What’s up? How are you? It’s been a while since we've talked but I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing. The last time we talked, I remember you telling me about your new significant other. How is your relationship going? And do you have any idea what you are going to get them for a Valentine’s Day gift?
I know how hard it can be to be in a relationship while we’re self-isolating. I haven’t seen my boyfriend since last March either and even though we still Face-time and text everyday, it is so different from being able to see each other in real life. Especially for special days like Christmas, New Years, and his birthday, I had really wanted to be able to see him in person but it just wasn’t possible. Not being able to see each other has definitely put some strain on our relationship, to be honest. Sometimes, I would get mad at him just because I miss him and when we get into fights, trying to work things out just by texting or calling can be really frustrating.
However, one thing that has helped is that we have been sending small gifts to each other just as a reminder that we love and are thinking of each other. To us, the price of the gift was never what mattered but instead it was the meaning behind each gift that made them important and the fact that we were showing our appreciation for each other through these gifts.
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I have been doing a lot of research on what gifts to get my boyfriend and I thought that I would share some of my ideas with you. I know it can be hard to go out and get a gift during COVID-19, so these are all gifts that can be bought online! And as disclaimer, I am not being sponsored by any of these companies; I just really love these gift ideas.
My first and one of my favorite gift ideas is a bond bracelet. They are a pair of bracelets, one for you and one for your significant other, and when you touch the bracelet on your side, their bracelet will vibrate and buzz to mimic your touch. Each bracelet can be delivered to a different location so this is a perfect gift to give while staying socially distanced. Especially when you guys haven’t seen each other in so long, this bracelet can help you feel like you are next to each other and have them right at your fingertips. You can customize these bracelets to be any color that you like and they are even waterproof! This is such an adorable gift and you can get the bracelets from this website if you would like: https://www.bond-touch.com/pages/learn-more.
My next idea is a couples magnetic bracelet, which are two bracelets - one for you and one for your significant other- that each have a magnet. So, when you guys meet in person after the pandemic is over and have your hands next to each other, the magnets will be attracted to each other and connect! This is a really cute gift that can help you feel connected to your significant other when COVID is over, since you guys will literally be attached to each other! You can get these bracelets here if you would like, although there are many more shops and websites that sell them: https://www.etsy.com/listing/851482253/1-pair-personalized-adjustable-braided?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=couples+bracelet&ref=sr_gallery-1-1&col=1.
My third idea is a love box that you can buy online and have it directly delivered to their door. This will allow you to send love notes, drawings, or photographs from your phone to your significant other that will appear on the screen of this adorable little box. The cute little heart on the lovebox will also spin when it receives a message. This is a really nice gift to show that you are thinking about them and you can buy yours here if you like the idea: https://en.lovebox.love
My final idea is to create a personalized comic book of the story of you and your significant other. In this comic book, you can include the story of how you guys met, your journey so far, or just all the reasons that you love them! You can also even customize the setting, cover, and characters to make it look 100% how you want it to. This book would be completely unique and special to you and your relationship and would be perfect as a valentine’s day gift. If you would like to create a book, here is a link where you can do so: https://love-toons.com
So those are all my gift ideas for Valentine’s day and I hope you found them useful! Please write back to let me know how you are doing, how your relationship is going, and what you decide to get for Valentine’s Day. I know that relationships can be hard during these times when you guys cannot see each other, so if you have anything you would like to talk about just let me know!
Have a great day!
Gilmore Girls. A classic television show about a mom and a daughter’s unbreakable bond. A mom and daughter that shared everything with each other. Growing up watching shows like this, I had always wanted that “perfect” relationship with my mom. One where we spend countless nights talking about boys while doing each other’s nails, or spending hours baking together while singing along to old Taylor Swift songs. However, this was never the case for me. My mom and I had never had that easy relationship where we could talk openly to each other. Our time together consisted mostly of sitting in silence and both of us hoping that somebody would say something to get rid of the awkwardness. I was even less close with my dad, with him coming home after I went to bed and leaving for work before I woke up. For the first 15 or so years of my life, a strong bond with my parents was something that I had always longed for yet did not know how to start working towards.
For most of us, our parents are one of the most important people in our lives and having a good relationship with our parents can help us become healthier socially, mentally, and emotionally. Our relationship with our parents can determine our relationship with other people in our lives and affect how we interact with them. For most of my life, my relationship with my parents had not been the best since we would usually either be screaming at each other, or not know how to talk to each other. This would often cause me to be in a negative mood and I found that I had a hard time maintaining healthy relationships or opening up to my friends due to my unhealthy relationship with my parents. My relationship with my parents is still not perfect but over the years, I have learned how to slowly start building stronger bonds with them.
One of the most helpful things for me was finding what similar interests I had with my parents to find things that we could do together. Even though sitting down and trying to talk usually just ended up in awkward silence, finding an activity that we both liked to do ensured that we would have fun and put less pressure on making conversation. For example, driving was an activity that both me and my dad liked to do, so we would make plans for him to teach me how to drive every night. Since he was busy teaching me and I was busy learning how to drive, we did not feel like we had to talk and were also both having fun at the same time. In addition, doing this activity together gave us something to talk about even when we weren't driving.
The next thing that really helped me out was just starting off simple by telling my parents about my day. Throughout the day, I would make an active effort to notice things to tell my parents when I would see them later. For example, if one of my friends spilled their lunch all over their shirt or if I saw a dog with a broken leg on my way back home, I would make a mental note to tell my parents about that when I see them. Even though these small things do not seem like they would have much impact on improving your relationship with your parents, these small steps can have the biggest impact in the end. You do not have to tell them about the deepest darkest parts of yourself immediately, and starting off small and working at your own pace based on what you feel comfortable sharing with your parents was something that I personally found helped me a great deal.
The final thing that was really helpful was realizing that every parent-child relationship is different. I used to watch TV shows of parents and children with amazing relationships or see my friends have ‘perfect’ relationships with their parents and would feel jealous that I did not have the same with my own parents. It took me a long time before I realized that every relationship and every family is different. I had always thought that my unhealthy relationship with my parents had stemmed from me not being good enough or them not loving me enough. I had always been focusing on all the “perfect” relationships that I had seen around me and was trying to forcibly have the exact same relationship with my parents. This took me away from being able to see that my parents do love me and show that to me, just in a way that was different from what I saw on TV. Yes, I don’t talk about boys late at night with my mom or go on camping trips with my dad. However, my parents show their love by always supporting me in everything I do and by being there for me no matter how much I mess up. Realizing that every relationship is different allowed me to see what’s special and unique about my relationship with my own parents and this can be such an important step in fostering a positive bond with them.
Our relationships with our parents are not always the easiest or the best and it is completely okay to go slow and take a break from spending time with your parents if it gets to be too mentally straining or uncomfortable for you. However, if you are looking for ways to slowly start improving your relationship with them, I hope that I was able to help!
Have a great day!
Imagine this: it’s Thursday afternoon and you’re sitting down at your desk with every intention to work. You have an essay due at midnight tonight but you are barely three words in. Then, three hours later, you find yourself at a YouTube video titled, “How giraffes pee,” with no idea how you got there. Not only did you put off starting your essay until the day it is due, but you also just wasted three hours laughing at YouTube videos instead of starting your essay. Sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. You are just another victim of a terrible monster. A monster that rudely intrudes upon our lives no matter how unwelcome it is. A monster that is most commonly known by the name ‘procrastination.’
Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into almost everyday. Some people mistake procrastination with laziness and think that it is an insignificant issue that can be easily solved. However, to those of us that have to deal with procrastination, we know that it is more than just being lazy. Laziness suggests a sense of apathy and an unwillingness to work. On the other hand, people that procrastinate have a desire to complete the task, yet put it off in favor of other, more enjoyable tasks. In addition, while laziness suggests a sense of choice and choosing not to work, most procrastinators do not even realize that they are procrastinating until it is too late.
Personally, I have always been a large procrastinator, not starting assignments until the night that it is due and ending up in tears, having to beg my professor for an extension. While there are many reasons for procrastination, I have found that I procrastinate starting due to the fear and anxiety that I would not be able to complete the assignment well. However, when I do procrastinate, I find that I end up with even more anxiety about how my teacher is going to react, whether he/she would call my parents in and how this could impact my family life. Therefore, procrastination for me is a vicious cycle that starts with anxiety and ends with even more anxiety. That said, over the years, I have become much better at managing my procrastination and here are some tips that I have found to be quite helpful:
- Recognize that you’re procrastinating.
The first step to overcoming your procrastination is to realize and admit to yourself that you are procrastinating. Only then will you be able to take measures to stop yourself from doing it.
- Figure out why you’re procrastinating.
Next, figure out exactly why you’re procrastinating. There can be many reasons for procrastination including: feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, perfectionism, fear of failure, etc. When you figure out why you’re procrastinating, you can work towards solving that underlying problem.
- Break up your assignment into small tasks.
Sometimes, we procrastinate because the assignment seems too big and overwhelming. Therefore, it could be helpful to break up your assignment into small parts, so that you have shorter and simpler tasks to complete rather than a big, confusing project. For example, if you are writing a research paper, you could break it up into smaller tasks such as writing your research question, coming up with focus questions, researching each focus question, and so on. In addition, set a deadline for each small task and have a specific date and time of when you want to finish each part of the assignment.
- Let yourself take breaks.
It’s important to take breaks so as to not overwhelm yourself. Taking short breaks will let you work for longer as you will be giving your brain a rest and won’t feel as mentally drained. However, during these breaks, make sure you are not using your phone or watching YouTube, which could get you distracted. Instead, you should walk around or get some snacks and water. I recommended the Pomodoro method which breaks down your work time into 25 minute intervals with short 5-10 minute breaks in between.
- Reward yourself.
Everyone loves being rewarded and promising yourself rewards can be very motivating. For example, you could tell yourself something as small as, “If I work on this assignment for two hour, I’ll let myself watch Netflix for an hour,” or something as big as, “If I get perfect grades this semester, I will buy myself a new phone.”
- Get rid of distractions.
It’s important to get rid of all potential distractions before you start: turn off your phone or close that Netflix tab. Make sure that you get rid of anything that could get you side-tracked while you are trying to work.
- Have someone hold you accountable.
You are more likely to give up and stop working if you are the only one who knows about your goals. Therefore, telling a friend or a family member about what assignment you want to finish or how long you want to study and making them hold you accountable would motivate you to keep working. In addition, if you start getting lazy and wanting to stop, they can be there to remind you of your goals and help you keep working.
Procrastination can be very hard to overcome and for most people it takes weeks, months, and maybe even years to do so. However, no matter where you are on your journey to beat it, I am so proud of you and I just want to let you know that I am in this with you. I have every trust that you can and will overcome this, and even reading this article and trying to stop your procrastination is a huge step in the right direction.
Have a great day!