November 2, 2020

How I'm Finding Joy Right Now


Back in March, right when the pandemic and quarantine began, I wrote about how I was coping with the stress of it all. Now almost 8 months later, COVID is still going strong (in some cases, spiking even higher) and there are lot more factors contributing to how we're all feeling right now. And by factors I mean every single crazy and heartbreaking thing that's happened in 2020 which I personally don't want to recap because I think we can all agree that it's been a year. But most importantly, tomorrow is Election Day and as we've gotten closer and closer to this date, my stress levels have been rising. Because tomorrow decides what kind of nation we'll be waking up to on Wednesday and I don't know about you all, but I'm scared. 


So it got me thinking the important of balance. Yes it is 100% important to be informed and to be active in whatever way you can but it's just as important to take a break for your mental health and to find ways that bring you joy or peace. And I wanted to focus on the latter for today's post and share the little ways in which I've been able to find joy lately. 


1. Throwing stuff out and getting rid of excess.

I mentioned this in my original post too! Cleaning out my closets and decluttering will never not bring me joy. There is just something so satisfying about getting rid of stuff you know you don't need anymore. And I don't necessarily throw those things out either. I donate a ton of clothes, shoes, and books plus with some of my nicer bags, I'll sell them on Depop. So either my things go in the trash, to someone in need, or I can make some money back. Wins all around! 


2. Decluttering gives me an excuse to shop.

Retail therapy is a real thing. At least for me! One of the benefits of cleaning out my closets is that is lets me evaluate what I need or what needs to be replaced. So I get to shop but I like to think I'm shopping a bit smarter. 


3. Seeing my family weekly

This has made all the difference for me with the pandemic. In beginning, my biggest reason for anxiety was not knowing when I would be able to see my Dad and family safely, especially because I live alone. I didn't see them for the first month and then I started visiting them except I would be outside and they'd be inside so we'd talk through the clear door. Once it got warmer, we did weekly Sunday lunches outside. Now that it's colder, we've moved those lunches indoors but we keep our masks on at all times unless we're eating. And when I say "we" I'm referring to my Dad; aunt, uncle and cousin who live with him; his brother (obviously also my cousin), his wife and their 6 month old baby; and me. It feels like we're in quarantine together since they're really the only people I see. I realize not everyone can do this but if there's a way to safely see family, that's honestly brought me the most joy and continues to during this time. 


4.  Hang out with friends, one on one, which I do once or twice a month.

Since June, the only two friends I've really hung out with are Carina and Alexa. I hang out with them one-on-one outside (except Alexa and I do go inside bookstores together!) and we wear masks unless we're eating. And again, this has been a huge point of happiness for me. I do think it's absolutely possible to see friends as long as you follow the guidelines. I haven't invited anyone over and I don't plan to since my family is the priority but as long as there are ways to hang out outdoors, I plan to keep doing that with friends. 


5. I love ordering takeout (for delivery) and the occasional outdoor dining. 

Pre-COVID, the only takeout I would get delivered was Chinese food on the occasional Friday night. But now, I order takeout every Friday night as a treat to myself for cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week and DoorDash has so many options. I order sushi, Thai, pizza, poke, bubble tea, Mexican, Colombian, Korean, the list goes on and on. Do I miss going to dinner with friends? Sure. But this way I can still eat good food and add some variety while being safe. For now I refuse to do any sort of indoor dining and honestly, I've only done outdoor dining twice. I'll admit I wasn't totally comfortable but it wasn't bad either. If we're spaced out enough, I don't mind it every once in a while. 


6. Treat myself to go inside somewhere. 

This probably sounds sad but I'm pretty much home all day, Monday through Friday. So maybe two Saturdays a month I'll treat myself to going to Trader Joe's, Barnes & Noble, Asian supermarket, the mall, or Target. And it really is a treat for me! As long as everyone is wearing masks and keeping their distance, I feel comfortable going in and that bit of normalcy does feel great. 


7.  Pamper yourself if the salon’s guidelines are safe: haircut and/or pedicure. 

I've talked about this before but the salons where I get my haircut and my nails done are so strict with their guidelines which makes me feel safe. I know some people may complain about these places being "extra" but for me? Bring on the extra! That's how I know they're taking it seriously. I've been to my hair salon twice: to get a haircut and then to get color (my balayage was over a year old!). Then I got a pedicure once (no manicures because that's too close to my face lol). It was such a nice treat. I'm due for a trim soon and I think I may do one more pedicure before it's officially winter. Also, I miss getting my eyebrows threaded, facials, and massages but I don't feel comfortable with those because they're just too close for comfort.


8. Take advantage of virtual events with authors or concerts. 

I'm actually going to talk more about this in an upcoming post but I'm loving the creative ways in which the artists and authors I adore are trying to make the best of this situation. I've gone to one virtual concert so far for James Bay and I have two more to attend this year. Plus I'm attending a Nalini Singh and Sarah J. Maas virtual Strand event at the end of the month too. And these are just the paid events. There's been so many IG live events that are free. Granted, these can't fully replace live experiences but I think still they're fun! It's kind of nice to watch these events from the comfort of my bed and it does give me something look forward to.


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How are you finding joy right now?

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