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Welcome! First Post! Woohoo!
So...what is Four Seven Eight?
HELLO and welcome to the first installation of Four Seven Eight, the newsletter that also serves as an ode to my favorite breathing technique!
Confused? THAT’S FAIR! Let me clarify:
Of all the breathing techniques, the one that eases my anxiety the most is the 4-7-8 method. You breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts and then breathe out for eight. Everyone’s different, but it works for me!
So in each installation of this newsletter, I’m going to tell you four things I’m taking in or consuming, seven things I’m holding my breath for (in other words, things I’m excited for), and eight things I’m putting out into the world.
I’m just winging it and seeing how it goes! Sometimes you have to live life that way! So, here we go…
Four things I’m taking in:
Improv classes! After years of saying I should take improv, I finally signed up and it’s so fun! It’s giving me the opportunity to get to know myself and others while exercising my comedy muscle. Don’t tell anyone, but that’s the working out I’m talking about when I say on Bumble that I work out “Sometimes.”
Fake flowers from Michael’s! I bought a bunch of adorable fake flower garlands and I have yet to hang them up in my place. Somebody force me to do it!
I’m reading Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi and I’m really enjoying it. So far I’m finding that it’s the perfect balance of sad and lighthearted.
So much cat content. Especially on TikTok. Here’s an extremely millennial gif to represent me:
Seven things I’m holding my breath for:
Fall activities! I’ve never been a huge Fall person but I’m trying to turn that around. I saw a thread on Twitter—which I can’t find now—about counter-acting seasonal depression, and one of the tips was “don’t complain about the weather.” So I will attempt (she said dubiously). I looked up Fall activities in NYC and got an article where most of the things to do were outside of NYC, but I’ll figure it out!
The next step in my career, which is still TBD. I’m in a brief period of unemployment, and I say “brief” because I’m speaking into existence that this will be brief! I’m excited to see which way my career will go, while also being thankful for this period where I can recharge. And I can do my laundry at times when no one else is at the laundromat hogging all the machines.
Getting back to dance class! I thought this would be a great time to get back in the dance studio. I’m definitely still somewhat hesitant because of the pandemic. I don’t LOVE the idea of a bunch of people huffing and puffing from physical activity while a lot of them aren’t wearing masks, even though I’d wear one. I also wonder if my mask would make it harder to me to breathe while dancing (I’d still wear it though!). But like the laundromat, the dance studio is likely to have fewer people in it during typical 9 to 5 work hours.
Halloween! I already have my costume fairly planned out and I have most of the components already! I can’t remember the last time I was prepared for Halloween this early.
(My Halloween costume will be cuter than this and also more up-to-date than an Office reference)
Seeing how people feel about this newsletter! Is it pathetic to admit I want to know about people think about this? Eh, that’s kind of the purpose of putting stuff out there. At least that’s ONE of the purposes. The other purpose is to express myself creatively. Which brings me to the next thing I’m excited about…
Making more video content! I’m hoping to post more fun videos on TikTok, Reels and perhaps occasionally Twitter. Maybe my improv class will even help me make better videos.
For it to be the Fall so I can start really dressing. Wait, it’s already Fall? I didn’t get stylish yet! Oh well, next year.
Eight things I’m putting out there:
This newsletter! I used to send out a small internal newsletter for my team at my last job and realized I was pretty good at it, so I thought I’d try it here!
As I said before…more video content! (Shameless plug: My TikTok and Instagram are both @uniquelyzola)
A fake it ‘til you make it attitude when it comes to my anxiety. I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about the concept of faking it ‘til you make it, and I kind of still do. Why can’t we just be real? And no, I’m not talking about the app (*audience throws tomatoes*). But there’s a TikToker named Tilly Oddy-Black (@tillyoddyblack on TikTok) and she has a series where she plays a “person who has never felt anxiety.” She says things like, “My friend isn’t texting me back, she’s probably just busy,” instead of the typical anxiety spiral about the friend either being angry at you or dead. This isn’t a direct quote, but you get it. Even though they’re just funny videos, watching them has helped me. Lately, I’ve been earnestly trying to channel that person. At least a little bit. Of course my anxiety doesn’t magically go away. But thinking of what that character would say has been a helpful way to make up positive affirmations for myself. (It’s also good to Google affirmations for yourself. I used to think affirmations were hooey when I saw a list of general ones, but if you have a specific issue you struggle with, looking for affirmations relating to that specific issue can really help.)
Job applications. It must be done.
Extremely cool and mysterious vibes (don’t fact-check that with anyone else).
Space that I’m leaving for other people to say what they want and need to say. I struggle with this, especially in one-on-one interactions, but I’m working on it!
A bunch of tweets. Because when am I not tweeting?
Positive energy: Corny, I know! But as I said, I’m trying to counter-act that seasonal depression! In the past, I’ve been embarrassed about my happiness. I’ve felt like if other people aren’t happy, then I don’t deserve to be or I should at least hide it. But I’ve been pretty happy lately—even if the change of seasons sometimes threatens to change that—so I might as well celebrate that. Positivity can be toxic if you force others to be happy when they aren’t, or if you ignore bad things that are happening. But as long as you hold space for others to feel their feelings, positively can be pretty cool, and downright necessary!
Thanks for reading friends! I don’t know when the next installation of this will be, I’m thinking maybe it’ll be every two weeks. We’ll see! Love you all!
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