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    Why Do I Always Think Everyone is Mad at Me?

    Awhile ago, after a weekend of ruminating over why no one was replying to my text messages, I found myself in a meeting wondering why no one was smiling at me when I spoke, and Googled, “Why do I always think everyone is mad at me.” (And of course, asked my therapist about it later.)If you’ve found yourself worrying about past disagreements to solve the no-response mystery, feeling like you said something stupid, or that all the people you love and respect most are conspiring against you, you’re not alone. I have an intense internal desire to be liked by everyone. I mean everyone—friends, friends of friends, family, colleagues, even cashiers and yoga instructors. At some point along the way, I’ve been conditioned that liked=good, and disliked=bad. Likely, you can relate on some level. The desire to be liked is very human—we all want to be liked and accepted.
    I know objectively that being liked by everyone is simply not possible. As a woman with strong opinions, values, and personality, it would be naive to think that I will be everyone’s cup of tea.
    Yet despite how much we can talk ourselves back to reality, it doesn’t fix the terrible, anxious thoughts and feelings we experience in the moment. Wanting to be liked isn’t inherently bad. In fact, in some cases it allows us to be thoughtful, sensitive, and kind. However, when our desire to be liked becomes intense or feels overwhelming—i.e. thinking everyone is mad at you—there are two main problems. 

    Source: Aline Viana Prado | Pexels

    First, it can be really easy to lose a sense of self. When you try to practice everyone else’s values, you are left with none of your own. Because I want everyone to like me and I’m afraid of upsetting people, I find myself fearing true self expression, like expressing my opinion or standing up for what I believe in. However, I find that when I do, people actually like me more. 
    The thing is: people like you when they trust and respect you. And people trust and respect people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, set loving boundaries, and show kindness, compassion, and love to themselves and the world around them. 
    Second, always acting to please others deflects the work that goes into looking inward and developing internal resilience, validation, and confidence. We “pleasers” get so much validation from external sources that we spend our time constantly looking to fill other people up. Not only is this exhausting, it holds us back from the real joys in life, which actually come from the inside work. 

    Source: Elevate | Pexels

    So… what do we do? 
    Since the desire to be liked is a very human feeling, I don’t want to eliminate that part of who I am, but instead I try identify why I want to be liked. I want to be liked for the right reasons: for being me. Despite working on this, anxiety can get the best of me, especially in times like these. When the rumination starts, it’s hard to stop it from spiraling into more stories, more people being mad at me or not liking me—like the cashier at the grocery store. 
    Yes, I know. Wow. 
    When I really think about it, it actually feels like a pretty self-centered thought to have. Let’s be real: people aren’t thinking about me that much. As it turns, out people are really busy with their own lives, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. 
    At the end of the day, it has nothing to do with being liked, valued, and respected by other people. It’s about being liked, valued, and respected by me. 
    For me, feeling like everyone is mad at me is a manifestation of anxiety and a reflection of my desire for perfection. In my mind, I often feel like nothing I ever do is good enough and that there’s always more that could be done. 
    Fortunately, there are moments when I’m not feeling anxious or trying to please. These moments usually come when life feels more certain, I’m not in the middle of big changes, and when I am taking care of myself, monitoring my stress levels, and doing things that make me feel good. In these moments, I get an opportunity to reflect and pivot. 

    Source: Diana Titenko | Pexels

    It can be really hard to take stock of our emotions while we’re having them and find the opportunity to reflect and pivot, but here’s the process I use with myself when I feel those nasty anxious feelings creep in. 

    1. Create a foundation 
    Start by developing a mindfulness practice. This will not only help you but will also support you in developing a strong intuition around your needs. Your mindfulness practice can be anything that helps you connect your mind and body. Things like journaling, meditation, breathing exercises, and mindful movement are a few great places to start. I also like to take the time to learn about everything from psychology to health and wellness to identify new practices I can adopt. 

    2. Pause 
    Take a couple of minutes a few times each day or when you’re experiencing extreme emotions to pause and assess how you’re feeling. It’s like a quick temperature check. Ask yourself what is that feeling? Where is it coming from? Why am I having it? 
    We’re so accustomed to running through life without intentionality, pausing allows us to get in touch with ourselves, expand your perspective, and supports relaxation. 

    3. What is really happening? 
    So often, when we start ruminating, we tell ourselves stories that aren’t true. Identify what’s really happening in the situation by asking questions like: “Did I really do something wrong? Was I disrespectful? What is going on for this person that might be impacting their life?”
    This reality check can be hard when you’ve worked yourself up to truly believing your own stories, but these questions and gentle reminders can help us feel more grounded when our minds feel out of control.
    If this feels overwhelming, deep breathing is equally impactful. Try simple box breathing: breathe in for four, hold for four, exhale for four, hold for four. In just a few breaths, you’ll feel more relaxed and clear. 

    Source: cottonbro | Pexels

    4. Get empowered 
    You’re way more wonderful than you think. Now you just need to believe it. When you feel empowered, you’ll value yourself more and the desire to be liked less. This will enable you to show up in life as your truest, most authentic self. 
    Identify your true beliefs and the things that you like about yourself to support you in developing confidence and feeling empowered. 
    Here are a few beliefs and mantras I have that make me feel empowered: 
    Do I agree with everything everyone else says/do? Nope. Does that make me like them any less? NO. Actually, it often makes me like them more.
    It’s OK if you mess up. No one is perfect. 
    Perfection is BORING. 
    I act in alignment with my values.
    My opinion matters.
    If someone doesn’t like me because of who I am or what I believe, that is OK. I know that I am a good person.
    What else could you be focusing on right now that would be more productive than wondering if people are mad at you? 
    Where are these feelings really coming from and how can you deal with them? 
    Sometimes, I need to be extra gentle with myself and I just repeat, “it’s OK, you’re OK, you’re safe here” as if I was speaking to a younger me who felt lost and confused.
    This is not the last time I will spiral thinking people don’t like me, but by implementing these practices and reflecting, it stings a little less each time. I’ve given myself the opportunity to quell the vicious anxiety cycle, develop self-love and respect, and gain confidence that allows me to live life in a way that feels more meaningful.

    Have you ever felt like everyone was mad at you? Or like anxiety got in the way of you truly enjoying a moment?  More

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    The Top-Rated Sex Toys on Amazon

    A Saturday Night Live skit from April pretty much explained every feeling I have about sex right now: “During quarantine, I straight up murdered all my vibrators.” Yep. That’s it. 
    After having seriously zero sexual interaction for months, any vibrator stash is looking a little bleak. Whether you’ve used it ‘til the batteries were dead or are just desperately looking for something to spice it up (even with a partner!), we found the best sex toys on Amazon to do the trick. Don’t worry: we already vetted the reviews, so you know you’re getting exactly what you paid for. Your next Prime package is about to be quite thrilling.

    Rechargeable Personal Wand Massager

    With over two thousand reviews, this cost-effective cordless “massager” (LOL) will add a little something different to your sex toy drawer. This offers 20 different vibrating patterns and eight speeds, meaning you won’t get tired of this toy for a while.

    Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation Air-Pulse Clitoris Stimulator

    Oh, the Satisfyer. If you’re new to sex toys, it might seem simple to go with a classic vibrator first, but I recommend this every time. It’s like nothing else on the market (or at least it was when it launched) because instead of focusing on penetration or vibration, it focuses on suction, mimicking the feeling of oral sex. Did I just sell you? I hope so. They last for years and absolutely change the sex toy experience—trust me.

    LELO Beads Mini Small Kegel Exercise Balls

    Spice up your drawer with these kegel balls. Whether you use them alone or with a partner, you’ll get a little joy adding these to your routine. They’re super versatile and can be used about a dozen different ways to boost pleasure, exercise your pelvic floor, and add a new sensation.

    Clitoris Vibrator

    This little clitoral vibrator is basically a Carpal Tunnel users’ BFF. It’s small and effortless to hold in your hand, especially for… prolonged periods of time, if you will. This has over 10 speed and pattern combinations to give you a unique experience basically every time you use it. Reviewers love the small size as well for storage, travel, and partner play.
    Another note to mention: tons of reviews boasted the customer service, saying that anytime they’ve had issues with performance, they’ve reached out to customer service and were given a replacement or taught how to fix the problem.

    Partner Couple Vibrator for Clitoral & G-Spot Stimulation

    The reviews for this vibrator are both hysterical and quite true. After seeing the hilarious reviews on Twitter, I picked up one for myself and cancelled all of my plans for about two weeks. Please read this review and then go buy it and then come back here and thank me. That’s all.

    G Spot Rabbit Vibrator

    With over 6,700 reviews, this rabbit vibrator makes the top of the list. Not only are there tons of reviews, over 3,000 of them are five stars. This has everything a good rabbit vibe does: waterproof, quiet, USB-charger, and multiple speeds. One reviewer said this brought her sex life back after a bad breakup, that it helped her orgasm for the first time, and that it has so much power that it ended up in her husband’s glass when he walked in the room (please read the second review; you won’t be disappointed).

    Silicone Dual Penis Ring

    Add a little extra somethin’-somethin’ to your sex life with this penis ring. Use it on yourself or with a partner to increase pleasure during penetration, during oral sex, or for (mutual) masturbation. The reviews are filled with positive experiences from people with and without penises who have found pleasure using this on themselves or with a partner.

    G Spot Vibrator for Vagina Stimulation

    This vibrator is bendable to hit your G-spot. Reviewers love how quiet it is (perfect for any roommate situations), the discreet packaging, the storage container it comes with, the magnetic charger, and the various speeds and patterns. If you’re looking to get outside the box of external vibrators, this is an easy one to start with!

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    7 Ways to Start Eating More Vegetables—Plus All the Recipe Inspo You Could Need

    If you’re anything like me, some days are a vegetable paradise—healthy and colorful meals all.day.long—while on others, there’s nary a vegetable in sight. So, basically, I’m always striving to fit more vegetables in where I can. And, luckily, it’s pretty easy to sneak extra vegetables into just about anything.Eating plenty of vegetables is super important when it comes to your overall health and well-being. From nutrient deficiencies to higher rates of chronic disease and beyond, focusing on getting enough vegetables in your diet is key. Here are just a few ways that you can up your vegetable intake—without changing things up too much or sacrificing flavor.

    1. Add extra to soups, sauces, and smoothies
    Soups and sauces probably aren’t too shocking in terms of where you can make sure to get your veggies in, but you can pack a serious punch in both of them. Soups, in particular, are such an easy place to add extra vegetables. There are probably already vegetables in your soup anyway—just add some more. Sauces, too, can be easy spots. Add spinach, kale, broccoli, or even beets to pesto, purée carrots or red bell peppers and add them to a pasta sauce, or make a creamy sauce a little healthier by including cauliflower—the possibilities are endless.
    Smoothies are one of my all-time favorite ways to “trick” myself into eating extra vegetables, though. Of course, adding greens to a smoothie is always a good way to go, but there are plenty of other vegetables that make great additions as well. Frozen cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, and pumpkin or butternut squash purée are all good options. You won’t even taste it.

    2. Stick them on a pizza
    What’s better than pizza for dinner, you ask? Not much in my book. I don’t guilt myself for eating plain old cheese, but I’ve found that adding herbs and vegetables can make it even better. Try kale, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, potato, peppers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, a pickled vegetable like giardiniera, carrots, broccoli, and more.

    3. Get creative with dessert
    Add beets to your brownies, make carrot, zucchini, butternut squash, or pumpkin cakes. It’s such an easy way to get a few more vegetables in your diet. Of course, you’re still eating dessert, so don’t feel too much like the epitome of health, but it’s something!

    4. Add them to breakfast
    If given the choice, I will always opt for a savory breakfast over a sweet one. The good news? A savory breakfast makes it even easier to add vegetables. Serve your fried eggs over sautéed leafy greens, add tomatoes or mushrooms, make a veggie-packed frittata, quiche, or omelet. You’re already well on your way to your vegetable goal for the day and you’ve only eaten breakfast.

    5. Make vegetable tacos, sandwiches, or quesadillas
    If you’re a meal-prepper (or even a sort of meal-prepper), roast or sauté a big batch of vegetables at the beginning of the week and then season for tacos, layer onto sandwiches, tuck into quesadillas—it’s just as quick (if not quicker!) than making the veggie-less versions and oh so delicious.

    6. Go meatless one day (or more!) a week
    Whether it’s Monday or another day, opting to try to go meatless at least one day per week can help you boost your vegetable intake. A meatless day isn’t a guarantee that you’ll eat more vegetables, but you might find that it encourages you to branch out a bit more and get more creative with what you’re eating those days, leaning more on vegetables than you otherwise would.

    7. Try a new-to-you recipe
    If you don’t usually eat a ton of vegetables, trying new-to-you recipes just might encourage you to eat more. Rather than sticking with your typical side salad, try vegetable-packed meatballs, a vegetarian curry, one-pan dinners, and more. You’ll be introduced to a new dish, but maybe also new foods and cooking techniques. It’s a great way to help shake off your routine.

    What to Make

    Source: The Real Food Dietitians

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Midwest Foodie

    Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: My Food Story

    Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: My Food Story

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Eating Bird Food

    Source: Midwest Foodie

    Source: The Real Food Dietitians

    Source: By Erin Clarke of Well Plated

    Source: Orchids + Sweet Tea More

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    10 Things to Do If Your Confidence Needs a Major Boost

    Confidence might sound like some fluffy, idealistic principle your Girl Scout leader used to talk about, but it’s the most powerful, tangible thing you can cultivate to achieve the life you want. You might have learned from ’90s makeover movies that once you make major changes, then you’ll finally feel confident. But actually, confidence is the key to make drastic improvements, whether it comes to your health, career, or relationships. In other words, stop waiting for circumstances to happen and, instead, work on boosting confidence first. The changes you want to make in your life will happen as a byproduct. Here are 10 concrete ways to love yourself like Lizzo and boost confidence to achieve your best life.
    1. Be brutally honest with yourself
    Do you love your job? Do you genuinely enjoy all of your friendships? Are you open about the hobbies that bring you joy (yes, even the geeky ones)? Not only will being brutally honest illuminate areas in your life where you’re not your true self, but it will also force you to stop trying to “fit in” (middle school trauma can still really affect us, you know?). And when you realize what you do genuinely love and enjoy, do more of it. You can’t be fully confident unless you openly own, accept, and feel comfortable with who you are.
    That also means knowing your strengths and accepting whatever you previously deemed a “weakness.” You know that famous quote by Albert Einstein that’s written on inspirational cards and quoted in graduation speeches? “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Remember this lesson when you’re picking at your “weaknesses.” If you’re shy in large groups, don’t sit around wishing you were more outgoing. Instead, appreciate that you’re really charismatic in one-on-one situations. Keep track of the hobbies, people, and activities that make you feel like your true self, and then seek them out more. 

    2. Use visualization
    Before first dates or big presentations, we often focus on the worst-case scenarios. Not just your-date-turned-out-to-be-a-serial-killer type of scenario, but the forget-the-entire-presentation or what-if-they-don’t-like-me kinds of scenarios. Instead, visualize yourself acing the presentation or enjoying the first date as the highest version of yourself. If you’re not sure what your highest self looks like, think about how you act in your most comfortable relationships. Are you goofy, vivacious, enthusiastic, kind, or thoughtful? What memory do you have where you did feel good about yourself? Visualize showing up as that person and the best-case outcome. You’ll not only feel more confident going into uncomfortable situations, but you’ll be more likely to achieve your highest self.

    Source: @simplytandya

    3. Practice empathy and positivity
    We’ve already established that confidence requires a change in internal mindset, not a change in outside validation. But if changing your mindset was as easy as flipping a switch, we’d all be confident. So the key to self-confidence? Empathy and positivity. Just like happiness, empathy and positivity are skills, not circumstances. When you work those muscles on other people and situations, you’ll start to feel empathy and positivity for yourself too. Work on positive thinking through gratitude journaling or exercises, and prioritize the glass-half-full mentality in all situations. See the good in other people (including celebrities, influencers, and frenemies–ex-boyfriends exempt from this list), and you’ll start to see more good in yourself too (guaranteed). 

    4. Accept compliments
    PSA: can we agree to stop downplaying when we receive a compliment!? Especially as women, we’re taught to be polite at our own expense. However, it’s just not true that putting ourselves down makes other people feel more comfortable. In fact, it typically makes people more uncomfortable, not to mention it’s hurting your confidence. When a coworker tells you that you nailed the presentation, don’t respond with “I couldn’t have done it without my team,” or “Really? I messed up the whole second half!” Say, “Thank you so much! I worked so hard and am so excited about how it turned out.”
    Likewise, when a friend compliments your hair, don’t say, “Ugh, I have such frizzy hair, I spent 45 minutes getting it to lay straight!” Instead, respond with a simple “Thank you!” and take a moment to internally feel good about yourself (why yes, my hair does look phenomenal. *Cues ***Flawless by Beyoncé*). If just saying “thank you” feels uncomfortable, feel free to give a compliment in return but stop downplaying the compliments you receive. 

    Source: @devyn.p.miller

    5. Be smart about social media
    It’s no secret that social media is a common confidence-suck. Being constantly bombarded by the pretty, filtered version of hundreds or thousands of other people’s lives is not exactly the best recipe to feel good about our own. We know that we only put our very best pictures, selfies, and sides for the world to see, while keeping “real life” (like messy kitchens, PMS tears, and stretch marks) offline. But somehow, it doesn’t always register that other people do the same. Do yourself a favor and mute or unfollow everyone on Instagram except a few select accounts that bring you inspiration, motivation, and happiness whenever you click through their feed or stories (like, IDK, @theeverygirl, just as a totally random example). 

    6. Change the words that follow “I am”
    Personally, my identity has been defined as a writer my whole life. Ever since elementary school, my love for writing was always the first thing teachers noticed about me. For 24 years, I put myself into categories of, “I’m a writer, and I’m creative,” but because of that identity, I also said, “I’m not good at business” or “I am not a math person.” I loaded up on English classes in college and didn’t take one business, finance, or economics class. I always took on the “creative and free-spirited” type of personality, and didn’t feel confident in any skills related to business or personal finance. 
    But when I became a grown-ass woman (AKA, like a few months ago, but it depends who you ask), I was over feeling like I wasn’t good with money and that creativity was all I had to offer the world. I started telling myself, “I am a businesswoman,” and, “I am smart with money.” It gave me the confidence to sign up for finance classes and start my own side business. The lesson here? Think about what stories you’ve been telling yourself about who you are, and then replace the words that follow “I am.”  Have you been telling yourself, “I am awkward,” “I am shy,” “I am ugly,” or “I am not good enough?” Change the words after “I am” to anything you want to be, and eventually, you’ll start to believe it. Fake it ’til you make it, you know?

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    7. Get outside yourself
    Listen, I’m not calling anyone self-centered in a negative way. As humans, we see reality through our own perspectives, and therefore, everything centers around the way we experience it. When you’re feeling a lack of confidence, it can be tempting to wallow in your feelings or vent to friends. While you should lean on the people who make you feel better, make sure to get outside yourself too. Ask other people questions more than you talk about yourself (and listen!), or volunteer for an organization that needs help.
    Not only will focusing on other people make you feel better about yourself (because nothing is more powerful than helping someone else), but you’ll also realize that other people don’t think about you the way you think they do. Other people are too caught up in their own problems to realize you’re a little awkward or have a breakout on your chin. One of the most important life hacks I’ve ever learned: you’ll stop feeling self-conscious the minute you turn your attention to helping someone else. 

    8. Do more things that make you uncomfortable
    Stepping outside your comfort zone is–you guessed it–uncomfortable, but it can make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself. Try something new that you’re scared to try, whether it’s cooking a new type of food, attending a different workout class, or networking with people you’re typically too shy to reach out to. The good news is that you don’t have to be good at whatever new thing you’re doing in order to boost self-esteem. In fact, you probably won’t be good. The confidence comes when you keep showing up, even when you’re not good at it. It will teach you to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations and accomplished in trying something new. 

    Source: @missenocha

    9. Keep promises to yourself
    We have a conception that “confidence” has to mean thinking highly of ourselves, which is not necessarily true. To break it down, confidence is actually a combination of both self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to the belief you have in yourself to accomplish something. In other words, to boost confidence, you must make and keep promises to yourself. If you want to eat more veggies or get to bed earlier, make a plan, and then follow through with it. Remember that there’s more on the line than leafy greens or getting enough sleep. Think of it like a friend; the more you can rely on them and trust them, the more you love and respect them. The same goes for the relationship you have with yourself. Eat what you say you will, get to bed when you say you will, and watch your confidence skyrocket.

    10. Cultivate the “eff it!” mentality
    Channel your inner Dua Lipa and just don’t care. Typically, I’m not a fan of IDGAF energy (I think caring about people is the most powerful thing we can do as human beings, even when it hurts), but when it comes to cultivating self-confidence, I’m an advocate. You see, sometimes you have to remind yourself that not everything is as big of a deal as you make it in your mind. You gained a few extra pounds–who cares? You’re shy meeting new people–big deal! The side business you want to launch might fail–so what? Doing something you want to do or being someone you want to be (while saying “screw you!” to insecurities) might be the absolute best thing you could ever do for yourself. Just as a reminder, don’t take everything so seriously; it’s just life! The point is to enjoy it. 

    What tips have helped improve your confidence? More

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    How to Improve Your Relationship When You’ve Been Stuck Together for Months

    We’ve been staying at home for months now. Your boss is still accidentally hitting mute on Zoom, you failed at baking sourdough more times than you’ve succeeded, and your significant other forgot to unload the dishwasher again. For couples that live together or have chosen to quarantine together, the global pandemic doesn’t just mean severe anxiety and limited toilet paper. It also means facing a future of indefinite togetherness, lack of alone time, and maybe some fights that you never expected to have (like whose turn it is to disinfect the groceries).Quarantining couples are fighting more than ever, missing their alone time, or feeling anxious about fast-tracking their relationship. No one signs up for 24/7 togetherness when signing a lease or marriage certificate, and it’s normal to struggle with your relationship as you’re struggling with scary headlines and changing routines. However, it’s possible to not just survive staying at home together, but to enjoy it. Here’s how you can still improve your relationship, even if you’ve been stuck together for months.

    Reassess what’s working and what isn’t.
    Being stuck at home together is no longer uncharted territory that we’re all just trying to figure out. At this point, you’ve had enough experience to identify what’s working well (like dividing up chores or having weekly mental health check-ins), and what isn’t (like getting stir crazy or having the same fight about the dishes three times a week). Start with what has been going well in your relationships. Do you love playing Scrabble on Friday nights or feel supported when you’re stressed? Talk about what’s going well for both of you and the relationship. Then identify the areas that still need work and problem-solve together how to improve what hasn’t been working. 

    Source: @kayla_seah

    Switch up your routine
    If your evening routine is consistently eating takeout on the couch while watching Stranger Things, there’s nothing wrong with that (in fact, that sounds like my ideal night). However, try surprising your partner one night with dinner served at the dining room table (with candles, of course). Not only will switching it up help you get out of any ruts that come with the same routine every day for months, but doing something different might ignite a little extra spark. Planning a themed date night on the weekend, going on a hike together instead of working out in the living room, or even eating breakfast on the patio (instead of hunched over laptops) can make a huge difference. 

    Practice empathy for your partner
    If you are constantly bickering or get to the point where you can’t stand each other, this might be an enlightening time for some couples to reassess if this relationship is the right choice. However, if you are in it for the long haul and the extra bickering is only on account of stress and change in routine (not incompatibility), don’t worry. The fix could be as simple as practicing empathy.
    This is probably a weirder time than you anticipated when you were reciting vows or moving in together. Therefore, what you expect from your partner needs to change too. Be empathetic to the extra pressure they’re under (is their company suffering or were they furloughed?), and any anxiety they might be feeling from headlines or changes in routine. The greatest way you can grow stronger as a couple during a time like this is to better understand, relate to, and feel for each other.

    Source: @missalexlarosa

    Keep up your personal hobbies, and encourage your partner to keep up theirs
    While I’m embarrassed to declare Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as a “personal hobby,” it has always been my go-to when I need to turn my brain off on a lunch break or relax on a Sunday afternoon. My boyfriend knows when it’s RHOBH time to put in headphones if he’s working or do his own thing if he doesn’t feel like watching. This might be a sad example, but just because you’re spending 24/7 together doesn’t mean you should stop all the things you typically love doing. 
    Your significant other should encourage your hobbies, even if they don’t share your exact interests (and might be like mine where you notice his eyes are glued to the TV when Kyle and Lisa are fighting, even though he pretends he “doesn’t like reality TV”). Whether it’s the shows you watch, the books you read, or how you like to work out, keep up the things you love, and allow your partner the space and time to keep up theirs. Yes, relationships are about shared interests and compromises, but they’re also about giving each other the support to be who you really are. 

    Remember to celebrate milestones
    After four or five months of barely leaving the house, you might have experienced one (or both) of your birthdays in quarantine, and maybe even an anniversary has come and gone. Perhaps one of you graduated or got a promotion at work. Since it might feel easier to ignore anything that’s supposed to be “celebratory” (because it serves as a reminder of what you’re missing out on like birthday parties, anniversary trips, etc.), you might have glossed over or put little effort into celebrating. However, even if you’re grieving for what you thought 2020 would be like, it’s still important to make the most of it. Dress up for dinner at home, order takeout from your favorite fancy restaurant, and decorate the living room. Don’t just think of how to survive 2020; make your relationship better by making new memories. 

    Source: @raffinee

    Think of your relationship as a business
    So this might be the most unromantic relationship advice you’ve ever received, but hear me out. We often think love is supposed to be magically perfect, and two separate people are supposed to seamlessly combine their lives together (preferably with a romantic montage or public declaration of love, but that’s just me). And while many aspects of being in love with the right person should feel seamless and perfect, being stuck at home together for months doesn’t have to be one of them. 
    To navigate the changes and work through this new life together, both of you need to be open to accepting new responsibilities and helping each other in ways you didn’t have to before. Think of your partnership as you would think of a business: schedule regular meetings into the “team” calendar, divide up responsibilities based on what’s most effective, and consistently reflect on how you can be a better “coworker.” Remember that the goal is success (in this case, happiness in the relationship), not for you to be right or “win” an argument. Just limit your business-mindset to outside the bedroom, or else, you know, it could get weird. 

    Find a new activity to do together
    In a society where couples are starting podcasts and travel blogs together, you should have more than enough inspo and motivation to find a new activity you’ve never done together. It can be as simple as going on evening walks or doing a puzzle, or can be as time-consuming as learning a new language or starting a side business if you have the extra time to spend. The point is to find something you both are excited about, so you can spend quality time in a different and more meaningful way than you have in the past few months. Turn off Netflix, stop scrolling through Instagram, and try something new together.

    Source: @missenocha

    Make pleasure a priority 
    No, it’s not what you think. Hopefully, you already work on fulfilling intimacy with your partner (and if you’re not, click here or here), and it’s OK if the abundance of anxiety and loungewear has created a lull in your sex life (it’s normal!). What I mean instead is to make your pleasure (outside of the bedroom) a top priority. Start by basing decisions off of what would bring you more pleasure (like a warm bath versus a cold shower, or a slow yoga flow versus a sweaty dance workout). Also, take time to pamper yourself (turn on a playlist and dry brush), and don’t forget to check yourself out in the mirror (because you know you look good!).
    Why is this good for your relationship, you might ask? Living for the sake of pleasure (instead of just checking items off of a to-do list) will make you happier and feel more fulfilled. It might reduce stress or help you stop depending on your partner for happiness. Therefore, fights could be easier to solve or prevent, and you might enjoy your time together more. Oh, and if you want to talk about sex life specifically, it will help that too. Just as a bonus, no one can resist a confident, happy woman (just see for yourself).

    What habits or tricks have been helping improve your relationship while being stuck at home together? More

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    This Week Only: Equilibria Is Offering a Free Gift With Purchase

    After months of staying at home (how is it not 2021 yet?), we’ve tried just about every act of self-care. We’ve gone through countless sheet masks, tried lots of guided meditations, and lit every candle in our homes (even the fancy ones once reserved for company). While those methods are great, and we need all the help we can get with stress-relief, they don’t always do it for us when it comes to de-stressing and caring for ourselves. Enter: Equilibria. The CBD and wellness company, Equilibria, has been an Everygirl-favorite for a while now (not to mention it’s female-founded!). Associate Editor, Maddie, takes the soft gels for stress-relief;  Ally, Director of Partnerships, loves the relief cream for sore muscles; and Social Media Editor, Abigail, swears she sleeps better after taking a bath with the bath bombs. Call them presents we regularly give ourselves, and now’s the time to give yourself the gift of stress-relief and self-care too (because you deserve it!).
    Starting Monday, Equilibria is offering 20% off the first order, and a free mini 150mg/15ml Daily Drops with any purchase while supplies last (which is truly a blessing at a time like this). The daily drops provide fast-acting results so you can take it before bed (to increase relaxation) or during the day to promote focus and decrease any tension. Trust us–it works. 

    Equilibria
    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.

    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 was in partnership with Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    10 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Mood

    To say 2020 has been a hard year is the understatement of the decade, and we’re only about halfway through. Countless people around the world are facing fear, uncertainty, disappointment, and loneliness on a daily basis, and it’s important to know that if you’re having these feelings, you are not alone. On lower days, which can occur with or without a global pandemic, there are steps you can take to lift your spirits beyond just another glass of wine.We’ve rounded up 10 science-backed ways to help improve your mood when you’re feeling down. Some of these tips and tricks can lead to an instant boost, but others will help with lessening feelings of stress and anxiety longer term. So let’s get happy!

    1. Head outdoors
    I think we can all agree that staying cooped up indoors all day can lead to feeling anxious and unhappy. It comes as no surprise that a study by the University of Vermont found that those who lived in urban areas used happier words and were less negative on Twitter after a visit to a park than they were pre-visit. If you’re feeling down, try to get some fresh air and sunshine, even if that just means sitting on your patio for a little while.

    Source: Miss Enocha | @missenocha

    2. Walk the right way
    Since you’re planning on going outside anyways, try going for a nice stroll. A walk in the park can provide a mental boost, but when you’re on your walk, make sure you walk in a positive manner. Researchers found that walking as if you’re unhappy (slumped with little arm movement) can lead to experiencing a worse mood than if you walked in a happier style (upright and bouncing). Fake it and you will make it!

    3. Surround yourself with positive friends
    It would be unfair to expect your friends to look on the bright side all the time, but when you’re feeling down, spending time with a friend who tends to be more positive can be helpful. The University of Warwick found that you can pick up on the moods of your friends, and they can be somewhat contagious. Give your friend who tends to look on the bright side a call next time you need to gain some new perspective.

    Source: The Rustic Foodie

    4. Eat healthy
    While sticking to a healthy diet has more benefits than we can outline here, one we’ll focus on is the impact healthy food can have on your mood. After analyzing data from nearly 46,000 people, Dr Joseph Firth found that a healthy diet can lead to an improved mood and reduced depression symptoms. So for dinner tonight, try reaching for anything full of vitamins and antioxidants!

    5. Be a well wisher
    Take a note from that glass-half-full friend we were talking about earlier and be a positive influence in someone else’s life. Researchers at Iowa State University found that instead of trying to make ourselves feel better, we should focus on trying to make others feel better. They found that offering kindness to others can help reduce anxiety, improve happiness, and lead to stronger feelings of social connection. Send congratulatory cards when something good happens to a loved one, compliment a stranger’s shoes, or give a colleague a stellar recommendation on LinkedIn. These acts take just minutes, or even seconds to complete, and may lead to everyone feeling a bit happier.

    6. Move your body
    We can thank Elle Woods for this insightful gem, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health and can decrease feelings of tension, improve sleep, increase self-esteem, give a sense of control, and elevate your mood. That’s a lot of benefits for a quick run or gym session a few days a week!

    7. Sleep On It
    So this one is a bit of a Catch-22. Stress and anxiety can lead to insomnia, which in turn can cause feelings of depression and irritability. But getting a good night’s sleep can help alleviate those feelings. As tempting as it may be to zone out in front of Netflix for a few hours after a rough day, try to hit the hay early. That way, if you have trouble sleeping, you can hopefully squeeze in a few extra hours.

    Source: Gian Cescon

    8. Discover your passion
    Remember hobbies? It feels like they’re becoming less and less common, but that shouldn’t be the case. Hobbies can be fun, mentally stimulating, and lead to feeling accomplished, confident, and happier. So give one a try! Don’t know where to start? Here are 21 hobbies you can try at home today.

    9. Find peace of mind
    You’ve heard it before, but let’s talk about it once again: meditating has ample health benefits worth considering. Meditating, like all of these suggestions, can’t eradicate the roots of stress, but it can help manage the effects stress and anxiety have on your body. Finding a meditation practice that helps you focus your attention inward can lead to a state of deep relaxation, increased focus, and fewer nervous thoughts. It can take time to find the right fit, so don’t feel discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of meditating. At the very least, setting aside 10 minutes a day to meditate will force you to focus on your breathing, which is also beneficial!

    10. Stimulate the senses
    Aromatherapy is famous for its mood-impacting abilities, so why not load up your diffuser with a relaxing scent? Or you can keep a handy rollerball blend of oils in your purse or at your desk for when you need a quick boost. Similar to scent, sound can also be impactful. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that upbeat music can positively affect our wellbeing, so crank up your favorite happy tunes and let the music do its thing! More