mental health

Take Care of Yourself

I think that it’s in most peoples minds that the world feels like it’s closing down. When you walk down the street of once-busy downtown Toronto, you will find it feeling very eerie. The roads are near empty, the sidewalks too. Everyone is at home, self isolating themselves from this horrendous virus that has changed our lives globally.

At first, when I saw the news, sitting at home eating a big bowl of spaghetti surrounded by family, I thought to myself, “it won’t come here, though…” and I changed the channel. It is crazy how things change and how fast a virus can spread. My heart goes out to China and Italy, who have experienced the worst of it. This virus is no joke and nothing to change the channel about. I didn’t realize it could get this bad, to the point of closing shops, malls and banks. Taking a trip to the grocery store feels as if we are all gatherers, trying to find things that will keep our family healthy and able to live throughout this isolation, I mean, who knows how long it will be. The shelves are bare, toilet paper, soup, cold/flu medication, any form of sanitizer, it’s all out of stock. The people who need it most, the elderly can’t even get any of it – the grocery stores have had to restock and restock, opening up an hour early just for the elderly and disabled to come in a have a chance at getting some necessities. The world is in true panic.

Sitting at home, unable to visit my parents and sister in fear that they will somehow get the virus or if they have the virus – give it to me. I have no idea if I am a carrier of this virus, I show no symptoms – but there have been many positive cases with the same thing. The fear has truly set in for me, but I have been trying to really take the time I have to practice self-care and truly take care of myself during this time. I know that in times of panic, fear and isolation it can often result in problems with mental health including depression and I want to make sure that I am giving myself the proper care to avoid that. I’ve been trying to make sure I don’t start eating a bunch of junk just because I am home all day, which can be very tempting because of boredom. I also have gotten into some at-home workouts which fills some time and makes me feel really good. But, my go-to activity is YouTube and Netflix. My favourite youtubers Julie & Hunter Havens have been putting out daily vlogs and it’s really neat to see how they are being productive and going about their day throughout this whole fiasco.

I hope that everyone is staying indoors, safe, healthy and mentally well. I know this is going to be a bit hard for some people to self-isolate and being home majority of the time, but this can also be a great time to pick up a new hobby or skill. I’ve been trying to read more and I see some people are picking up painting, drawing etc. Which is also a really great idea. All in all, find what works for you and makes you happy. Try not to sleep too much and try to be productive through these next few weeks.

Well wishes xo

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how to go to the damn gym

So, I’ve had such a love/hate relationship with the gym for years. I see (and follow) a ton of fitness girls on instagram such as Tammy Hembrow, Gabby Scheyen, Caroline Omahony, Shannon Henry just to name a few. I’ve idolized these girls for their dedication and their ability to wake up everyday and get their asses to the gym while also maintaining a great diet I might add. So, if I idolize these people so much why don’t I try to improve myself and just do it? Well, to be frank – it’s what I like to call gym anxiety. The times that I feel motivated and ready to hustle and actually make it to the gym, I immediately feel regret as soon as I park my car. It sets in. I’m here. Now, maybe the gym anxiety comes from not knowing how to use every single machine there? Or maybe the fear of people looking at me while I work out or judging me on the light weights that I use. Whatever it is, my mind is truly taking advantage of this whole experience for me. I wish I could just shut it off and go in there, crush a workout and leave happy. My solution lately has been going with my boyfriend and practically following him around doing his workout routine because I get too scared to do my own. The truth is, nobody is looking at you. Everyone is there for the same reason and everyone started where I am now – doing those light weights and getting used to the machines and the environment. The hard facts are that nobody really cares that I’m there or not, they are focused on their success and their improvements physically. So, I have decided to do the same. I know that every time I park my car at the gym, that sneaky gym anxiety shivers through my body and so I have found a few solutions that are helpful for me and might be helpful for anyone else who has the same issue.

Number one – headphones. I like to wear my airpods (yep, basic) and I’ve already compiled a list of songs that are geared towards pumping me up, which are typically hip-hop and a little EDM. I’ve named it GYM and so far I have about 40 songs. The music helps to get me into my own little zone and I enjoy my workouts 1000x more with music playing anyways.

Number two – wear a hat. Hats are great for the gym because a) don’t worry about your hair frizzing from the sweat and b) it gives off a “don’t talk to me” vibe. Now, that vibe isn’t to be rude, it’s more of a “I am here for the sole purpose of working out”. I also think it gives me a bit more confidence for some reason (?)

Number three – plan ahead. I know that whenever I don’t plan my routine, I end up just walking over to the treadmills and I feel super awkward about not knowing what to do next. Planning ahead will make sure you’re prepared for the workout and know where to go, which reduces the anxiety and stress! I actually purchased a workout plan from Gabby Sheyen called Gabby Gains Guide Vol. 2.

Number four – grab a partner! Now, I normally go with my boyfriend. But his workouts aren’t exactly perfect for what I am trying to accomplish. He is trying to grow his arms and chest like most men, and I’m trying to grow my legs, glutes and overall tone my entire body. I will still do arm exercises of course – those aren’t crossed off the list. But, try to grab a partner who has the same goals as you such as another girl friend.

Number five – pre-workout. This is completely optional. Pre-workout is not for everyone. But, I like to use Rivalus Powder Burn 2.0 in the flavour Orange. It’s not too extreme but it gives me some energy and gets me extra pumped to go to the gym, and it also forces me to stick to it because it’s not exactly good for you to just take pre-workout and skip your workout.

I hope these tips helped a few of you that may have the same issue as I do. If any of you purchase the Gabby Gains Guide, there’s a facebook group that’s called Gain With Gabby and it’s basically just a group of girls that are all in the same boat and want to improve their fitness/health! They are super supportive and it’s a sweet group, even if you haven’t purchased it you can still join, it kind of helps to know that there’s lots of other people who are feeling the same way.

Til next time, my dudes.