I thought it would be fun to bring you all a round-up of my favorite items that have made this quarantine a bit more positive for me. I hope you guys find this list helpful. Even as quarantine is ending in many locations, the items listed below can be great for anytime.
Reading is a wonderful way to pass the time, and it doesn’t involve staring at a screen which so many of us are doing frequently nowadays. Getting into bed with a good book is a better choice than getting into bed with your phone, because it is less likely to interfere with your sleep cycles and melatonin regulation. It has been observed that staring into a bright screen right before we try to sleep is detrimental to sleep (Source). I personally like adult fiction, interesting autobiographies and self improvement style reads. My top picks as of now are I Forgot To Die by Khalil Rafati, Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering and Regretting You by Colleen Hoover. I also loved My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell (not pictured because I lent it to my mom). My favorite audiobook right now is Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage by Dan Crenshaw. Audiobooks are great for walks, driving in the car or cooking dinner.
My favorite podcasts right now are The Joe Rogan Experience and The Skinny Confidential podcast. The reasons why I enjoy both of these podcasts is one, because they are incredibly entertaining. Two, the hosts bring on a variety of different guests, so you never expect the same “theme” of episode. It is interesting to hear so many perspectives every time you tune in. It is important to be receptive to a diverse range of thoughts, ideas, and ways of living, and I think both of these podcasts allow for this.
Food and drink
It has been exciting for me to cook at home more, since I usually do not have time to do so. For example I made a delicious pesto pizza last night from a cauliflower crust. Recipes like pizza are great because then you can share it with your friends and family whom you are quarantining with! I have also been loving taking immunity and probiotic shots to support my gut health. Collagen peptides blended with my matcha, or coffee is a must for me as well. Other than that, I have been sticking to my staples which include my spirulina green smoothie, salads, and healthy sources of protein and fat like salmon, chicken, grass fed meat, ghee, avocado and coconut oil.
Workouts and Fitness
Just because we may no longer have access to the gym, does not mean we can’t still sweat it out and get a good endorphin pump. I have been trying to mix up my workouts and experiment with different programs. I love FitnessBlender for their variety of free workouts (HIIT, strength, yoga, stretching), and in that same category, MadFit is an incredible Youtube channel with hundreds of quick and effective at home workouts. We also got The Mirror installed in our basement last December, and my entire family loves it! The mirror contains live interactive workout classes that give the feel of being in a real workout class. My other virtual favorites include Melissa Wood Health. I recently subscribed to her monthly membership plan. I adore her energy, style of teaching and attitiude towards exercise. Her Pilates workouts are fabulous for improving your posture, lengthening the body and improving your core strength. I cannot recommend her enough! The videos are high quality, and it is very affordable for what you get with the membership. Last but not least are The Works live Zoom workouts. One of my best friends lives in Charleston, South Carolina and introduced me to this studio when they started doing live Zoom classes during quarantine. My favorites are the Fanny Pack which is a glutes/core focused workout with cardio intervals (it is as hard as it sounds!) along with their signature Core Vinyasa class. I can’t get enough of these challenging classes. The instructors have fantastic energy and the workout truly kicks your butt. I’m so grateful that they started streaming, so even when quarantine ends I will still be tuning in!
I cannot say enough about self-care during this time. This pandemic has affected us all deeply-some of us more than others-but everyone has been affected in some way shape or form. So you should give yourself some space and time to relax and do things that make you happy and feel good. Some of my favorites are taking a bubble bath with salts, face sculpting and applying a mask. I also have been meditating every morning using the Calm app. Remember you are going to be your best self to others when you take care of yourself first- by relaxing, reducing your anxiety naturally and taking deep breaths.
I hope some of you try a few items or ideas above. If you do, let me know what you think! As always, nothing is sponsored here-all of the reviews/opinions are my own.