What I’ve learned from reading 100 Medium Articles

🤔 What I’ve been thinking about

I bought a Medium Subscription (in case you don’t know it: it’s a platform where more and more authors publish their articles. It’s cool because you get recommended articles based on what you’ve read before, and there’s definitely some quality content).

I’ve read around 100 articles on Medium in these last days. Many of them were about the Virus and how to cope with this new strange world we’re living in. Here are some useful ideas that I wrote down for myself (maybe they’re useful to you, too):

  • You might often hear (from dubious social media entrepreneurs or motivational people, especially): “Use this quarantine to achieve something extraordinary! Start a business, write that book!” While I don’t dislike the general advice, this might make us feel even worse, because many of us are struggling, and we’re NOT productive in this way. Instead, remember this: Your job is to maintain sanity, stay healthy, and – where you can – offer kindness to loved ones. Your job number one is to make it through this crisis.
  • Along the same lines, this author reassures you: You’re Not Lazy – Self-Isolation is Utterly Exhausting. It’s not unusual that focusing on work is harder than ever before, and you might feel more drained than ever. Be kind to yourself. In times of great crisis, survival is the only expectation you need to have of yourself.
  • And yes, you can (and should) take vacation days in quarantine. How about having an “at-home vacation” like learning how to make sushi at home, practicing your green thumb or attending a virtual concert. Ultimately, you’ll need to take days off and disconnect from your email, zoom meetings etc. (since physically going away is still difficult).
  • Here’s why you’re so irritated by everything (the author claims that we’ve “reached the irritation phase of this pandemic”): Irritability is a hallmark of the anxious mind. A psychologist states that “Experiencing anxiety as anger or irritability is one strategy our brain uses to manage the distress. For better or worse, we blame or focus on others’ perceived flaws as a way of calming ourselves down.” Try to go for healthier coping mechanisms like feeling your feelings, practicing kindness or moving your body.
  • Exercise – but not too intensely, as this will increase hormones, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Hardcore athletes like marathon runners tend to be in the vulnerable category as well. A good rule of thumb is to limit sustained exercise (greater than 60% effort, which means 60% of your max heart rate) to no more than 60 minutes at a time.
  • This psychiatrist came up with an interesting 10-second eye exercise to calm your mind: When you’re frustrated or anxious, open your eyes really wide as a way to jump-start your curiosity (as opposed to the narrowed-eye expression of anger). Keep them really wide for 10 seconds, and notice what happens to the anxiety.
  • I like that the Portuguese have a word for “joyful sadness” (saudade). Denying our feelings of sadness and grief is unhealthy and counterproductive.

😴 What helped me find calm this week

Intentional ASMR Picks:

Here’s some ASMR that I thought you’d enjoy:

💎 Hidden Gem ASMR Channel:

Have you heard of the channel Whsipering Ivory? I just found it randomly, and especially loved the massage videos, like this head scratching & massage or this shampooing session! I like that these don’t look and sound too professional, which I sometimes prefer.

Unintentional ASMR Picks:

😴 What helped me find calm this week

Maybe that’s not your thing, but I like listening to podcasts by Comedians, especially in these times (they’re not really “Comedy podcasts” with actual comedy bits, it’s just people having conversations and cracking some jokes). Here are some of my favorites right now:

  • Tiger Belly: Bobby Lee is weird: he’s chaotic and obnoxious but sensitive and lovable at the same time. His relationship with his girlfriend Khalyla is confusing but actually pretty wholesome, it appears. Their vlogs are great, too.
  • Bad Friends: This is Bobby Lee’s second podcast with Andrew Santino (who’s one of the best up-and-coming comedians, in my opinion)
  • Two Bears one Cave with Bert Kreischner and Tom Segura. Bert is quite the character, a goofy party animal, but probably a great friend to have. On that channel (YourMom’sHouse) there’s also the podcast with Tom and his wife, but a lot of it is making fun of weirdos which I don’t like that much
  • Conan needs a friend: Conan is smart and a good conversationalist. The episodes are a bit short, that’s my only gripe
  • Honorable mentions: The Fighter and the Kid, Brilliant idiots, History Hyenas, Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast, JRE experience (usually not that funny, but still worthwhile)