January Hello

Hi, I’m Emily! I’m the Emily behind @words.by.emily. Every so often, I like to pop in and say hello and share some things I’m working on to make my life better.⁣⁣ I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to write this week, and then the norovirus visited our home. We’ve each been taken down in turn, and it’s necessitated a temporary reconsideration of what it means to make my life better. So, here’s my honest list for what I’m working on right now:

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1. Making good use of Lysol and paper towels. I usually don’t clean with harsh chemicals and usually use cloth towels, but some situations really do call for products that kill 99.999% of bacteria and viruses and allow me to dispose of them after use.

2. Eating whatever food and drink sound good. My body usually feels best when I eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary drinks; I try to support my kids in the same. Our bodies are also usually not having quite so hard a time tolerating those foods and drinks. Right now, the best thing I can do for myself and my kids is letting us all have whatever foods and drinks sound good and not worrying about the long-term sustainability of those choices. Bring on the Gatorade and Ginger Ale!

3. ⁣⁣Saying “yes” to what’s most important and saying “no” to the rest. I guess this one is always something I am working toward, but there’s nothing like sickness to really crystallize things. It’s easy for me to fall into the mental trap of always wanting to level up whatever I’m doing, but that isn’t exactly realistic or even desirable. In this very moment, what’s most important is my family’s health (and not spreading our sickness to others). Everything that supports that is in, and everything else is out for right now.

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*What about you? What’re you doing to make your life better at the moment?*⁣⁣⁣

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📸: Hannah Pettersen Photography

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her helpful, science-backed journalism and essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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