2020 Reading List – My New Years Resolution!

2020 Reading List – My New Years Resolution!

I am not the type of person to set New Years resolutions – but this year I set my goal to read 6 leisure books – so far I am on number 5! I had been in school for 9 years straight so there really wasn’t any time for me to develop the habit of reading books for fun. I am well on may way to my goal and am pretty proud of myself! Most of the books I have focused on this year were self improvement books and honestly, it has helped me through all this craziness. This year has been a year of personal navigation for everyone, and I feel most of these books have helpful in this point of change for myself.

  1. Aly Raisman – Fierce

This book is an autobiography by Aly Railman – Olympic Gold Medalist. For those of you who don’t know, I was a gymnast growing up and she is honestly one of the most amazing humans I’ve ever met. In addition to being a bad ass and an insane gymnast, she was one of the brave women who spoke about about Dr. Larry Nassar. Her story is one to be read, and in this book she really reflects on life lessons she has come across in her life. She is extremely relatable to many women, not just athletes!

2. Charles Duhigg – The Power Of Habit

I had heard about this book from former classmates and a few of my current colleagues have read this book as well. At the beginning of quarantine I started to hit a pivot in my work habits (I think from just getting older). This book really helps explain the biological reasons behind habits and why we have them, how to change them, and how to develop them. If you are looking to change the way your work or habits of your personal life, I highly recommend!

3. Rachel Hollis – Girl, Wash Your Face

If you don’t follow Rachel on Social Media, you should. She is so funny and just a realistic human that we all can grow to love. She understands the importance of talking about your struggles to help others going through similar things, but also to help yourself realize you are not alone. This is not a “cure all” book, but can def help you see ways she has approached situations you may find yourself in. I am a strong believer that self development or “Self Help” books should be used as a guideline to find ideas of how to deal with things you may be going through. But, I highly recommend this book!

4. Jordan Lee Dooley – Own Your Everyday

Similar to Rachel, Jordan also discusses life events she has overcome and experiences that have made her stronger. She gives solid advice on changing the way your view yourself and other situations. I will say, she is very in-tune with her faith and it has guided her along her life Journey which she discusses a lot in the book. I am not a religious person, but I still find her insight helpful and applicable to my everyday life even around the religious aspects.

Books to read or in process:

5. Bryan Stevenson – Just Mercy

Bryan Stevenson is a MAJOR player in the civil rights movement. This book has actually been made into a Major Motion Picture with Michael B. Jordan (YUM) and Jamie Foxx. If you are looking to educate yourself on what Death Row actually looks like in this country and the impact this man has had on criminal reform and changing laws in place that set up minority men and women to fail – READ THIS BOOK! I keep bouncing between this book and the next one I am going to list. I have watched the movie several times – if you are not a reader, you should still watch the movie as it is based off of this true story.

6. Kevin Kwan – Crazy Rich Asians

I really needed to switch up what I have been reading this year because its all been over stimulating. If you have seen the movie, you will love the book as well! I keep bouncing between this book and Just Mercy. My goal is to read the trilogy! I only have the first one, the link above is to all three books!

7. Tara Westover – Educated: A Memoir

I have not read this book but one of my friends gave it to me. It is a book about a woman from a Mormon family that breaks free of he sheltered life. She said she read it so quick – she couldn’t put it down.

These are what I have on my list so far – I have some more that I picked up recently, but I need to get through the ones I have first! I you have any other suggestions, leave a comment below or shoot me a message on my contact me page! If you have read any of the ones above, I would love to hear your thoughts! As always, thanks for reading!

xoxo

Tay

Navigating COVID-19

Navigating COVID-19

I’ve wanted to do a post like this for quite sometime now, however, what do you say to your followers and try to give someone advice on how to navigate this shitstorm if you are struggling yourself.

I have found solace in seeing how others are navigating this crazy time and implemented some self care practices that have helped others. I hope that I can be of some help if you are still trying to figure this shit out as others have helped me.

Isolation

The HARDEST part of quarantine for me is that I have been isolated in my studio apartment with my cat. I have had little to no human contact during the first 8 weeks of quarantine as James was considered essential and was forced to remain on site. Over the last few weeks I have been able to see him more, however it has been very limited. For the first few weeks I was just watching TV constantly and wouldn’t leave my apartment for sometimes a week at a time and then it was just to go to the grocery store.

It was so difficult to focus on anything – my diet, work, maintaining relationships. It just made me really think of what state my life was in and how depressed I was. I felt so alone and isolated. I would see what people were posting on social media of being quarantined with people they love and roommates/significant others and it was DESTROYING ME.

I have a really close friend, Michelle, who also lives by herself. We were going through the same thing feeling isolated and not having anyone we cared about physically close to us. It felt so good to have someone else who understands what you are going through. I began to look at it as a challenge. If I can get through this, it will just make me so much stronger as an individual. Being able to learn to be comfortable by yourself, support yourself, and be OKAY with being alone is a tricky thing to navigate. But people do it, and this has forced me to figure out how to navigate these times. This is totally different than being in a normal setting living alone – most people have friends or family they are around even if they live independently – but this is a most extreme example.

Hobbies

I am not a girl who has hobbies AT ALL. When you spend 8+ years in school constantly year round, it is hard to maintain that, work and having a hobby on the side. But somethings I do love is organizing, decorating my home, cooking, and just trying new things to keep my lifestyle as healthy as possible. ALL of the posts I have done during quarantine have been mostly food. Because what else does my life revolve around. I wouldn’t consider these hobbies, but they make me happy – and that’s all that matters.

Media

While I do miss having cable and running during commercials for a bathroom break, I am SO glad I do not have it now. There is so much negativity, panic, and opinion pieces out there it kills me and raises my anxiety levels to exponential heights. During this time, I have not watched a single news cast other than Governor Baker’s addresses (and the Governors of RI and CT because those are my regions for work). All of the news I have been getting regarding COVID-19 has come directly from these addresses or the CDC its self. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions and press should be free – I think during this time it is most important to have FACT based information and reporting’s. I personally refuse to feed into the panic some media outlets produce in order to get higher ratings.

Mental Health

As someone who has seen a therapist for years, it has been challenging dealing with Isolation, worry of mine and my loved ones health, and everything else I would typically have anxiety over. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a kid and then when I was 22 I was diagnosed with PTSD. Whether you have a mental health diagnosis or not, this COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on most of the population. Those of us who have gotten our diagnosis under control have seen it fly out the window during this uncertain time and have had to adjust our coping mechanisms.

There are so many resources out there now that were not out there a few years ago. If you find yourself struggling with mental health UTILIZE YOUR RESOURCES! You are not alone, there are people there to help you. Digital Mental Health has taken a massive turn over the last year and even more so During COVID. With support from my family, friends, and health professionals, I have maintained my mental health to the best of my ability during this time. Some additional resources I have listed below:

 

Put your happiness first.

While this is something you should practice at all times, you should especially make sure this is your first priority during quarantine. You want to go for a walk, do it safely. (the featured image is from my “super secret, secret spot” as James calls it) You want to binge watch your favorite show all day and stay inside even though it is 80 degrees outside, do it. As always, everyone is going to try and tell you what you should and should not do. “You should try and learn a new skill or take a new class.” “Why don’t you try and be productive?” – Don’t let people make you feel like you are less than because you are not coming out of quarantine a superhuman who can balance 5 million things at one time and that this is a time where you HAVE TO pull your life together. It’s not. It’s hard. It’s scary. If you want to use this time to pull your life together and be productive, learn a new skill, or whatever else you decide, GREAT! You go and do you.

After reading this post through, I am not sure if there is much advice in here, but its real and raw. It is from my heart and is expressive of how I feel. It seems as if we are starting to come out of this craziness, but even with the phased approach that Massachusetts has taken there is still so much uncertainty.

Stay Safe and Stay Healthy. As always, thank you for reading!

XOXO

Tay