Mind, Body, and Soul

How's your mind, body, and soul been doing since the pandemic started?

For anyone who doesn't know, I am in North Carolina where the whole state is a “stay at home” order meaning I can only go to the grocery store or leave for medical reasons. And what a ride this has been! Everyone is being impacted by the coronavirus in one way or another and everyone is being pushed to their limits with their mind, body, and soul.

I wanted to share with you how my quarantine journey and the roller coaster of a ride I have endured while being at home. Like many, I am having ups and downs but the key to seeing this through is determination and motivation to keep my head up high. I want to experience more positive days while learning new things along the way.

Not even going to touch on the fact I am homeschooling my mini-me throughout all of this!

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On March 9th, I started a new role within the same financial institution I have been at for the last 5 years and was beyond ready to start this new journey. I am a firm believer that I need to have many paths paved out for my future because I never know what door lays ahead with a new possibility. So, starting a new role within corporate America is helping me achieve my long-term goal for my “corporate” path. Don’t get me wrong, my DREAM job would be to travel the world while blogging to share new ways of traveling and budgeting. But until then, 9-5 it is.

Now when I started the new role before the peak of the coronavirus in the United States didn’t seem like it would impact me much. Yeah right, how wrong was I?!? On April 20th, I started to work from home and let me say, I have fully enjoyed working from home! I mean, the thought of just rolling out of bed to brush my teeth and then logging in has a thrill and rush to it that I hope never dies. I can now eat tuna happily every day for lunch and not worry about the smell that is protruding as I walk by people in a call center. And not having to take the toll roads to work which is definitely saving me money! Overall, I LOVE working from home!

My Office

After work though…this has been a struggle. I immediately knew I needed to find a new norm for when I get off and create a daily schedule to follow to keep me busy and out of my own head. (Overthinker 100%!) The first few days, I tried adjusting my daily schedule before work thinking I could somehow just start waking up early even though I am almost 30 and never wake up early. (Unless I am on a travel journey in which I watch the sunrise!) I thought I could do about 10 minutes of yoga followed by mediation before logging into work. I learned oh so fast that even working from home didn't change who I was and the fact I hate waking up early.

After realizing this, I started to go on walks after I got off work to remember what it feels like to have the sun beating on my skin. Then when I got home I would do about 20 minutes of yoga followed by mediation for a few minutes. While this is still ongoing, it's not like I imagined where I could fit everything in. When I would be out walking, I was thinking about dinner. When I got home, I was thinking about the schoolwork that was due in a few days. I seemed to be thinking of everything I needed to do that night and forget to live in the moment. I had a "to do" list and was determined to complete it all.

By the end of week 3, I was overwhelmed and exhausted while denying it at the same time. On the weekends, I would just sleep and lay around having absolutely no motivation to do anything besides the daily chores like dishes and laundry.

Beginning of week 4, all my emotions came out in a whirlwind which left me down. I didn't really want to talk to many people outside work stuff and seemed to have to really push myself to get the smallest things done like schoolwork. I got distracted so easily and found myself wondering with my thoughts while needing to stay focused.

After 2 days of feeling like this, I knew I had to come out of those funk I was in and figure out how to change it quickly. At first, I couldn't put my thumb on why I was feeling this way and then it hit me all of a sudden. I overwhelmed myself by trying to stay busy every day and rush to get things done because in my head there was this deadline I needed to meet. When I realized this, I told myself that I have plenty of time to get things done and if something doesn't get done that night, then it will be there tomorrow morning waiting on me. AND THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY! It's okay to take things easy right now and not being rushed to always be on a “go go go” mode. If I don’t get to walk today, then I will try and go tomorrow and know I have the power to just get up and go when I please. (Unless it conflicts with work.) I am in charge of me and needed to have that feeling back.

Another influence I started to realize a few days later is social media can suck you in and fill your head with so many thoughts without you really realizing it. I got sucked into a negative realm and had thoughts of “am I going to feel like this the entire time I am in quarantine with no end date”. Social media can be a powerful resource in the time of chaos, but I needed to learn how to use my time wisely while using Facebook and Instagram. (Pinterest is another daily one I use, but to find ideas on things to do around the house or learn about a new travel destination. All positive vibes on Pinterest!) I also decided to back off on the time spent on social media to make sure I am not being distracted from the other priorities on my "to do" list. Now, I use Instagram to look at other travel bloggers or travel destinations and avoid going down a Kardashian scroll. I have more recently started to be engaged with other travel adventurists to really start my Instagram journey.

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This is no easy time for anyone, and everyone is impacted in some way that comes with an array of emotions. Today, I found some motivation while watching a new Netflix documentary called Unstoppable. It’s about Bethany Hamilton whose arm was bitten off by a white tiger shark at only the age of 13 years old. This struck a string on my heart as we are the same age and remember hearing something about this as a little girl and seeing her on TV throughout my life. I never fully got into her story back then because of how young I was when she was attacked.

Watching her story today helped give me back the motivation and drive I needed. Besides the complete obvious of learning to surf with one arm AND getting back on the board after 4 weeks of the incident, but she can also cut fruit with one arm too! Y'all, I still struggle cutting tomatoes and hoping I don’t take a chunk of my fingers off. Bethany truly is a woman I can look up to when feeling like the odds are against me and how my motivation can carry me. I highly recommend her show!

As I type this going on week 5, I feel confident that I am finding my new norm and happy with who I am becoming since being in quarantine. I have a newfound love for yoga which just opens my body, mind, and soul with the movements and helps me find my center core. I downloaded an app called YOGA and love how it has so many options from beginner yoga to sun salutation. Today was the first-day trying yoga outside on my back patio and will most definitely do that again! I have also found a new love for breakfast toast with a variety of different ingredients on top. I have tried it with eggs, grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and red bell peppers. Not sure where this fascination came from, but something I can get used too.

These are the best yoga pants!

Here is where I purchased them:

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I encourage each of you to stop what you are doing right now and write down on something, what in life makes you happy. Especially if you feel down during these crazy times and know you need to pull yourself out of that funk you are in. Here is my list of items that are helping to keep my mind, body, and soul at peace right now:

  • Blogging

  • Dear Travel Diary freewriting

  • Drawing decorations around my travel notebook pages (aka doodle)

  • Step by step drawings to follow of mythical creatures (photo below)

  • Yoga

  • Jazz music

  • Being outside in some way like walking around my neighborhood

  • Indoor plants (a weird obsession I picked up within the last year and currently have 18 indoor plants)

  • Baths

  • Facials (while in the bath)

I have attached one of the books from Amazon, however not the exact book I am using.

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Now think how you can incorporate some of these items into your week. Don’t be me and try to shove it all in one day. Space it out or get to it when you can, but I encourage you to take some time to focus on what you wrote down. For example, as I am writing this, I am listening to jazz instrumental radio on Pandora. Jazz always puts me in a calm and relaxing space in which the love of jazz came from a travel journey that has a funny story. Just need to find what your new norm looks like which will help you overcome these troubling times. It can be extra beneficial if you experience anxiety or depression and trying to focus on other things right now. And remember, you have time, slow down and enjoy the small things!

Like always, I hope this helps someone during these times!

Head over to That Travel Deal Facebook page and leave a comment on how you are passing the time right now.

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Hello Everyone, my name is Sara Elizabeth and a full-time working mom and a full-time student!

Over the years I have fallen in love with  traveling and exploring the great states of the United States! This passion grew from understanding how to find good deals on airline flights which have been the reason for many of my travel adventures. This journey has led me to find "that travel deal" for domestic and international flights. These are those kinds of deals that have people asking "How did you find them so low?" ...Well, to those asking that question, follow along this adventure of mine to learn my methods for finding that perfect travel deal. 

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