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    I’m Focusing on Skincare Right Now—This is My Current Favorite Product

    Having all of this time on my hands has encouraged me to delve into new hobbies. I started bullet journaling—complete with fancy pens and highlighters. I started doing my own manicures. I took a leadership class on Skillshare. And I’ve gotten neck-deep in skincare.Now, listen: I know I say the same “I’m lazy about skincare” line in every story like this, and it’s true. But I’ve always enjoyed it, nonetheless. I like knowing about what can make our skin tick, from what products and ingredients to use for different skin concerns to what’s trending in dermatologist offices, Sephora, and more. I might be more of a makeup girl, but any and all beauty products give me the buzz of excitement most people can only dream of. All of this to say, my skincare habits have definitely changed within the last few months, not only to keep up with stress acne, but as self-care in the morning and at the end of a long day.
    While making my dream skincare routine (which yes, I did put in my previously-stated bullet journal) a few months ago, I wanted to add a higher-potency vitamin C product to my morning routine. I had been using one from Dr. Loretta to ease into it, but I was ready to try something that would tackle my hyperpigmentation and dullness with a little more vigor. Maelove’s hero product, The Glow Maker Serum, stood out to me immediately.

    If you’ve lusted after some of the most popular vitamin C serums (Skinceuticals C E Ferulic and Ole Henrikson Truth Serum, for example), they all have a few things in common: a high vitamin C content with the addition of vitamin E and Ferulic Acid. Oh, and they’re all expensive AF. Maelove’s formula? It has all of those buzzy ingredients with a price tag under $30. 

    I’ve been using it pretty much daily (laziness doesn’t just go away overnight, people) for two months now, and I see all the hype and more. There’s a reason this product goes in and out of stock constantly: it works. 
    Vitamin C, E, and Ferulic Acid are a common pair in skincare—but why? In a 2005 study from Duke University Medical Center, ferulic acid paired with 15 percent L-ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C) and 1 percent alpha-tocopherol (a type of vitamin E) “improved chemical stability and doubled photoprotection.” Other studies, such as one from Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology in 2007, suggest that vitamin C and E are “synergistic,” meaning they work best when put together. Basically, all of this science-jargon to say: there’s weight in using these ingredients together, and the Maelove serum combines it all right there for you. 
    My skin has broken out on and off since I started using it (thanks, Retin-A!), but my scars are fading much faster than usual. My skin also feels smoother and just overall clearer—I might have a few active zits, but my face has clarity and looks brighter. My morning skincare routine is pretty bare-bones, but I still feel like my skin is prepped and ready for makeup or to just look good on its own. 
    After cleansing in the morning, I pat Glow Maker on my skin with my fingertips. It has a really thin, liquid consistency that goes on easily. It does make my face quite tacky, but once I apply moisturizer, that goes away. I immediately wash my hands because the vitamin C stains your palms almost like a self-tanner would. Then, I go over it with a moisturizer and sunscreen, and I’m good for the day!
    As far as the scent, I don’t notice it and find it to be very mild on the spectrum of horrible-smelling vitamin C serums.

    How it looks on the skin with a little moisturizer—this product has hyaluronic acid as well, so it really plumps the skin and makes it look VERY glowy (hence, Glow Maker). 

    It’s rare for me to like every single thing about a product (I’m a little critical, what can I say), but I really have no complaints about this serum. I’ve been pining after the Skinceuticals since my dermatologist recommended it, but the $166 price tag just isn’t in my budget. This Maelove serum has a really similar ingredient list for a mere quarter of the price. With over 6,300 reviews (most of them five stars!), many say it works as well if not better than the one over five times the price. With free shipping and returns, I mean, you really can’t go wrong.  More

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    10 Ways to Up Your Dating Game in 2021

    Dating is always tough to navigate: what do you text back, who pays the check, and why is it so hard to meet normal people!? But dating during lockdown is a whole new set of difficulties: the old rules of dating no longer apply, our go-to date spots are closed, and we totally forgot how to do our makeup (nope, just me?). But lockdown or not, you deserve a fulfilling life, fun ways to meet new people, and to actually enjoy dating (because no one should have Charlotte’s dating exhaustion). 

    We all say it every year, but 2021 can truly be the year you reach all of your goals (#newyearnewme, right?). No matter what’s going on in the world, this year can be a golden opportunity if you’re looking for love (or, you know, just looking to go on dates that don’t suck). Here are 10 ways to not only date in 2021, but to totally up your dating game, achieve a fulfilling love life, and find a happy relationship (no matter how serious you’re looking for). Read on for romantic success by 2022:

    1. Appreciate how dating is different now
    Maybe you’re getting Zoom-date fatigue, or maybe you’ve kept your dating life on hold since the stay-at-home order hit. However, a global pandemic and social distancing restrictions don’t have to harm your love life. In fact, they could even be beneficial. For example, dating during a pandemic means focusing on an emotional connection first, since the physical connection and new-relationship excitement isn’t possible. You can get to know who someone is without spending time and energy doing the actual dating. Slower connections are a new kind of intimacy (plus it’s more foreplay, you know?), unsexy topics like who pays the bill is off the table (literally), and staying at home is an opportunity to get to know each other with fewer distractions. In other words, 2021 brings a lot of potential for your love life–not in spite of the pandemic, but because of it. 

    2. Keep all options open
    Many of us have this idea that we need a movie-worthy meet-cute when finding a soulmate. But closing yourself off to any meeting that isn’t locking eyes across a crowded bar or running into a long-forgotten high school sweetheart from back home (Hallmark Channel style) limits your chances. And during a lockdown? Your chances are next to nothing. Despite what Hollywood has us believe, we can meet worthwhile people anywhere. You could meet your ideal partner over a Zoom meeting, at an online singles event, in an elevator, at the park walking your dog, or yes, on a dating app. The more options you keep open, the higher your chances of meeting people that you’ll enjoy being around. Instead of a “meet-cute,” try to find the dating apps or methods that feel right for you, and be open to any possibility.

    Source: @ashbegash

    3. Be ready for “the talk”
    No, not the “seeing other people” talk, or even the STD talk (although I urge you to have those conversations as well). I’m talking about the global pandemic talk. It may be awkward, but being on the same page about COVID safety and social distancing practices is crucial to make dating safe and enjoyable. Make sure you’re connecting with people who are taking the same safety precautions that you are and be open and honest about what you’re comfortable with. If an in-person date is on the table, let them know exactly how you’re staying safe, and what you expect from them to feel safe being together.
    As weird as the conversation might feel, one of the good things about dating in a pandemic is that you have to be more intentional and selective about who you spend your time with. Having an open and honest dialogue not only keeps you safe and worry-free, but lays the foundation for a trustworthy relationship. 

    4. Forget prerequisites
    Many of us have extensive prerequisite checklists before even considering going on a first date. Maybe you want someone who is exactly like you, whether it’s interests, religion, or background. Maybe you’re not looking twice at people who have a certain dating history, are over a certain age, or own a cat (because you’re way more of a dog person). 
    While shared values are crucial and compatibility is often determined by similarities, try getting to know someone before making assumptions based on your prerequisites. The only “prerequisites” you need are your non-negotiable values, like kindness, integrity, and humor. Otherwise, base opinions on how you feel, not off of a checklist. Pay attention to the person in front of you, and try not to project a narrative or assign meaning to traits before you even know the person. Ask questions, and genuinely care about why someone is the way they are before determining whether or not they are for you.

    Source: @missenocha

    5. Cut it off with the “maybes,” already!
    Do you have an ex that has been hanging around for years, or a f*ckboy that’s been messing with your head? What about those people you text when you’re feeling lonely or bored, or who you think you might be interested in someday (keyword: might)? I call these people the “maybes:” the exes, previous dates, and “it’s complicated” relationships that didn’t work out the first time around, but you keep their number in your phone “just in case,” or are hoping something will change.
    There’s a lot of reasons we stick around with people we know are not good for us. Maybe they’re a security blanket, maybe we’re lonely, or maybe we’re seeking external approval. But no matter the reason the wrong person is in your life, as soon as you realize they’re not the one for you, that should be the end of it, not the beginning of the end. Now, if you have a friend with benefits (you don’t have feelings for) or love flirty-texting that hot coworker, you do you, girl. But those people you go to out of loneliness, comfortability, or insecurity? They’re just holding you back. Know what you deserve, be honest with yourself, and don’t settle. Bonus tip: unfollow on social media. Just do it!

    7. Visualize your best self
    Dating highlights our biggest insecurities: we overanalyze what we say over text or Tinder, try on 15 different outfits (even if the date is just on Zoom), and maybe even expect the worst and prepare to be ghosted or for the date to go bad. Sound familiar? To cure pre-date anxieties, try visualizing the best version of yourself. Are you confident, comfortable, or friendly? How would the most confident you act on this date? What would you wear? Would you even care about what you wear? Remind yourself that you are the catch that your date is trying to impress, not the other way around. Even if you don’t feel confident or calm, the simple act of visualizing your best self can help you relax, and enjoy the date instead of getting in your head.

    Source: @missalexlarosa

    6. Remember that “no” is not a dirty word
    In fact, it’s one of the most important words in your dating vocabulary. Especially as women, we’re taught to be likable and easy-going on dates, and we focus more on how to be liked than whether or not we actually like them (but more on that below). You know what we should vow to end in 2021? Going on dates we’re not excited about, texting back people we don’t like, or not vocalizing what we want and need in our relationships to protect other people’s egos. Overall, let’s work on saying “no” when we want to say no. Compromise and empathy are crucial in relationships, but so is respect for each other’s wants and needs. Communicating what you don’t want should be just as easy as what you do. If it’s not, this person doesn’t respect you or care about you as much as they say they do. Thank you, next.

    7. Use alone time to your advantage
    While 2020 was a lonely year for many of us, being alone has allowed us to turn inward, explore our truest desires, and get to know ourselves better. When we know ourselves and what we want, our dating lives become more fulfilling, successful, and fun. Think about it: we’ve grown a lot, started new hobbies or hustles, and got to know our likes and dislikes in 2020. Even an abundance of alone time can be invested to understand what we want out of a partner. Plus, scary times make people crave connection, and hitting pause on all normalcy helps you let go of the habits, traits, or dating rules that are no longer serving you. Not only have you been subconsciously preparing yourself for a more successful dating life, but any potential partners have too.

    8. Ditch outdated rules
    Let me go on a quick tangent about a few outdated dating rules that we really should ditch, like, yesterday. To start, my least favorite of all dating rules are “don’t kiss on the first date” and the “three-date rule.” Let’s just throw out any rules that imply that what you want to do with your body, and when you want to do it, is not up to you. Make your own rules based on comfortability and what you’re feeling. 
    Next up: playing hard to get or waiting for the other person to make the first move. Besides outdated gender roles, these “rules” come from the idea that whoever cares less in the relationship is the one who has the most power. But should love be about power? It’s OK to care; we’re supposed to care about each other. So what does it matter if you “come on too strong” or “care more?” Be true to your feelings and what you want. Oh, and making the first move can save us a lot of time wondering if they like us back. It’s 2021: we’re starting side hustles, prioritizing our health, and smashing glass ceilings. Ain’t nobody got time to wait around for a phone call. 

    Source: @cmcoving

    9. Focus on finding out what you want
    Dating is supposed to be about finding what you want, not becoming what someone else wants. Some people will like you and some people won’t. Whether or not someone wants to pursue a relationship or a second date with you has nothing to do with how likable you are, but has to do with compatibility. And I think we can all agree there are many people we wouldn’t mind being incompatible with. Prioritize what you want in a partner by making a list of non-negotiable qualities or values you want, and stop yourself from getting caught up in what a relationship or person could be. Instead, ask yourself if you genuinely enjoy each person you’re talking to, and whether or not they deserve you. 

    10. Know that dating is supposed to be enjoyable (and stop if it isn’t)
    Repeat after me: dating should be fun. It should not feel forced, boring, painful, or sad. If it’s not enjoyable, you’re either putting too much pressure on each date, feeling self-conscious about dating, or focusing on the wrong things. Remember that dating is not intended to have only one outcome. Every experience–whether it’s a Zoom date, Tinder conversation, or a few months of dating–brings you closer to clarity.
    The purpose of going on dates, talking to new people, and opening yourself up to meet someone new is not to feed your ego, affirm insecurities, or to find a soulmate ASAP. The purpose is to collect information that will bring you closer to a happy, fulfilling life, and to have a good time along the way. Bottom line: it should be fun meeting new people, whether or not a second date follows (yes, really!). If it’s not, take a break from dating to reflect on what you’re really looking for in your dating life.
     
    How are you updating your dating game this year? More

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    6 Things to Do This Month to Kick off Your New Year Right

    After a very trying year that was shaped by a global pandemic that halted our personal and professional lives, we are all cautiously optimistic for a brand-new year in 2021 after the holiday season. For many, the only New Year’s resolution is for a more pleasant year than last. The top of a new year brings on new chances to improve yourself, reset, or simply take a break after a stressful, eventful year’s past. Even though there’s no surefire way on how to start a new year off right, here are a few ways you can usher in a new year this month to strive to be your happiest and healthiest.  

    1. Prioritize your health 
    After a stressful year for all, your physical, mental and emotional health at the top of another year should take priority in order to kick off your new year right, as your overall health is crucial in getting through another year. Whether you’ve sought out help in 2020 or are still trying to prioritize your health in the middle of a pandemic, your overall health is important and should not be ignored in the new year.
    Make time to assess your health mentally and physically and schedule time to seek out resources and small ways to help you kick start your year with the help you need. Whether you are looking to be more physically active or to better yourself mentally by attending therapy, use the top of the year to focus on ways you can be healthier holistically. 

    2. Consider switching up your daily routine 
    If you’ve been looking to start and end your day more positively, the beginning of a new year is a great time to switch up or refresh your daily routine. A healthy daily routine improves your productivity and your mood throughout the day and keeps you focus and grounded as you move throughout your day. 
    Establish a daily routine that meets your needs by evaluating what makes you happy throughout the day, whether it’s finding time to meditate, spending time with your partner, your family, or your pet, or having time to pamper yourself in the mornings or evenings with your beauty routine. Identify what brings you joy and make it a priority to incorporate it throughout your day. 
    If you already have a daily routine, refresh what it looks like and be more mindful of prioritizing yourself first, avoiding just “getting through” your day robotically. A new year is a great time to shake up your schedule and make room for yourself and new, healthy practices that will carry on throughout the year. 

    3. Find an accountability partner for your new year’s goals
    The new year brings on resolutions and goal-setting to ensure a productive year ahead. If you need that extra push to get you going, identify a friend or your partner to hold you accountable to reach your goals. Having an accountability partner helps you put your goals into perspective and holds you to reach them. 
    Your accountability partner can also remind you to show yourself more grace and patience throughout the year, as the effort to reach New Year’s resolutions can make us harder on ourselves. Find someone who is not only your coach, but your cheerleader and confidant who can remind you to press forward, but to also take a break and reset when your expectations are weighing heavily on you. 

    4. Check in on family and friends 
    We have all been through a tumultuous year, so make sure to check in on family, friends, and loved ones in the new year to express your gratitude for them and to give yourself some joy as well. Positive relationships with family and friends help us get through rough times but also helps us celebrate good ones, so start your new year off right by cultivating and prioritizing those relationships before the year picks up. 
    If you can’t physically spend time with family and friends due to the pandemic, schedule some Zoom time or even just a quick phone call or text to let them know you’re thinking about them as the year gets started. If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, is that everyone is going through a struggle that you may or may not know about, so connecting with your loved ones can help them get through the beginning of the year and the end of another. 

    5. Practice gratitude 
    Ring in the New Year practicing gratitude this year, which helps boosts your mood and refocuses your attention on positivity versus the challenges of the past year. Practicing gratitude helps put another year in perspective, helping you usher in another year on a positive note and being thankful for the year behind. It also helps you reflect on the good in your life rather than the negative, looking ahead in an optimistic, more productive way. 
    You can practice gratitude in a variety of ways to start to your year. Here are a few great ways to practice gratitude at the beginning of the year: 
    Give back monetarily or volunteer your time to an organization or charity that could use some assistance in the new year 
    Practice mindfulness by using meditation as a guide to stay present and aware of yourself and your mental health going into another year 
    Write down what you’re grateful for from the past year by either journaling or making a simple list to recognize your own hard work and perseverance
    Treat yourself to an at-home spa day, give yourself a gift, or spend the day resting to show yourself some appreciation 
    Express your gratitude for someone else by sending them a gift or kind words to start their new year off with appreciation 
    Gratitude is all about appreciating who you are, what you have, and loved ones around you in the moment; celebrate a new year by giving thanks to yourself each day. 

    6. Give yourself a moment to rest 
    We all need a little break mentally and emotionally from the whirlwind that was 2020. Give yourself a much-needed break at the top of the year and find some time to wind down and rest, putting aside the hustle and bustle (and stress) of what a new year brings. 
    Before ringing in the New Year with a mound of work, New Year’s resolutions, and a host of productive tasks to jump-start your year, give yourself permission to rest before overexerting yourself too early. Rest and relaxation is just as important to your overall health as productivity and goal-setting. If available, carve out some time before jumping back into the swing of things after celebrating the New Year to relax and focus on self-care. Whether you hop right back in the bed to get some much-needed sleep, or binge your favorite TV show or Netflix movie, give yourself some time to decompress to refocus your New Year’s energy on yourself first. This downtime will help you jump start another year at your best physically, and most importantly, mentally.  

    How do you plan to start your new year off the right way? More

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    2021 Outfit Inspiration Based on the Most Fashionable Characters of 2020

    2020 didn’t give us much to go off of, but if there’s one, singular thing it gave us in abundance, it was incredible TV characters.From Emily in Paris to Dash and Lily to Dead to Me, our Netflix queues were filled to the brim with fabulous women, and for me, a girl stuck at home daydreaming of wearing what the characters on my screen were, the fashion that came with it was one of the best parts. After all, when you’re sitting on the couch in sweats that you haven’t changed out of in six months, a beret paired with a colorful jacket is about as insane of a concept as we could imagine.
    It’s a brand new year, and we’re saying goodbye to the style boredom of the past year, and hello to new, fun ways to style our clothes—and it’s only fair that we’re turning to our favorite characters for inspiration to start 2021 off on our most stylish foot.

    1. Grace Fraser, The Undoing

    Sure, you could toss a paper bag on Nicole Kidman and it would be a fashion statement, but The Undoing was as full of out-of-the-box outfit choices as it was suspects for murder. We’re channeling Grace through long, jewel-toned coats and eclectic dresses for winter looks that are anything but boring.

    coat / coat (affordable option) / dress / boots / bag

    2. Beth, The Queen’s Gambit

    Beth and her story came to us toward the end of 2020, but everything about her made her one of the most memorable characters of the entire year—her wardrobe included. Her style gave us the go ahead to take inspiration from ’60s patterns and silhouettes to our 2021 looks. The first look to check off our to-be-worn lists? Her iconic all-white final episode ensemble.

    coat / beret / boots / sweater dress

    3. Lara Jean, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 2

    We fell head-over-heels for Lara Jean last year, and when To All The Boys 2 made its rounds in early 2020, we were reminded just why we love her so much. Sure, she’s in high school, but we can take her youthful aesthetic and apply it to our own style too.

    sweater / leather mini skirt / sneakers / sunglasses

    4. Emily, Emily in Paris

    Just when we thought we’d never feel wanderlust again, Emily in Paris came to save the day and give us travels to dream about once we’re able. While her wardrobe was controversial, we can all agree that the girl was fearless with her style, and that’s something we’re trying to emulate throughout the new year.

    jacket / dress / beret / boots

    5. Mia Warren, Little Fires Everywhere

    Mia Warren, played by Kerry Washington, was one of the most underrated characters of 2020 (maybe just because the show coming out feels like it was 100 years ago, but I digress). Her no-bullshit attitude carried into her wardrobe, filled with casual basics paired together effortlessly—the perfect inspiration for slightly elevated work-from-home outfits.

    top / jeans / belt / boots More

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    HOLY SH*T: Our Favorite Wellness Brand Is Having a 50% off Sale This Week

    This week is kind of like purgatory: the stress of gifting and excitement over Christmas is over, but the what-am-I-going-to-do-on-NYE stress and will-I-actually-stay-awake-until-midnight question still loom ahead of us. Getting any work done feels like a joke, and without the ability to go anywhere and see anybody, this week just feels like a waiting game. But this is actually a very important time we can all use to spend on ourselves: prioritizing self-care, spending free time in fulfilling ways, and buying ourselves gifts that will make us feel good.Our CBD go-to and favorite self-care brand, Equilibria, must have gotten the memo on “self-care week” too. Equilibria has been an Everygirl favorite for a while now: Maddie takes the soft gels for stress-relief, Abigail swears she sleeps better after taking a bath with the bath bombs, and I can’t get enough of the treatment oil to soothe inflammation and dry skin. If you’ve been interested in trying CBD, looking to add some more stress-relief into your life, or made your New Year’s resolutions to be treating yo’self more in 2021, now is your chance. 

    Source: @equilibriawomen

    From December 26 through December 31, Equilibria is giving the ultimate gift of high-quality products at a discounted price; score 50 percent off all new subscriptions to kick off 2021 with a bang (or more like a relaxing, self-indulgent, and restorative nudge). That’s right: you can finally try the products our team loves and uses every day, for a fraction of the price. Pro tip: we always recommend subscribing anyway, so you won’t have to remember to refill. And trust me, you will want to refill.

    offer ends 12/31/20

    Equilibria
    The Brilliance Box

    The Brilliance Box includes Daily Drops for fast-acting, targeted relief, Daily Softgels for a sustained-release, and topical Relief Cream for local discomfort, so you’re getting everything you need.

    Equilibria
    Daily Treatment Oil

    This luxurious oil renews skin to calm inflammation, hydrate, and nourish. The perfect fix to dry winter skin!

    Equilibria
    Mindful Mineral Soak

    With over 30 nourishing minerals, this powerful bath soak uses gardenia and jasmine aromatic oil blends along with calming CBD to purify and destress.

    Source: @equilibriawomen

    Equilibria
    Daily Softgels

    Perfect for all-day balance, Daily Softgels are a slow-release product, resulting in long-lasting effects.

    Equilibria
    Balance Bath Bombs

    The perfect gift for yourself: add to a bath when you need an extra dose of relaxation and self-care. You’ll feel instant relief and have your best sleep that night.

    Source: @eacourts | @equilibriawomen

    Equilibria
    Daily Drops

    Use Daily Drops to help increase feelings of calm and balance throughout the day. Perfect for targeted, fast-acting results.

    Equilibria
    Relief Cream

    A topical cream that works deep into muscles to soothe aches, pains, and even period cramps.

    Equilibria
    Mindful Mineral Soak

    With over 30 nourishing minerals, this powerful bath soak uses gardenia and jasmine aromatic oil blends along with calming CBD to purify and destress.

    As per FDA guidelines, Equilibria CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. As always, consult with your physician before starting any new program that may interact with your current health plan.

    This post is sponsored by Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    Not Feeling Like “You”? You’re Not Alone

    2020 has not been for the faint of heart. It’s been challenging in every sense of the word with new fears, anxieties, and insecurities surfacing at every turn. If no one has told you that you’re an incredibly strong and resilient person for making it here, let me be the first.At the start of the pandemic, it was kind of exciting to work from home for a few weeks. I mean, who doesn’t love wearing sweatpants all day!? We baked banana bread, watched Tiger King, and crossed things off our to-do lists that we hadn’t had time to get to for years. But with each passing day, our fears intensified and we began to feel the collective energy of a world on pins and needles, watching a virus wage war across the globe. Weeks turned into months, and now we have no idea when our new normal will look anything like the old.
    Personally, the pandemic left me feeling exhausted and unmotivated. I ran out of shows to watch on Netflix, found it difficult to get any work done, and activities I typically loved (like cooking, reading, and listening to podcasts) became uninteresting. Like most people going through the pandemic, I missed my friends and my freedom. Anxiety and depression started to seep in, but I also felt guilty that I was so fortunate to be safe and healthy, and still felt so awful.
    I just didn’t feel like me.
    The truth is that no matter how much banana bread we bake and how much we try to utilize our time with cleaning out closets and starting new hobbies, we’re all missing normalcy during this time: a crowded subway, afterwork drinks at a bar, nights out and laughs with friends, the ability to dream up a summer vacation. Especially if you’re physically alone, you’re likely feeling emotionally alone too.
    Although there may be differences in how we’re impacted by the pandemic, we’ve all been affected by it. The good news through this all is that no matter how isolated you are, it’s one of the rare instances where we’re all impacted and affected by the same thing. This means that if you’re not feeling like yourself either, it’s normal to feel this way; humans desire connection, so isolation and loneliness can fuel anxiety. Personally, it made me feel better to remind myself that I am not alone; other people are experiencing the same thing I am. This reminder helped me normalize my emotions and stop having guilt for what I was feeling.
    If pandemic anxiety and isolation is feeling like too much for you, here are five things that helped me, and may help for you too:

    Let the bad feelings in.
    Trust me, I spent a lot of time pretending like things were fine when they weren’t. But the problem with that is if you don’t address or acknowledge negative emotions, they will always resurface. While anxiety, loneliness, and stress are uncomfortable to experience in the moment, it’s OK to not feel OK. In fact, it’s human nature to go through ups and downs in life. Acknowledging a “down” and letting yourself feel it fully is just as important as acknowledging and feeling when you’re in an “up.” Judging or suppressing negative emotions will accentuate them, rather than stop them, so let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling, and know that other people are feeling that way too. When all you want to do is cry, scream, and yell, do it.

    If you don’t address or acknowledge negative emotions, they will always resurface.

    Appreciate what you do have, even if it’s not the most ideal.
    I get it: I’m totally over Zoom too. Internet glitches, forgetting I’m on “mute,” and delayed responses aren’t exactly the ideal formula for human connection. But the truth is that Zoom or Facetime truly are the next best things to in-person brainstorms at work or happy hour with friends at the bar. While I originally resented these limitations and hated how social interactions are determined by how good the internet connection is, I’ve learned to love conversations with friends over FaceTime and Zoom. Of course, video chats and phone calls can never replace the feeling we get being in-person, but I try to remind myself that even with internet glitches it is still a form of connection. Practice gratitude for the social interactions you do have (whether it’s your roommate or with loved ones virtually), and remind yourself that any amount of connection, no matter how small, should still be prioritized and celebrated.

    Find humor.
    No matter what’s going on in the world, we can still find joy and humor in the little things. Laughter makes us feel joy even when it’s hard to find anything to feel good about, and looking for humor will remind us to not take things so seriously. After all, the point of life is to enjoy it, and life doesn’t just stop when a stay-at-home order hits. Try to find humor in even difficult situations; look at using coffee filters when you run out of toilet paper or the appalling number of frozen pizzas you’ve eaten this week alone as hilarious anecdotes you’ll be telling sometime in the future. If you’re struggling to find any humor in what’s going on right now, turn off the news and watch a movie or show that always makes you LOL, or call up the friend who never ceases to make you belly laugh. Whatever works for you, remember that humor and laughter is not only possible when times are tough, but necessary.

    The point of life is to enjoy it, and life doesn’t just stop when a stay-at-home order hits.

    Embrace what makes you feel normal.
    What are some of the things you loved doing pre-pandemic? What are the things that make you feel like the best version of yourself? Perhaps it’s painting or working out every day. Make a list of the activities that you love like reading, cooking, or playing an instrument, and then the things that make you feel like your best self, whether that’s eating certain foods, having a specific morning routine, or putting on lipstick and your fancy work blazer. Once you identify a few things that you love and make you feel like your best self, do them even more often, even when it feels hard (especially when it feels hard). Personally, going on a long walk to clear my head helps me feel like my best self, so I make sure to do it every single day. I also make a point to talk to friends consistently. Even if it’s just over text, it helps me feel more normal and connected to the world, outside of the news. No matter what it looks like for you, prioritize and emphasize the rituals and routines you love and that make you feel like yourself.

    Look for the lessons and silver linings.
    It’s a killer Kelly Clarkson song and a cliche, but it’s also so true: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. And the toughest moments are key opportunities to not only get stronger, but to get better. Of course we miss our normal lives, but a lack of normalcy gives us the chance to learn lessons that will change us for the better. We’ve learned ways to spend and enjoy our time that isn’t work, watching TV, or going out with friends. We will always feel grateful for the little things like smiling at the barista or hugging our parents. What we once complained about, like overbooked social schedules and crowded subways, we will forever appreciate.

    What we once complained about, like overbooked social schedules and crowded subways, we will forever appreciate.

    Plus, there are a lot of silver linings we can look for (yes, really!). While scary and terrifying and different, this time in human evolution is also restorative. We’re staying at home and spending more time with our families, or Facetiming friends we haven’t caught up with in years. We’re getting more sleep, prioritizing mental health, and actually have time to stop, reflect, and rest. No matter what, we can find silver linings in anything. For example, do I miss my yearly vacation? 100 percent. But when I think about it, it’s also kind of nice to stay at home and not stress about packing, catching flights, or being a tourist. The truth is that the events we miss and negative emotions we feel does not have to negate the silver linings and the lessons we learn. We can feel lonely, anxious, and stressed, and also appreciate where we’re growing as people and becoming better. Plus, when we do, it might just help us feel a little less lonely, anxious, and stressed to begin with. More

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    I’m a Health Coach and This Is the #1 Goal I’m Focused on This Month

    I love health goals: the only type of books on my nightstand are self-improvement, my step tracker is my best friend, and I even built a career out of helping other people reach them. But as we near the end of the worst year, I don’t know, ever, there’s only one health goal I’m focusing on. You see, no matter what New Year’s resolutions you make or even what feels best for you throughout the year, health is not supposed to be restrictive or definitive. In fact, you’re supposed to change how you take care of your body based on the seasons, years, and what’s going on in your life.Most of us are wrapping up the year with pressure at work, pandemic anxiety, and even stressors about the little, normal things like finding a budget for all the gifts you need to buy or scheduling every social gathering (even if those social gatherings are over Zoom). Add in the sad moments like not being able to hug your grandma, foregoing your favorite yearly traditions, or making a Christmas Eve dinner for one, and it’s easy to start letting stress take over your life. So my only health goal this month? Restoration, relaxation, and stress reduction. After all, I believe the only point of physical health is for mental health; eating nourishing foods and moving our bodies are simply tools to help us live the happiest lives possible. Here’s how I’m rethinking all of my healthy habits in every area of my life to focus on reducing stress:

    Source: @jesskeys_

    With exercise: trying stress-relieving yoga challenges
    Listen, I love a good HIIT class or sculpt session as much as the next girl. But “health” does not mean working out hard every single day; it means finding balance, depending on what your body needs. My body needs stress relief and relaxation this month, and exercise is no exception. Since I still love a good “challenge,” I’m embarking on Obé Fitness’s Yoga Deep Dive as my form of movement. This 15-day program explores yoga’s most foundational practices while helping you gain new tools to improve your flow. It will basically be like taking a mini retreat in between work meetings, so sign me up! Yoga based on stress reduction will help me find balance and grounding through an extremely stressful month, while the “challenge” aspect will keep me focused and motivated to prioritize myself.
    Use promo code “TEG50” to get 50% off your first month of Obé Fitness.

    With diet: eating intuitively 
    Even if you think diet rules like “no sugar” or “no processed food” is healthy for you, restrictions are stressful. Period. While I like to think I’ve ditched outdated food rules years ago, I still stick to a plant-based diet and prefer to feed my body with whole foods from the Earth that make me feel good. The problem with this is that when it’s time for holiday dinners and festive goodies, believing that you need to stick to any one diet or way of eating can cause guilt, and guilt will cause stress.
    Instead of sticking to my plant-based way of eating 24/7, I know that since I nourish my body with fruits and vegetables most of the time, sugar cookies or Christmas Eve fettuccine alfredo won’t do any harm to my body. There’s plenty of room for mindful indulgences, even in a healthy diet. I will consistently check in to identify what my body truly needs: am I feeling sluggish and need some more veggies to nourish, or will I enjoy this slice of pumpkin pie? Forget eating for perfection; I’ll be eating with the #1 priority of self-compassion.

    Source: @gabbywhiten

    With morning and evening routines: making extra time for myself (whatever that means)
    I live for a morning and evening routine. I love a warm cup of lemon water and gratitude journaling in the a.m., and I look forward to evening stretches, skincare, and meditation all day long. However, routines feel more difficult to fit in during the holidays (or any other busy time). My clients often come to me around this time of year, frustrated that they didn’t make time for a morning meditation or that they binged Netflix instead of taking a bath. My answer? The goal of a routine (or any self-care practice) is not to check items that you’re “supposed” to do off of a list. Instead, the goal is to do something that makes you feel good, whatever that looks like to you, and for however long you can.
    Sure, I love an entire hour for a wind-down routine, but some nights, it looks more like five minutes of sitting alone and reading my favorite book before bed without even washing my face. And guess what: that’s OK. In other words, morning and evening routines should not feel like something else to check off your to-do list or another chore on the calendar. Instead, it should feel easy and something to look forward to. Make time for yourself every morning and night, but be OK if what that time looks like changes.

    With work: prioritizing self-compassion and enjoyment
    At this time of year, we’re having end-of-year reviews and setting goals for next year. You probably have a long to-do list of what needs to get done before holiday break or are working long hours to set your business up for success in 2021. I find that I put the most pressure on myself during this season: I want to make myself proud of how the year went, but also want to feel ahead in the new year. While ambition and hard work are great, putting pressure on yourself makes you forget to prioritize yourself. I actually can be more productive and successful overall in my work life if I allow myself to take breaks, am strict with cut-off times, and remember that the point of life is to enjoy it (that means in your career too!). This month, I’m responding to what I can’t accomplish with self-compassion and spending more time on the jobs that don’t even feel like work (like client sessions or writing articles like this one). 

    Source: @kayla_seah

     
    With holiday activities: finding balance between alone time and time with loved ones
    Through seasons of Christmas past, I tried to fit in everything: holiday parties, gift exchanges, happy hours, limitless shopping trips. “Balance” was the last thing on my mind, and “alone time” felt more like a far-off memory than a priority. This year, of course, I am indulging in and enjoying the family traditions (although they look a little different in 2020). However, instead of doing it all, my goal is to find a balance between family time and making time for myself to decompress and relax.
    If you are spending the holidays with family, make sure you’re still fitting in alone time to prioritize yourself. Go on a jog in the morning, take a bath at night, or find any time you can to recharge. If you’re spending the holidays alone, try to schedule a socially-distanced gathering outdoors or a virtual holiday party with your closest friends. Having social events on the calendar will give you something to look forward to, but scheduling it will also ensure you’re spending time with people you love, even if it is virtual or socially distanced. Alone time to prioritize ourselves and time with loved ones to laugh and connect are equally important, so focus on finding the balance of both, depending on what you need more of.

    This post includes a sponsored inclusion of obé, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    18 Things That Have Made Our Winter Work-From-Home Days Better

    When we first entered quarantine last spring, I’d have bet a large sum of money and lost that there was no way we’d still be working from home come December. But here we are, and I’ll be honest, I feel like we’re all making the most of it. Being stuck at home in the winter is an entire different ballpark than the killjoy of being stuck inside when it’s sunny and 80 degrees out.But we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the couple of items making it way better. Because a cozy day at home *while* you’re working is possible—as long as you have these essentials. 

    Mid-Rise Cozy Faux-Fur Jogger Sweatpants

    I ordered these a couple of weeks ago realizing that I needed to give up the dream that I’ll get dressed every single day for work, especially when it gets freezing. These are a cool fabric and style that make me feel kinda dressed up, but they are also the freaking most comfortable thing I’ve ever put on in my life. I’ve worn them like four days the last week with sweaters, T-shirts, and everything in between. I run very hot, but I moved into an apartment that has minimal heat and poor windows, and I am freezing 24/7, so these have

    Water Sleeping Mask

    On the days I don’t put makeup on, I give my skin some extra TLC—one of the many benefits of being at home all day! The winter weather has taken a toll on my skin, as it has most of us I’m sure, so I’m loading up on moisturizing ingredients to heal my moisture barrier and hydrate as much as possible. It’s an extra self-care step that feels fun to break up the monotony of my days and makes me look forward to something. This mask is meant to be worn while you sleep, but staring at a screen all day writing words over and over is similar enough, and I’ve experienced the same moisture at the end of the day as I do when I sleep with it on. Plus, it’s clear, so I’ve worn on it more than a few Zoom call occasions than I care to admit. Hehe, coworkers! 🙂

    Equilibria
    Daily Drops

    At around 3 p.m. every single day, my anxiety sets in. How on Earth am I supposed to get the 10 tasks still on my list done all before the end of the day? I know I work best in the crunch time, but it doesnt stop my stress from creeping in. Lately as this is starting to really affect my day-to-day health, Ive tried putting my Equilibria Daily Drops in an afternoon glass of decaf tea. It really helps calm me down and has become quite ritualistic. I look forward to it every day!
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Glass Water Bottle with Protective Silicone Sleeve

    I’m not a water person. There have been more than a few days where 9 p.m. rolls around and I realize I haven’t had a sip of H2O literally all day. But ever since I got this Porter water bottle, I’m getting through multiple refills. There’s just something so fun about drinking from it: I love the rolled glass opening that fits my mouth perfectly and the silicone sleeve that is grippy-y and easy to pick up. It’s also dishwasher-safe, so it’s super easy to clean. Honestly, 10/10 would marry Porter.

    MALA THE BRAND
    Fireside Candle

    I find I work best from home when I cultivate a mood. I make sure my work area is tidy. I plug in my Christmas tree. I cue up the fireplace channel on my TV. I throw on a coffee shop sounds video on Youtube. And I light this truly excellent hand-poured soy candle that smells like all your holiday dreams coming true. And it does make the work day feel a bit more fun and festive.

    Simple Modern
    Insulated Tumbler with Straw

    If you’ve been on TikTok even one single time, you’ve likely seen this tumbler that basically went viral this year—and I’m here to tell you the hype is real. I love drinking my water out of this all day long and have it with me no matter which corner of my apartment I’m working in. I got the largest size and it’s upped my water intake by at least double. I can’t wait to drink homemade iced coffee out of this when we go back to the office.

    Barefoot Dreams
    Bouclé Knit Hooded Cardigan

    I am known as being a very cold-running person, and so when I knew that we’d be working from home throughout winter, I wanted to make sure I could maximize my coziness (and warmth) as much as humanly possible. I bought the leopard version of this during the Nordstrom sale, so it was slightly cheaper, but I swear I have gotten my money’s worth already. No matter what I’m wearing (even if it’s a sweatshirt), I throw this on top and lounge in it every single day. It’s so warm without being as bulky as a robe, and truly sparks joy every single time I wrap up in it. It’s definitely a splurge, but if something happened to mine, I’d buy it again.

    Hamilton Beach
    Personal Blender

    I purchased this 14 ounce personal blender years ago, and haven’t used it as much as I have this year working from home. This blender is perfect for a quick smoothie or shake before logging into work. It blends quickly and its compact style allows me to take it to my workspace and drink from there without having to transfer it to another cup. This blender lets me get a quick breakfast in before the day picks up!

    Hydrating Shea Body Butter

    Between working from home during the dry fall and winter season and washing my hands multiple times a day, I have been neglecting my hands and feet, which have been drier than usual. To make sure I infuse some moisture on my skin during the workday, I keep this body butter close to me. It’s thick enough to lock in moisture, especially during the harsh, dry weather, which is a necessity even more now, since it’s easy to neglect skincare while working from home.

    Vertuo Next Light

    There’s just nothing that gets me out of bed like knowing that the cup of coffee (or tea, but in this case coffee) that I’ll drink once I make my way to the kitchen is going to be really good. After tiring of my trusty old affordable machine from years ago, I finally sprung for a Nespresso machine. My morning coffee routine is the best it’s been all year.

    Crate & Barrel
    Long Stem Wine Glass

    So I initially bought these wine glasses for, you know, wine—and while I do use them for that in the evening, I also use them during the day to make my sparkling water, kombucha, or green juice feel more like an ~event~. I miss sipping wine with my friends while out to dinner, so at least I can get the joy of a cute glass while drinking a healthier daytime beverage.

    Mini North Bondi Eau De Parfum

    If you’ve ever smelled any of Ouai’s hair products, you know that they smell AMAZING. I have always loved the scent of their Leave-In Conditioner and wished they would make it in a perfume. BOOM, wishes come true! This year, Ouai launched the most perfect desk-sized fragrances (and the one I love is North Bondi, which is floral and a bit musky). They’re incredibly budget-friendly, so I feel comfortable spraying it on myself every single day. It’s a simple luxury that makes me feel a bit more like my non-pandemic self!

    Capri Blue
    Glam Mini Tin Kit

    I love seasonal fragrances, but sometimes I get tired of burning the same one for too long. I bought this four-pack of Capri Blue scents when they were on super sale a few weeks ago, but the non-sale price isn’t bad either. The set includes the iconic Volcano candle, plus one pumpkin scent and two winter fragrances. My favorite so far has been the pumpkin (the Alpine Juniper is definitely a sweeter greenery scent), but I haven’t even cracked the Frosted Fireside open yet. This is perfect for anyone who likes different rooms to have different scents, or who just wants to mix things up!

    Nomad Noé
    Poet in Hangzhou Candle

    Candles have become one of my work from home must-haves—the more fragrant, the better. This hand-poured candle doesn’t have a winter scent, and that’s what I love most about it. It’s bright and refreshing, and it has notes of my favorite flower: gardenia. Once I light this, the scent fills my entire apartment and acts as a pick me up for my senses.

    Brother Vellies
    Cloud Sock

    Before I hit the purchase button on these socks, they took up a lot of space in my head. I went back and forth on whether I really needed a $30-something pair of socks, and my answer after weeks of questioning was yes. Since we’re in the house 99.9 percent of the time these days, a pair of lavender socks that give back—proceeds from the purchase of the lavender socks fund Brother Vellies’ mask making and food distribution initiative in Kenya—and keep my feet warm while I work is the ultimate win for me.

    Brazil 8 Cup / 34oz French Press Coffee Maker

    At the start of the pandemic, I was using a Moka pot to make an americano each morning until I realized that caffeine might be making my anxiety worse. I have since given up coffee (inserts crying emoji) for herbal tea. Instead of going the tea bag route, I found Aesthete Tea, a QBIPOC-owned tea company that makes an assortment of herbal teas. After trying a couple of teapots that didn’t work well, I saw a YouTube video that showed how to use a french press for loose teas and bought this one. I use it every morning, and I love that making tea has become a part of my morning self-care.

    Hydro Flask
    Water Bottle – Wide Mouth Straw Lid

    Ever since I was a small, red-haired child, I’ve had water on my nightstand, in my backpack, on the table, on the desk, you name it–absolutely everywhere. It drove my mom crazy, but even now I still can’t seem to leave the house, or my couch for that matter, without it. To cut down my use of plastic and the dishwasher, however, I started using my hydro flask as my primary water source while I’m working. It not only holds a lot more H2O than my regular glass, but it also helps me keep track of how much or how little I’ve been drinking during the day.

    New Balance
    Fresh Foam Vongo v4

    Despite what my Netflix account may tell you, the activity that got me through this year the most was walking. I’ve barely missed a day since the pandemic started (while wearing a mask of course!). It’s helped me think, destress, and get my heartrate up a bit, and having a great pair of sneakers has made going for long, daily walks so much easier. These never give me blisters, are always comfortable, and have held up so well!

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