Who else feels like they would’ve handled this quarantine better if they had just had a little bit of notice?
Just enough time to buy some new scarves and hug your BFF one last time! We went from being advised to work from home to banned social gatherings within days. One week we were bonding over how to DIY remove our acrylic nails and wondering how in the world we were supposed to style our own hair, and the next we were realizing that our perceived “essentials” actually weren’t at all, and we had better find a way to thrive and quickly!
But thriving looks different from your living room couch without your weekly sister meet-ups and group exercise classes that keep you accountable and fill your inner tank up at the same time. Thriving during a pandemic looks different because it is. Thriving during a pandemic requires you to thrive with the bare minimum for yourself and–alone or not–by yourself.
When we eliminate distraction, whether we like it or not, we’re forced to get real still and real-real with ourselves. I know firsthand the false sense of purpose that comes from those on-the-go days where your notifications are blowing up and you barely get a minute to sit down with yourself. I YEARN for those kind of days! Every once in a while though, it’s nice to dial it back, take inventory, and assess what’s really going on inside and what your next move should be.
Here are 5 things we can learn from eliminating the non-essential:
You Need a Community
Oxford dictionary defines community as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” We are not meant to take this walk on earth alone. More than just lovers and friends, we need to be a part of something larger with people who take us outside ourselves, challenge us, and expose us to something new.
Relying on intimate relationships alone not only puts increased pressure on them, but we so often choose those relationships based off of our known environments. Community through church, or getting out and backing a mission you believe in, allows us to be around people who may share our interests but who also bring inherent differences. This gives us the opportunity to be exposed to new thoughts and ideas and that’s the only place where growth happens.
Liking Yourself Is Really, Really Important. Work at it Everyday
When you can’t immerse (*ahem* hide) yourself in a crowded room and all of the noise fades away, the one you’re left with is looking back at you in the mirror. If you’ve been paying attention at least a little bit since Lizzo came the loudest with the self-love movement, then hopefully you’re starting to see the perfection in the person staring back at you.
Most of us don’t even take a minute to tap in and face those not-so-bragworthy parts of ourselves until we’re forced to. Along with close relationships and community – ABOVE those – the relationship you have with yourself, and your ability to meet your flaws with compassion is the real success. The truth that all that you are is no accident and that experiences, even the worst kind, shape and reveal the person you’re made to be needs to be on a constant loop in your head until you believe it.
Your Natural Hair Doesn’t Look As Bad As You Remember
If you’re like me, you felt the ease of the instant glow up from a protective style and never looked back! A slayed hair style plus minimal maintenance is a vibe that gives you effortless confidence and also peace of mind now that you’re limiting the damage to your real hair. *A moment of silence for those crochet braids.*
If you’re a habitual wearer, you probably haven’t seen your natural hair in all its kinky glory in some time but, just like you, she’s grown! Times have changed and the natural hair movement is something you can’t help but see and applaud. Seeing Gabrielle Union rock a headband to jump in the pool or bust a sweat is what I’m here for. The fear is that you’ll take down your style and instantly be transported back to feeling like the little girl who hated getting her head combed but there’s a newfound power in these locks! Grab the coconut oil, it’s time to embrace it. (For a little bit. Until the salons open back up.)
You Need to Invest More of Your Money In Loungewear
For some reason hitting the “Add to Cart” button on a new pair of sweats doesn’t hit quite the same as those new shoes you’ve had your eyes on all season. I envy a wardrobe designed for doing it up and stepping out, but when those are pushed to the back of your closet, you want to make sure you’re left with pieces that still make you feel good and put together. Comfy, versatile sets, flattering basics, and a stretchy, well-fitting jeans are having their biggest moments right now and are leading the must-have pack.
Your mindset is KING. Nurture it, Guard It
The phrase, “You are what you think,” isn’t just true it’s frightening! What goes on in our heads, consciously and even more important, subconsciously, governs all the actions we do and don’t take. Your Mindset effects the things that you believe about yourself, the way you interpret behaviors and build relationships with others, and the goals you go after in life. Mindset isn’t motivation, which is fleeting, and it isn’t just self-discipline; your mindset is the non-negotiable deciding of what kind of person you are and what kind of world you live in every single moment of every single day. It enters a room before you do and it guides your next steps.
Mindset shows you what’s possible and tells you that you can get there. That you MUST get there. You cannot have lasting happiness or true success if you don’t have a sturdy mindset. You can build up your mindset through faith or spirituality, personal development books or motivational podcasts, writing out affirmations or reposting your favorite inspirational quotes. Nurture it and then make it so resilient that nothing can break it for long. Your life actually depends on it.
Jasmin Wells is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur rambling her way through it all. Her favorite pastimes include soul searching, oversharing, and spreading light through her Instagram stories.