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Leita Williams’ Portfolio and Blog

Reflections

Quarantine Journal #3

Welcome back to my quarantine journals!!!

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Life has been pretty crazy for me recently.

From school, to figuring out summer plans, still trying to function without a car, looking for a job, maintaining relationships, and of course my mental health, I have had a lot on my plate. I’m thankful that I am starting to get to a place where I can use my blog to process some of these things and to express myself creatively. The self-deprecating and sarcastic humor I use online is genuinely relieving me of some of the real life anxiety I have about my future and the current pandemic.

Let’s begin with a personal update before I introduce a more serious matter!

makeameme.org

I am currently still looking for a summer internship as an editorial intern with any publishing company that will give me a second glance. To be ~transparent~ I have gotten rejected from over a dozen places. This has been pretty discouraging honestly since I have focused so much of my time this semester on curating a perfect cover letter and resume to send in to companies. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers because I am still awaiting news from two more companies, and I am hopeful that big things can happen. Nevertheless, I have gained so much more confidence about the skills and experience I know I can contribute professionally to my future employers. I am working slowly but surely on building a more diverse collection of experience and competitive skills, but I know without a doubt I have the enthusiasm and passion to one day be a part of empowering storytellers of the written word. Leave comments below if you have any suggestions for me!

Something that personally has been really helpful for me is the Isolation Journals prompt I get in my email inbox every morning. These prompts have encouraged a lot more creative thinking in my day-to-day life during quarantine, and I encourage you to check them out if you are craving inspiration during this crisis.

Another thing that has recently been on my radar is self-care. I have tried to be really transparent throughout all of my work that I struggle with anxiety and depression, which has honestly been very heightened during this pandemic. But if there’s one thing I have learned recently it is how important it is to do things that make you happy in an effort to take care of yourself mentally. Note: I am not a trained professional in mental health, the following is purely personal opinion. Some of the proactive steps that have worked for me in the past month are as follows:

  1. Taking more walks: I live in a wonderful little neighborhood that I feel very safe in. I have tried to take advantage of that luxury and the good weather by attempting to get outside everyday for a walk. This has genuinely been proactive to clear my mind and to shift my perspective into a larger light. I recommend taking a walk if you feel anxious or lonely because the physical endorphins I have received and the beauty around me has lifted my spirits.
  2. Re-reading young adult fiction that I tore through as a child: I don’t know how, but quarantine has turned me into the biggest cat person there ever was. I have spent hours re-reading the Warrior series by Erin Hunter, which is children’s fiction about cats living in clans in the forest. These books have been so much fun for me to re-read, and I highly recommend them. They are the closest experience I can have as a cat person who is very allergic to cats.
  3. Dancing while nobody is watching, and while some people are: Okay, I know this is cheesy, but I had to say it! Dancing is so therapeutic for me sometimes. I can get so caught up in my head, but when I dance, it’s like a physical choice to release my body and mind into freedom. Not to mention the laughter that ensues from my roommates when they see me go way too hard to the High School Musical soundtrack. I highly recommend!
  4. Experimenting with art even though I am bad at it: This has probably been my favorite way to release anxiety and channel my emotions into something expressive. I have always valued and respected visual art, but I have always felt very intimidated by my lack of experience with it. Something I have really appreciated about art lately though is how there is such a wide variety of expression through it. As long as your art means something to you, it can look however you want. I have tried drawing when I write poetry, experimenting with online animation, and I have even created a gif or two. I feel really understood when I express myself through art and somebody relates with it. Something crazy even happened recently where the central VSCO account randomly republished one of my gifs recently. This was a huge unexpected honor, and it goes to show how we can be rewarded even in small ways for daring to express ourselves. Please, please, try creating art if you haven’t yet!

I now want to talk about Digital Wellbeing.

Digital wellbeing is something really personal to me because it is about protecting your mental and emotional health throughout your online interactions.

Digital wellbeing ranges from limiting your screen time, to being real about your technology addiction, to holding your friends accountable for toxic relationships with social media, and more.

It’s important to me that we actively fight for our digital wellbeing because it is inevitable how severely our digital lives impact our personal mental and emotional health. It has been encouraging to see companies fighting for this among their users as well.

I know Instagram recently launched a campaign to stop showing likes on user’s photographs because they wanted their platform to be more about expression than comparison. This is also the reason VSCO doesn’t display their likes or republishing publicly, in an effort to fight against the emotional turmoil that can come from comparing the activity your account gets compared to another.

One company I have been exceptionally impressed with on this stance is Google. Google has recently launched 5 new apps to promote digital wellbeing. They are fighting to help users limit their screen time and digital usage in an effort to curate more a positive online experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about digital wellbeing, this website is an incredible resource for up to date articles about this issue, and it will be informative on what you can do to increase your own digital wellbeing. This article especially is relevant because it provides 3 tips on how to have a healthy digital life during the coronavirus outbreak.

I hope you will consider your digital wellbeing in the midst of everything going one. I just wanted to use this post to bring awareness and share some small resources on how you can do that, while showing you how relevant that is in my current life as well.

If you want to chat further, please email me at leitawilliams7@gmail.com or leave a comment below!

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