But that isn’t working anymore.

It’s April of 2021, and I haven’t seen a stranger’s smile in over a year. I’m not sure if that’s commentary on Covid or commentary on the scarcity of joy over the past year.

It is starting to return though. Proof: I am publishing another Medium article. More proof: people are getting vaccinated, and the weather is getting nicer. Rules are starting to lift, and people are finally visiting their parents. Gyms are reopening and schools are back in-person. Offices are opening for in-person work. Even social gatherings such as music events and outdoor gatherings are within reach these days…

Optimizing cognitive performance, mental health, and physical health.

A couple of weeks ago, someone said to me, “Your brain pays attention to what you deem important.” This made me exceptionally curious about the neurobiology behind the brain’s system of prioritizing data, and how one can control and retrain that system. Mindfulness, within the last decade or so, has received a lot of attention in the medical and psychological fields due to its profound effects on brain chemistry; and therefore mental and physical health. It is regarded as a powerful tool in increasing general well-being…and rightly so. Myriad academic and clinical studies cite mindfulness techniques as the catalyst for…

Unpacking the quarantine shame cycle—and trying to beat it.

I must confess that I ignorantly thought quarantine would be primetime for my creative self. Finally, I have all this time and freedom to get rooted and put everything on the page. While that was a wonderful daydream, I sorely miscalculated. It’s been weeks since I’ve even taken to the keyboard and haven’t touched my pen in longer. It’s not that I don’t want to. In fact, I have been desperate to produce something creative and playful, as I always find that practice extremely cathartic and grounding in hard times. …

What used to be a casual courtesy is now a desperate plea.

I am a healthcare worker. I haven’t been on the front lines the way so many heroic clinical staff have been, but I have been going to work at a massive research hospital 3 days a week while everyone else has been in isolation. When I am at work, I wear a mask and spend large portions of my day disinfecting chairs, desks, tables, and pens. When I work from home, I am sifting through referrals, finding out what patients are in urgent need of care, and which patients I can call and schedule 8 weeks from now. …

A meditation on the reckless and chaotic female lead

“Zoe Kravitz Is a Hot Bisexual Mess in “High Fidelity” — and That’s Revolutionary”

“Someone Great’ Review: Gina Rodriguez Shines in a Messy Quarter-Life Crisis Comedy”

“Brit Marling Has Had Enough of Hollywood’s Idea of a ‘Strong Female Lead’”

Each of these is an example of a headline within the past year that shed light on our portrayal of women in film and television. Together, they gather in praise of a “messy” female lead, which is exactly what I want to dissect.

Social distancing is an act of love, toward yourself and your community. Your mental health matters just as much as your physical health right now. That is to say, your mental health can also be weakened during the chaos of a global crisis. Depending on your job, family, and personal circumstances, the coronavirus pandemic may be affecting your life in myriad ways. You owe it to yourself to acknowledge and assuage those feelings of discomfort in order to be better prepared for whatever unexpected hurdles may be thrown at you as the crisis continues to unfold.

Below is a six-step…

COVID-19, and our country’s reaction to it, should be understood as a major part of your political decision.

The day before Tom Hanks announced that he and wife Rita Wilson had tested positive for COVID-19, six states voted in the Democratic primaries. The 2020 election carries more weight than any we have seen in several decades, and the past four years have been extremely polarizing; not just in America, but globally. This year, our society is being tested in new ways amidst the already inescapable political tension. This year, there is one intensely universal fear amongst Americans. Our values, beliefs, and priorities are being spotlighted now more than ever. Because this year, Americans didn’t just vote. They went…

Living in the modern world is like being trapped in an Abercrombie & Fitch.

Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to self-preservation and self-care. Primarily, the phenomenon that we, as humans, have to work to take care of ourselves. It occurred to me recently that it is our nature to protect our well-being; at least on a very fundamental level, for survival purposes. From an evolutionary perspective, we are programmed to survive and thrive by any means necessary. Self-destruction simply goes against human nature. This begs the question, if we are built to take care of ourselves, why is it so damn hard to do sometimes?

The human problem is no…

Congratulations! Now What?

On December 31st a friend and I stepped out for a smoke. He asked me, “do you have any resolutions for this year?” I said I don’t believe in resolutions. I believe in constant growth, eternal evolution. I don’t think resolutions are bad or unhealthy…goals are always good. And the New Year is a fantastic time to take a look at yourself, your life, and get your intentions realigned. “I agree,” he said with a chilly exhale. “So, what are your intentions then?”

Between drags of a cigarette I said, “I want to do more things that…

in the Era of the “Bad B**ch”

It’s 2020 and Lizzo is naked on the cover of Rolling Stone. And I love it. How could you not? She’s a woman turning an attitude into art — alongside our other favorites like Lady GaGa, Rihanna, and Cardi B (just a few that come to mind right away). These women are widely celebrated primarily for their “I don’t give a f**k” attitude, and the way this attitude defines the way they take up space in the world of music, media, and culture. The world has fallen to their feet in praise of this bold declaration of respect and it…

Meghan Bellamy

all the weird of being human.

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