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This is my 2nd week of self-quarantining, and I’ve been biting my nails (figuratively, not literally) watching and reading the news to see how this pandemic is unfolding. It’s taken all of my energy to stay emotionally afloat while the world feels like it’s spiraling into chaos, so I’ve been unable to maximize any productivity.
This week I’ve been binge-watching TV, playing video games with friends, doing a sprinkle of work here and there, and installing the mirrors and light fixtures in the hallway bathroom (but that’s for another blog post!). With the stay-at-home order shutting down a lot of businesses, a lot of my work projects have been put on hold as a result. Emails are not being read since everyone is staying home, and I can’t move forward until I get a response. So what better than to use this time for self-care and a little relaxation?
More Friday Favorites:
- Friday Favorites Vol. 15: Longer Natural Lashes, Tangle-Free Necklaces, & Are Tarot Cards Actually Evil?
- Friday Favorites Vol. 8: I Got Tested For Coronavirus, a “Safe” Cookie Dough Recipe, a Staub Dutch Oven for $99!?
- Friday Favorites Vol. 22: Coconut Jelly Sheet Masks, Easy French Dip Sandwiches, Affordable German Knives & More
- Friday Favorites Vol. 5: Coping With COVID-19 Panic, Anxiety Attacks, Self-Quarantine and Social Distance
- Friday Favorites Vol. 11: DIY Lash Extensions, Budget-Friendly Cotton Bedsheets for Summer, + My Favorite Missguided x Playboy Sale Picks
Beauty: Gua Sha
My friend Wynn at Wanderxluxe has been raving about using her gua sha and she’s inspired me to pick mine back up again. If you’re familiar with the jade roller trend, gua sha shares the similar benefit of depuffing the face by lymphatic drainage. However, gua sha is much more effective in “reshaping the face” since the edge of the tool gives you the ability to more effectively “scrape” the lymph fluid through the lymphatic system for better detoxifying. The result is even more visible de-puffing results.
Rollers are definitely more soothing to use, but if you’re looking for more results, I highly recommend picking up a gua sha tool. I’ve been using mine religiously for the past month every day during my evening skincare regimen, and I feel like my jawline and cheeks are much more defined! They’re really affordable and often come with facial rollers as a gift, so you can have both tool for less than $20 altogether. Mine’s is made from rose quartz, but there are many other options on Amazon as well.
Style: Gold Hoop Huggie Earrings
I love that small hoop huggie earrings are back in trend! They were trendy during the 90’s but were replaced with thinner, larger hoop earrings as time passed. Huggies are super nostalgic and add such a subtle feminine touch to my look. I often feel like I’m “naked” if I’m not wearing them nowadays – they dress up the pajamas I’ve basically been living in.
Solid gold huggies can be a bit pricy since they’re thicker, but the ones I have are 14k gold plated and still have some good weight to them. They’re surprisingly good quality for being less than $15!
Food: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Hummus
Earlier last week when I went to Trader Joe’s to get groceries, one of the few things that were available after the apocalyptic rush of hoarders was chocolate hummus. I’d heard a lot of jokes from people saying it sounded disgusting, but TJ’s always delivers on good food, so I tried it and I was not disappointed. It tastes nothing like hummus! In fact, it’s more of a thicker chocolate pudding kind of dip. I’ve been spreading it on Ritz crackers, graham crackers, strawberries, you name it. It’s so amazing and a much more nutritious dessert dip than caramel sauce or chocolate pudding! Make sure to grab one during your next Trader Joe’s apocalypse run… with all of the judgmental folks out there, chances are they’ll still be fully stocked on it.
Health: Turmeric Curcumin
I’ve been taking Schwartz Turmeric Curcumin for 3 months now and just finished my bottle. The verdict: I feel so much better nowadays. I’ve been having a lot of unexplained joint pain (that I’m chalking up to my autoimmune and mysterious undiagnosed illness) over the past few months, and after taking turmeric curcumin, I’m noticing that the pain has basically gone away. My skin also suffered a strange flare up around November but has finally settled down, and I’m pretty sure it’s because of this supplement. The curcumin found in turmeric is said to be a very potent anti-inflammatory that helps with joins, digestion, skin conditions and many other things.
At first, I considered just buying ground turmeric and putting it in gelatin capsules, but I did some research and found that ground turmeric only contains about 3% of the curcumin that actually contains the anti-inflammatory benefits, while the curcumin supplement contains 95%. I haven’t taken other turmeric supplements (besides Youtheory), but I actually really like the Schwartz brand – it also has over 14,000 reviews, so that’s gotta say something!
I bought two of these mirrors in a size 31.5″ x 23.62″ a few months ago and we finally installed it in the hallway bathroom yesterday. It looks amazing against the black walls! I’ve had an obsession over thin gold-framed mirrors, but this one definitely takes the cake – it’s so good that it sold out in all sizes. I highly recommend getting email notifications for this mirror once it’s back in stock because it’s such a stunner in the bathroom! I’ll be publishing a blog post featuring our bathroom update soon, but if you follow me on Instagram I’ve posted it on my stories and “3 BATH RENO” highlight!
Although I’ve been much better about managing my anxiety over the past 2 years, with all of the stress and worry surrounding self-quarantine and the COVID-19 pandemic, my anxiety has been at an all-time high. I needed a new tool to manage it, and breathwork has been such an incredibly rewarding discovery. I’ve always overlooked it because I assumed it was just a small part of yoga, but breathwork really deserves its own spotlight. There was actually a scientific study that was done to gauge the effectiveness of breathwork for US military veterans with PTSD, and after the study, most of the veterans no longer fell into the PTSD-qualifying category!
Breathwork has been an unpopularized form of meditation for so long, but I’m glad to see breathwork practitioners like Samantha Skelly help people use this simple, quick and easy practice to help cure anxiety, eating disorders, and even achieve self-mastery (on the more advanced end). She was actually featured on this amazing podcast episode that really explains the life-changing power of breathwork.
Samantha actually hosts a free morning breathwork meditation on her Instagram Live Monday-Friday at 8AM PST. If you can’t make the live session, she lists the re-run and it’s available for 24 hours – it takes just 5-10 minutes and really helps with anxiety!
Entertainment: The White Queen
I’ve finally caught up to the current season of Outlander, but I wanted to make use of my Starz subscription and binge-watch the other Starz shows. If you’ve seen ads for The White Princess or The Spanish Princess, the story actually begins with The White Queen. It’s a pretty interesting story so far and gives me a Game of Thrones-kinda vibe with people backstabbing each other. It’s definitely not as intense, but it’s a good show to watch!
You can watch it on the Starz channel (available on Amazon Prime Video). They’re currently having a promotion where it’s $5/month for 3 months, so sign up and binge watch it!
I basically had a soft and very quiet launch for The Magic of Soul this past Friday as I’ve had to actively work on website construction and writing more content, but I was really inspired to write this post in spite of all of the social unrest and chaos that’s been going on as a result of mandated stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine. Astrology is a huge pillar of The Magic of Soul, so I wanted to use current events to show people how to use astrology in a more constructive way for self-introspection instead of judging others by their superficial signs. Astrology should be used as a tool to better understand ourselves and others, and I wrote this post to give some guidelines on what we can individually do to help each other during this time of crisis. If you know your moon and rising signs, I highly recommend checking those as well!
Article #2: That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief
Sharing a second article because this was too good not to share. I know everyone’s emotions have been running high since COVID-19 hit the US, and everyone is dealing with it in their own individual ways. Some are in denial and still freely going outside. Some are angry about having to stay inside. Some are sad, worried, anxious, and every single emotion on the grand emotional spectrum. But I never identified these emotions as collective grief. Grief has a way of making us act outside of our normal selves, and this article brought that to light for me. This post is definitely worth a read if you’ve been having a hard time coping with everyone’s reactions to coronavirus.
This Week’s Mantra: “I give myself permission to be completely unproductive.”
I spent a lot of time last week trying to force myself to work although I was an emotional and anxious wreck. Although I already work from home, there were no disruptions to my daily workflow, but the anxiety of COVID-19 has been very intrusive to my productivity as I’ve been lacking in so much focus.
I spent a lot of days last week staring blankly at my computer while stuffing my mouth with snacks (thanks emotional eating), so at a certain point, I had to acknowledge that I was obviously not doing myself any good by trying to force myself to work and wasting my precious time when I could be using that time to decompress and take care of myself.
I’ve basically allowed myself a break from work, using this time to lounge around, focus on wellness, and allow myself some leisurely time to enjoy myself without having to justify it with productivity. While it’s good to use this time to catch up on neglected work, for some people, this isn’t the most beneficial thing and might even be a harmful way of dismissing and denying your own feelings. I’ve given myself permission to cope in my own way, and that means taking a pause on work instead of drilling myself with it twice as hard so I can cater to my mental and emotional needs.
That’s it for this week’s Friday Favorites! If you liked Volume 6, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so you get informed as soon as I hit publish on a new Friday Favorites post. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
More Posts to Check Out:
- 2018 Income Report: How I Made $37,953.17 During My 2nd Year Blogging
- Refresh Your Gym Wardrobe With Ellie
- The Look For Less: Stuart Weitzman’s Highland Boot – $798 vs. $99
- DIY At-Home Salon Blowout With the $30 John Frieda Hot Air Brush
- Friday Favorites Vol. 10: $10 Mattifying Sunscreen, My Final Fantasy 7 Addiction, & Navigating Love During Quarantine