Strategies for Overcoming Loneliness

When I was 12, I went to sleep-away camp for a week. I was there with one of my best friends and my little sister, but I was still incredibly homesick. One night, we had tater-tots with dinner and I started crying at the table because my dad loves tater-tots and eating them reminded me of him. Looking back, I find that pretty funny, but at the time it definitely wasn’t. And now I am able to find the humor in the situation because I’ve developed strategies for overcoming loneliness and homesickness that I didn’t have back then.

Strategies for Overcoming Loneliness

I still struggle with homesickness, but these strategies have been incredibly helpful to me, and I hope you find them useful too.

  • Strategies for overcoming loneliness:
    • Find “portable homes”
      • In my life, portable homes are resources that I can take out into the world and turn to when I need to feel comforted and understood. These are some of my favorite portable homes:
        • Books. These are mine, but any of your childhood favorites will probably work.
          • Harry Potter
          • Betsy-Tacy Series
          • Little Women
        • Podcasts. I love finding podcasters that are really caring and nurturing people because I can listen to them whenever I’m out in the world and feeling alone.
        • Blogs. In times of stress, it can be hard for me to connect with my body and know what I need. These blogs provide gentle reminders on living intuitively and taking good care of your body and mind. Plus, all three women’s lovely, hilarious personalities come through in their writing.

    • Take time for yourself
      • This seems a little counterintuitive, but I find that being by myself when I’m feeling homesick or lonely is really helpful. For me, there’s nothing worse than feeling lonely even when I’m with a big group of people, so taking a little time for myself can be so important. Being alone allows me to reconnect with myself, fully experience my emotions, and cry it out if I need to. Then, when I do rejoin the group I feel much more present and connected.

  • Figure out the root cause
    • Growing up, I was ashamed that I cried at summer camps and sometimes got homesick on sleepovers. For a long time, I thought that I wasn’t as brave as my friends or that I was just being a “crybaby.” But in recent years, as I’ve learned more about the way my brain works and the ways my anxiety manifests, I’ve found that these feelings were actually the result of separation anxiety.
    • Knowing this has been so helpful in enabling me to respect my feelings and respond with self care instead of judgement. Obviously, everyone is coming from different places, and my reasons are likely different than yours, but having more knowledge about the origins of our feelings can be really helpful.

I hope you’ll find my strategies for overcoming loneliness useful, and if you have strategies of your own, I’d love to hear about them! Just leave a comment here or connect with me on Instagram, and we can keep the conversation going.

Mindful Monday 7/3/17

It’s time to bring some mindfulness to your Monday! These are some Mindful Monday links that are brightening my day, and I hope they do the same for you.

3 recipes I want to make this week:

Mac-n-cheese. I LOVE mac-n-cheese, but I never make it at home because it seems so complicated. This recipe is the perfect balance between healthy and traditional, and I think even my little siblings will love it.

Mint Chip Popsicles.  I’m completely obsessed with mint chocolate everything, so these popsicles look totally perfect. Plus, they’re a great excuse to buy some more Eating Evolved 🙂

Tamales. I’ve always loved tamales, but never considered making them at home. This recipe sounds like a bit more of a project, but it looks delicious.

3 forms of movement I’m enjoying:

Bodyrok Sculpt Classes. I sign up through ClassPass (use this link for 40$ off the first month of your membership!) and I have so much fun in every single class I attend.

Walking + podcasts. Sometimes I get really into listening to podcasts while running, but right now peaceful, slow walks are what my body is craving.

Yoga sounds really good right now. I haven’t taken any classes yet, but I want to check out The Pad, CorePower, and Karma Yoga soon.

3 podcast episodes I’ve loved recently:

This one about dating in 2017 is so chill and funny, it totally feels like you’re just hanging out with Christina and Addie.

Nut Butter Radio, hosted by Hannah and Holly, became an instant favorite for me. All their episodes are great, but I especially liked hearing their thoughts on sugar detoxes.

I’d forgotten how much I adore The Chasing Joy Podcast, but I recently started re-listening to some old episodes and totally loving it. This episode with Rachel Mansfield is such a fun and inspiring conversation.

3 blog posts I relate to:

Getting real about therapy is so important, and I love how honest Jess is in this post.

Give yourself permission to slow down and let go of the need for constant productivity during the summer. You and I both deserve to relax, but sometimes its hard to let go of the pressure to be busy all the time.

I’m definitely not going to run a marathon anytime soon, but I love the idea of taking life “one mile at a time.”

 

I hope you gained some inspiration from this post, and I’d love to hear about what you’re enjoying this week. Comment here or share your thoughts with me on Instagram!

This post contains affiliate links for ClassPass and Eating Evolved. These are both companies that I truly love and that bring so much joy to my life, so I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.

Self Care & Good Fare

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I recently reformatted my blog and added the tagline “Self care & good fare” to describe my values for this space. Over the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to balance recipe posts with lifestyle posts, so I’ve decided to let my blog follow it’s heart and evolve into more of a food blog. Making up recipes is so much fun and it fits really well with my lifestyle right now.

As far as food values, I don’t follow any particular diet, and I believe a healthy lifestyle means enjoying all foods in moderation. I do believe in eating plant based foods as much as possible, as I do not support the practices of factory farming, but I also realize diets such as veganism and vegetarianism are not possible for everyone. I plan to post recipes that will suit a range of diets, and I firmly believe in experimenting to figure out what works best for you. I have so much fun trying new products (can I please live at Whole Foods?) and playing around in the kitchen, so I’m beyond thrilled I get to continue sharing my passion with you all.

At the same time, I think many people, myself included, can easily become overly fixated on food. We get too bogged down worrying we’re eating “too much of this” of “not enough of that” and we stop enjoying the process of cooking, eating, and sharing food. Food is awesome. It’s delicious and fun and fuel for our busy lives. I am so excited to create good fare for myself, my family, and all of you. However, balance is still essential.

So in an effort to remind myself (and any of you if you need it) that food is not everything, this blog is also about self care. I’ll be sharing how I take care of myself, from organization to relaxation, especially when life gets busy and stressful, and I’d be happy to receive input from you all about the kinds of self care advice you need. If there’s anything you’d like me to post about, please fill out the form on my contact page or message me on Instagram.

 

Much love,

K

Get Excited for Fall

For me, loving summer is so easy. Being happy and having fun comes naturally when I’m surrounded by sun and friends, without a single essay to write or math problem to complete. In the summer, I’m a more fun, more relaxed version of myself.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed how stressed and uptight I’ve become since going back to school. I having a feeling being so preoccupied and tense makes me less pleasant to be around, and it certainly diminishes the amount of fun I have in my day to day life.

To remedy my autumn blues, I’ve created a list of all the fun things I can do in fall. I can’t wait to reconnect with my relaxed, spontaneous side as I work my way through this list, and I hope it inspires you too!

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  • 1st up, fall food!! Personally, I think the warm, cozy vibes of fall make it the best season for food. Hell yes to pumpkin spice everything!
    • Visit your favorite coffee shop whenever possible. Honestly, I don’t even like coffee (tea lattes all the way), but as the weather gets colder there’s nothing like a hot drink and the comfy atmosphere of your favorite café.
    • Buy yourself some fancy tea. For those days when you’re craving something hot and comforting, but don’t have the time/motivation/money to go get one, having a box of luxurious, fall flavored tea on hand is essential. I have a weakness for chai teas, so those are a fall staple, but I’ve also been wanting to try out an apple cinnamon tea to mix it up a little. And if you’re more of a classic tea person, you can never go wrong with a good Earl Grey.
    • I adore pumpkin bread, and love testing out new recipes. This year I’m planning to try Cookie and Kate’s Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread, which sneaks in a little nutrition to help keep us warm through those frigid fall days.
    • For those moments when one is a bit overwhelmed by the pumpkin-ness of fall, but still craving a seasonal treat, Pinch of Yum’s Gingerbread Mini Donuts are there to save the day. I have a donut pan that I haven’t used in ages, and I can’t wait to make these for a Sunday brunch with family or friends.
    • I’m not sure I’m a skilled enough baker to try this recipe, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of homemade bagels for ages, and Inquiring Chef’s Pumpkin Spice Bagels look divine. If you’re able to pull this off, please send me some! (Until then I’ll be counting the days until pumpkin bagels become available at my local bakery.)
  • Fall style is awesome style. Easy and comfy are the way to go, and everyone looks adorable in a big sweater (yes, you definitely do. this is a fact).
    • Fuzzy socks are so important. When I’m feeling down, pulling on a soft, oversized, colorful pair of socks always makes me feel better.
    • When I want to feel cute but don’t have the time or energy to put together a complicated outfit, oversized sweaters are my go-tos.
sweaters
Zara/J. Crew/Banana Republic
    • Boots!! I have way too many pairs, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting more. I buy most of my boots at thrift stores, but I also love the styles from Steve Madden and Cole Haan.
  • Trying to incorporate new experiences and adventures into my routine helps keep life fun and exciting. Involving other people in these activities is also a great way to reconnect with old friends or create new relationships. This is my “bucket list” for fall!
    • Pick apples
    • Complete a school/work project you’re really proud of
    • Go for a walk and try to capture something quintessentially fall in a photo, a drawing, or in writing.
    • In the spirit of back to school, try a new workout/art/language/cooking class.
    • Watch your favorite childhood movie
    • Carve a pumpkin
    • Create an awesome DIY Halloween costume
    • Prioritize self care. When life starts moving quickly, it can be hard to remember to take time for yourself. Practice mindfulness and relaxation with the strategies from De-stress in 15 Minutes or Less (my first blog post!)

If any of these ideas inspire you, share your adventures with me on Instagram @16goingon60. Have a great beginning of fall!

Weekend Wish List

In all the excitement of getting ready for school, I haven’t had time to complete any real blog posts for this week. I have tons of fun stuff that’s almost ready, but for now I thought I’d just pop in to share my “weekend wish list.” Inspired by ImmaEatThat and Chickpea in the City, this is a compilation of the recipes, products, and activities I’ve been loving recently, as well as those I hope to try in the near future.

 

I’m Loving:

  • Raw Chocolate Chip Bars by Rachel Mansfield
    • I posted about these on Instagram a couple weeks ago, and ever since then I have been in love. Today I found myself practically licking the bowl (er, food processor) after I made a batch. Even my sugar-loving little brother begs me to make them for him.
  • Larabars
    • Obviously I can have multiple favorite bars at a time, and considering I scored a box of 16 peanut butter cookie Larabars off Amazon for 12 dollars (best deal ever!!), I don’t think I’ll be getting over these anytime soon.
  • Sriracha Hummus
    • The Sriracha hummus from Trader Joe’s. I know I’m late to the party, but this stuff is so good I’m not even mad. If you’re (fashionably) late too, PLEASE go get some and join my hummus party.
  • Chloé jeans (my latest thrift store finds)
    • The other day I tried on about 20 pairs of thrift store jeans searching for a pair that would make me feel special and beautiful and awesome. Just when I was about to give up hope, I found the most incredible pair. Since they’re second hand they’re waaayyy less expensive than regular Chloé jeans, and they make me feel on top of the world.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle by Cake
    • My friend was playing this song the other day and it made me laugh so hard. I showed it to my dad and apparently it’s one of his favorites too, so obviously I now feel very cool. (Not even being sarcastic- he has great taste in music)
  • Nike+ Training App
    • This app is like having a free personal trainer on my phone. The quick workouts are super easy to fit into my schedule, and the customized plan is unbeatable.
  • The Moth Podcast
    • The funniest, sweetest, most heartwarming stories. This podcast has made me laugh and cry, and it is an amazing way to replace Netflix once in awhile.
  • This article on building a food Instagram and this article on photography
    • While my blog, and corresponding Instagram, are not only about food, recipes and healthy eating are definitely a focus, and I am finding both of these articles extremely helpful as I work to improve my content.

 

I’m Wishing For:

  • Lola Granola Bars + Squarebars
    • Someone please send me truckloads of these bars. Help fuel my granola bar addiction. My obsession with all bars is pretty intense, so when I say these are the best, you can trust me. I know what I’m talking about. While these are too expensive for me to buy often, they’re my go-tos when I want to treat myself.
  • Lunchbots Grown Up Lunch Box
    • The @srunsforcake Instagram feed will forever be my packed lunch goals, and while my school meals may never reach that level of perfection, packing healthy lunches would be so easy and fun with these bento-style boxes.
  • Jordana Eyeliner
    • Liquid Eyeliner??? For under 3$??? Sign me up! I’ve never owned liquid eyeliner before, and honestly I’m not really one to invest in makeup, so this product seems like the perfect, low commitment way to test out the fancy eyeliner trend.
  • Pressed Freeze
    • I’ve been seeing Pressed Juicery’s soft-serve “ice cream” all over Instagram, and I am SO jealous. Hopefully I’ll get to try some eventually, but so far it isn’t sold near me. In the meantime, I’m excited to try Pinch of Yum’s Peanut Butter Nice Cream and Açaí Bowls by Kitchen Confidante to take the edge off my craving.
  • A cute backpack
    • Unfortunately I can’t even list a specific product here because I haven’t been able to find one that looks nice and will still fit all my school shiz.
  • The Bar Method
    • While most boutique fitness classes are way out of my price range, so much so that I’ve never actually been to one,  I’m completely obsessed with them. I think I’d feel so cool walking out of some trendy studio, post-picture perfect workout, on my way to buy a green juice. I know this image probably isn’t entirely accurate, but The Bar Method’s memberships are so affordable I might get the chance to find out!
  • Me Before You
    • Come out on Amazon already!! I missed seeing this in the theater, and I’m embarrassed by how badly I want to see it. (You won’t judge, right?)
  • Homemade Chai Latte
    • As you know, my latte love is intense (perhaps the most serious relationship in my life at the moment), so I can’t wait to try this plant powered, DIY recipe.

This is the stuff that’s been getting me through all the stress of back to school season. I feel like we forget often forget to have fun and treat ourselves when life becomes more challenging, but i believe those times are when it’s most important to practice self care. As always, I’d love to know what items are on your weekend wish list- comment here or go visit me on Instagram!