Maintaining a Health and Fitness Routine During Quarantine

So, it’s been a while. Last time I posted on this blog was a sunnier time, with only a slight fear of pandemic looming on the horizon. Now, no matter where you are, COVID-19 is probably the top thing on your mind.

As I maintain a regular exercise routine at a local gym, I was skeptical about my ability to continue this while also social distancing. However, I’ve found a plethora of resources that have made it easier than ever to stay fit.

Many gyms have begun to offer online courses. My local gym started offering live online yoga and HIIT classes. They even rented out their spin bikes and now run online spin courses as well.

The internet is great resource to find classes like this, and more. Look at fitness influencers or local gyms on Instagram. Currently, I am following an online ab challenge from @fit.like.krys on Instagram. Turn to MindBody to find class schedules for online, typically zoom, courses.

It’s important to get outside during this crisis. It can help both mental and physical health. Try to bike, run, walk, or just sit outside for a bit. Just remember to stay 6 feet away from anyone else.

Eating healthy is also imperative to maintaining a healthy routine and immune system. Stick to vegetables and other whole foods. Currently, I am making my way through three days’ worth of healthy meals delivered from a local restaurant. Look around to see if there is anything like that near you–it allows you to stay healthy while helping local businesses.

Many fitness companies are currently offering freebies to those cooped up at home. Pure Barre is offering an extended free trial of their video courses, as well as Peloton. There are plenty of workout videos you can find on Youtube, as well. Favorites include Yoga with Adriene and Blogilates.

What have you been doing to stay fit and sane during the past few weeks? Let me know in the comments below.

Staying Productive During the Holidays

You probably view the holiday season as a time to wind down, relax, and lay on the couch eating homemade cookies. And it certainly can be. But don’t waste perfectly good time that can be used to plan and improve your skills for the coming months. Below are a few ways to utilize this time in order to continue staying up to date with your job search.

  • View holiday parties as networking opportunities: Don’t just chat mindlessly, but ask friends and family what they are up to and see if they know anyone working for a company you would enjoy working with. Take these constant social gatherings to be new opportunities for growth.
  • Keep applying: The holidays may be seen as a “dead” time to hear back from employers, but continue job hunting and getting your resume out there. Maybe you won’t hear back until later, but take this time to send in the perfect application.
  • Spruce up your resume: Take the time off to brush the dust off of your resume. Check out some new resume templates or samples online for inspiration. Add new positions and skills, and make sure it serves to pack a powerful punch for future recruiters.
  • Find connections from your family: Older family members can be a great resource for career advice, particularly if they are working in the same line as you. Family members closer in age can also help with advice and connections–for example, I was recently put in touch with a new contact working in publishing thanks to my cousin.
  • Develop your skills: take online courses in coding, marketing, or even literature. Hubspot Academy and edx are just a few of the sources to go to to find free or inexpensive courses that will help you to grow your skillset and knowledge.
  • Practice Interviewing: Take this time to run a practice interview with a friend or family member, and prepare strong answers to interview questions. Find more tips here.
  • Plus–Get the perfect interview outfit: Maybe you could even ask for this as a gift. It’s important to look the part when interviewing for a job, so prepare yourself this holiday season.

What other advice do you have? What are your plans for the holidays?

Nail your Next Interview

Thankfully, I suppose, I have interviews scheduled for the next three days. Finally, something has gotten back! Interviews can be quite nerve-wracking, so it’s important to be prepared. If you do your planning and research, you are in good shape to get that job. These tips are imperative to follow if you are currently searching for a new position and hoping to crush your interviews. 

Dress the Part: Make sure to look your best before an interview. Wear something simple and professional, but don’t hide your personality.

Practice Beforehand: Find a friend or family member and run a practice interview with them. It is very important to have a run-through beforehand, allowing you to speak as confidently as possible. 

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Create an “Elevator Pitch”: an elevator pitch is a short speech about why you should be hired. It got its name because you should be able to say it while riding an elevator. 

Know your Strengths and Weaknesses: This is an all-too-common question, and getting asked what your greatest weakness is can feel like a trick. Try to choose a weakness that can be spun into a positive. Ensure, as well, that your greatest strength is tailored to the particular position that you are interviewing for. 

Use the STAR method: Specific Situation, Task, Action, and Result . This is a way to answer behavior-based questions by providing examples. This allows you to give specific examples of ways you were able to help. If asked about a situation that relates to the role you are applying to, talk about a specific situation from a previous role in which you completed a task related to what you will need to complete in the future. Then tell the employer about the action you did to complete this task, and the result that came from it. This should, of course, be a highly positive result.


Don’t make things up or lie, instead maintain an air of authenticity. 

Important: Know the job description and company very closely. Make sure you can explain why you want to work for this specific company and what you are able to do to help them. Be closely in tune with the needs of the company and industry, and connect your skills and training with their needs. You don’t want to show up to the interview without having researched the company or re-read the job description. The employer will assume that you don’t care about the company or position. 

Bring a copy of your resume, a portfolio, and a pen with you. It’s best to be prepared, and you typically will need to take down notes. 

What are other tips you have for job interviews? Let me know in the comments. 

Stay Happy and Healthy in the Cold

Shorter days and colder weather can weaken your immune system. It can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise when busy with holiday preparations and stuck in freezing weather. But there are important steps you must take to protect yourself in the cold winter months. The follow tips are important to follow when taking care of both your physical and mental health.

Avoid overeating: Healthy eating is important year-round. In the winter season, don’t go for a lot of carbs, though they may be calling out to you. Instead, make sure to instead eat a lot of protein. Add omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful to prevent depression and inflammation. This can come from either supplements or fatty fish like salmon. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure  that you are getting the correct amounts of nutrients. 

Exercise: When exercising, make a plan for the week and stick to it to ensure that you are getting in the correct amount and not straying from your plan. Or find ways to get your workouts in at home using youtube videos or home equipment. 

Wash your hands regularly. This is an important step to protect yourself from spreading sickness and infection.

Getting Warm in a sauna or heat room can also prove helpful to depression. 

Take your vitamins: Vitamin C and vitamin D are both important drugs to take to ward off colds and improve mood. Many of us lack vitamin in the winter, when it is more difficult to get natural light.

Go to bed as early as possible, get as much sleep as possible

Take time for yourself: Winter is full of get togethers with family and friends that are sure to bring on stressful conflicts and situations. Make sure to take a step back and find alone time to counter whatever is going on. 

Yes, still go outside: Bundle up and go for a walk or hike around your neighborhood to get some natural light and fresh air. 

Warm beverages: Get some warmth in yourself through liquids like tea and hot chocolate, but be sure to avoid caffeine after noon. 

Get a Mood Lamp: SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) impacts more people than you are aware of, especially if you live in an area of the world that gets a low amount of sunlight during the winter months. I have been using a mood lamp each morning while I knit and watch TV as a means to get in my sun in any way. 

Layers, Sweaters: Make sure to dress for the weather. Thick socks, sturdy boots, and thick sweaters are important staples of this season. 

Stay social: It’s easy to isolate yourself when it starts to get cold out. Instead, find time to invite friends over for warm drinks and movies or games. 

Are there any other ways you stay healthy in the winter? Let me know in the comments.

25 Free Tools to Improve Your Writing in 2020 — Nicholas C. Rossis

Writing tools promise to make our life easier. But first you have to choose which one to use. And God knows there are plenty of them around nowadays! I counted four posts on the subject on my blog alone, with dozens of links to promising tools. So, wouldn’t it be if someone organized that information […]

25 Free Tools to Improve Your Writing in 2020 — Nicholas C. Rossis

(For once?) Social Media can Improve your Health

Social exercise is the best exercise. There is no better motivation to finish a class or to run faster than a friendly competitor by your side.

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I’ve discovered the benefits of social exercise as a regular at Ride and Reflect, a spin, HIIT, and yoga studio with two locations in the Morristown, NJ area. The studio combines high intensity workouts with calming meditation and yoga sessions. Plus, it cultivates a friendly competition, and features regular workout challenges and even post-spin nights out at local bars.

If you don’t live in the area, you can still get in on the fun and improve your health by following @fit.like.krys on instagram. Krystal Weisberg is an instructor at Ride and Reflect who regularly runs health and fitness challenges on Instagram, inviting her followers to exercise and practice healthy habits for free. Currently, I am participating in “#thetrimdown” a fifteen-day detox and fitness challenge that helps prepare followers for food-filled holiday season. Participants receive a checklist of eating and exercise habits to check off, and, each morning, Krystal posts a new workout to complete. Plus, each participant is paired with another teammate to check in with on social media. This is a great way to ensure your success and to hold each other accountable–and, even, to make friends.

The positive impacts of this challenge are indicative of the wholistic, positive lifestyle promoted by Ride and Reflect–one that cultivates not only physical but spiritual health.

So get a friend, go online, and motivate yourself to get fit.

About Me and My Blog

Hi!

My name, as you may have assumed from the title, is Olivia. I’m a recent graduate of Drew University in New Jersey, where I studied English Literature. I’ve previously worked in donor relations at Drew, as an intern at an Ed-Tech nonprofit company, and in various coffee shops and restaurants. I love reading, writing, and anything related to books at all. Currently, I spend most of my time knitting, reading, taking yoga classes, and looking for a job. In the past, I also ran a book review blog, so I’ll be sure to blog about books here as well. Words by Olivia is place for me to share updates about my life as a recent college graduate looking to get a job where I can effectively use my English degree, and about the fun I have in the meantime. Stop by and say hi!