Thoughts About Quarantine & Culture

By now, it’s pretty safe to say this pandemic has impacted everyone in some shape or form. In a way, I think it’s bringing the world together and reminding us that we are stronger when we work together.

I’ve officially been in quarantine for over a month. Never in my life did I think something like this would happen. Obviously, I was aware that a pandemic could occur but my naive self never thought it would affect me or my everyday life. By now, it’s pretty safe to say this pandemic has impacted everyone in some shape or form. In a way, I think it’s bringing the world together and reminding us that we are stronger when we work together.

I recently read an article about how Americans view and handle the Coronavirus differently than other countries like China or Japan because we are an individualistic culture rather than a collectivist culture. Individualistic cultures emphasize the individual over the group and stresses individual rights and identity whereas collectivist cultures emphasize the group over the individual and stresses unity and selflessness.

After thinking about this, it made me realize we as Americans are having a hard time with this whole quarantine thing. We are used to thinking about ourselves and what defines us. I’ve seen many Americans struggle to think in this “group mentality” until they themselves or someone close to them has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus. It needs to affect them before they decide to realize it’s importance. A lot of Americans are struggling with this simply because our cultural values protect the individual rather than the group.

In other countries with collectivist cultures, they seem to be having an easier time putting their own individual rights on a temporary pause in order to protect the greater community. It’s easier for them because their culture focuses on putting individual needs and desires below the needs of their families and communities. Things don’t need to affect them individually before they realize its importance to the group.

No culture is better or worse than another but it’s important to take into consideration people’s cultural values when trying to understand and empathize with their decisions and point of views. While I don’t agree with everything I see on social media, I do try to empathize and understand where people may be coming from and how their cultural values shape their opinions and beliefs. I encourage you to think about such things next time you see a post that seems “idiotic” or “rude” because its values differ from yours. I’m not asking you to change your values, but simply be open to understanding. Once we can understand each other, we can work together. And once we work together, we can create real and impactful change.

My Quarantine Daily Routine

Trying to keep a routine at home can be hard. Here’s my at-home daily routine during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are Type A and struggle with anxiety (like myself) then the past few weeks might have been challenging. We have dealt with lots of uncertainty and change- from schools being cancelled, work moving online, restaurants & stores closing, disease spreading, & more. It can be quite a scary time for many of us, especially because we don’t know how long this pandemic will last or how long we will need to keep our social distance.

In trying to keep social distance and limit the spread of disease, I have been staying home as much as possible (which is hard for an extrovert like myself). While staying home all day sounds like a dream for some, it can be a nightmare for others. Before all this coronavirus stuff went down, I was on a very good routine- I would wake up, exercise, go to class, go to work, come home, eat dinner, chill, sleep, etc. A lot of my day was planned out. I knew where and when I had to be in class and at work. Travel time also took up a good portion of my day. Now that I’m stuck at home all day and all of that goes out the window! In order to create a feeling of “normalcy”, I created a daily routine for myself. Having a structured daily routine will especially help when you have to work or do school from home (something many of us are doing). So here’s my daily quarantine routine:

7am– Wake up & walk the doggo

7:30am– Breakfast, COFFEE, read my devotional/Bible, & plan out my day using my Passion Planner Daily

8:00am– Get ready for the day- shower, brush teeth, put on new clothes (this is an interesting part of the day because I’m not going anywhere so I don’t really need to get ready but I do need to take care of the essentials)

8:30am– Start working! This time can include:

  • Actual work stuff
  • School assignments
  • Personal to-do’s (i.e. calling the bank, taxes, etc)
  • Self-education (read a book, practice new language, etc)
  • Blog

12pm- Lunch time!

1pm- Quick clean up around the house

1:30pm- Get outside

  • Take dog on a long walk
  • Sit on the balcony

2:00pm- Workout!

3:00pm- Work and/or social time

  • Work Activities
    • Actual work stuff
    • School assignments
    • Personal to-do’s (i.e. calling the bank, taxes, etc)
    • Self-education (read a book, practice new language, etc)
    • Blog
  • Social Activities
    • Facetime a friend
    • Hangout with husband
    • Call family
    • Go to the grocery store (weird, I know but it’s seeing people!)
    • Text people

5:15pm– Cook dinner

5:45pm– Eat dinner

6pm– Free time

  • Social Media
  • Netflix/Hulu
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Color
  • Make new playlists
  • Go on a drive
  • Be lazy

9pm– No phones/wind down

  • Read a book
  • Journal
  • Watch a movie
  • Take a hot bath
  • Cuddle with the pup

10pm– Sleep

Of course, everyone’s routine is different and I’ll likely need to adjust my own routine as time goes on. Right now, my college is on spring break so I have more free time in my day. That might change once classes start back up. But for now, having a routine to follow brings a sense or “normalcy” and helps me to still be productive despite all the craziness going on in the world. I encourage you to try creating your own daily routine, even if it’s less structured than mine. Make sure you’re hitting the main things- sleeping, eating, showering, & connecting with friends/family. Everything else is extra! 🙂

Setting Your 2020 Goals

Whether you’re a fan of New Year’s resolutions or not, setting goals for the year can only help you. Personally, I like to set yearly, monthly and weekly goals. I encourage you to do this too. It helps you be more mindful, keeps you accountable, and allows you to see progress.

2020 is not just another year but it is the start of a new decade!

Whether you’re a fan of New Year’s resolutions or not, setting goals for the year can only help you. Personally, I like to set yearly, monthly and weekly goals. I encourage you to do this too. It helps you be more mindful, keeps you accountable, and allows you to see progress.

Here is a process you can use to set your goals for 2020.

Reflect on 2019

The best way to get started on planning your 2020 goals is to reflect on 2019. What were your biggest accomplishments? What were your biggest lessons? Who made the biggest impact in your life? How did you help others? Which days stood out the most? Is there anything you would have done differently? Etc?

Imagine your 2020 self

Next is to think about who you want to be at the end of 2020. Imagine your best self a year from now. What is he/she like? What is their daily routine? What do they prioritize? Who is in their life? What accomplishments have they made? Etc?

Write down your goals

Now that you’ve thought about your 2020 self, pick out all the things that stand out and turn them into goals. For example, if your 2020 self drinks water every day but you currently only drink soda, make your goal “drink water every day”. Or if your 2020 self makes an extra $12,000 a year, your goal could be “increase my monthly income by $1,000.” So think through your 2020 self and write down all of your goals.

Pick your top 3-5 goals

From that list of goals, pick 3-5 that would make the biggest difference in your life if you were to achieve them. Write them down on a piece of paper and hang it somewhere you will see it every day.

Schedule check-ins throughout the year

What good is a goal if you never review your progress? Schedule monthly check-ins with yourself to review your goals and keep yourself accountable. This also gives you an opportunity to adjust your goals throughout the year, if needed.

Now that you’ve gotten your goals written down, you’re ready to take on 2020! I hope this year will the best one yet for you!

9 Tips for a Great Night of Sleep

9 simple and effective tips to help you get the restful sleep you deserve.

1. Don’t sleep in

If you got too much sleep last night, odds are it’s going to be harder for you to fall asleep tonight. Ideally you want to be sleeping 7-9 hours each night.

2. Swap your afternoon caffeine for tea

Listen I’m a coffee fanatic- but after 4pm I have to stop or else I’ll have trouble sleeping. A great alternative for later in the day is a cup of tea. The average cup of coffee has 95 mg of caffeine whereas green teas have about 20-45 mg. And if it’s really close to bed, I recommend decaf!

3. Create a nightly routine

Our bodies naturally respond well to routines and we start to develop habits. By having a similar routine each night, you are telling your body and mind that it is time to wind down. The more you follow the same nightly routine, the easier it will before you to relax for bed. Your nightly routine may consist of showering, brushing your teeth, putting on an essential oil, and reading a book. Eventually, your body know this routine as a way to prepare and wind down for sleep!

4. Turn off the TV & phone!

We all know this one but if we’re being honest most of us don’t actually do it. While I don’t do this every night, the nights I do turn off the TV and put my phone on do not disturb are the nights I get the best sleep. There’s no distractions and nothing to wake me up.

5. Stop drinking water before bed

If you have trouble sleeping through the night, try to stop drinking water an hour before bed. This will help prevent you from waking up at 2 am to “go”. I recommend drinking extra water when you wake up to compensate!

7. Use a sleep calculator to find the optimal bedtime

Our bodies sleep in cycles and in order to get the best sleep, you want to wake up at the right time of your sleep cycle. Check out this site which allows you to calculate the best sleep and wakeup time: https://sleepyti.me/

8. Go to bed (around) the same time every night

Consistency is key- if you go to sleep around the same time each night, your body will start to naturally get sleepy around that time which makes it easier to fall asleep. For the past 4 years or so, I’ve gone to bed around the same time each night and let me tell you once it hits 10pm I start yawning!

6. Meditate

If your thoughts tend to be keeping you up at night, give a sleep meditation a try. If you can calm your mind, it will be easier for your body to fall asleep. There are tons of free guided meditations on Youtube such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFEnruF-dts

9. Take melatonin

Melatonin helps with the timing of your circadian rhythms (24-hour internal clock) and sleep. When I need it, I’ll typically take it a half hour to an hour before bed. I find that this helps if I have had an off sleep cycle the past few days and want to “reset” my sleep schedule back to normal. It’s also useful if you just can’t seem to fall asleep on a random night.

Dairy-Free December

The holiday season has begun! That means holiday parties, family dinners, cookies, hot cocoa, and more. This time of year is a lot of fun but it can also negatively impact your health and fitness goals if you are not careful.

The holiday season has begun! That means holiday parties, family dinners, cookies, hot cocoa, and more. This time of year is a lot of fun but it can also take a toll on your health and fitness goals if you are not careful.

Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of attending multiple parties, events, and dinners with family and friends. While I loved the time spent with friends and family, I found myself overeating and choosing mostly unhealthy options. Of course, everything is fine in moderation (I’m all for eating fries, cake, and ice cream!) but it becomes a problem when I’m eating ice cream and junk food several nights a week. Because of this I have been feeling sluggish, having stomach aches, and not sleeping as well as normal. It’s crazy how much the food you eat affects you!

Well, I decided that I wanted to take charge of my health for the rest of the holiday season. One of my biggest weaknesses is dairy- cheese, ice cream, lattes, etc. While dairy isn’t inherently bad (again, in moderation), I am actually lactose intolerant. Milk affects me differently than others since my body has a harder time breaking down the lactose. This leads me feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

I decided that the best way to positively impact my health right now is to go dairy-free for December! Well, except on December 21 because my company is hosting a Christmas dinner at Chima and a girl’s got to have something to look forward to! However, I plan to continue with a reduced dairy intake even after December. I have gone dairy-free before for a few months at a time and it has always made me feel great- the challenge is keeping up with it!

I hope by going dairy-free for December, I will develop more of the healthy habits I used to have. I’m looking forward to no longer feeling bloated or sluggish but instead energized by the food I eat. I will keep you updated on this challenge throughout the month- sharing my experience, recipes, tips and tricks!

If you would like to join me in Dairy-Free December, comment below! I would love to connect and motivate each other throughout the month. And if you’re not going dairy-free, let me know how you plan to take charge of your health during this holiday season?

Best,

-Kelly

15 Minute Meal- Honey Garlic Chicken

15 Minute Honey Garlic Chicken

Preparing dinner can be the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day. That’s why this recipe is one of my favorites to make (especially mid-week when I’m exhausted). It takes only 15 minutes and I’ve got a delicious, filling meal for the night- and usually some leftover for tomorrow too!

Here’s the recipe (4 servings):

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- Cubed Into 1-Inch Pieces
  • 2 Cups of Uncooked Brown or White Rice ( I use boil-in-bag rice)
  • 4 Cups of Broccoli (I use frozen)
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Olive Oil

Instructions:

  1. Start by boiling water for the rice. Once boiling, add the rice and cook for recommended time.
  2. Pan-sear chicken until no longer pink and edges become golden brown.
  3. While chicken is cooking make the sauce: mix the soy sauce, honey, garlic and red pepper flakes together.
  4. Add the sauce to the chicken and let simmer for about 4 minutes.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, microwave the broccoli.
  6. Plate the rice, broccoli, and chicken- voila! Dinner is done!

Nutrition (1 serving):

  • Calories: 440
  • Carbs: 61.4 g
  • Fat: 5.6 g
  • Protein: 40.1 g

Apartment Cleaning Routine

After living on my own for about three years, I’ve finally developed a simple and effective cleaning routine! I like having a schedule for my cleaning because I know I’m not forgetting anything and my apartment is always clean. Here’s how my routine works:

When I first moved out on my own, cleaning wasn’t my biggest priority. Obviously, I tried to keep things organized and I would clean if things got “dirty.” This method worked for a little while but not in the long run. I never thought of cleaning the inside of the microwave, regularly checking for expired food, dusting, etc. I needed a better way to manage all of these chores.

After living on my own for about three years, I’ve finally developed a simple and effective cleaning routine! I like having a schedule for my cleaning because I know I’m not forgetting anything and my apartment is always clean. Here’s how my routine works:

DAILY: I start off each day by making my bed- this is huge because when I get home at night, I love to be able to hop into a nicely made bed. After that, I’ll put away any clean dishes from the dishwasher and tidy up the apartment, if needed. In the evening, I wash the pots and pans, load the dishwasher, and wipe down the kitchen counters.

WEEKLY: I typically do my weekly cleaning on Friday or Saturday. I start with the laundry because that tends to take the most amount of time. While that is going, I wipe down all the kitchen surfaces- counters, microwave, sink, fridge, etc. I throw out any expired food and tie up the trash. If the laundry is finished, I start the next load. Then, I vacuum and mop all the floors. Once that’s done, I clean all the bathroom surfaces- sink, counter, mirror, shower, & toilet. By this time, I’ll likely start another load of laundry and finish by dusting.

I prefer to do this all in one day rather than throughout the week. Usually by Friday or Saturday, I just want a day at home anyways so I like to take the day to rest and clean up the apartment (usually binge watching shows while I do it). However, you could most definitely split these tasks up throughout the week if that’s more your style.

MONTHLY: These are the things that most people forget about or put off doing. And honestly, if you forget to clean the baseboards and vents one month I doubt anyone would notice. BUT, if you don’t clean them for six months, it will likely be much more noticeable. With that in mind, I wanted to include these odd-ball cleaning tasks so that they don’t get forgotten about. The most important one is deep-cleaning the shower (with bleach people!). It’s also important to clean your oven, vacuum underneath the couch, organize that area you’ve been putting off (i.e. your messy closet or cluttered pantry), and dust the baseboards and vents.

Since implementing this cleaning routine, my apartment has been consistently clean and organized like never before. I love coming home to a spotless place where I can relax and unwind after a busy day. I encourage you to either try my cleaning routine or create your own because the results have been amazing!

Below are links to some of my favorite cleaning products:

Welcome to my blog!

I decided to start this blog to share my tips and tricks on life, specifically when it comes to health and productivity. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to work on…

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.”

-Unknown

Hello and welcome to my blog!

My name is Kelly Andreason. I am a 20 year girl from the tiny state of Delaware! Currently, I am a junior studying Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware. I got married to my amazing husband Steven the summer after my sophomore year of college- yes I planned a wedding while studying for finals. And we recently adopted a fur baby named Rosie!

I love to keep busy and I’m always looking to learn new things. My hobbies include: listening to motivational podcasts, taking walks with the pup, trying out new recipes, visiting coffee shops, spending too much money at Homegoods, and sleeping more than the average human being.

I decided to start this blog to share my tips and tricks on life, specifically when it comes to health and productivity. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to work on my health and grind toward my goals. Whether it’s trying a new gym workout our planning out my upcoming week, I’m all about it!

I hope to educate, provide resources, and build a community around health, wellness & productivity through this blog. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, please subscribe! I’d also love to learn tips and tricks from you, feel free to reach out to me on the contact page or on social media!

Kelly