekends
  3. Having a half tank of gas when you thought you had less than a quarter of a tank
  4. Using a mechanical keyboard
  5. Freshly made coffee; I don’t have a palette so I’ll drink pretty much any coffee you give me
  6. Remembering there are leftover wings in the fridge
  7. Buying a snack from the Dollar Tree
  8. Having clean laundry (note: I did not say folded)
  9. Trying new pens; my current favorite is the Crayola Take Note gel pens
  10. Getting my eyeliner right on the first try, I consider this a HUGE win for the day

Music Round Up

I am so happy this year is ending, I have mentally aged 10 years. Of course, that means I’ve had more time to mess up my Spotify recommendations. This list is three albums that I’ve had on repeat for weeks. They’re new releases because I like to be “hip.” I know I don’t have the best taste in music, let’s get that out of the way right now. These aren’t in any particular order either, I had to make this list before I got distracted and started watching Looney Tunes (or is it Toons?)

Ramirez’s Tha Playa$ Manual: I discovered Ramirez this year while WFH; I enjoyed this album because it reminds of the oldies I would hear growing up (e.g. Nate Dogg). “Brown Eyes” and “The Fo Five” are my top two favorite tracks. Easily an 8/10.

Joji’s Nectar: Okay, I’m going to be honest, Joji was my top artist for 2020 and I’m only a little ashamed about it. I’ve listened to his stuff since In Tongues, and Nectar just blew me away. “Run” is by far my most repeated song off this album. 10/10 but I’m biased.

Puscifer’s Existential Reckoning: What kind of person would I be if I didn’t mention TOOL or any of the singer’s side projects? It has kind of an 80’s feel with the synths but I dig it, as well as the themes this album explores (don’t ask me to dive deeper, I haven’t thought that far). My top track is “Bullet Train to Iowa.” 8/10

Some honorable mentions not included: TOOL, Dirty Heads, and that WAP song by Cardi B. What’s some of the music that’s helped you through this year?

Could 2020 Go Any Slower?

The answer is probably, yes it could. Also, welcome newcomers! Thanks for reading.

I’m going to be honest, this year was NOT it.

It was definitely a time for personal development and growth; I’ve learned it’s okay to create and enforce boundaries with yourself and others. I’ve learned to have space for emotions and allow myself to rest when it’s truly needed. Most importantly, I’m learning how to deal with grief (it’s not pretty but we’re getting there). Most people would have you believe you go through the 5 stages yada yada it’s all over and you feel better. Absolutely not. Sometimes you regress and feel like it’s a fresh wound, and sometimes you are experiencing all 5 stages at once. It just depends on the individual.

Anyways, I forgot what the point of this post was. Has anyone else learned anything about themselves/ the world this year? I’m probably going to make a separate post this week talking about sobriety, or something about music. I haven’t decided yet.

How I Survive Working from Home (I don’t)

Yes, another post about working from home! Many of us are struggling to make the transition and maintaining our routines/ mental health/ waistlines, including me! None of us were expecting to become Jack Nicholson from The Shining, but here we are.

My daily schedule usually varies due to working as a case manager, but here are some of the rituals I try to do to maintain some sanity.

  1. I have a whiteboard where I write down my daily to-do lists and meetings, sometimes I’ll write affirmations
  2. Switching rooms in which I’m working to spice things up, anything is possible if you work in the kitchen
  3. Sometimes turning off my laptop and zoning out for 45 minutes counts as a ~break~
  4. My caffeine intake has gone through the ROOF and I don’t feel bad about it (I would like to thank non-dairy creamer for helping me achieve my dreams)
  5. Usually I put on some random playlist to help me focus (the fireplace with Christmas music has been a recent favorite)
  6. Color coordinating everything I write gives me the dose of serotonin I need to get through the day

It’s not just me that’s going through it emotionally, right?

Some Self-Care During the End of the World

Source: Google

While I was working from my office/bedroom/bathroom, I made a list of self-care rituals I’ve been practicing while working from home during COVID. I’m a visual person and had to see if I could modify anything. Here’s what I have so far:

  • Following a vague sleeping schedule during the week
  • Daily journaling: whether you have a prompt or not, it’s a good idea to put all of your thoughts somewhere else
  • How many times can I mention meditation? Take a shot every time I say “meditation”
  • Sometimes I will stand outside to prevent rickets
  • Keeping in contact with my friends (all three of them) on a weekly basis to check in

What are some of your self-care rituals? Does anyone else howl at the new moon or is it just me?

Anxiety is a bitch but so am I (sort of)

Along with all of the other problems I’ve been dealing with my entire life ~asthma~, anxiety is just another one to add to my list. For most of it, I’ve been struggling to even get a grasp on it. Now I have an idea of what I’m doing so I’m going to claim myself as an expert and tell you what to do.* (Just kidding!)

Are you meeting your basic needs?
Have you eaten, are you thirsty, have you woken up today? I have a daily tracker which keeps tabs on my food/ water intake and my sleep schedule. Personally, this has been a major improvement in my anxiety. When I’m feeling some type of way I tend to neglect eating/ drinking, which makes things worse. It’s also rewarding to see all those boxes filled out when I practice the most basics of self-care.


Try to Identify…Something
This has been a challenge because for one, what are even emotions???? I’m almost 30, I should know what they are (but I am wrong). I’m aware some of us grew up learning not to acknowledge negative emotions, which was actually harmful and invalidating. So now I’m working on doing the opposite; validating how I’m feeling in the moment and allowing myself space to completely experience said emotion. Meditation has also been a huge help for this.


Take a Break
Sometimes you have to walk away from whatever task you’re working on and take a brief moment to yourself. It may look like hiding in the bathroom at your retail job, or it may look like vacuuming your home for the third time this week. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed and like I’m going to McFreakin’ lose it, I try to step away.

I hope you find these helpful if you are struggling with anxiety, I know there is a lot I’m not covering on the subject but will try to in future posts!

*I am not a medical professional.

I accomplished only one thing in 2020

One, well the only, goal that I’ve been working on is meditating.

Why? Because I need to calm the hell down. I’m already skittish and with everything that is going on in the world ~pandemic~ I figured it would be a good time to try. I’ve been hesitant to try meditation in the past; I believed I wouldn’t be able to clear my mind and actually focus (which is 60% true).

Surprise motherfuckers! Meditation worked.

I was honestly surprised after a couple of weeks of consistently practicing. I noticed I wasn’t as anxious as I normally am throughout the day. I started out using guided meditations because I needed someone to tell me what to do; I found the Insight Timer app which provides guided meditation. After about seven months of listening to guided meditation…sessions, I finally gained the confidence to try and meditate without assistance. At first, it was challenging; my mind would constantly wander and I would get frustrated. I realized that I should stop taking myself so seriously and not force anything. After I had that hard conversation with myself, it became much easier to get into the correct headspace to meditate. However, I can only meditate for 15 minutes before I become restless, so I’m working on increasing my time slowly. I think most people should give meditation a try; you might learn something new about yourself (I learned you can go through a mid- life crisis at any time).

Drawings I’ve done in 2020

Hello to all five of my followers! I recently went through two of my sketchbook that have been sitting on my bookshelf to see if there was anything I could share form this year . I chose these three particular pieces because they encapsulate my personality so well (in a good way).

That eye that’s on fire? I’m a huge fan of the band Tool, and it only made sense to attempt to recreate some of their artwork and give up half way through. The Sailor Moon drawing was a throw back to when I was obsessed with the series as a child. Lastly, the tree is just there because sometimes you are out of ideas. I would like to start getting back into art since working from home has allowed me to have more free time without having a long commute or being on call 24-7. Between 18 and 25, I didn’t have much time for drawing due to school and working; now I am learning to manage my time better and make an effort to practice self-care.

P.S. Here is the original artwork by Alex Grey:

What I’ve Learned As a Case Manager

In my time working at a non-profit, I have picked up a few things that I can share. Of course, you can’t learn certain things pertaining to social work/ case management through school, only through first hand experience.

  • It’s okay to let them know when you don’t know the answer off the top of your head
  • Wear clothes you wouldn’t mind throwing away if you end up dirty or exposed to bed bugs
  • If you “keep it real” with your clients, they’ll return the favor
  • Keep extra paperwork in your bag/ car just in case
  • Do not put off your case notes until the end of the month/ billing cycle because you will cry
  • Let your teenage clients have the aux cord when transporting them
  • Someone will eventually soil themselves/vomit in your car, and it won’t be you

This is just from my personal experience, not everyone will encounter these, especially the last one ( I hope not). I think it’s important to share the unusual situations that occur in social work because most people think we only exist to remove children from their homes (it’s not the case at least 40% of the time).

Well

It’s been about two and half years since I last posted, and thought I could start up again since we are still dealing with this pandemic. A lot has changed, yet it still feels like I am the same person I was all those weeks ago. It’s wild to me how much has changed yet I didn’t notice it (maybe I was too drunk to notice, not sure). But I figured I would update with posts relating to my job, life, fitness (fittin’ this whole sandwich in my mouth), and whatever else I can think of. I don’t think this pandemic will end anytime soon, and I’m not going anywhere since I’ve been working from home so why not?