My Experience with COVID

This past Wednesday, the thing I’ve had nightmares about for months happened. It had been the cause of many sleepless nights & many anxiety attacks. I received a positive COVID-19 test result. My hope is that sharing my experience might help someone!

First of all, I want to say that I’m thankful. While I do have asthma & have struggled at times with my coughing & breathing, I’m thankful that my symptoms have been fairly manageable & as mild as I could ask for. This virus has impacted so many people. It has taken lives & loved ones. It has caused so much pain & suffering, all around the world. For me to be able to work from home, to be able to call my parents & sister, to be feeling a little better each day, I just feel so, so thankful.

My immediate reaction after receiving my results was to call my sister & cry; I was terrified & particularly worried that I had accidentally spread it to my parents. My dad is older, so we have been extremely careful since March to protect him from getting the virus. I’ve felt more relief each day, since I haven’t seen my parents in a little while & they haven’t shown any symptoms. I wore a mask and stayed over 6 feet away from them when I saw them, but that was definitely my #1 fear when getting that test result.

I left work early last Wednesday; I felt feverish & was getting out of breath just walking around my classroom. I went to an urgent care facility the following day & had a rapid results test done; it came back as negative. My symptoms worsened over the next few days. I developed a severe, deep chest cough & was getting winded just from walking from the bedroom to the living room. I was told it was bronchitis & was given a steroid & antibiotics to treat that. My cough got worse & worse. I lost my sense of taste & smell completely a few days after that, & had trouble breathing especially at nighttime.

I had another test done, this one at CVS where I swabbed my own nose for it (the test is uncomfortable but I wouldn’t say it’s painful, hope that’s reassuring for you!) This is the test that came back positive.

As of today, I have had symptoms for 11 days. I’ve seen a huge improvement in how I’m feeling the last two days! I did take a sick day off of teaching from home on Friday, which I think is exactly what my body needed. I needed to give my body some time to rest & start to heal.

There’s a lot of emotions that come along with this; gratitude for sure, like I mentioned! There’s also frustration, because I have been so cautious since March. But, you can be exposed to the virus anywhere, whether it’s at work or wherever. It’s feeling unsafe in your own body. It’s a lot.

If you get a negative result but are still having symptoms (especially with a rapid result test!) please consider getting another test. Apparently it’s not that uncommon to get a false negative, which I was unaware of!

Take this virus seriously, please. Take precautions to keep you & your loved ones safe. I wouldn’t wish this virus on anyone.

This is a long post, apparently I have a lot to say! I did want to include a few things that have been helpful with managing my symptoms.

  • Thankfully I have an inhaler for my asthma, which has been so helpful!
  • Vick’s vapor rub-I put this on my chest & back & then take a super hot shower.
  • Mucinex, DayQuil, NyQuil
  • REST!!!
Puppy snuggles help, too! Theo has been the sweetest boy taking care of his momma. 💕

If this is something you are dealing with, I’m so sorry. I’m sending you healing & love! I’m also going to link the CDC’s website here, as it’s a good resource for information.

Lastly, thank you to my family & friends who have been checking in with me every day since I found out. I’m a lucky girl!

Danielle

Someday…

I could wear a bikini, if only I’d lose 25 lbs. I could start a blog, once I learned everything there is to know about blogging. I could go on a fun weekend trip, if I worked out five days a week for a month. I’d bargain with myself. I was limiting myself, depriving myself. I was waiting for certain things to happen to start LIVING.

We only have so much time. To do things we’re passionate about, to wear clothes we love, to explore & challenge ourselves. I think it’s wonderful to set goals for ourselves, to strive toward something. But I don’t think we need to put our lives on hold in the meantime. Sometimes we put things off due to fear, self doubt, comparing ourselves to others.

Doubting ourselves takes up an awful lot of time; too much time wasted that could be spent on things we actually want. Instead of waiting for someday, let’s live today.

What’s something you would love to do if your own thoughts didn’t hold you back?

Danielle

Current Obsession: Midi Dresses!

I love midi dresses for so many reasons! They’re super versatile & can be dressed up or down with whatever shoes you want. I’ve been wearing mine with sneakers + a cardigan for work, but can’t wait to style them with booties & jackets if the weather ever cools down!

This first dress is from Old Navy! I love the colors; I’ll probably wear it for Thanksgiving! The second dress is SO comfy & from Aerie. The last dress is a favorite of mine from Target!

I’ve been finding cute, affordable midi dresses & had some requests to share them with you! Wearing these dresses, I feel confident & comfortable; I want the same for you! I made sure to link these three from the video.

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Danielle

A Quick Mental Health Check-In

Hi there!

I wanted to just do a quick mental health check in. I hope you’re doing okay & hanging in there! I’m hanging in there but I’ve also just felt like I’m not functioning at my best.

I feel tired. I feel good some days & am having terrible anxiety the next. I have happy days with my students & then other days where I get home feeling tense & overwhelmed by the weight of it all.

I haven’t been moving my body or eating nutritious food very often; actually, I’ve been turning to take-out food for comfort. I’ve noticed some weight gain which I’m trying to come to terms with. It’s hard to maintain a positive body image when I’m not taking care of my body very well. I’m working on taking some small steps toward nourishing & moving my body. After all, it does so much for me & I should really take care of it!

This morning, I woke up early enough to cook breakfast, drink matcha, & play with Theo before leaving for work. Those small moments of self-care set the tone for my day.

Even in dark times, I have so much to be grateful for. Here’s a quick list!

I love him 😊
  • John 💕 I’m forever grateful to love & be loved by him. Even in my anxious, irritable moments, he makes me feel so loved.
  • Teaching my students how to be kind human beings.
  • A happy, healthy puppy who greets me with so many kisses every day when I get home!
My baby is getting so big!!

It feels like we’ve been in this pandemic for such a long time; let’s remember to be gentle & kind to ourselves. Weight fluctuates, productivity comes in waves, & some days we just need to order Chinese take-out & binge a show on Netflix (these may or may not be my plans for the evening!)

Sending you a virtual hug,

Danielle

You’ll Get There.

I hope this post encourages you!

I know I can’t be the only one who sometimes feels like my goals are JUST out of reach; close enough to almost touch & yet so far away, all at the same time.

Working on a graduate degree that will help me achieve my DREAM while navigating teaching during a pandemic feels hard. It feels nearly impossible sometimes. I find myself feeling a little discouraged lately.

But I’ll do it! Progress is progress, & I have to remind myself that I’m further along in this journey than I was, whether it feels that way or not. The late nights & early mornings; the frustrated tears while I finish an assignment. It’s all going to be worth it someday, when I finally reach that goal.

I just wanted to remind you that you’re doing it. Even if you’re at a crawl, you’re still making progress & moving toward your goal. You’re closer to it now than you were yesterday!

We’ll get there!

Danielle

Negative Comments & How I’m Dealing with Them

If someone chooses to make a negative comment regarding your appearance, that is a direct reflection of THEM. It has nothing to do with you!

I got my first mean comment on an Instagram post the other day. It was a man who runs a business, who commented on my weight.

It stung, for a few minutes. But then I realized, if a person wants to comment something rude on a post that is meant to uplift & encourage, that says so much about THEM. Not me, but them. So I decided to not give that man another ounce of thought or energy.

I started this blog to share my experiences, hopefully help others, & provide some sort of light to people. I’m proud of the community I’ve built; we build each other up & inspire, not tear each other down. I’m so thankful for that. I’m sure as my Instagram community grows, I might get some more mean comments; I choose to focus on the people who are supportive instead. I debated even writing about this, but writing has quickly become a coping mechanism for me. I also want to be as transparent as possible in my journey. I’ve made progress in my body confidence, but negative comments never feel great. I know that so many struggle with comments regarding your appearance; whether that comes from a family member at Thanksgiving or a stranger online. You’re not alone!

If someone makes a mean or rude comment, that’s a reflection of them & has nothing at all to do with you. Remember that!

Danielle

World Suicide Prevention Day

I wanted to include this graphic with some of my favorite resources on it; both for if you yourself are struggling & also if you are wanting to support a loved one who may be struggling.

Disclaimer: If you are having suicidal thoughts or are struggling with your mental health, please get help. I’m linking a helpful resource here.

Suicide awareness & prevention is something really close to my heart. When someone dies by suicide, (I learned recently that instead of saying someone “committed suicide”, it’s better to say they “died by suicide”, as the word committing has negative connotations & puts blame on victims. Just something interesting I’ve learned that I wanted to include; I think it’s important to use the proper language!), the result is heart-wrenching.

If you’ve experienced loss due to suicide, I’m so sorry. This is a club that no one wants to be a part of, I know. My experience with losing a loved one to suicide still affects me every day; the experience also really confirmed my dream to be a therapist. I hope to spend my life helping people feel less alone in their mental health journeys.

I’m not a licensed therapist (yet!) so I’ll refrain from giving advice. I just want you to know that if you’re struggling, you do not have to face this alone. If you want to support a loved one who is struggling, there is help for you too. Reach out to someone; it might feel scary at first but that support could make a world of a difference.

You are loved & worthy of a beautiful life.

Danielle

Things I’m Thankful For

This week was hard. On top of going back to school & navigating the craziness that is COVID times, it was also the anniversary of my friend Bekah’s death. I felt my mental health suffering throughout the week; I try to be mindful of when I’m struggling but a sure sign that I am is when my apartment & my car get extra messy. When my anxiety is high or I’m feeling down, chores & cleaning are the last thing I feel like doing. I’m taking this weekend to recharge & take care of myself (also cleaning because it’s pretty bad!)

I had planned on writing about my favorite outfits or an easy makeup look, but found myself feeling unmotivated to film that right now. Those posts are usually fun for me, but I want to again be mindful of my mental health & be transparent about where I’m at right now. I think that vulnerability is so so important, especially right now. I know that there are many others who are struggling; life can feel difficult & heavy some days (or months or years? I’m ready for 2020 to be over with!) Please take care of yourself.

Here are some things that I am so thankful for; things that I clung onto for dear life this week as I navigated an especially difficult week!

I’m so thankful for this sweet puppy who came into our lives at the MOST perfect time!
  • My relationship! I’m not sure how I got so lucky to fall in love with a guy as kind-hearted, loving, & supportive as John, but I’m so happy I did! He always, always knows how to lift me up.
  • Our little family. No matter how hard my day was, or how down I’m feeling, I get to come home to the cutest little family. It’s impossible to feel sad when Theo is suffocating you with his kisses, & Phoebe is snuggled up purring next to you. How did I get so lucky??
  • My parents! I talk to my parents every single day. We always recap our day & compare funny puppy stories; always a highlight of my day.
  • My sister. I’ve said it before but my sister is my absolute best friend! This is the longest we’ve ever been apart (due to COVID we haven’t been together since Christmas) but we talk every day & doing our podcast together brings me a lot of joy. This time apart has made me appreciate our bond even more!
  • My friends! I have the strongest, best friendships with girls who love & support me through anything. Especially during COVID we check on each other & text, especially when we are struggling.
  • Comfy dresses like this one! It even has pockets. So cute, I’m ordering other colors ASAP!

There are plenty of other things I feel thankful for right now, but these things in particular just make me smile so much. No matter how difficult things feel or how bad my day was, these are things that aren’t going away! I hope you find strength in focusing on your gratitude for the little things.

Sending love (& Theo is sending puppy kisses!),

Danielle

Something I’ve Learned During COVID Times

Hi there!

Like so many others, I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions over the last several months. In May, we had to put our dog Luke to sleep really suddenly; it was heartbreaking & left us feeling completely devastated. Even thinking about him now brings me to tears; he was the best, sweetest dog & I miss him SO much. Not long after that, our new pup Theo came into our lives. That grief was still there, but Theo brought so much joy as well. This little puppy came into our lives at the perfect time, bringing so much light into a time of darkness.

My sweet angel boy, Lukey!

Something I’ve learned during all of this is that grief, joy, stress, hope, sadness, happiness. These feelings all can and probably SHOULD coexist. That’s what I lean on the most when I’m having a bad day or having trouble coping with everything going on; my feelings are all valid and can coexist. That also means that if things are feeling particularly heavy, I know that at some point there will be light again, whether that’s a FaceTime with a friend or puppy kisses or dinner on the patio with John.

Theo has grown SO much since this picture was taken. His cute little face KILLS me!

Practicing gratitude is something I can’t recommend enough, and I think it’s what gets me through the hard parts. Whether I’m having a bad mental health day where my anxiety is acting up or I’m grieving or just down for whatever reason, when I think of even little things I’m thankful for, it helps.

Allow yourself to feel however you’re feeling. Even emotions that don’t feel as though they can go together can coexist.

I hope you’re hanging in there,

Danielle

Things I do when the weight of the world feels a little too heavy.

These days, we’re all bound to have a day when the world feels a bit heavy. Whether you’re feeling angry with our political climate, anxious over COVID, or just down because you’re lacking a sense of normalcy, your feelings are valid. Our world probably isn’t going back to “normal” anytime soon. Being an empath, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed by the negative emotions of others. I think there is a line between providing emotional support for others, & taking their emotions on yourself. That’s a line that I’m still working on finding. I always say that we can’t control others but we can control our own reactions. Here’s a list of a few of my go-to things to do, when the weight of the world is a little too heavy.

  • Call or text one of my friends, my mom, or my sister.
  • Go for a walk. (John compares me to a houseplant because I NEED sunshine haha)
  • Take a long, luxurious-feeling shower.
  • Put on a favorite song & dance around.
  • Snuggle with my pets.
  • Do something that makes me feel strong & empowered, like a dance workout.
  • Support an organization or cause that I feel passionate about.

These are all really simple things; nothing ground breaking. But I think the most helpful thing to do when you’re feeling discouraged or out of control of things, is to focus on the things you CAN control.

If you’re feeling down today, I hope that you find things you’re able to control to bring a little light back into your day.

Sending light,

Danielle