Finding A Smile in Stressful Times

Hello again. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but world events are a little scary right now. I’m someone already prone to anxiety around illness and I’m still recovering from a serious breakdown in my mental health less than a year ago. So, on the negative side, I am painfully worried about all of my loved ones. On the positive side, I am now a pro at dealing with this type of anxiety and being stuck inside the house, voluntarily or otherwise.

I’m going to save you from my analysis of the current COVID19 situation, I’m not a doctor or an epidemiologist. I am also going to save you from another post rambling about washing your hands and not stressing over toilet paper, I’m sure you know it all.

What I am going to do is tell you a few things that made me laugh or kept my mind away from anxious thoughts when things were really bad. Hopefully at least one of these will make you forget your worries and smile.

The Golden Ratio

Are you a dog lover? Then you need these pups in your life. The Golden Ratio is a family of five golden retrievers (plus a few angel dogs) who live with Jen (GR Mom) and Ingo (GR Dad). The family splits their time between the Florida Keys and the Washington DC area (aka living my dream life). Videos are posted on Snapchat and YouTube daily, not to mention posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Not only are dogs lovable and entertaining but the posts made by GR Mom are full of encouragement and kindness.


Kara and Nate

I didn’t start watching travel vloggers until last year when I came across Kara and Nate. They are a husband and wife who decided to drop everything and travel for a year. Well, turns out they were pretty good at the YouTube game and a year turned into another and another. They just recently met their 100 country goal, but still haven’t had enough of travel. Kara and Nate stand out to me because of their joy for life and their genuineness. You can’t help but smile when Kara gets excited about trying food from a different culture or when Nate is scheduling another last minute AirBnB. My dad and I have watched over 400 of their vlogs together and I don’t regret the time spent at all.


Angie Bellemare

I know, I know, an influencer? really? Angie does fit the stereotype. She does beauty hauls, home decor hauls, morning routines etc. etc. However, she’s also a fitness coach and it shows. She is extremely motivational and will honestly make you believe that all you need to live a truly fabulous life is a goal and a pair of Disney mouse ears. Plus, her Halloween and Christmas decorating game is off the charts. If you are here for “vibes” you’ll love her channel. I’ve actually started working out more regularly thanks to her encouraging vlogs and I can already tell how much it is improving my mental health.



There are lots of podcasts I listen to and love (This American Life, Last Podcast on the Left, Criminal, Pod Save Us) but I am going to give a shout out to My Favorite Murder. I think most everyone is familiar with this famous comedy and true crime podcast. But if you haven’t ever listened to an episode you might not know that the hosts (Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark) are huge proponents of mental health. They actively talk about their struggles and encourage people not to be afraid or ashamed of wanting to go to therapy. They also end every episode something positive known as their “fucking hooray.”


Girls’ Night In

This website and weekly newsletter is for us girls who would much rather spend an evening curled up at home than out at a loud club. The articles focus on self care and mental well being, whether that means taking some time to yourself or gathering your close friends for night of laughter. You’ll find a monthly book club, interviews with your favorite authors, and articles on all things lifestyle from how to keep your anxiety in check during stressful periods (hello, relevant) to which moisturizers are best for your skin.

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This week has been heavy, so we took a "take what you need" approach to the newsletter this week and dedicated this issue to just ✨COMFORTING ✨ things (because that's what we do best around here). ❤️⁠ ⁠ Resources in our bio now: ⁠ ⁠ 🍝 1. Issue 160 – Just comforting things⁠ Read this week's issue for baking inspiration, things that made us laugh this week, ideas for keeping kids busy while social distancing, what we're watching and reading at home, and more. ⁠ ⁠ 💗 2. Small Steps to Taking Care During Scary Times – @alisharamos wrote a personal note to share with those in our community looking for resources to help stay calm, prepare, and take control over what you can during COVID-19. (We also added some very helpful articles we've been reading this week.)⁠ ⁠ 👩‍💻 3. Working from Home? Here's How to Take Care as You Do It ⁠ Need some help acclimating to a new normal of working from home? We've got some tips that can help give some structure to your days. (We originally published this piece last year, but it still applies in many ways.)⁠ ⁠ 🤗 4. Open Thread 〰️ For Anyone Who Needs a Hug Right Now⁠ This week, many members of our community have reached out with worries about work, older family members, big life events that may get postponed, and just the state of things. Here's an open thread you can participate in with members of our community who share your concerns.⁠ ⁠ 🏃‍♀️ 5. At-Home Workouts We're Trying Right Now⁠ Originally published last year, it feels like a good time to re-up this list (curated by our community) of the best free or inexpensive at-home workouts for times like these. ⁠ ⁠ Thinking of you all, and let us know what other resources we can provide. We're all in this together, you know? ⁠ ⁠ (image via @manrepeller / @werenotreallystrangers)

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Online “Window” Shopping

I am not a fan of shopping in store to begin with and this current situation makes it even less appealing. However, I also need to make sure that I don’t end up spending all of my hard earned money on anything and everything I can get via Amazon Prime 2-day delivery. So, I have started “window” shopping both as a form of entertainment and as a way to keep from impulse buying. Do I need those dinosaur taco shell holders? No. Should I buy those dinosaur taco shell holders anyway? uh… maybe? Into my “kitchen decor” wish list they go. Adding them to my wish list usually quells my impulse to buy immediately because it is saved somewhere so that I won’t forget.  Plus, it’s just fun to see all the crazy stuff an Amazon or plan a whole new wardrobe.




This one has been a family favorite for years. Every Christmas my family sits around the table and talks, laughs, drinks, and puts together a puzzle (or two or three). I started putting together puzzles on my own because it reminded me of the happy memories I have with my family. While not everyone will have these memories, I can say that putting together a puzzle is a great way to keep your brain engaged when you’re binge watching Netflix (or in my case ID Discovery). My recent favorite HERE.


So that is it, that is what I have for you. Just a few things that made my days a little brighter when I struggling. Remember to be kind, check-in on those you love, and wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least twenty seconds.

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