Nothing’s worse than feeling like your S.O.’s garb is cramping your style (no pun intended). Whether you cohabitate or simply spend a lot of time together, your overlap of clothing is bound to get in the way. That’s why, if you’re dating a dude, make your life easier by figuring out what to steal from your boyfriend’s closet.
While gender norms have greatly gone out the window (at least in L.A.), plenty of clothing articles are obviously still designated for men. Therefore, we’re here to help you keep your man’s wardrobe growing, while benefitting in the process. Especially with holiday season around the corner, why not swoop up something that will (secretly) appease both of you?
To break down the best items to buy for your BF (only to steal them from their closet), we reached out to BJ Panda Bear. BJ is the cofounder of fashion and lifestyle e-commerce space, QooA—keep reading for his 5 musts!
The democratic experience of the mini bag is something anyone can enjoy and embrace. It’s a statement of love if you really know the persons taste, or rather the value of neutral colors to steal into your own selection.
When you think about what to steal from your boyfriend’s closet, the classic hoodie’s the most natural first thought. The ’50s-era equivalent of wearing of your BF’s letterman jacket in today’s TikTok times is surely the worn-in hoodie, is it not?
Versace Versace Versace/Gucci Gucci Gucci… We kid… sorta. But really, any brand with the most boisterous prints will do. Play with the XXL size. It might be a luxuriant and playful gift for him, but it will soon be a wrap dress belted for you.
Now that you know what to steal from your boyfriend’s closet, be grateful because you also get to avoid THESE obnoxious dating profiles.
I’m all about natural forms of healing. I struggle with anxiety and I subconsciously hold on to the past, so this affects my day-to-day life. I’ve received reiki many times, I’ve used healing crystals and I’ve even taken a special full moon healing bath which required tons of preparation. And, as of a month ago, I’ve been using virtual sound baths because I can’t fall asleep.
Sound healing is a powerful form of meditation. This is a different turn for me because I’ve never been a meditation kind of gal. It’s hard getting out of my head and sitting still for so long. After completing a traditional meditation session, I’ve never felt any differently—but you need to do it consistently. Recently, the founder of a major meditation studio in L.A. reached out about trying her new app. And that’s when things changed.
I likely have more restless nights than the average person, but there was a recent evening in particular that my mind was all TikTok’d out and I would’ve given anything to fall asleep. I downloaded the aforementioned app—and rather than opt for a guided meditation, I clicked on one of the sound healing selections. The 40-minute session required nothing more than for me to lie down, close my eyes and be able to hear. I kid you not, it knocked me out in five minutes. Sleeping pills wake me up in the middle of the night after they wear off; sleepy teas make me have to use the restroom in the middle of the night; CBD products give me crazy dreams. In other words, nothing’s worked up to this point.
I’ve gone to sound baths at various L.A. venues, and I’ve fallen asleep pretty shortly into the sessions. But honestly, I thought my simple snooze-fest resulted from my workplace, which zapped all my energy. The office always left me exhausted, but now I realize I actually fell asleep for a deeper reason.
I’ve been so excited to share my life-changing discovery with others that I reached out to Roxie Sarhangi, better known in cyberspace as @roxiesoundhealing. Keep reading for Roxie’s amazing tips on how to use sound healing to fall asleep.
skyelyfe: How did you get involved in sound healing?
Roxie Sarhangi: The first time I recall hearing the powerful sound of a gong in person was in a yoga class during Savasana. This was about a decade or so ago. It was a momentous visceral experience. I felt the vibration deep within my chest, and it brought my mind immediately to the present moment. I remember leaving, wanting to experience the gong for a longer period of time.
The first sound bath I experienced was in Ojai with Tibetian bowls, and it felt so calming and deeply relaxing. The ethereal sound really captivated me, so from there, I went to sound baths all over L.A. I decided I wanted to learn how to share it with others, so I became a certified sound healer practitioner in 2018.
SL: What were your initial experiences with it when you were exploring just for fun?
RS: I touched upon this above, but essentially, I always like to stay curious and have a learner’s mind. Sound healing is esoteric, unique and feels powerful. I loved the idea of everyone getting together to better themselves in this unique environment. I definitely wasn’t planning on becoming a sound healer!
SL: What’s the science behind sound healing and its ability to ease tension and assist with sleep ailments?
RS: Sound healing affects brain waves to slow down to a profoundly relaxing and restorative state. Notes of the crystal bowls are tuned to the seven chakras and energy centers. These help recenter us when we’re out of alignment. They’re also tuned to 432 hertz, the vibrational frequency of nature. If you think about it, everything has a frequency. Every living element in our body emits a frequency. The frequency of the crystal bowls is often described as a sound of the “universe.”
I’ll also play the symphonic gong, one of the oldest instruments. Its roots trace back to around 3500 B.C. The gong is used to release tension and blocks in the body, stimulating a higher functioning of the glandular and nervous system. I’ve heard many attendees share that they have the best sleep after sound healing. They’re in a deeply relaxed state primed for sleep, so that is why. As I understand it, you’re essentially moving from alpha and theta brainwave state. This occurs during sound healing to the next state—delta brain waves—which occurs during sleep. That’s one of the reasons why sound healing feels so magical to me!
SL: What’s the best way for a newbie to maximize their experience with sound healing?
RS: One of the many reasons I love sound healing is that it requires very little doing of the participant, mainly showing up! I approach it as easy, effortless, and transcendent. The more you can relax, the more you can receive the sounds. I recommend giving yourself the gift of coming into the experience as relaxed as possible, without pushing. If you go to an in-person session, allow plenty of time to drive to the location, park and get settled. Bring items that can allow you to feel cozy and good. A blanket, pillow, and perhaps an eye mask. Set yourself up to feel your best.
If you do an at-home sound bath, then light a candle, sage, or palo santo. Put yourself in a physical space that feels relaxing and healing. When I do in-person sessions, they’re always at inspiring locations such as the 1 Hotel West Hollywood on their rooftop deck under the night sky. We’re under a stunning large-scale sculpture, Dream Catcher by Janet Echelman. Our brainwaves when we dream is what inspired the sculpture. How perfect for sound healing!
When you can walk into an environment and feel uplifted, it makes an impact. If the space feels inspiring, you begin to feel inspired. Your space is very important. Another location I enjoy is at a museum style gallery, Barakat Gallery. Centuries-old artifacts, sculptures and life-size Buddhas surrounded us during our event last year. There’s an ineffable sense of depth and soul in a space like that.
SL: Are there any particular sound healing apps or YouTube videos/channels you recommend people listen to as they fall asleep?
RS: I don’t know if there are any apps only for sound healing, but that’s a great idea! I know there are sound healing sessions on Calm app, Insight Timer and YouTube. I also have a YouTube channel and IGTV with free sound healing sessions that I know souls listen to before bed.
SL: Is there anything else you’d like to add about your specific practice or sound healing in general?
RS: I feel truly honored to share sound healing. Sound is primordial. It’s the first vibration ever experienced. It is so powerful. I am constantly in awe of the power of sound. Thank you for asking me to share more about sound healing! See you under the influence of sound.
*Roxie is launching her 11 Days of Sound Healing this Friday (Oct. 16) in honor of the New Moon. To learn more or sign up, click HERE.
For more incredible healing tips and techniques, click HERE.
Today is World Mental Health Day, and after a frustrating sleep and dreams that plagued my mindset, I woke up feeling kind of crappy. I generally maintain a positive disposition and have a bright outlook on life. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a victim of thoughts in my head that spiral out of control.
Mental health isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of issue. Sometimes it’s affected by chemical imbalances; other times it’s situational. Sometimes even the slightest occurrence or thought can trigger our minds into a war zone. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, but I’ve definitely been debilitated by what’s gone on in my mind.
When I was growing up, we were instructed to go to the dentist every six months and get our yearly physical at the doctor’s office. No one ever talked about the other stuff. If you saw a psychologist, you were crazy. If you took meds, there was something deeply wrong. I’m glad that present times have made our mental health an important conversation, because let’s face it—no one is A-OK 100% of the time.
Just because you don’t have a psychological diagnosis doesn’t mean your mental health doesn’t take its toll from time to time. We don’t have emotional memory, so when we’re at a low point, we don’t remember the feeling we had just yesterday, for example, when we were at a high.
There are days when things just feel off and sometimes all you can do is accept the situation and live in it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in bed all day and wallowed lonesome because people have their own lives to live. The harsh reality is I’m no one’s priority but my own. I have some amazing close friends, but no one can be at my beck and call consistently. And let’s face it: People are attracted to vibrant energy. It’s not always easy for someone to set aside their happy-go-lucky afternoon to devote their own energy to your bad day. It’s not because they don’t care, but they have their own stuff to deal with.
As tough as those dark days are, things get better—they always do. As low as I can feel one moment is as high as I can feel two days later. On the days when I feel the world caving down on me and can barely get out of bed, I remind myself that I’ve made it through 30-something years—I can make it one more day. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but it really is possible to crawl out from the darkness.
Whether I’m struggling or not, here are six effective habits that help clear my head.
1. I Keep Instagram Story-Watching to a Minimum
If you follow me on IG, you might think I’m obsessed with the app. I post pretty regularly and engage frequently on photos that pop up on my feed. Simply being on the app isn’t an issue for me. I love having a platform to showcase my skills and passions, and to connect with amazing people and brands I may have not otherwise.
That said, being too consumed with others’ Stories is where the issue lies. I taught myself early on that seeing what everyone is doing at all times of the day isn’t going to get me anywhere. Some people are fulfilled by knowing everyone’s every move. I, on the other hand, feel like being privy to that information only clouds the head more. So yes, while I’m happy to share my life on the app, it’s important for my mental health that I pick and choose what I let into my space from others.
2. I Press the Reset Button Every Six Months
My twice-yearly Whole30 journey can definitely be seen as extreme, and I don’t think it’s for everyone. But in general, I do think it’s imperative to press the reset button from time to time. We all have our vices and distractions that keep us from being our best selves and seeing our goals come to fruition.
By removing some of my biggest roadblocks for 30 days (or two weeks or however long you deem necessary), I’m re-centering myself. It’s a fresh start with a new perspective. Our bodies and minds are like internet or computers—they often stop working effectively until you power down and restart. The reset button doesn’t mean deep-rooted issues dissipate; it just gives you time to work on yourself without the outliers that cloud the mind.
3. I Protect My Energy
Now more than ever, the universe is forcing us to be selective in every aspect of our lives. A pandemic gives you the easy way out to just about anything. But aside from forced mandates, all this time spent at home and not in traffic (hallelujah) has allowed me to restructure my priorities. I no longer feel obligated to partake in something or spend time with someone just because it’s the right thing to do. I’m only doing what feels right for me. I don’t need to do things to “be nice” if it’s only compromising my energy and headspace.
4. I Partake in Activities That Raise My Vibrations
It’s no secret that the minute you put alcohol or any other mild-altering substance into your body, your vibrations go way down (even if you’re having the time of your life). If my mental health is taking a hit or I simply just want to feel my best, there’s no way I can incorporate alcohol into part of my plan.
But outside of that, when I’m cooking, walking, working out, writing, sharing information with people or spending quality time with people who bring out the best in me, I’m naturally raising my vibrations. And those high times are when I attract the best things in life. There are simply those days in which my energy is at a low and I can’t seem to change it. But that’s okay—the more I practice high-vibrational routines, the quicker I can get back up to speed.
5. I Take a Shower and Wash My Hair
You may be thinking uhh to this one, but hear me out. Showers and something we take for granted. And a lot of the time they’re super rushed. But the next time you find your head clogged, have a good rinse (including hair) and actually pay attention to how different you feel. It’s pretty awesome to notice much of that angst wash away down the drain with some of your split ends.
6. I Remember That I’m on My Journey and They’re on Theirs
I’m very fortunate in that I’m surrounded by incredibly hard-working friends who are all successful in their own right. And a number of them are not only thriving in the workplace, but in their romantic and domestic lives, too. That can at times be daunting when you stack up your lifetime accomplishments to theirs. But it’s not worth it. Yes, there are days that are hard, or times when I’m like, wait, why wasn’t I handed that deck? But not everything is easy for anyone. We’re all figuring it out. I have to remind myself to just keep doing my best and (No. 5) keep those vibrations high. The rest will come.
If you’re feeling a bit down and out, HERE are some of the best ways to heal your energy.
Some people stick to traditional spring cleaning, but I’m personally a huge proponent of doing it during autumn. There are always more things to get rid of when decluttering towards the end of the year than during Q2.
So yes, currently, as temps drop and leaves fall, I’m at peace going through endless drawers and closets filled with what I once thought I couldn’t part with. It’s the most freeing feeling, and I’m thisclose to being where I want to be with my environmental energy.
Whether during spring, fall or any season at all, getting rid of lingering belongings is always a good idea. That’s why I reached out to Decluttering for Dummies author, Jane Stoller. While doing this is important, like any other big project, it’s a daunting, time-consuming task.
“We’re busy—when we come home, we’re too tired or overwhelmed to even think about decluttering,” Jane tells skyelyfe. “I hope to change that mindset gradually, and not only show that decluttering is fun but it can be incorporated into your daily routine naturally. Though, nowadays we’re all working from home and many have made time to declutter!”
Kicking off a round up of decluttering is much like starting anything else.
“Ease into it the same way you would when starting a new exercise routine,” Jane explains. “Schedule daily or weekly decluttering into your calendar to hold yourself accountable and beat the overwhelming feelings. The goal is that decluttering will happen naturally once you make this process a habit.”
Keep reading for Jane’s list of six things to get rid of when decluttering.
1. Anything That Steals Your Energy
This is the time to get real. Look at each space in your home and workspaces and dig deep. They may look okay on the surface, but I want you to really acknowledge where disasters lie. Hidden drawers, piled magazines from three years ago, or antique furniture you can’t get rid of, haven’t used for years, but definitely steals your energy each time you have to dust its intricate details. Get real with yourself. Allow the energy you feel when you enter rooms and go towards each item to help you.
2. Most of What’s Packed Away in Closets or Other Storage Spaces
Anything taking up space is therefore taking up precious real estate. There are some common items that many of us store at home and they never see the light of day, or, we even have a separate off-site storage unit (and we shouldn’t be paying for it).
Furniture should be used, not stored. If you don’t use it, why are you keeping it?
By the time you find them, they’re either too old, are no longer relevant, or have been ruined by dust or the elements. Technology moves fast, so don’t store electronics.
Old Travel Bags
Not a week goes by that I don’t see an ad for the latest new travel bag or suitcase that’s lighter, more functional, has wireless charging, you name it! Holding onto old suitcases and travel bags is unnecessary. Keep your travel items up-to-date if you travel frequently—and if you don’t travel, then why do you have these in the first place? Plus, airlines are getting stricter with weight and sizes, so traveling with your old huge and heavy suitcases probably isn’t the best idea.
It always bothers me when photos are stored in attics because no one can ever see them! Photos are meant to be viewed, especially if you took the time to print them. They should be taken care of, not stuffed in a box where they’re likely getting ruined.
Packing Material and Empty Boxes
Get rid of these ASAP.
3. Photos of Your Ex (and Their Items)
This is definitely in the past! Memories and items, especially from past loved ones, are precious, and I completely respect that and want you to keep whatever brings you the most happiness. The key is to be selective in what you keep. Going through your sentimental items should be a joy, and the more selective you are about how much you keep, the better the process will be.
4. Anything That Can’t Be Used
While we know that trash is the most obvious clutter, everyone’s definition of “trash” can also be different. As the saying goes, “One’s man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” But a rule of thumb is anything broken or expired that cannot be donated should be quickly decluttered.
If it’s a document you need, scan it and upload it to the Cloud or any online drive of your own preference. Recycle all of your loose papers and shift to a digital mindset going forward.
Rethink buying in bulk in the first place. On the same theme of determining how much you should keep, I encourage you to change your mindset and keep only one of something where you have many, and make it count. Hanging onto multiples or bulk-saving will not make your items more special.
Especially bathroom products! I think being prepared for anything is important, from earthquakes to having spare toothpaste so you don’t have to run to the store at midnight. However, I don’t agree with storing multiples of all your bathroom products and certainly not more than one extra of each. If you’re at Costco and you see your exact moisturizer on sale in a set of 20, think twice. Will they expire before you’re even ready to use them? Will you switch moisturizers next month? Will your skin type change? Are you willing to give up your precious real estate in the bathroom for these to sit for possibly years?
Now that you know what things to get rid of when decluttering, click HERE for expert tips on how to take the best #OOTD selfies.
When we think of “self-care,” what initially comes to mind are doctor and dentist appointments, working out, cutting out toxic people and meditation—to name a few.
While indeed our mind and body are of utmost importance, there are actually a handful of lesser considered actions that will not only make you feel better about yourself, but will exhibit to others that you value who you are and how you’re presented. After all, caring about yourself encompasses how you treat the things you own, too.
Because self-care is crucial now more than ever, keep reading for four important self-care tips you probably don’t think about (but should!).
1. Ditch the Cracked Phone
We’re all guilty of walking around with a cracked phone at some point. It’s kind of a rite of passage. Have you really lived if you’ve never rocked a shattered iPhone? But part of “self-care” is properly looking after your belongings (especially expensive ones!). Your phone is almost as prominent of an accessory as your hair. There are times it’ll be tucked away in your handbag, but let’s not kid ourselves—for the most part, our phones are always on full display. Not only does a cracked screen probably stress you out each time you look at it, but it exhibits to others that you may be lazy and careless. Keep your screen (and its accompanying case, for that matter) clean and pristine.
2. Keep Your Car Clean (Inside and Out)
Think of your car as an extended version of your bedroom. Depending on how much you drive, you could spend almost equal amount of time in both! When your living space is cluttered or dirty, it stresses you out, right? Well, likely same for your car. Get rid of the empty soda cans, the old piled-up papers, books, cups, weird cords, whatever the case may be. It doesn’t matter if you drive a brand new BMW or a 2001 Honda Civic—keeping your car completely decluttered clears out energy and gives you a more relaxed mind while you’re on the road, which is stressful enough in itself. And while you’re at it, give that bad boy a regular exterior wash as well. Does it ever feel good looking like you just drove through the Dust Bowl?
3. Don’t Wear Clothes With Stains, Tears or Wrinkles
How you dress is up to you. While not everyone has the budget to dress to the nines, nor does everyone even enjoy dressing up, there are some things in everyone‘s control. Whether you rock a casual tee and jeans or you’re decked out in designer duds, put in minimal effort by avoiding items with obvious stains, tears or wrinkles. Again, part of self-care is looking after your belongings, not just your mind and body. Your clothes are a part of you, so wear them well. Put in the extra work by dropping things off at a dry cleaner or tailor—and most importantly, always keep a hand-held steamer by your side. These on-the-go gadgets work wonders—wrinkle-free is the way to be!
4. Make Your Bed Each Morning
You hear this one all the time, but it’s easy to overlook. Based on our hectic schedule or the fact that we live alone or don’t expect anyone to see our bed, we let this task fall to the wayside. But next time you consider passing it by, try making your bed (it doesn’t have to be perfect), and pay attention to the difference you feel when you get under the covers that night to go to sleep. Everything’s in the right place, allowing you to slip under the sheets and rest easy. Additionally, it really throws the whole room together. A clean room with a messy bed is simply a messy room. You don’t want that, right?
For more tips to bettering yourself, click HERE for best wellness practices suggested by experts during the pandemic.
Although we have mixed feelings about the long-running reality show, we have to give credit where credit is due. It was filled with iconic and hilarious moments we’ll truly never forget. Not only were we working at E! when the show premiered (crazy, right?), we also relate to much of its L.A.-focused lifestyle.
Whether you’re ecstatic about this news or completely heartbroken, check out the nine best Twitter reactions to the show’s 2021 demise below!
1. Some were most definitely in the ‘ecstatic’ camp:
2. While others were legitimately broken by this news:
3. Others simply celebrated the exemplary moments:
4. One knew what’s happening behind the scenes:
5. A few knew it’s all part of the grand plan:
6. And another uncovered an even more sophisticated scheme:
7. Some considered Kris Jenner’s prospective career in screen writing:
8. Many started popping the champagne:
9. And some threw major shade to both Kourtney and Zayn Malik:
The one who was once seemingly timid or didn’t care that much about Instagram, and is suddenly posing in front of the mirror every chance they get. Weird, right? Well, maybe not so much.
Amid quarantine, we’ve been restructuring our friend groups, behaviors and what we do in our spare time. If you’re suddenly showing off your outfit every single day, let yourself live. Not only is it fun to get others’ feedback (and hopeful approval), but it’s a way to express yourself, and you shouldn’t be ashamed.
But if you’re going to do it, you may as well do it right… right? We reached out to blogger Sydne Summer of SydneStyle.com, who explains how to ace that solo shot. The fashion influencer just started selling her own line of gorgeous face masks, so if you’re having trouble posing perfectly while incorporating your protective COVID gear into the shot, look no further.
Keep reading for her decade-long expertise on how to take the best #OOTD selfies if it’s become your new quarantine hobby.
skyelyfe: Why is now a better time than ever to show off your outfits on IG?
Sydne Summer: With so much time on their hands, people are more engaged than ever on Instagram. It’s a great time to for content! Outfits bring hope that better days are to come.
SL: Because we’re inside the majority of quarantine, what are your best tips for taking indoor shots?
SS: Lighting is key. If possible, stand in front of a window or balcony. Try to shoot when the sun is the brightest outside, around midday. If you don’t have natural light in your space, there are tons of inexpensive light options you can order on Amazon: https://shopstyle.it/l/bfllg. If you use a light inside your home, decrease the warmth in your photo or video to get rid of the yellow light.
SL: What are necessary props, colors or anything else you have in mind to amp up an otherwise mundane shot?
SS: People respond really well to color on Instagram. If you’re more into neutrals with your outfits, think about adding a bright color lip.
SL: What are your tips for amping up an athleisure or loungewear look?
SS: Accessories! A statement earring instantly glams up a loungewear look. A fun scrunchie or headband makes an athleisure look more stylish.
SL: What are your tips for taking mirror selfies?
SS: Again, lighting, lighting, lighting. Always try to make sure the light source is directed at your face.
SL: Anything else of note on selfies or #OOTDs?
SS: I have a whole video on how to pose for photos! Practice makes perfect. Now is a great time to perfect your poses for the best outfit photos of the day! https://youtu.be/pUYoL36rUTg And don’t forget to smile! We could all use more smiles over RBF in our feeds.
Quarantine and social distancing has done a number on every relationship (romantic or otherwise)—but more than ever, couples who just started dating, or who didn’t necessarily plan on living together just yet have been put to the test.
When lockdown demands first came into play, not only were people quick to cohabitate unexpectedly, but even longtime couples were given their own set of hurdles. Adapting to being with someone literally 24/7 is challenging for anyone, especially depending on the demands of work, allotted living space and individual lifestyle.
More than three months into social distancing and people are reflecting on where their relationship stands. For better or worse, is how you dealt with your partner amid quarantine an indicator of where you stand longterm? We reached out to Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®), a professor at Oakland University in Michigan, who explains what the outcome of your quarantine means for your relationship. Keep reading for what she had to say.
skyelyfe: What kind of relationships thrive in quarantine conditions with their partner?
Terri Orbuch: There are relationships that were already distressed or not doing well before quarantine. When these distressed relationships are stressed from things outside the relationship—like the coronavirus pandemic, this stress can exacerbate the issues and problems. Also, when distressed relationships are stressed, the stress makes it more difficult to connect with each other, less likely to see the positives in each other and the relationship, and less likely have empathy and understanding for the other partner. However, people who were in relationships that weren’t already distressed—those relationships can survive and even thrive if they do some simple strategies.
SL: What are keys to making these situations work effectively?
TO: A) Share your anxieties, concerns and fears with each other. Whether you’re living together or not, you can share your concerns with each other, because otherwise, the anxieties fester inside of you, and then work on your physical health. Don’t talk about the fears nonstop 24/7, but instead set a specific time to share.
B) Accept that you and your partner may have different reactions to the stress and quarantine. One of you may watch the news all the time, the other partner may not. These differences in how you handle or react to the situation don’t mean that your relationship is in trouble or should end. These differences are common to all romantic relationships.
C) Find fun activities to do together. These are very challenging times, but couples who do fun things together are more likely to thrive. Take a virtual cooking class online together, start a puzzle together, play board games, do an exercise class together online. Or if you’re not living together, make regular virtual dates where you do something you both enjoy together (e.g., take a virtual tour of the local zoo, play Pictionary, watch a movie “together” on Netflix.
D) Give each other space. It’s important in any romantic relationship that each of you have time, space and privacy from one another, particularly now. Don’t say “I need space” because it sends confusing signals. Instead: “I need some time to do X this afternoon”. Enjoy your space and don’t feel guilty.
SL: What does it mean if you and someone you truly love aren’t cohabitating effectively amid quarantine?
TO: It’s challenging to live with your partner 24/7 amidst quarantine. Most couples have never spent this much time together, just the two of you, with no other distractions or people. This is a very different time. It takes great patience, understanding, empathy and understanding that relationship challenges are inevitable, no matter how much you truly love each other! Remember to share, accept, find fun activities to do together, and give each other space.
SL: What are some ways to take a break from your partner amid quarantine if you’re cohabitating?
TO: You can walk outside separately. You can read a book in your room or on a couch. You can listen to a podcast, watch a movie, exercise, do an online course, or FaceTime with your friend—separately. It’s okay to take a break from each other, even if you’re living [in a small space].
Just last week, there were three major astrological events, including the solar eclipse, new moon in Cancer and summer solstice. We have to ask, are you guys okay!?
This Cancer new moon is quite extraordinary this year, as it’s the first in a duo of consecutive Cancer new moons. Heightened emotions may surface, riding the coattails of the potent solar eclipse and could continue with the next new moon in Cancer on July 20. It’s a fantastic time for healing, purging and releasing as we take a look at where we need true support in our lives.
Below, you’ll find four incredible practices that will help you ground your energy, release negative emotions or patterns and grow into the awe-inspiring being of light that you are this season!
Take a Crystal Healing Bath
If you’ve never taken a crystal healing bath, it’s time you get on that. Water, itself, is already an incredible healing force, but adding crystals to the mix amplifies the energy tenfold. Using simple epsom salt combined with an amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz stone is our personal favorite way to clear out old stagnant energy that no longer serves. You can also add essential oils like lavender and frankincense for an extra boost of relaxation. You may not feel any different during the actual bath, but you’ll wake up the next morning feeling amazingly refreshed. You can find out more on ritual baths (including what stones shouldn’t be used in the tub) HERE.
Practice ‘I Am’ Affirmations
Never underestimate the effect of a simple ‘I am’ affirmation. By putting these short words in front of any dynamic or positive adjective, you’re reminding yourself of your own truth and divinity. They essentially train your subconscious to release blocks and negativity that may be holding you back from manifesting your dreams. Luckily, YouTube is a beautiful place filled with many meditations and affirmations for different conditions you’d like in your life including success, love, abundance—you name it.
Pay Attention to Emotional Triggers
The nature of Cancer is highly emotional and sensitive. That energy can also be amplified at the time of a new moon. Old emotional wounds may surface during this time that, let’s be honest, you hadn’t planned on revisiting. Instead of trying to bury pain or unpleasant emotions, let them rise to the surface for healing and clearing. Meditate on uplifting mantras to rebuild your confident spirit. Everything we experience is for our personal growth, and there’s no greater form of expansion than deep, soulful rejuvenation.
Make Moon Water
Yes, moon water is totally a thing and it’s incredibly magical✨🌝. There’s no better way to cleanse and soothe your inner turbulence than by sipping on transformation-infused H20. The moon greatly influences the tides of the ocean, so why wouldn’t it have an effect on our physical bodies? You can make a batch by simply putting out a jar of water under a full moon to charge it with its energy and taking a nice, big chug of it the next morning. Take this practice further by adding a specific intention or something you would like to manifest to it before setting it out.
TikTok is easily the only platform where you can have zero followers, post once and still get massive amounts of attention.
This makes it a treasure trove of possibilities when it comes to growing your business or building your personal brand.
Scroll below for the best tips on how to harness this mighty app’s power, as told by marketing platform Later’s resident TikTok expert Taylor Loren.
1. Leverage Their User Base
TikTok now has over 800 million active users. That’s right on par with Instagram’s active user base which is just under 1 billion. It’s important to note that TikTok prioritizes entertainment and authenticity over commerce—a stark distinction from Instagram. Users are looking for creators who are passionate, inspired and funny. Participating in things like TikTok challengers are fun yet incredibly strategic ways to creatively increase brand awareness. It’ll help boost your account, get more users to check out your content and increase your potential of landing on many users’ “For You” pages.
2. Know What Sets the App Apart
Another major distinction between TikTok and Instagram is that it’s more about the content of the video rather than how pretty it looks. When users first open the app, they’re immediately taken to their “For You” page, an area with content specifically tailored to their interests based on previously watched and liked videos. Most of the content featured here is actually from people they don’t already follow, making it a valuable tool when it comes to building brand awareness. It’s super critical to make this distinction as it determines what kind of content you should focus on pushing out. There’s less pressure in terms of aesthetic, but unfiltered videos should be kept short, sweet and have a clever angle.
3. Create Fun, Short and Eye-Catching Content
TikTok is overflowing with effects and editing features that are incredibly easy to use. Never underestimate the value of eye-catching text as it helps users understand what you’re doing, who you are and why they shouldn’t scroll past your video. Another essential tip is avoiding the right side and bottom of the screen when adding text since they’re covered by the share icon and caption. These may seem like simple things, but those are sometimes the most overlooked. Initiating TikTok duets are also a great way to engage with other popular accounts and the perfect way to step out of your comfort zone.
4. Switch to a FREE TikTok Pro Account
If you haven’t already, definitely consider upgrading to a TikTok Pro account. This will give you access to analytics tools that’ll help you gain a better understanding of how your content performs. Use these tools to assess what content you should focus on, find your audience and ask yourself what trends are relatable to your brand. And as we noted, it’s completely free!
5. Know How the Algorithm Works
Trust us when we tell you the discover page is your new BFF. It’s majorly helpful in uncovering the latest trends and hashtagsthat are used for optimal audience-targeting, aka getting on more users’ “For You” pages. Because your main goal is to be featured on as many as possible, it’s important to contribute the kind of content that other users are interacting with most.
Hone in on your niche from there and you’ll eventually find an audience that likes and shares the same types of videos as you. Using specific trending sounds, songs, effects or combos of these also aid you in gaining TikTok success. The platform truly rewards users who are making the most of their features and actively engaging on the platform, so it’s also an excellent idea to post frequently.
Many stores and businesses around the world have been deeply affected by the current pandemic. Some of them will make it while others simply can’t survive the devastation.
With a heavy heart, we’ve rounded up a few treasured gems we’re truly sorry to see go. Grab your tissues and keep scrolling.
Pier 1 Imports
We’ve always admired Pier 1 for their charming seasonal decor and decorative centerpieces, so we were more than saddened to hear that they’ll be permanently closing their doors. The silver lining, however, is majorly inexpensive furniture deals. They’re currently accepting online orders and will begin blowout sales once stores can reopen for business. Now’s the time to pounce on that nightstand or coffee table you’ve always needed but haven’t found the extra cash to snag yet.
‘Tis a dark day when you find out your all-time fave buffet is a goner. We would like to take a moment to properly mourn endless salad, soup, crispy bread sticks and, most importantly, mouth-watering pizza bread. It was fun while it lasted 😩.
As you probably already know, Victoria’s Secret has low-key been on the decline for a while now. The lingerie retailer recently announced that they’d be closing 250 of its U.S. and Canadian stores over the next several months to help strengthen their business. Luckily, you still have the option to buy online, but we’ll definitely miss their adorable giant pink dog in-store displays 🐶😔.
Another deep sigh for beloved department store J.C.Penney who’ll be axing 242 locations as part of the company’s bankruptcy. Although they won’t be completely liquidating their assets like Pier 1, we’re not sure what this means for the future of the company. Department stores have taken the biggest hit amidst the panic of coronavirus, but we’re hopeful that Penney’s will be able to rally and push through. Where else will we able to find affordable bedding, furniture and Sephora items all in one place!?
While J.Crew didn’t necessarily fit our SoCal style, we’re still bummed to hear the apparel provider filed for bankruptcy. It’s been a solid mainstay for as long as we can recall, and we really do appreciate the remarkably soft, rich and comfortable fabric of their pajamas, loungewear and sweaters. We’ll remain hopeful for an amazing summer sale to come through.
There’s no shortage of information swirling around about what you should do to protect your health during the pandemic.
However, we’re here to share that there are simple and delicious food items you can incorporate into your daily diet that’ll boost immunity without having to go to extreme lengths.
Read on for expert wellness advice from Kroma Superfoods founder Lisa Odenweller, Hello Me founder Julie McClure and beauty supplement brand Hush & Hush co-founder Janna Roberts.
Vitamins D, C and A
To put it simply, vitamin D, C or A deficiencies equal higher risk of illness. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is necessary for the development of bones and the regulation of calcium in your body. Vitamins D and C also improves resistance against certain diseases. Vitamin A also supports healthy immunity and lowers risks of certain cancers.
Matcha Green Tea
Extremely high in antioxidants, matcha green tea is the superfood to have on hand. Antioxidants are a powerful way to reduce cell damage and lower the risk of chronic diseases. In addition to this ultra superpower, it promotes heart health, boosts brain function, protects the liver and is beyond easy to throw into a shake, latte or even dessert.
This root has a delicious nutty aroma and is high in vitamin C, copper and iron. This helps keep your metabolism on track, boosts your energy and fights free radical damage. All this in one little powder? Sign us up.
There are a ton of different brands of mushroom extract to try so its best to find one that’s right for you. Our personal favorite is Om Organic Mushroom Powder. Reishi mushrooms reduce blood pressure, elevate the immune system and are great for the skin.
Turmeric is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and increases your body’s antioxidant capacity. This is crucial as it blocks free radicals directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses. A serious one-two punch.
Creating and manifesting your ideal career takes practice, perseverance and, most importantly, dedication.
Many of us feel restless and want to take concrete steps toward our dreams, but the current health situation requires us to have much more patience than usual. Luckily, in the meantime, The XX Project’s Thriving During Crisis series has been helping us cope by providing weekly webinars that are both engaging and valuable.
This week’s speaker, Zoe Fairbourn, head of partnerships for Hello Sunshine (founded by Reese Witherspoon), spoke about what you can do to create your ideal position and future, even in uncertain times. Scroll below for her tips.
Look For a Niche
One of the most important things you can do for your professional growth is ask where you can truly make an impact. Finding the right position for you can be tough, but start by asking yourself what strong qualities you posses and how you can make a difference with them. Once you narrow that down, it will guide you in calibrating to the right field and niche for those skills.
Ask For What You Want
This piece of advice applies if you’re currently looking for work or unhappy in your current job and seeking a greater challenge. Asking for what you want seems like such a simple task, but many people forget that it’s most often what will illuminate the path forward for you. Reaching out to your network, cold emailing or asking for advice on LinkedIn can get you much further than you ever imagined.
Know What You Don’t Want
The key to discovering your dream career comes from knowing what you don’t want to manifest most of all. It may seem counterproductive, but this actually opens the door to more inspiration on what you are looking to build. What don’t you like about your current team, boss or position? Knowing your own personal dealbreakers can cause major light bulb moments on where you’re looking to put your energy, passion and efforts.
Find an Industry, Role or Company You’re Passionate About
If you’ve been laid off or are using this time to contemplate a completely new direction in your career, start by writing down your personal passions. This is a perfect jumping-off point to then research industries, roles or companies you’d love to be a part of, using your skillset to pursue a new avenue.
You Can Learn Something From Everyone on the Job
Challenging coworkers and bosses can test your patience like no other, but remember that there’s something to be learned from everyone on the job. Your most valuable position isn’t always your dream one, but the one with more difficult energy surrounding it. Learning to deal with unpleasant people and situations is an important lesson to overcome before stepping into your dream career. Keep the perspective by remembering that you’re only growing better, stronger and sharper from these experiences.
Before coronavirus came into play and turned our lives upside down, I was living a happy existence.
I’ve been dating my boyfriend, Mason, for almost a year, so it’s safe to say I know him pretty well. While we don’t share an apartment, we do spend at least five nights a week together at one of our places, cooking, drinking red wine, hanging out with our friends and of course, having the occasional fight.
Enter: coronavirus. Initially, I completely freaked out, asking Mason to stay at my apartment for fear I’d be stuck in L.A. all by myself. Once news of an official lockdown came into play, we talked it over and decided to quarantine together at his apartment in Newport Beach.
Turns out it was the best decision we could’ve made. There’s just no way either one of us would be able to handle a “long-distance” relationship. I’m so grateful to be quarantined with Mason. He’s willing to be lazy with me and lay in bed all day, but he also has the power to get my butt moving and work out. We’ve found the perfect balance for our little quarantine life, and I love it.
This whole experience has given me a preview of what life would look like living together full-time. Every day, he asks if I’m sick of him yet, and I answer with a resounding no. I think that’s a sign you’ve found your forever person… when you don’t mind being around them all the time (like, literally all the time).
But aside from knowing for sure that Mason is the love of my life, I’ve gotten to look at our existence together from the view of a microscope. Here are four things I’ve learned about my relationship from quarantining with my boyfriend.
I Miss Him in Those Few Hours ‘Apart’ While Working
Even though we’re together every waking second, I find myself missing Mason when we spend any time apart. Obviously in quarantine we don’t really get to be alone. So, when we’re working, we give each other space, which is sort of like our time apart.
Speaking of work, he takes his very seriously. Mason is typically super laidback, if not on the more quiet side (we’re very similar in that way). However, during quarantine, I’ve learned that he’s an extremely loud talker when it comes to work. On every single Zoom call he’s taken, I’m convinced the walls are shaking because of the sound waves he makes. Since he’s rather noisy on his Zoom calls, I’ve been able to hear every word he says on them. He works in Facebook advertising, and the conversations I’ve heard him have with his coworkers sound like complete gibberish to me, leading me to believe he’s the smartest man I’ve ever met.
I Pick Up on His Moods Immediately
Everyone has different ways of revealing their vibe is off, so whether your significant other didn’t say good morning or make your A.M. coffee, there are clear indications of their mood change, no matter how subtle they may be. I’m realizing how easy it is to learn when he’s excited, happy, sad, mad and everything in between.
You also learn to navigate through behaviors that are just them versus actions that are personal to you. Before quarantine, there were times I’d try to have conversations with Mason, and I was under the impression he was ignoring me because he wasn’t interested in what I had to say. Now, however, I’m realizing it’s because he can’t multitask. If he’s driving, playing around on his phone, looking at the computer, watching TV—I won’t get a response out of him.
I’ve also learned he gets cranky if he doesn’t work out. I sort of already knew this about him, but not to the full extent. He usually goes to a boxing gym a few days a week, but since those are now closed, he’s been way crankier than usual. He’s been relying on weights and my Peloton (which we brought to Orange County from L.A.), and it’s definitely cooled him down.
ILove Doing Nothing With Him
Sometimes, all I want to do is lay in bed all day, watch movies and eat junk food. And you know what’s better than doing that? Doing it with the person you love. Even in complete silence, Mason and I are able to enjoy each other’s company, and it doesn’t get old even doing it together all this consecutive time.
I Love Doing Everything With Him
Even amid quarantine, we still find ways to be adventurous and try new things. Whether we eat a new dish, watch a scary movie or something else, I’m happy as long as I have him by my side. Even though we’re obviously limited with resources, there are still many firsts to be experienced and we’re savoring every minute together.
In fact, spending so much time together has made his quirks fall to the wayside. He sets no less than 50 alarms in 15-minute increments. I only noticed this during quarantine. I mean, it is a little odd, but I’ve learned how to laugh it off—kind of like how he gets dressed up for work, like super serious, amid quarantine. He wears jeans sometimes! Meanwhile, I’m perfectly cozy in my sweats, and don’t understand going all out every single day from home when you can spend more time sleeping. But I guess I admire he’s drive to look his best at all times. Mason, if you’re reading this, I love you, and I know I’m way weirder than you.
If you’ve been feeling restless or agitated during quarantine, now is the ideal time to redirect your energy toward aspirations and goals for the rest of the year.
You can create a brand new reality for yourself just through the power of position intention, energy clearing and tapping into the flow of abundance already present in your experience. Scroll through for five simple things you can do in the comfort of your own home to manifest your new life.
Use the Law of Attraction
There’s an extensive amount of information out there on the law of attraction. With everything from The Secret to Notes from the Universe, it may seem overwhelming to try and harness this powerful yet simple principle. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be in the slightest. Although there are many different teachers on the subject, the basic steps are always the same. You can manifest anything you want into your reality by shifting your thoughts and vibration into a positive one. A great place to start your journey is by watching manifestation success coach Amy Westmoreland’s YouTube channel.
Incorporate Simple Feng shui Into Your Space
The Feng shui Collective (mother and daughter Feng shui experts with 30 years of experience) share many adjustments you can make to your room for allowing the right kind of energy into a space. Even something as simple as covering your large mirror at night can help you get better sleep and feel more uplifted in the morning. Follow them for first-rate tips and valuable info.
Make a Gratitude List
Remind yourself of everything currently going well in your life. Making a list of people, places and things you’re immensely grateful for during this time will help you keep perspective. Although the situation is far from ideal, it’s important not to overlook the fact that you’re healthy, safe and have support from friends and family. We know it isn’t easy to do this, especially if you’ve lost a job, but do your best. You’d be surprised how much better you feel afterwards.
Never underestimate the power of visualization. Visualizing is a huge part of the manifestation process. Even if you’re feeling a little hopeless or stuck at the moment, envision exactly what you want your life to look like for 5 minutes every day. Holding this mental image is going to bring inspiration to take right course of action and find creative solutions to your current challenges.
Create a Vision Board
Make use of your current down time by creating a vision board. Many have reported it as a major success tool when looking to build a new aspect of their life. Acquire images from magazines, the internet or even Instagram that just speak to you on a soul level. Whether you’re discovering your life’s passion, or just planning how to get out of debt, it’s an incredible road map that will illuminate the path forward.
We’ve discussed the of impact of coronavirus on mental, spiritual and physical health, but what should you do if your work is also in jeopardy or you’ve already lost your job?
Getting laid-off can be a traumatizing experience on its own, but now it’s even more challenging with the added layer of market uncertainty that comes with a pandemic. Luckily, the Los Angeles career experts at Eleven Recruiting held a webinar last week offering advice to those whose careers have been halted by coronavirus.
Scroll below for their top five tips to turning your job casualty into your next major career move.
1. Update Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
Although this may seem like basic, even elementary advice at this point, it’s still extremely important. Keeping your resume up-to-date and revamping your LinkedIn may just be what lands you the job. If you have certain special skills you’d like to highlight on your profile, see if a few friends are willing to endorse you for them. It can make a world of a difference.
2. Add Highlights to Your Resume
We know by now that hiring managers are looking at thousands of resumes per day, each for only about 10 seconds. Adding a “Highlights” section is a considerable way to set yourself apart from the crowd. This can include everything from your strongest skills (campaign building, influencer marketing, etc.) to a summarized version of any meaningful and relevant career accomplishments.
3. Find Out What Skills Are in Demand
Because we now have more downtime than ever before, make use of it by researching what skills and career experience are in high-demand right now. Making yourself more marketable is the key to landing an interview for any position. A few skills Eleven Recruiting mentioned as a hot commodity are writing, editing, graphic design and web development.
4. Utilize LinkedIn’s Certification Program
In case you didn’t know, LinkedIn also offers one-month freetrial access to their certification and higher education programs. Now’s an excellent time to take advantage of these opportunities to further your training in areas including management and software development. There’s also the option to learn Photoshop, WordPress and more.
5. Create an Organized Spreadsheet With Leads and Application Statuses
This may not seem like the most important aspect to focus on, but staying organized and proactive during the job search is absolutely crucial. How many times have you lost track of the applications you’ve sent out or if you’ve already applied to a position? Keeping a spreadsheet will help keep you on track, while feeling accomplished for all the energy you’ve invested in your overall career advancement.
Remember when swiping to find your soulmate was a foreign concept? Welp! That’s way old news.
Enter: dating in the era of social distancing. As the coronavirus has everyone quarantined, we’re becoming much more resourceful with how we “get acquainted” with people. It’s like we’re all adults living (hopefully only temporarily) as teens, refusing to communicate by any means other than video chat—dating included.
I had my debut bout with the 2020 era of digital dating on the first official weeknight of isolation. A happily married friend of mine has a flowing pool of singles she knows through a variety of avenues. She’s set me up on dates with her friends before—ones in which she eyed as potential matches. This time, however, she said from the get-go this wasn’t someone she necessarily saw me running off into the sunset with. More time on her hands means more energy to arrange things like this apparently, and she thought it would be fun to set some of her friends up on very random FaceTime dates.
After a little bit of thought, I agreed to it. Honestly, what do I have to lose? There aren’t really any ways to meet new people at this very moment, and, for lack of a better word: YOLO. Next thing I knew, my friend sent me *Evan’s phone number, along with a reminder to “dress accordingly” and “have fun with it!” I chuckled. Thanks, coach!
Evan’s number had a 503 area code, which was perfect because I went to school at the University of Oregon, so if all else failed, I could ask about… living in Oregon? Boring. But anyway, I made it through my typical WFH office day, but had angst all throughout. I texted a couple girlfriends about my jitters, while nervously getting ready (trying to look nice, but not too nice). Time was ticking. Cue the stress.
The scariest part of this experience is those three insanely long seconds where it says “Connecting…”—you have so many thoughts running through your head. What will he look like? How should I hold the phone? Should my hair be in front of my ears or behind? Can he see my stray greys through the screen? It’s also important to note that I despise video chats and avoid them at all costs. With the exception of an occasional mandatory work Zoom, you’ll rarely spot me sitting in on these now-common gatherings.
At long last, our faces both made their way to the screen. I was greeted with a jolly, “Hi!” in that “I-know-this-is-awkward-but-here-we-are” tone. While yes, indeed awkward, Evan seemed gentlemanly and could hold a conversation. We shared some laughs, but as FaceTime would have it, sometimes responses and reactions are delayed or have weird echoes. Additional awkwardness.
There’s really only so much you can do on these first-time FaceTime dates. Especially sober. And you really only get a pixelated, headshot-version of the person you’re talking to. Our convo didn’t hit any lulls, but after a while, we both wanted to get to the rest of our evenings. Before I knew it, an hour had gone by. I was shocked! We ended with a lighthearted mutual agreement to hop in the kitchen and whip up a home-cooked meal—one we each sent to each other via text when finished.
I was so relieved when the call was over. Not because of anything he did, but because these things are scary and uncomfortable. Body language is 55% of communication, so there was a lot left undetermined without it. That said, the discomfort was just what I needed. Sometimes (a lot of the time), my nerves get the best of me and I play things too safe.
In case you’re wondering, we agreed we’d meet for a drink in person once we’re set free from quarantine. To be honest, as my friend predicted, I don’t think Evan and I will be a romantic match—but, meeting someone for drinks who I don’t have a lot in common with will be that much-needed step out of my comfort zone!
Although there’s no lack of health and wellness information going around right now, it can still be difficult to discern what’s right for you, specifically.
To help navigate this particular problem, clean beauty brand MARA, luxury beauty supplement brand Hush & Hush and The Jane Club and The XX Project recently hosted enlightening webinars on how we should nourish our minds and bodies during self-isolation.
Hush & Hush’s Wellness Wednesday discussion featured adept inner health education from founders Dr. Marc Ronert and Janna Ronert, while MARA Beauty’s roundtable-style Positive Perception panel highlighted the importance of listening to your own body’s needs. Meanwhile, The Jane Club and The XX Project hosted a calm-inducing Interactive Intuition workshop, led by Mindset Mastery Coach, Stephanie Kwong, and Personal Development Coach, Laura Greenberg.
Find the best wellness practices to incorporate into your routine from each seminar below!
Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Schedule
This seems like such a simple task, but many people get so caught up in fear that they forget how vital it is to go out and stretch their legs. Dr. Ronert suggests a 30-minute workout in the morning and another in the evening—whatever that may be for you.
Journal at Least Once a Day
During MARA’s roundtable, Natural beauty and skincare writer, Jessica DeFino, strongly recommended taking the time to journal every day. It’s imperative to prioritize our mental health during this time and remember that it’s absolutely okay not to feel okay all the time. Getting your thoughts out onto the page will help you process your emotions in a safe (social media-free) way.
Add More Supplements to Your Diet
If you didn’t already get the memo, vitamins are major key right now. Holistic chef and co-founder of How You Glow, Tara Sowlaty, shared with MARA audiences how important it is at this time to incorporate more vitamin D and C into our everyday diets. Because many are spending more time inside, that means far less sun exposure, which can cause lower back pain and fatigue. Regularly taking vitamin D should help counteract this, along with immunity-boosting vitamin C.
Avoid Meat If You Can
According to Dr. Ronert, meat increases inflammation in the body, which can compromise your immune system. Although we know it’s unrealistic to completely cut meat out of your diet, try eating extra fruits and vegetables or buying impossible meat instead. As tough as this situation is, it can be an amazing opportunity to clean up your diet and discover new, likable ingredients you otherwise wouldn’t touch.
Rethink Your Beauty Essentials
Now that health is a top priority, DeFino reminded us that it’s time to reconsider what are really our skincare essentials. Use this as motivation to check the ingredients in your face wash or foundation, as you might be surprised how many of them are not as organic as you’d like. Now’s a great time to trash those synthetic products and try a new holistic beauty line you think is right for you.
Set Limits For Yourself
We know this is a challenge when those Doritos are sitting five feet away from you all day long. However, periodically creating boundaries with your diet (especially alcohol consumption😅) and news intake will work wonders for you. Instead, stock up on protein-rich snacks that keep you fuller longer, and disconnect from electronics for a while.
Try Cupping at Home
Our favorite piece of guidance came from VIE Healing owner and Chinese medicine practitioner Mona Dan. For increased blood flow and a boost in immunity and chest health, try at-home cupping. VIE Healing offers a guide on this via their website and is also offering TeleMedicine sessions. They’re designed to help you build your own customized wellness kit at home that you’ll receive in the mail.
Practice Breathwork When You Experience Peak Anxiety
Our emotions are bound to get the best of us during these trying times, but when you feel your angst come to a head, Kwong suggests the 4-7-8 technique. Put your tongue behind your teeth in your upper mouth. breathe in for four seconds. hold it for seven seconds and breath out for eight seconds. Do this until your heartbeat slows and you feel more at ease.
In the wise words of Avril Lavigne, “He was a boy. She was a girl. Can I make it anymore obvious?”
And that about sums up the story of my boyfriend and me.
Prior to being a couple, we’d been friends for years. We met at a concert way back in 2012/2013, which should not come as a shock to those of you that know me. What’s even less shocking is he was in a band at the time.
We kept in touch here and there. But it wasn’t until 2017 we became really good friends. We texted regularly and I’d go to his shows as often as possible.
There was a point in 2019 when I could sense he had deeper feelings for me, though I was very scared of this being anything more than what it was. I have a terrible track record when it comes to dating. In fact, he’s my first “official” boyfriend, so there’s that. Still, I always wondered, “What if?”
Then 2020 rolled around and we started hanging out constantly, so much so that I knew I couldn’t be just friends with him. In late January, we finally kissed and the rest is history.
I know that was a lot of lead-up, but it had to be done. I’m trying to paint a full picture here, alright?
Anyway, back to my relationship. Things have been going really well. In February, I was gone for two weeks on a solo trip through New Zealand (yes, it was magical), and we stayed in touch every single day. He even drove me to and from the airport. That might not seem like a big deal, but I have been with many guys who wouldn’t drive over to my house to hook-up, because they were too lazy. So yes, my boyfriend’s a gem.
Those two weeks away were really tough. Even though I was having the time of my life exploring the north island of New Zealand, I missed him so much. I don’t think it helped that we had finally expressed our feelings, only to have me jet set across the world a week after the fact.
Once I returned, we were pretty much inseparable. We hung out as often as possible, texted, and chatted on the phone whenever we could. So when the coronavirus really started to make its way around the states, we had to decide the safest social-distancing measures for our new relationship.
At first, I stayed with him at his place, as to prevent my anxious thoughts surrounding the pandemic from spiraling, and to also be with him. But, some members of his household were still working, as they were deemed essential. This is when we made the difficult decision to physically stay apart until it was safe to see each other once again.
I was the one to initiate the plan, and while he agreed it was for the best, I know he wasn’t happy with it. It’s not that I was either, it’s the safest thing to do right now.
That was about a week and a half ago, and boy do I miss not seeing him in person regularly. Our time spent apart while I was in New Zealand was nothing compared to this. Obviously, what made those two weeks easier was how far apart we were and a set date on when we would see each other again.
Social-distancing during corona is tough, given we’re not that far from one another and we don’t know when we won’t need to be quarantined anymore. It could be days, weeks, months, years—who knows?
During this time, we’re staying in touch a lot more through technology. I literally just paused writing this for a sec to respond to his text and Instagram DM. We also make it a point to talk on the phone or over FaceTime at least once a day.
Some days are way easier than others. There have been times where either he or I want to ignore this whole quarantine protocol so we can see one other, but we both know that’s not what we need right now. We’re doing our best to fight those urges, so thank goodness technology exists to help with that.
One thing I really find helpful that we do is go on virtual dates. On these virtual dates, we get ready (I’m mainly talking about me, as I’ve been wearing the same sweatpants and sweatshirt combo for over a week now) and enjoy lunch, dinner, or a nice conversation over FaceTime. It honestly is so much fun, though we’ve only done one so far… well, two, if you count… never mind.
I’ve also been making it a point to do cutesy, romantic things here and there. For example, I made him a playlist the other day of songs that reminded me of him or our relationship. Though entirely cheesy, he truly appreciated the gesture.
The rest of my romantic antics have been much simpler, like sending him texts as to why I appreciate him or passing along sweet relationship quotes on Instagram. He’s dong the same, though I still haven’t received my playlist. Babe, if you’re reading this, please send me a collection of songs that remind you of me.
For now, we’re making do with what we have. It helps that I trust him and am very secure in our relationship, which hasn’t been the same with past flings. Still, it’s so tough being separated. I want nothing more than to hold his hand and kiss his cute little face right about now.
What really puts me at ease is knowing where I stand. We’re both pretty open with our feelings and unafraid to share whatever we’re experiencing with one another. Communication is always key in any relationship, but moreso now than ever before.
This has really pushed me out of my comfort zone, especially given all my past relationships have centered around sex, so I never felt entirely comfortable sharing my feelings with the person I was seeing at the time. I do now, which has made a world of difference.
For other new couples out there who are struggling by being separated from the coronavirus, I feel your pain. My advice would be to communicate as openly and honestly. Keep the conversations fun and flirty, but don’t be afraid to have serious talks every now and then, too.
Still plan on having date nights, as long as they’re virtual or you can maintain a six foot distance at all times. Do cute, spontaneous things for one another like sending a spontaneous “I love you” text or Venmoing them some money for groceries. Now’s the time to really get creative with showing your partner how much you care.
Quarantine (hopefully) won’t last forever, but you can start building the foundation now to make sure your relationship does.
We all know by now that mental health is equally, if not more, important than physical health.
Social distancing has caused many of us to feel deeply isolated and detached from our own spirit during this unprecedented time. Staying grounded, focused and positive is, without a doubt, essential now. There are many notable Instagram accounts focusing on maintaining spiritual health to help us all cope, but we’ve rounded up the top five that will really help you find your center.
Thrive no matter what by following the below accounts.
Spirit Daughter, our personal favorite account, has gotten us through some tough times. Whenever we’re feeling lost or anxious, their daily uplifting quotes always seem to know just what we need to hear at that moment. They also provide details on any specific astrological events going on at the time and include how we can harness this energy to our advantage. Their biggest celestial draws also include seasonal zodiac workbooks, moon guides and more.
The Hood Witch
If you’re not already following the Hood Witch, you’re doing everything wrong. Her everyday magic for the modern mystic breaks down the energies of the zodiac and the tarot into empowering yet digestible posts that leave us feeling ready to take on any obstacle in our path. Exactly the kind of big witch energy we all need to tap into at the moment✨.
Author, women’s empowerment coach, mystic and astrologer Natalia Benson is another gem we can count on for spiritual guidance. She’s been our saving grace for tools to remain calm, cool and collected while navigating the choppy waters we’re currently swimming through. Follow her account for crystal, yoga and online course recommendations.
Roxie Sound Healing
Roxie Sarhangi hosts live sound healings on her Instagram to help bring in more love, peace and ease for all souls who feel disconnected right now. For those who aren’t familiar with the practice, it’s a meditative acoustic symphony that brings you to a state of deep relaxation, activating self-healing. You can also visit one of her curated, immersive sound sessions at special locations that she hosts in L.A. once a month.
Filled with insight and a touch of ethereal magic, Moon Omens not only provides profound wisdom, but has a website featuring affirmations, and astrological tools you can’t find anywhere else. They tune into the moon’s lunar cycle and give you a full guide on rituals to practice and how it may affect each of us moving forward. This account is the perfect reminder to always trust the process as it’s leading you to your highest good🙏🏽.