12 Things You Can Do Virtually During This Uncertain Time

 

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Is it Monday? Being honest, no one’s keeping track. We have been cooped up inside for the past four weeks, and we could all use a mega-virtual-hug right now.

First things first, take a deep breath. We’ve found ourselves in a very unforeseen and unprecedented situation. In essence, it has been a real doozy time in human history to be witness to a global event that continues to affect us all in different ways. Although I have the privilege of not changing my life drastically, I know that, for many, being isolated at home can be especially lonely and frustrating. I also think there’s some comfort knowing that every person on the planet is in the same boat, right?!

ImageEverything is so up in the air, but I am choosing to focus on the good. We, like the rest of the world, are all still home, still social distancing, and still bored as ever. But as the situation evolves, here’s a friendly reminder that no matter your case, sometimes you just need to press pause.

 

Unsure what to do with yourself?
Virtual meditation and workoutsZoom parties, Jigsaw Puzzles, quarantine playlists or my new favorite hobby, virtual window shopping.

Here are some resources to help you combat the social distancing blues and stay entertained on URL instead of IRL:

  1. Escape your home and visit the Great Wall of China from your couch  (I get it! Cabin fever is real but hang in there!)
  2. Take a virtual trip to Mars (you’re itching to travel, I know!)
  3. Go on a virtual tour of US National Parks.
  4. Check out San Diego Zoo.
  5. Stream and play free online.
  6. Sing along your favorite Broadway classics.
  7. Dance your shoes off with celebrities in your PJs.
  8. Enjoy the Met free streaming of operas.
  9. Visit over 2,500 galleries and museums around the globe.
  10. Discover the Vatican immense art collection.
  11. Download, print, and fill in Van Gogh coloring pages.
  12. Improve yourself with free online classes.

Image 6These are tough times and each day brings sweeping new changes, but we will all get through this together. Until then, remain optimistic. Keep holding on to your faith. And please stay home and stay healthy!

Let’s rise above all of this and flatten the curve.

 

Whether you are self-isolating, social distancing, or just plain WFH, what are other activities you are doing to kill your boredom?

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At 07:35 am on March 3, 1980, I came into this world. (With a little help from my mom, of course. Thanks, Mom!!)

Last Tuesday was the 40th anniversary of my born day.
I have lived 40 years, 480 months, 2,087 weeks, or 14,610 days.

I am the BIG FOUR OH!

There, I said it. I am 40. Forty. It doesn’t compute, not really.
Well, how about I’m 18 with 22 years of experience, much better.

I feel that my 40th born-day is kind of a watershed moment, and for a good reason:
I’m old enough to know better but young enough to do it anyway. I mean, they don’t call it “middle-aged” for nothing.

When I was a kid, I would sometimes calculate how old I would be when the year 2000 hit. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be 25 years old!
Forty years old seemed like a lifetime away.
Yet here I am, turning 40 years old.

I hated my teens
I disliked my 20s
and I loved my 30s
I wonder why I can’t stay in my 30s – indefinitely.

Please, save the tired clichés such as “40 is the new 30” and all that.
This is a milestone, and I am so grateful that I get to experience it and that I’m still in reasonably good health.
I just wish to stay in my 30s – indefinitely.

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A Reflections on a Decade

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As I write this, I am close to my final weeks as a thirty-something. In a few months, I turn 40, and part of me wants to complain about getting old. But when I looked back at the last ten years of my life, I realized how far I’ve come—it was shocking. It is somewhat absurd for me to think that entering a new decade and turning 40 is a bad thing. I should be down on my knees, thanking God for giving me 40 years on this earth.

As the decade draws to a close, reflecting a bit on the last decade is challenging, yet quite entertaining. Sometimes, I feel that I’m moving forward at a snail’s pace in life. Other times life itself feels like it’s zipping by in fast forward.

Anyway,  let’s reflect.

When I turned 25, I had a plan. Nothing turned out as I had planned. I should be a world traveler, happily married, a mother of three kids, and a lady boss. Of course, at that age, life looked a lot different, and things didn’t go according to schedule.

Fast-forward 15 years, I am not rich. I am not famous. I am not tall and skinny or anywhere close. However, I got two master’s degrees in entirely different areas. I moved cities eight times, packed up everything, and left. I relocated to Charlotte for a new job. I lost that job (and felt like the world has ended.) I became an auntie to my beautiful nieces Sara and Yasmeen—seeing my sister become a mother has been so lovely to watch, even from a distance.

Taking a huge step back, I see the ups and downs of my life with a new perspective. My circumstances have changed notably in recent years. There have been times where I truly experienced great disappointment, stress, anxiety… yet, I find myself on the other side. I’m beyond blessed to still be in good health and surrounded by a fantastic family. However, my clinical career took a sharp turn away from the lab soon after losing my job and led me to a wildly irreverent field and hopefully, to a job I’ll love. There are many things about myself and my life that I’ll gratefully take forward with me into the coming decade.

I look forward to happily embrace the handful of people who love and accept me for who I am, including my family. I will also continue to cherish my new life turn.

I look forward to embarking upon a new decade.

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Meet Irene Levy Baker. A Local Philadelphia Bucket-list Aficionado and Certified Foodie

Irene Levy Baker by Rachel Baker

As we all know, the city of brotherly love has a lot to offer. Irene Levy Baker does not only agree with that fact, she even wrote two remarkable books about Philadelphia. Irene is the author of “100 Things to Do in Philadelphia Before You Die” and “Unique Eats and Eateries of Philadelphia.” Continue reading “Meet Irene Levy Baker. A Local Philadelphia Bucket-list Aficionado and Certified Foodie”

What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Killer Listicles

img_3960First things first, we all love listicles. They are like a magnet, and somehow, we are addicted to them. While many attribute the rise of the listicle to online sites, like BuzzFeed and HuffPost, listicles are used by a wide range of writers, and yes, even the New York Times uses listicles in their feature sections. (Okay, not as much as Buzzfeed.) Continue reading “What Everybody Ought to Know About Writing Killer Listicles”

Your Happy Memories Can Bust Your Bad Mood

img_3293No one like to be sad. It’s even safe to say that we all want to be happy. Recently (since one year, six months and 23 days to be exact,) I’ve been going through a challenging time. Nothing traumatizing happened. I just lost my job. I’ll be honest; I also lost my life and dignity with it. I couldn’t enjoy even the simple things in life, and the heavy thoughts were clouding my days. Eventually, I realized that I needed to get out of this depressing state, and I started rebuilding my self-confidence (still a work-in-progress.) It’s so darn hard to maintain a positive mindset, but I’m improving. Feeling nostalgic and embracing the good memories in my life helped to lift my way out of negative emotions — well, sometimes! Continue reading “Your Happy Memories Can Bust Your Bad Mood”

I Woke Up at Dawn to Dance. Here’s What Happened.

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In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s catch a case of the Springtime feel goods. We all need a little positivity in our life. DayBreaker is full of positive energy and happiness, and perhaps an easy solution to your insomnia, anxiety, overwhelm, and loneliness — Based on my experience at least. I felt instantly happy at my first DayBreaker. The event is designed to help us start our day with what Radha Agrawal, the founder of DayBreaker and the author of Belong calls it the Daybreaker D.O.S.E — happy chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin) that your brain naturally releases.

So, let’s talk about some feel-good time. Let’s talk about DayBreaker. Continue reading “I Woke Up at Dawn to Dance. Here’s What Happened.”

Feeling Sad? You Know What Could Help? Desserts.

img_3065Sometimes, the stars align in your favor. Other times… they just don’t, and life throws terrible stuff your way. It sucks. It could be a broken heart, an empty bank account, an unexpected job loss, a parking ticket, or a fight with your mom.


Whatever it is, you’re having a shitty day. Shitty days are the hardest to dig yourself out of, and it sucks. I’ve had my share of those days over the last two years. My go-to help may seem too simple, but it’s dessert. Dessert is what helped me manage to get through some really, really shitty days and come out the other side.
You should take dessert seriously; not just any random dessert will do.
It’s important that you pick the right dessert to fit your mood. Philadelphia has a never-ending list of things desserts-for-your-mood to indulge in when you’re sad.
Here’s seven.

Continue reading “Feeling Sad? You Know What Could Help? Desserts.”