Staying Healthy Under Quarantine

I don’t always make the best choices when it comes to food. However, I have been eating healthy under quarantine. So why is my weight going up? 

These questions may be on the minds of many people during this weird time. One of the biggest things about quarantine is that we are more sedentary. Even if you are eating well, you could not be moving enough. 

Mindful eating 

It is easy to snack when you are home and bored for long swaths of time. Mindful eating and being aware of what you are putting in your body are integral to weight loss and weight maintenance. If you feel yourself getting out of control. Keep yourself accountable and record it in a journal either on paper or your phone. You are probably eating more than you think (I know that I am). It is amazing how just writing down what you eat can make you less likely to eat something, or an amount that you shouldn’t

Exercise

Make sure that you are moving. My sister and I have been talking about this a lot. She has a fit watch and she has not been getting much higher than 1,000 steps a day. That is not even a tenth of what she should be getting. There is just too much time sitting on our buts. Normally, I would have to walk back and forth across campus four or five times a day. Now, all I have to do is a roll in and out of bed and flip on my computer (honestly I don’t even really have to leave my bed if I don’t want to). 

So, what do we do to combat this?

Well, when I am done writing this, I am going to go on a run around my neighborhood. Then, after class this evening, I will take my dog on a walk so we both get much-needed exercise. Now, this may not be possible for you because of quarantines and apartments. I am lucky enough to be in a neighborhood where I can run. If you can’t, be sure that you find some good workout videos. I at least try to do a 20-minute stretch video daily. (here is the link to one that I really like by Sydney Cummings. Check it out! 20 minute Stretch Video) There have been many new at-home workout videos posted that target people who don’t have weights because trainers know that you may not have the proper equipment. It is all about keeping moving. 

What is your quarantine workout routine?

Stay active, Stay Healthy, Keep Moving!

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Structural Me in an Unstructured Environment with Unstructured People (Introvert In Unknown Territories)

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Traveling to My Friends

I flew back after my trip to Africa to visit some friends. My older sister and I traveled together until we reached London and then the next two flights I was by myself. This was scary but not as terrible as my worries had made it. 

I got bumped up a class because of a bad experience on the previous flight. This was very helpful. However, I still did not get much sleep. This was coupled with a jet lag of eight hours. Needless to say, I showed up at my friend’s house and slept for a while. It took nearly a week to switch back. Jet lag made me wake up at 3 or 4 am and my friends stayed up quite late. So, I ended up losing sleep on both ends. This caused me to take naps around the time when I would have gone to sleep in Africa and not switch back easily. 

Who are my Friends?

I do not enjoy traveling by myself. So, why did I choose to visit these friends? I met them at a camp I have been going to since I was born. This August was the first time that I met all seven of the guys. I became friends with the younger ones and they invited me to visit. Normally, I wouldn’t take them up on it. However, these guys are intriguing and for some reason I really like them. They are all good and decent men who are not always easy to find and I enjoy their company. 

Structure vs No Structure and How it Pushed Me

Now, one thing that drives me crazy is their lack of structure as a group and some individuals. I am a very structured individual. I schedule things well in advance and there is rarely a time when I do not have a plan. This was one of those times. In my month of living outside of my bubble, I knew that I would not be able to plan and schedule my time with my friends. They got with the immediate, they choose what they are going to do at the moment that it is presented to them. This can be very frustrating to me when I am trying to plan. So, in order to deal with this issue I foresaw, I decided not to fight it and try things their way. 

What I learned

One of the big reasons that I need structure is for efficiency. Would I have liked to do more things and see people more? Yes, I actually did. (which is part of the reason I like hanging out with them: they don’t exhaust me like everyone else) I was able to “go with the flow” for a week and do whatever because I had no deadlines or need for efficiency. That is why I was able to live unstructured for a week. 

Group Dynamic and Lack of Structure

When there is a group of unstructured individuals. It can be very difficult to gauge what will happen. I always want to know what to expect. This is something that I struggle with. I tend to put myself in situations where there are fewer variables to contend with so that I am able to know all of the various possible outcomes. 

The guys make decisions like a group of boys do. It takes forever and then it just happens. I was unable to control the situations. So, instead of frustrating myself and trying to get some control, I took the opposite approach. I gave up complete control and became a part of the group. This was odd for me because I have always been the one who goes against the group and hates the hive mentality. The reason that I was able to do this is that I trust and appreciate this group. 

Why Structure?

Structure helps me to succeed and accomplish. I am all about efficiency, even in relationships. It is calming and it helps me to learn and control my environment. I am a driven individual and I can also procrastinate quite a lot. I build structure into my life in order to achieve my, many, lofty goals. Even as a child, I was analytical and liked the structure. If there was a plan and my parents deviated from it. I would get upset because it had already been solidified in my mind. So, with this trip, I planned to be unplanned. Therefore my expectations were still met. This has taught me how to form a workaround to deal with my analytical structured nature when I have to interact in an unstructured environment and people who are “go with the flow.” 

Do you need structure? What does control mean to you? How do you deal with an unstructured environment? How do you relate to efficiency? 

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Traveling With My Sisters (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

“I Read; I Travel; I Become” – Derick Walcott

Most of my traveling starts and ends between the covers and endpaper of my favorite books. However, there are times when it is necessary to move this corporeal body to a different location. And what does this mean? Airports. 

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to three different continents, eleven countries, and 29 states. These trips have been beneficial as I think about writing and what I now know of the world. So, although I enjoy the comfort of my own how, I see the value of travel and enjoy where I am when I get there.

Leaving New York

My grandparents drove us to the airport early in the morning and dropped us off. We did the normal waiting in lines, getting our tickets and giving our luggage, waiting in lines, going through security, finding our gate, waiting in lines, and then, finally, boarding the giant plain. Once we were on the plane we figured we would be off within the hour. However, this was not to be the case. There was ice on the plane and a false negative in one of the door locks so we sat on the tarmac for two and a half hours before we finally took off for our 14-hour flight. 

I was getting worried at this point because our layover in South Africa was only three hours. We figured we would make up time in the air but it proved not to be enough. We landed in South Africa and as we were waiting to get off the plane we knew that the chances of our getting on the next flight were slimmer and slimmer. Once we had gotten off of the plane we had to get on a bus when we asked the lady in charge and showed her our ticket she told us we should have been on the bus that had just left. So, we got on the next one. When we reached the airport a man with a walky-talky had us run through the whole airport to try to get on the flight. We had almost run through the whole airport when we were told that the flight had left. 

A Night in the South Africa Airport

As you can guess, there was no other flight to Livingstone that day. So, we were stuck in the airport for 24 hours. We got a room in the airport hotel and they gave us meal vouchers. This was helpful because we could get showers and work on switching to African time. We ate at the same restaurant for the next three meals and had to go through security every time we wished to eat. But, the beds were comfortable and the food wasn’t bad. 

Arrival: My Parents Waving Through the Open Gate

The next day we got on our plane. It was a short flight that had been the separation between us and Zambia. We were at the very back of the plane since we had been added late and there were 24 empty seats behind us. This was not a popular flight. 

We landed in Livingstone and went to get our visa. We were at the end of the line. By the time we got to the conveyor belt all of our bags were off the belt and sitting on the floor. We picked up our bags and put them on a trolley. Then we went to the gate and saw our parents waiting there for us. They had seen our plane land and cross the tarmac. It was lovely to see them but I was completely exhausted from all of the travel and the airports. 

Airports and People

I love watching people and observing them but I do not like crowds. It is interesting though, I enjoy airports when I have other people as a buffer. My sisters were there with me and I could get them to do most of the talking because they are extroverts. Until they decided to have me talk to the guy at the desk and ask him a question we had already asked and I knew the answer to. This is where there are conflicts and stress for an introvert such as myself. 

I do, however, enjoy imagining who people are, where they are from, and why they might be in the South African airport. Overall the travel on the way to Zambia was much less “introvert exhausting” than I had worried it would be prior to my travels. This step outside of my comfort zone was well worth it and showed me that all I really need is a travel companion. 

Where Else to Get Material for Stories and Observe People than in the Real World?

I have always found humans intriguing, that is part of why psychology and personality types are so interesting to me. I love to observe how family units interact, how couples argue, and how strangers become friends. I cannot do this within my own head and that is where the real world comes into play. 

As a writer, it is wonderful to take a moment outside of my head and see new sights, smell new smells, taste new food, and meet new people, no matter how exhausting it may be. I use everything I see as material for my stories and people in my life get roles in the theatre of my mind that spills onto the page. 

Where would you like to travel in the world? What world would you go to if you could jump into a novel? What is your favorite place in the world?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

Email me at evilholmess@gmail.com

Give me a follow on Instagram @evi.l.holmes 

Follow me on twitter @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

The First Leg (an Introvert in Unknown Territories)

I have talked about friends before and will continue to talk about it because it is a new field for me. I am not one who keeps many friends. This is not a harsh judgment of the people whom I do not regard as friends but instead a positive review of the few that I choose. This rings true for one of my best friends.

The first four days of my expedition into the unknown of my comfortlessness I drove to see her. Let it be known, I hate driving. Travel, in general, is rough when I must do it on my own (but I think I will save this for a different post). I had done no planning beforehand and I had never been to her apartment. I didn’t know what I was getting into. 

It didn’t turn out bad it actually went well. On top of that, I wasn’t worried about it beforehand like I usually would. I had let it go and it led me not to worry.

My friend worked a lot while I was there, so I spent a lot of time on my own reading, relaxing, and recharging my battery for the craziness that I assumed would be ahead. This time was invaluable because I was coming off of my toughest college semester and going into a time of unknowns. 

What did I learn or relearn at my friends’ house?

I need my time to be alone but some people can give me energy. She is one of the very few people that gives me just enough energy to keep up the conversation with her. It is a net-zero but that is very good for me because net positives don’t exist where people are concerned. 

I found that I don’t need to plan absolutely everything and that even when I don’t plan, I do. I had contingencies plans that were unknown to me but I had still made. This tells me that I am who I am regardless of how “chilled out” I try to be. I am a planner and within that, I am a subconscious planner. My mind plans things out for me and just computes and answer that I don’t have to work on. 

In conclusion, I am always planning and perhaps it would be better on my stress levels to let my subconscious take more of the work. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to let things go and that I didn’t have a few mental breakdowns along the way. That is why I think that I need to let go of some of the planning but maintain the broad control of my life. This could be helpful for you if you are an introverted planner like me.

Is there anyone who gives you a “net-zero” on your energy? How much do you plan your life?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

My Twitter is @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Before the Beginning (An Introvert In Unknown Territories)

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”- Neale Donald Walsh

How did I arrive at this month and a half of living outside my comfort zone and why did I choose to do it? 

I am so glad you asked!

As you know if you have been following the blog, I am an introvert. Shocking, I know, an introverted writer with a blog. So, what makes me different? And how does that affect this series? 

I am an introvert that grew up in a family of five extroverts. They have always pushed me and though, at the time, I did not appreciate the discomfort at the time, I believe I have grown from the experience.

In business, they have stretch goals. These stretch goals should be a part of everyone’s life. Almost every time I have been stretched in my life, the results have been beneficial. As an introvert, it can be difficult to push myself outside of my comfort zone and sometimes to leave my house, so I have to constantly push myself in order to grow outside of my own safe space. 

As I am living on my own and navigating relationships with other people that are not my family, I find myself outside of my comfort zone more and more. I need to put myself in situations where I would need to grow so that I can, not only, get outside of my comfort zone, but instead expand my comfort zone. 

If I ever want to get into a relationship I need to learn to loosen up and get outside of my comfort zone because my future significant other will most definitely be outside of my comfort zone. (There will be more about this throughout the series)

What did I actually decide to do?

Over winter break I took three trips. I started by visiting my friend in Virginia. Then I flew to Africa to visit my parents, with my two sisters. Finally, I flew to Wisconsin to visit some more friends. 

Now, I am a planner. I don’t like surprises and I usually planned for anything and everything to go wrong. This break I did not plan much at all. I knew, generally, where I was going. I knew my flights and where I would be when and that was it. I didn’t know where I would be sleeping. I knew nothing about my friend’s houses. I asked no one what we would do when I was there. I completely let go of control in every situation. 

This was terrifying for a planner like me. However, I have grown through this experience and I cannot wait to share it with you. 

When was a time that you stepped out of your comfort zone? How did it go?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

My Twitter is @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

New Friends…..Oh, No! (An Introvert in Unknown Territories)

Authors note: “This is the first post in a series about introversion and how that is affected by different things. Over the last month and a half, I have intentionally put myself outside of my comfort zone. So, this series will focus on what happened and my experience. I’ll do it so you don’t have to. But I am hoping that my experiences will encourage you to take the first step outside of your comfort zone because that is how you grow.” #outsidemybubble

At the beginning of this school year I, accidentally, made a new friend. He is an extrovert. I grew up with five extroverts, I’ll be fine. With extroverts, it is all about doses. If you can getaway. 

This extrovert is one of the ones that really does know everyone on campus. So, hanging out with him means I started to actually get to know people and even worse they started to know me. I had lost some of my invisible nature. 

I now have a group of “friends” and it is a rather interesting experience. I can honestly say that I have never really been a part of a group. It is exhausting. This past weekend, I spent way too much time with people. I was with people almost 100% of the time that I was awake. 

Now, as an introvert, spending this much time with people (especially groups of them) for any amount of time is taxing. They were interesting but I am paying for the interactions now.

I am normally a morning person (this is a little bit off because of college but I tend to go to sleep by 11 pm). However, I stayed up to 2:30 am on Friday and got up at 1:30 pm on Saturday. This is highly abnormal and I know exactly why I needed the extra sleep. 

I feel like every drop of energy has been drained from my body and all I want to do is sleep for 24 hours and stay away from humans for as long as possible. 

So, are friends worth it? Are groups even an option, for an introvert?

I have found that there are people that do not drain me, they do exist (and I have found some lovely ones). These are the people that I gravitate towards. There are some who I deem “blood-sucking energy vampires.” I try to avoid them at all costs. This semester I made friends with an extrovert like that and I had to push her away because it was too much. 

It is great to have non-draining extroverts but not in groups. Unfortunately, they like to be in groups. Groups are an option but in moderation. You must be aware that you will feel drained after any interaction, and I am sure you are already aware of this. Do not overdo it. Even if you find people that are not super draining, take care of yourself and do not overdo it. You will pay and be completely wiped out like I am right now. It will take weeks for me to be myself again. 

Boundaries are necessary and usually something that I am good at. However, I have been in a mode and mindset of growth. This means I am letting people into my life and although this is a healthy and good thing, it can be draining so awareness is key.

Not every group of people is completely exhausting but the time spent with any group needs to be offset with alone time, or you will sleep for ages. 

Do you feel drained by people? Are there people that you feel like you can talk to forever without feeling drained?

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

My Twitter is @RealEvilHolmes

-Evi. L. Holmes

Changing Yourself to Meet the Changes that are Thrown Your Way

There have been and continue to be many changes in my life in the last year and the year to come. I have dealt with, and am still dealing with, the grief of the loss of a loved one. My parents are going to be moving to a different country within the next two months. My closest sibling lives six hours away from me and many of my friends live more than a 12-hour drive from me. We can all be overwhelmed at times but for someone who does not know how to process any type of feeling and can be catastrophic. 

Moving on: Grief

Love is an interesting thing. It opens you up to the possibility of loss. When you love someone you give them the ability to hurt you. This does not mean that you should close yourself off. I know that grief can hurt and when you lose someone you love it is like the world is shaken and you are knocked off your feet. I have been dealing with grief and the ups and downs of trying to feel in the midst of all of this pain. There are so many thoughts swirling around in the darkness of my mind. However, through this loss, I have gained myself and I am learning to build my emotions back up after a fall. 

Moving on: Being left behind

My parents are leaving the country. They will be over 20 hours away by plane. This is going to be very tough to transition to. They will be there for at least the next 3 years. This will take some growth and learning in order to be independent. I have the ability to cut myself off from all of my emotions. This seems good at first but eventually, it turns into something dark. I will have to mature greatly in the next few months to deal with this new situation. 

Moving on: Separation

Relationships are not easy and they are even more difficult when distance and time are put in between them. I made many new friends this year but a great deal of them live far away. I miss them dearly and it will be months before I see them again. You would think that things would be fine because of technology and the connectivity of this day and age but some of them are awful communicators. It makes me anxious at times and sad at others but I would rather know them and be miles apart then never know them at all. 

Open yourself up to the world and to people. Yes, you will get hurt. It is not a matter of if but of when. You will have to grieve but that grief will give birth to something new that you did not realize that you needed. Just because it seems like people are moving on and going somewhere where you can’t follow does not mean that they are truly leaving you behind. No matter how much it hurts to love someone, it is better than cutting yourself off completely. 

Please feel free to email me any questions, stories, themes, or ideas I am grateful for all your contributions.

My email is evilholmess@gmail.com

My Instagram is @evi.l.holmes 

-Evi L. Holmes