In This Pandemic, It Is OK To Focus On Just Surviving
I must admit that I am a busy-body by nature. I am often listening to someone's podcast, a YouTube video, working on a blog, re-visiting my fitness goals for the week, attending someone's virtual event geared to personal development and the list can go on and on. While being busy has its advantages, it is critical to point out the disadvantages that come with it.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have noticed an influx of conversations urging individuals to be productive during this quarantine and I admit, I was one of them. But over time, my beliefs towards that push has drastically changed. While I still believe that being in quarantine is a great time to launch new ventures, build or grow a business, write a book, pay off that debt or work on that website, it is important to normalize the focus on surviving in the midst of the pandemic.
Survival may look different for various individuals. It may be going back to therapy or distancing yourself from that project to just breathe; and for others, it may be to take each day at a time. We must remember that the cause of the quarantine is due to COVID-19 and as a result, we must be sensitive that this is not an easy time for everyone. In fact, my personal theme during this time period has been to extend myself grace and I implore you to do the same with yourself.
During this unprecedented time, many of us are trying to survive so if you have not produced a book, paid off your debt(s), launched a business or checked an item off from your 'to-do' list, it is OK.
Social media has created an unrealistic expectation of what it means to thrive during this pandemic. That has caused many individuals to fall deep in depression and grow in their insecurities because they are overly focused on thriving when the goal should be to survive. 2020 was not just consumed with COVID-19 cases, there has been a heightened amount of unplanned deaths, murders and racial tension this year. All of which has been extremely taxing on many of our mental health. Therefore, it is essential that people are continually reminded that it is OK to focus on your sanity.
If you are struggling in the area of investing in your mental health and overall well-being, I suggest that you do the following:
- Find a therapist. Therapy For Black Girls is an excellent place to start.
- Go on a walk.
- Read a fun or thought-provoking book.
- Try new recipes to cook.
- Connect or reconnect with loved ones.
- Turn off the news and/or deactivate your social media platforms.
As you can see, the investment of self may not always birth an item or venture of some sort but in the end it can birth a healthier you.
Now, I am not saying that the production of books, businesses, websites, promotions and more are bad things. Those achievements are amazing and I salute those who have accomplished those things. However, I equally salute those who have successfully made the decision to get through each day alive. That is the biggest achievement that I believe that any person can make during this time.
For many of us, we have grown up hearing the saying, "You cannot pour from an empty cup." Could it be that this pandemic has forced many of us to take a pause from our busy lives to rest and refill our cup?
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
What's a classic manicure look getting a fall 2023 aesthetic update? Look no further than the micro-French nails that are trending this fall. Minimal nail art ideas are in, and the super thin lines within the micro-French nail trend scream minimal chic when it comes to nail design choice.
If you're wondering exactly what to request from your nail tech, according to Cosmopolitan, there's been "a rise in micro-French manis on square nail shapes." And if you are in need of a little nail inspo to bookmark for your next appointment, we have you covered on that front, too.
Keep scrolling for design ideas for your future set of micro-French nails.
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