Being cooped up in the house all day makes me feel LIKE I AM GOING INSANE. I worked from home even before coronavirus, and these are the things that have really helped me from losing my mind. Happy to share the wealth now that we're ALL stuck inside!
I’m a minimalist, so I prefer to buy my books on Kindle. I go through about a book a week, so buying a physical copy just isn’t in the cards for me. Before I switched over to ebooks I would have to cart boxes and boxes of books with me each time we moved. Ugh! Also, if you’re stuck inside an ebook will be your best option to get to reading FAST. Some of my favorites right now are below.
- "The Great Alone" - this is, without a doubt, one of the best novels that I've read . It broke my heart in the most perfect way, and was also a devastating look inside PTSD, life with an abusive parent, and the oddity of living in Alaska without prepping at all. I won’t be surprised if I end up reading and re-reading this book for years to come.
- "Shrill" - I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I am a loud woman. I like to swear (A LOT) on the internet, I am almost 6’ tall, and I’m certainly not. petite. I don’t always see people that I identify with in the media, but I did in "Shrill". This collection of essays depicts what it’s like to be a not-thin woman in current society, how men are ruining pretty much everything, and what it’s like to grow a career. Also, it’s about to be a show starring Aidy Bryant from SNL! Yes!
- "The Bell Jar" - in my early twenties I decided to start rereading all of the books from my high school days that I probably didn’t appreciate or really pay attention to. It wasn’t always a particularly thrilling activity (there’s a reason I didn’t like some of those books the first time around!), but when I read "The Bell Jar" it all seemed worth it. Mental health is one of my favorite topics, and reading "The Bell Jar" made me realize just how far we’ve come.
- "Becoming" - Thanks, Obama! I’m always fascinated by behind-the-scenes details (BTS if you’re social savvy), so "Becoming" was right up my alley. Michelle has always been somebody who I deeply admire, and her book helped me to pinpoint exactly why. She is a badass, successful lady in her own right. Her husband might have been president, but I am so glad that I read "Becoming" to learn just how incredible Michelle is.
- "Bad Feminist" - Guys. Please read this. There are so many good essays in this book full of commentary on being a woman, current culture, and feminism. Especially if all of these things confuse you READ this book.
I’m all about being a go-getter, but sometimes you just don’t want to do anything at all and that is completely OK.
- "Big Mouth" - Ok, so this is an animated series about puberty. But hear me out! It’s sassy, thoughtful, and honestly pretty educational. If that doesn’t have you storming your Netflix, the cast will: Maya Rudolph, Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jenny Slate, and Jordan Peele. That’s only a few people. It’s such a fun show. Also - where was this in middle school? I would’ve learned so much.
- "Sex Education" - I promise that my thing isn’t to watch weird shows about puberty (or maybe it is?) but I do, in general, like to watch things that are going to make me laugh. I spend so much time in my business teaching myself to do everything under the sun that, when it comes time to chill, I just want to giggle. "Sex Education" is based in the UK and is a hilarious story about a teenage boy living with his mom who is a sex therapist. I watched the whole thing in one weekend and may never get over my sadness when the series ended.
- "Gossip Girl" - I have a confession: GG is my forever favorite show. I was the same age as the main characters when it came out (and read all the books in middle school!) and will always be in love with the mindless drama of it all. Even though I know how it ends, the forever will-they-won’t-they of every single relationship in the show keeps me on my toes.
- "You" - if you loved "Gossip Girl" in your youth but are a grown adult now (raises hand), you HAVE to watch "You". "You" feels like if Dan Humphrey was forever on the outside and then gets really, really, pissed about it (that was a "Gossip Girl" reference, y’all). I have a bit of a true crime obsession and loved the weird, cyber-stalking element of this show. Absolutely binge-worthy.
- "Broad City" - The women of "Broad City" are my soul mates. We just haven’t met yet. I recently described "Broad City" to somebody as the Sex and the City for millennials. I mean, it’s over the top (SATC was, too) but the struggle of being a twenty-something is so acute here: working weird jobs, navigating relationships, smoking weed. You’ll adore it.
I’m a podcast girl. I spend a lot of time in my car and, a few years ago, started feeling antsy about all that car time being a complete waste. Thank god for podcasts. I listen to a few business ones if there is something in particular that I need to learn about, but otherwise I like to listen to story-style podcasts to keep my brain distracted from road rage.
- "My Favorite Murder" - this seems like an appropriate time to tell you that I am fully addicted to true crime. If you had told me that this would be the case a few years ago I would’ve laughed in your face. But now I just can’t get enough. As a woman, hearing these stories somehow makes me feel safer out in the world. Murder, obviously, isn’t funny. But hearing the details of these crimes and scenarios spoken candidly is cathartic in a way and makes me feel more connected to my fellow women. MFM is a true-crime-comedy-podcast hosted by two of the most delightful humans in the world. I’ve met dozens of dope-ass-queens by listening to this show. I also have a knife in my purse now, so there’s that.
- "Broken Harts" - MORE. TRUE. CRIME. Where MFM features two different stories per episode, Broken Harts is dedicated to telling just one story over the course of the entire series. It's the story of a family with six adopted children, and how those six sweet baby angels are neglected to an inch of their lives before their parents drove them off a cliff. From the outside, they looked like the perfect family. What happened?
- "S-Town" - S-Town is an odd podcast. The story started out as an investigation into complaints about a murder coverup, but quickly turns into a profile of the man sending in the complaints. The murder never happened. "S-Town" is full of twists that are made even better by the fact that they actually happened in real life; they would almost be too much if somebody had written them. My husband and I listened to this on a road-trip and loved it so much that we listened to it before bed, too.
- "Homecoming" - You might know it as an Amazon series, but it started as a podcast! "Homecoming"reminds me of old-school radio. It’s completely fictional and voiced by actors. I normally don’t love sci-fi, but I loved listening to this as I drove from meeting to meeting trying to figure out exactly what was happening at the Homecoming facility.
- "Dr. Death" - If going to the doctor freaks you out please don’t listen to this because you will hide in your house for the rest of eternity. Everybody else, lend me your ears! Can you imagine faking your way through medical school and then telling everybody you were the best doctor ever but not actually knowing how to do shit? Dr. Death did just that. And it’s a true story.
SPARK SOME GOSH DARN JOY
Whenever I’m stuck inside for more than a day or two any mess starts to drive me absolutely bonkers. Sick days usually end up being days where I fully clean out some random room of our house. We live pretty minimally now so there wasn’t necessarily a ton to go through, but I do enjoy doing a walk-through of my house every now and then to check for clutter. Everything that I’ve listed below will either pay you for your clothes or give you a credit for them to spend, so you save yourself some money AND get rid of ish that you don’t need. You’re welcome.
(I also want to note here that I’ve recommended ThredUp many times on my blog, but after my own bad experience and hearing from many of yours, I won’t be suggesting them as a good place to trade in your clothes anymore. It’s still a great place to shop if you want recycled clothing, but they don’t give clothing sellers enough money back for their work.)
- Re-Spun - Marine Layer is one of my favorite stores. Their t-shirts are soft and cozy but ALSO fit really well, which I adore. I pretty much live in t-shirts. Honestly, I am a t-shirt at this point. Marine Layer recently launched a program where they will recycle your t-shirts into new shirts (YAY!) and give you credit to buy something new in-store. It’s a great option for finding something to do with all those old 5K shirts, random work volunteer shirts, and other weird clothes that you don’t really like and don’t really need. You can drop off your shirts in-store or send them in via prepackaged envelope.
- Project RePat - If you have shirts that you like but don’t want to keep anymore, we are in love with Project RePat. Project RePat takes your old shirts (or blankets, sweatshirts, whatever!) and will turn them into a cute quilt for you to have forever. We love them so much that my husband, brother AND I each have one. I made my t-shirt quilt out of old pajama sets, sweatshirts from college, a few shirts of my mom’s that I didn’t want to get rid of, and a rogue shirt from sixth grade that I somehow still had. It’s the coziest blanket I own (as I’m writing this it’s draped over my lap!) and always brings back happy memories. I love it so much.
- Poshmark - If you’re OK with holding on to your clothes for a while, I suggest listing items on Poshmark. I like Poshmark because I’m able to set my own prices for items (whereas ThredUp decides how much you get) and you can negotiate offers. If you do decide to list with Poshmark, make sure that you take well-lit photos of your clothes and provide as much detail as you can about measurements, otherwise you will get a TON of messages which creates a lot of extra work. I use Poshmark pretty regularly for nicer items that I have and no longer use, or to sell clothes gifted to me by brands that aren’t my style.
- Silk Roll - I just started using Silk Roll and was introduced to it by my friend Kelsey. Silk Roll accepts nicer items on consignment in exchange for points that you can spend on items listed in store. I just sent in my first Silk Roll package. I packed it mostly with seasonal clothes from brands that might not be searched on Poshmark. Once I find out how my package was received and what (if any) points I got back I’ll post an update.
- Recycle your denim for credit at Madewell - Madewell jeans are my absolute favorite, but they aren’t cheap. To get a credit towards your next pair Madewell will take any of your old jeans (doesn’t matter what brand!) to be recycled into housing insulation for programs like Habitat for Humanity. I like to make money that I’ve already spent work for me, which basically means exchanging things I’ve bought for other things instead of spending more money. This is a great way to do that! Jeans must be traded in-store.
WORKOUT YOUR BODY + BRAIN
Being cooped up in the house all day makes me feel LIKE I AM GOING INSANE. Something that, without fail, always helps make that feeling go away is working out. I am, unfortunately, one of those obnoxious people who believes that a good sweat can fix most problems. I’ve been almost permanently glued to our Peloton these last few days, as well as meditating my face off. Not because I’m a saint. I’m just getting really bored over here.
Pumps and Iron - The Pumps and Iron blog is full of thoughtful workouts using household items, workout equipment, or body weight. Nicole has playlists, workout videos, and print-outs that you can use at the gym or on your tablet. Essentially, she takes away ALL of our excuses. Also, she’s one of my top five favorite bloggers of all time. I love her.
The Universe Has Your Back - I’m not religious but I am spiritual. I believe in energy and, also, learning more about my own though patterns. The Universe Has Your Back admittedly is a little woo-woo, but I enjoyed reading it because it taught me how to train my brain out of negative thought patterns and to remove myself from any sort of emotional spiraling I might be doing.
Yoga with Briohny - It’s hard to find quality yoga instruction online where the teacher isn’t completely insane, spouting off nonsense about not using vaccinations or living on raw foods. You know? When I take class with Briohny I always learn something new and she always makes me giggle. Her instruction is top-notch and she’s a normal person, too. Win!
Insight Timer - There are a lot of meditation apps out in the world. I like Insight Timer because it’s free, but it’s also full of hundreds of meditations that vary in length, style, subject, and more. Many free apps only have a few lackluster meditations to choose from, but Insight Timer is full of content. I listen to them before I go to bed, or when I need an energy boost in the middle of the day.
12 Minute Athlete - If you only have 12 minutes to dedicate to a workout (or only want to work out for 12 minutes), this is one of my favorite apps. 12 Minute Athlete generates random workouts for the user, so you’re never doing the same things twice. They’re all HIIT style, so you have bursts of being on for a few seconds followed by a short break. The app gives you the option to incorporate different at-home equipment into the mix, which gives you EVEN MORE OPTIONS! I usually do this one on vacation. It’s the best.
Why not use this time to learn something new, eh? While drinking whiskey and playing Jenga will suffice for a few days (guilty!), at some point your brain is going to need some stimulation. I’m not saying that you need to use this time to do something work related, but why not give your brain a little workout?
- Skillshare - Skillshare goes beyond the depth of content that you might get in something like a YouTube video by hosting experts on their platform to host in-depth trainings that range anywhere from one hour to a few days worth of content. I’ve used it to learn about video editing, food photography, Facebook analytics, and so much more. Being self-employed means that I figure out a lot of things by myself. If it weren’t for Skillshare I would honestly probably be sobbing under my desk right now. This link will get you two free months.
- "The Ethics of What We Eat" - I was vegan for about 7 years. I don’t talk about it much (because I am absolutely NOT about to tell you what to eat), but it was a journey that taught me a ton about food, politics, and my own body. One catalyst in launching me onto that journey was reading "The Ethics of What We Eat". So many of us don’t know where our food comes from. I didn’t either before I read this book (and a few others) in a food ethics course in college. This book taught me to think about the greater picture of my food and the impact that it had on the world before I shoveled it into my mouth.
- The Influencer Podcast - Before you jump past this one: it isn’t just for people who run businesses online. The name, obviously, conveys otherwise, but The Influencer Podcast has great content for career women everywhere. That being said, as somebody who runs a business online I have learned a lot of great hacks and tips by listening to this. There is a lot of TERRIBLE advice online about how to blog, run a social media account, sell products, etc. The Influencer Podcast cuts through the bull and offers actionable advice for women in any stage of their business.
- How I Built This - If you are curious about business and/or how things work, this is one of my favorites. HIBT is the first podcast that I really got into! I love hearing the stories of how people came up with their business ideas and took them from a small desk in a basement to a major corporation. HIBT has also made me fall even more in love with some of my favorite brands (like Spanx and Stitch Fix) after hearing their stories.
- Institute of Integrative Nutrition - I’m taking classes through IIN right now to learn more about my own nutrition and to (hopefully!) be able to give you rad babes more helpful information. This is a year long program (not something you can blow through in a weekend!) and I’ve really been enjoying my weekly sessions learning about nutrition, food and mindset, and more.