Updated: Apr 5, 2020
I've always been an introvert. So alone time is bliss! I get to fully focus and do my creative jam. At first, the shutdown to flatten CoVid-19 didn't sound terrifying. No work, all play, eat and rest! What's there to complain about except for less salary?! The world and us, humans, are in dire need of a reboot anyway.
But come 2nd week of being imposed to do this is a totally different ball game. I want that choice to be close to fellow human beings at one point because, well, deprivation of human touch like hugs, pat in the back or a kiss on the chick can be isolating. And not to mention, hot sex if you're single and dating! We want that freedom to do what we want and not feel caged. So now that Trump announced that the shutdown will be extended until April 30 in the US, I'll have to find ways to not completely go bananas. The idea I have so far? Documenting my "30 Days of Solitary Productivity" for the month of April by doing something productive or trying something new each day.
Living on my own, with no pets or kids, in a shoe box minimalist apartment in San Diego can drive me nuts. I have to keep my mind constantly active so there'll be no room to worry. So the past 15 days since the shutdown, here's a few, new things that I learned so far. Excited for this list to get longer. Yup, let's turn our boredom into knowledge to achieve world peace! ECHOZZZ!!!
1. CrockPot - I'm not the type who likes to cook meals that take forever. I'm all about light, healthy and easy preps. But since there's time, I noticed that my landlord left behind a small crock pot in the kitchen that I've never tried before. So I finally got to experiment with it! My favorite dish using it? Pinto beans cooked for 8 straight hours! Just place the washed pinto beans in the pot. Sauté onions, garlic and jalapeños in extra virgin olive oil. Add these along with bay leaves, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, oregano, cups of water and broth (optional) for taste. Leave on HIGH for 8 to 10 hours. Mash the beans then serve with sliced cherry tomatoes or avocado, fresh chopped cilantro and cheese on top. Rich in protein and fiber, yet tasty!
2. Smoothie - I've always been a green smoothie chick. But I always make the same one out of routine. So I've experimented with new ones and oh boy, did they come out yummy! With a heavy duty blender (I'm using Blendtec at the moment), just toss in all the ingredients that seem like a good combo and you're ready to go! My favorite would be the turmeric infused smoothie that I shared on my IGTV. Blend in coconut water, mangoes, oranges, carrots, walnuts, ginger with turmeric, black pepper, raw honey and ice. Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top. So delicious and a good aid for your immune system!
Another delicious one is the blueberry spinach smoothie. Mix in greek yogurt, banana, blueberries, spinach leaves, almond or oat milk, vanilla flavored protein powder and a bit of honey and ice. This one's loaded with anti-oxidants that's good for your skin, mood and energy.
3. Recipes - Back in the usual grind, I got used to preparing food I already know. So I don't get bored eating the same thing, I got creative with trying out easy, healthy and tasty recipes online. I made my own tweak in the recipe but I surprised myself how there's so many ways to play with your ingredients in the kitchen. The latest one I recently made that I enjoyed eating was garlic shrimp pasta. Sauté peeled and deveined shrimp with extra virgin olive oil and chopped garlic. Add mushrooms and season with sea salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and chili flakes. Mix in with cooked whole wheat pasta sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil. Serve with shaved parmesan cheese, fresh chopped basil and lemon juice.
Or the other one is healthy French toast for breakfast. Sauté chopped strawberries on extra virgin coconut oil, organic maple syrup and orange zest. Dip whole wheat bread into coconut milk, egg and vanilla extract mixture. Fry the dipped bread lightly on coconut oil. Serve with the cooked strawberries, cinnamon and confectioner's sugar (optional) on top.
4. Writing - To be a best-selling author has been on my to-be list in my 40s. I've always loved reading and being in the library ever since I was a kid. (I work part-time in the public library right now even at a minimum wage because that's how much I love books that I wanna be surrounded by them!) But writing a book and getting published requires tons of discipline and perseverance. Sure, I can pay a ghost writer to do it but it wouldn't feel as fulfilling because I didn't do the hard work. I'm creating a self-help book and a memoir. Both are still in it's initial stages and I've crafted the book proposal to be sent to literary agents and publishing houses online. So far, I'm still in the learning curve in finding the right agent and publication. I've gotten my first rejection and I'm ready to take on more as this is a number's game. I'm also considering self-publishing but I'd like to take a shot at traditional publishing first as I am confident that my story is worth it. It's still a work in progress but let's see where the journey takes me.
5. Meditation - When you're a creative junkie, it's hard to stay focused and still. This has always been my issue with meditation. My mind keeps drifting elsewhere. So I finally had the chance to dive deep with the help of Insight Timer app! I've been practicing meditation lately either first thing in the morning or at night before I sleep, depends on when my body needs it the most on that day. The Insight Timer app makes it easier with their guided meditation depending on what you'd like to focus on... productivity, happiness, deep sleep, self-love, abundance, you name it, it has it! Along with a lit scented candle and essential oils, it's such a great, refreshing way to start or end the day and calm the nerves from all the stressful vibe from this surreal pandemic.
How about you, WINNERS? What new things have you learned so far since the shutdown last month? Do share as I'd love to know how you WIN over your daily boredom and anxiety with this whole self-quarantine thingy! Stay safe everyone! We will keep WINNING over this! :)
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