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There are currently 59,689 #quarantine15 floating around The Gram right now and quite frankly, we'd like it to stop there.
We get it. Many of us have gained a few pounds as a result of all the changes we've had to endure during this pandemic. Grocery stores have had far fewer options lately as our supply chain continues to adjust to daily challenges. This has forced many of us to opt for other substitutes we may not be so pumped about. With gyms and other exercise related facilities having limited hours, many of us are not nearly as toned as we'd probably like to be. Working from home has caused most of us to become a lot more sedentary than if we were heading into an office. The list goes on and on and on...
This is an extremely stressful time for everyone. People are losing their jobs and worse...people are losing THEIR LIVES (approximately 506,000 people in the US alone as of today). Between stressing about finances, jobs, the economy in general, your health, the health of your loved ones - everyone is at peak level anxiety right now. Not to mention, if you have kids schooling virtually at home while you're working from home - God bless - that's just another layer of stress added to the stress cake that is pandemic life.
I myself have struggled for most of my life with an eating disorder. This uncertain time has been very triggering for me. Typically when everything becomes completely out of my control, I turn inwards and begin to hyper focus on the one thing I think (ignorantly) that I can control - my body. It has been difficult the past few months to avoid falling back into old patterns. I am only one of millions of American's who struggle with eating disorders. It makes it even harder when everyone is publicly exhibiting such negative self talk, a narrative that's much more damaging than people realize.
If you are one of those people who has lost weight during this pandemic, we're happy for you. However, please be mindful of the language you use in talking about your weight loss with others. Many of your loved ones may be struggling with their weight or worse...struggling with an eating disorder you don't even know about.
So as hard as it may be for a country infested with toxic diet culture, we're here to say - STOP. Seriously please, just stop complaining about your weight, stop talking about your weight, stop thinking about your weight. Fking STOP IT.
Instead, might we suggest some positive activities that could help you manage your understandably high stress level, during this exceedingly difficult time:
1. Go for a walk. Not to burn calories or lose weight, but for your mental and emotional health. Getting outside, especially in the sun, can have extremely positive effects on your mood, your health, and your overall well-being.
2. Breath work, meditation, prayer, journaling...whatever you would like to call it or however you prefer to execute it - create a space and a time each day where you sit and focus on how you're feeling. Process your emotions thoughtfully. If you can afford a therapist, tele-therapy has been extremely helpful for literally every single person I know in my life that's been participating in it. If you can't afford it, well...If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. Seriously, just let those feelings flow. Breath them out. Pray them out. Write them out. But do get them out. When they're out in the open they're a lot less scary.
3. Unfollow or mute social media accounts that make you feel like shit about yourself or your life. Period.
4. Don't read or watch the news for more than 30-60 minutes per day. We know it's hard, but seriously it may save your life.
5. I cannot say this strongly enough...Get. Enough. Sleep. The number one complaint I hear among all of my loved ones (and my number one current complaint as well) is that they're all struggling to sleep. When they do sleep they have intense dreams and more often than not, vivid nightmares. With anxiety at an all time high it's understandable we're all experiencing sleep disturbances. Hopefully, if you follow the advice noted above, maybe sleep will come a bit easier. Otherwise, make it a very serious priority. Set an alarm that reminds you to start getting ready for bed. Set your DND (do not disturb) for a reasonable hour every night. If you cannot control yourself around your phone, sleep with your phone in an entirely different room. Amazon Prime is a thing - order an alarm clock, we assure you it will arrive tomorrow. If you are too young to know what this "alarm clock" is - Google it.
The obvious truth is - a few extra pounds will absolutely not kill you. But COVID might. So wear a damn mask. Take care of your mental and emotional health. Be kind to one another. Tell those you love that you love them. Drink the latte. Eat the ice cream. Give yourself some grace. Give everyone some grace. And for the love of God - stop using #quarantine15 - it's dumb.
Stay safe, stay stylish, stay humble.
Founder & CEO, Love Saves Apparel PBC