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Ask Jess–Quarantine Edition–How we’re doing, how I’m staying positive, traveling after quarantine, and more!

traveling after quarantine

Hi friends, 

Sorry for the delay in getting today’s post up. To be honest, I go through phases where it’s a struggle to get myself to focus on anything. (You’ve probably noticed that I keep posting blog posts later and later for this reason, ha!) 

For context, a short story.

This morning, Neal and I were talking about what we wanted to make for dinner tonight. (We agreed on “Churched Up Ramen”––as in, instant ramen, but with chicken and vegetables added to “church it up” because we’re sick of doing dishes. ????) Literally two minutes later, I asked, opening the fridge, “so what kind of soup should we make?!” 

Neal said, completely seriously, “is your brain melting?” 

Honestly, it hasn’t even been a bad day––it’s been a good day––it’s just, you know when some days you feel like you’re kind of under water? That’s kind of how today was. 

Anyway! WE’RE BACK with another Ask Jess post!! I put up a question box in stories, and, as to be expected, got a lot of quarantine related questions, so I wanted to make this one a little quarantine update! (I got a few, so we’ll do a part two as well!) Let’s jump in! 

How are you and Neal holding up? 

Thank you so much for asking!

Honestly? Yeah, it’s been a whirlwind, but overall, I feel like we’re good! (By the way, I’m really ready for everyone to be like “SIGH. I mean, good, despite the circumstances”––can we just start saying, “good” and have it be accepted that it’s “the new normal”? ????) 

Of course, our lives have been turned upside down like everyone else’s, and there are dark days and times where we’re driving each other nuts––but we’re also just so grateful to have each other and that all of our loved ones right now are healthy and safe.

We’re choosing to view this as time we would’ve never gotten to spend with one another (since we’re both typically so busy and Neal travels so often for work!) It’s sad that it took a pandemic to slow life down and make us appreciate the little things, but that’s a silver lining that we don’t take for granted. 

Overall, we’re both pretty big believers in the notion of “if you can’t change your situation, change your attitude” and it’s served us well thus far! 

Have you made yourself a schedule/routine to help stay motivated? 

To be honest, my day to day lifestyle really hasn’t changed much, since I’ve worked from home for several years, haha! Obviously it sucks that I’m not able to leave to get a change of scenery at a coffee shop, I can’t shoot with a photographer, go to in-person meetings, etc, but honestly, the regular workday situation hasn’t been a big adjustment, so that’s something I’m really grateful for! 

However, if you aren’t used to working from home and typically have a lot of structure, try to keep that structure! Creating a schedule and putting boundaries around work is very important. I would definitely read my “Work from Home Tips” post, which includes some great tips on productivity! 

What have you found most helpful in staying positive? 

I really REALLY recommend the 5-minute journal, or really, any regular exercise in gratitude. Shifting your perspective from “woe is me” to being grateful for what you DO have–because you have SO MUCH to be grateful for! (Let’s be honest, those of us who are reading this blog post from the comfort of our homes, with food to eat, technology so we can keep in touch with our loved ones––we are all INCREDIBLY fortunate.) Our “woe is me” quarantine life was like, our grandparent’s best life. My grandfather grew up IN THE DUST BOWL. Let’s have a little perspective, yes? 

For me, I’ve also really tried to stay away from “countdown mentality” I guess you would call it. Counting down the days until this is over, constantly thinking about all the things I’m going to do after quarantine–that just ISN’T working for me personally right now. For others, it can be something that keeps them going, but honestly, I’ve really avoided anything that reminds me of what I’m missing out on, like places I should be traveling, things I should be doing, etc, because just makes me upset. Quarantine Jess’ life cannot compete with European vacation Jess’ life––why would I ever compare the two!? 

But focusing on ways to be happy TODAY? Finding little things I can get excited about RIGHT NOW?

That’s easy! There are so many things I can do to have a great day today. I think that’s why the 5 minute journal is so beneficial, because it forces you to start and end the day in that mindset, and it really helps! 

Also–YOU GUYS are such a positive ray of light. Having your encouragement and interacting with you guys every day is always such a bright spot. We’ve been having a lot of fun creating content and that’s definitely kept us busy! 

Holy grail quarantine beauty product––ready, go! 

That’s a hard one because I’m not sure what your skin type or issues are, so I would definitely check out my downloadable custom skincare guides right here!

However, if I just had to say one product (you know which one I’m going to say because it’s one of the few products I think every single person regardless of skintype, age, or skin issues, can benefit from)––it’s the Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel. Right now, they’re also offering 20% off your first order for new customers! (You can see my big list of BC favorites in this post). 

From dullness to flakiness to texture, fine lines, even breakouts–it can help with all of the above. I did a huge review on it right over here. It’s also much gentler than competitors, so it’s good for sensitive skin as well. (Just start slow, using it once a week and work your way up!) 

Where is the first place you want to go after quarantine? 

Per the above, I try not to think about it too much, haha. But PARIS! We’re hoping our Paris reader trip can happen in the fall. I think it really just depends on when we’re able to start traveling again after quarantine and when Europe starts to open back up. If that time frame is earlier (this summer? Fingers crossed?) maybe back to Italy? On the other hand, all I’ve been dreaming about lately, if we’re being honest, is Deiá on Mallorca. I can’t stop thinking about our stay there last fall and it’s probably the one place I would be right now if I could choose anywhere. ❤️

I’m going to try to do more Ask Jess posts these days, so stay tuned for quarantine Ask Jess part two! Hope you have a lovely rest of your Wednesday and that you can do something today that makes you smile! Love you guys.