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Hi Friends! There’s no doubt that we all need a little bit of positivity, joy and happiness in our lives right now. I have had the news on far too often these past few days and as someone with anxiety, it’s really taking a toll on my mental health. So, I’m committing to turning off the news and stopping the endless google searches to focus on making time for the things that bring me joy. I wanted to share some of those things with you and how you can incorporate them into your life incase you’re feeling like it’s time to turn off the TV too.
Bubble Baths & Hot Showers: When I’m feeling off, whether I’m anxious or just overworked, there’s nothing that makes me feel more refreshed than a hot bath or shower. Since we have a tub, I usually take a bath but a hot shower does the trick as well! I love taking a bath right before bed with these epsom salts and this bubble bath soap. If you’re taking a shower to wind down, there are lots of fizzies that release essential oils (like these) to give your shower a more calming effect.
My favorite Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies: I have the biggest sweet tooth and my stress eating has been in full force this week so instead of diving into a box of girl scout cookies, I made a batch of my favorite healthy-ish chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I have them for breakfast or after dinner. You can also freeze them to make them last longer! I’m sharing the recipe below.
Listening to Jazz Music & Movie Scores: Usually when I’m working at home I listen to Jazz music or movie scores. It keeps me calm, uplifted and focused- especially when I’m listening to a movie soundtrack of a happy movie that I love. Lately I’ve just had the TV running and it’s way too distracting and upsetting. From now on, while I’m working I’m turning off the TV and listening to uplifting music. I’ll tune into major updates but I’m cutting out the mindless news viewing. I love this Jazz paylist on Spotify and the movie score soundtracks to Father of the Bride I and II are the BEST!
Heartwarming Books: I’ve been struggling with my anxiety the most right before bed so instead of laying awake letting my mind race I’ve been reading my book, Lilac Girls. This book in particular isn’t the most uplifting book – but it is a really inspiring story about an incredibly sad time in our world’s history and it makes me grateful for the blessings in my life and gives me hope in this time of uncertainty. Another heartwarming book that I really adore is A Man Called Ove – If you haven’t read it it’s a very sweet book! Here’s a list on Buzzfeed I found that I’m going to tap into when I finish my current book. There’s nothing like getting lost in a really great book.
Positive Affirmations: This is something I’ve talked about on the blog before and I’m bringing it up again because I think it’s super helpful in times like these. I have a deck of cards with positive messages on them and pick one each morning to set my affirmation for the day. This really helps me stay focused on a positive goal for the day. If you don’t have a deck of cards like this, you can just look for a quote online (I have a Pinterest board of my fave quotes here!) that you feel resonates and make it your mantra for the day!
Taking a Walk with a Podcast: This is something I really missed when I started working from home. I loved my walks to work because it gave me the chance to listen to my favorite podcasts. Now I usually just have my coffee while I watch The Today Show. Instead of watching the news this morning I decided to go for a walk and listen to a mindless podcast (The Viall Files) and I immediately felt so much better. It was so nice to not only get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine but it also really helped to take my mind off everything that’s happening and start my day on a lighter note which has been really hard to do the past few days.
With all this being said I do think it’s important to stay informed so I do plan on tuning in to major updates and encourage you all to do so too! These are just a few of the things that first came to mind but I’ll try to share more ideas over on my Instagram in the next few days!
Healthy Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil -in liquid form (you may need to soak the container in a bowl of warm water to raise the temperature and turn it to liquid)
2 cups rolled oats (not instant oats, gluten free if necessary)
2/3 cup almond meal (finely ground almonds in the flour section of Whole Foods)
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened, no sugar – read label!
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips (organic and grain sweetened – see note below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks or chips. Drop spoonfuls of the dough, each about 1 tablespoon in size and one inch apart. You will need to mash each cookie slightly with the back of a fork because they will not flatten and spread when baking. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.