Jennifer Geer
Writing a little bit of everything. But mostly about wellness and running.

Twitter and the president have something to do with it. Maybe don’t take this advice.

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Photo by Krismas on Unsplash

As the experts tell us, the key to online blogging success is quantity. Publish often. Increase the odds that someone will want to read something you have written.

Yet, publishing often can be difficult. Especially if you have other responsibilities. But what if you could barrel through your article writing with such speed it doesn’t even hamper the rest of your day?

Well, my friends, I have finally broken through and discovered the ultimate way to write an article before my day even begins. It’s using a method called rage writing!

And now I want to share my method with you. …

It will save you money and calories

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The pumpkin spice latte. Whether you love it or you love to hate it, it’s the epitome of fall. Its arrival in the coffee shops means autumn is here. When the weather grows crips, and the leaves turn colors, you can usually find me in a cozy sweater headed to Starbucks for my pumpkin spice latte fix.

But this year is different. This fall, we’re still in a pandemic. And just like the spring and just like the summer, I’m sticking close to home these days. But that doesn’t mean I have to give up my favorite fall treat.

The benefits of making your own coffee beverage mean that you control the ingredients. You know exactly how many calories are in it. And you’ll spend a lot less money than you would at your local coffee shop. …

Yes, he did

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Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

It seems impossible that Donald Trump could say anything that would shock any of us any longer. At some point, you grow numb. But here we go again.

You’ve seen the headlines. When asked on Wednesday if he would concede power peacefully, Trump told reporters, “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.”

He continued, “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster.” …

Why do people still support this controversial president?

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Image by John Hain from Pixabay

I have struggled long and hard to understand how many Americans continue their unwavering support for a president whose administration has constantly lied to the American people and has failed miserably at handling a global pandemic.

Some of the bizarre things we have witnessed from Trump include:

This one is for the girls

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Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

I have a nine-year-old daughter, and I don’t want her heading into a world that is bleaker for women than the one I entered decades ago. We can’t go backward. It’s time to fight.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not one to back down from a challenge. …

New research shows exercise may help us bounce back from stressful events

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Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

I doubt I need to get into the many reasons many of us are feeling extra stressed these days. Stress is dire when it’s longterm. The effects can be damaging not only to our state of mind but also to our physical health.

It’s not always possible to avoid stress in our daily lives. But when stress becomes chronic, it leads to a host of health problems. These can include heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression.

The key is less about avoiding stress and more about how you react to it. …

Try something different to turn your bad mood around

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Photo by Arthur Humeau on Unsplash

We don’t need to talk about why we’re all feeling bad these days. Unless you’ve recently arrived from another planet, we all know things have been rough everywhere. But it doesn’t mean we have to spend all of our time in misery.

Here are some ideas to help boost your mood when you’re feeling down.

#1: Exercise

Although it’s commonly known that exercise can boost your mood, I added it first on the list because it works so well. A study from Harvard Health found that 15 minutes a day of intense exercise or one hour of moderate exercise reduced depression in participants. …

If you’re going to hate on listicles, don’t read my listicle

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Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

At the end of the day, when my brain is fried, and I can no longer do heavy thinking, I turn to Buzzfeed for their easy to read and meaningless listicles. Buzzfeed has perfected the art of the listicle. They know their readers are looking for bite-sized information that can be quickly consumed.

But not every writer on the Internet has mastered the listicle. It is such an easy sounding concept. List writing. It tricks many a writer into believing it is effortless to write.

A listicle can be a fantastic way to disseminate complex concepts where readers tend to skim articles looking for pertinent information. Or it can be an escape for your brain, like the Buzzfeed articles I love. …

Every Child Matters

Can parents still make it fun?

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Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

Hayrack rides, corn mazes, school parties, trick-or-treating. Are all of the typical kid activities off the table due to COVID?

This is the time of year when I am usually desperately searching the internet for an original looking costume for my daughter (I’m not that crafty at making my own.) But this year is different. This year my daughter hasn’t decided yet what she wants to be for Halloween.

She won’t have a school parade or party to show off her costume. We won’t attend any parties, and I can’t even tell her whether or not we will be able to go trick-or-treating. …

From black toenails to bleeding nipples, I’ve got you covered.

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Photo by Des Tan on Unsplash

I’ll never forget the day my toenail fell off. It had been turning black during marathon training. A few days after running the marathon, it fell off completely. Surprisingly, this wasn’t at all painful. I did have to keep a bandaid on the toe as the skin was sensitive, and it felt uncomfortable when it ran up against something.

The worst of it was how unsightly it was. Luckily, it was autumn in Chicago. Too chilly for open-toed shoes until summer. And by then, enough of a stubby little toenail had grown to be able to cover it with polish.

But a missing toenail wasn’t going to end my training. …

Poetry Prompt

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Image by silverstrike24 from Pixabay

The cicadas sing at the end of the day.
On a delicate breeze, the tall grasses sway.
A slight hint of autumn is in the wind.
This strange COVID summer draws to an end.

Evening falls as I contemplate.
Bad feelings begin to evaporate.
Sweet smells of garden herbs waft my way.
Parsley, thyme, and rosemary’s pungent bouquet.

My dog sits companionably at my feet. …

I’ve been down the rabbit hole of ‘Dead Twitter’ to find it’s alive and well

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Image by Darvin Santos from Pixabay

The recently deceased Herman Cain has been Tweeting up a storm from beyond the grave. Although he died of COVID-19 after attending a non-socially distanced Trump rally without a mask on, it turns out his ghost is still a strong advocate on the side that the coronavirus isn’t so bad.

A recent tweet has since been deleted, but nothing on Twitter ever truly goes away, and screenshots of said tweet can be found all across social media. Herman’s account had tweeted, “it looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be.”

Although it’s well known that Herman Cain has left this earth, he still has a verified Twitter account with that coveted blue checkmark next to his name. …

HBO Max’s “Lovecraft Country” shines a light on racism in the North

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Photo by T. Q. on Unsplash

In HBO’s new series “Lovecraft Country,” the three main characters find themselves driving through a “sundown county” when they are stopped by a racist sheriff. Although they hadn’t committed any crimes, the sheriff made it clear that their crime was being Black in a county where Blacks were not allowed to be seen past dark.

It’s a particularly chilling scene as the sheriff informs them they have only minutes left to get out of the county limits before the sun goes down. …

More than just a leisurely pleasure, taking a bath can improve wellbeing

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Back in the days when I had more time on my hands, I loved to take a luxurious and steamy bath. But since I have become a mom, the number of times I sat relaxing in the tub have been few. Perhaps it is time for a change.

Baths are a form of self-care that most of us can access. There’s a multitude of health benefits, some proven by science and others anecdotal. But there is the indisputable feeling of inner peace I have when soaking in a hot bath.

I’m not the only one that loves a bath. The ritual of bathing was significant in ancient times. …

I need a change in my life, and yoga is my catalyst.

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Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

As a health and fitness writer, it’s rather embarrassing to admit that I have been falling into various bad habits since March. When the pandemic first began and almost everyone went into quarantine, stress was high, and I decided to let some things go.

But we are now five months into a global pandemic with no signs it’s letting up soon. We’re also in the midst of an extremely contentious election season. It’s a tough time to be an American, and if I want to eat an Oreo cookie now and then, I’m going to do so.

However, without feeling comfortable enough to head back to the gym in my imminent future, I need to be a bit more aware of just how many treats I’m indulging in. It’s not that I haven’t been active. I’ve been running and going for walks with my family almost every day. But that’s all I’ve been doing. No strength training, no yoga classes, no stretching. This has all led to my hamstrings tightening up and my hip flexors giving me pain when I sit cross-legged on the floor. Not to mention without any kind of activity that quiets my mind, I’ve been feeling the full effects of perpetual stress for five months straight. …

How to ditch the store-bought spaghetti sauce forever

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Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Everyone needs some go-to recipes with few ingredients that they can pull out of their pantry and get dinner on the table within half an hour. On those nights you’re starving and exhausted, with no dinner plans, the temptation for take-out is strong. But if you’ve got ingredients on hand, you can avoid the cost and calories from eating out.

Spaghetti with marinara sauce is one of those easy meals that are perfect for busy weeknights. …

Medium Publications by ILLUMINATION Writers

A publication by Jennifer Geer

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Photo by Jose Mizrahi on Unsplash

Dr. Mehmet Yildiz has done it again. He’s offering writers of his publication, ILLUMINATION, the opportunity to promote publications we have created. And this is the heart of why I love ILLUMINATION. It’s about writers supporting each other. Writing can be a lonely business, and it helps to find your tribe. I’ve found mine at ILLUMINATION.

What’s the purpose of Exploring Wellness?

Exploring Wellness is a publication dedicated to navigating the path to finding your wellbeing. …

You’ll want to work out every day if you love it

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Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

I love to run. I would run every day if I didn’t know the importance of recovery time and cross-training days, especially now that I’m in my 40s. I love to run so much that at times when I have been unable to run due to an injury, I found myself running in my dreams.

Because I have such bliss with my running, I used to think everyone should run. …

Winter is coming and it’s going to be rough

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Every year doctors recommend that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot. However, not everyone gets the flu vaccine. According to the CDC, in the US during the 2018–2019 flu season, 62.6% of children aged 2 to 17 and 45.3% of adults over the age of 17, received the vaccine.

The usual flu season is bad enough, but compound it with Covid-19, and we are poised to head into a very nasty winter altogether.

Each year since 2010, in America, the flu causes an average of:

  • 9 million to 45 million illnesses
  • 12,000 to 61,000 deaths per…

And that pretty much sums up 2020 for me.

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Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

If you’re not familiar with Nextdoor, it’s a platform where communities can come together and share information on their local area. As Nextdoor states on its website, “we believe that by bringing neighbors together, we can cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on.”

It’s a lovely sentiment. And before recent events, I would have believed it to be true. In my local community, people generally do help each other out on this platform by providing recommendations for things like furnace repair vendors and lawn cutting services, or posts for lost dogs.

At least, that is what my Nextdoor community used to be like. But now. Well, now it’s yet another opportunity for people to scream at each other over recommended cloth facial coverings used to stop the spread of a deadly disease. …

Write something new, at least for the day

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Image by Jackson David from Pixabay

You have heard all of the reasons why freelance writers should have a niche. I am not here to disagree with any of those reasons. Those reasons are sensible and most likely correct. When you have a niche, you are the expert, the specialist, the go-to writer in that field. You can charge more for your writing as an expert. And you will spend less time writing because you are familiar with the topic. It’s a winning situation.

Yet, there are several reasons you may not want to stick to one niche.

  • You are a new writer and haven’t found your niche yet. …

Your dog may be the ultimate running buddy

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Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

I currently have two pugs. Not the best breed for going on long runs, although great at sprinting short distances. But they run out of steam quickly, sides heaving, tongues hanging out, panting loudly as only a pug can pant.

I used to have the best canine running companion. She has long since left us. She was not only a fast runner but had endurance for miles. She was a big dog, a mixed breed of some unknown origin.

As a rescue dog, she had some anxiety issues, and I am fairly certain she needed our runs for her mental health as much as I did. Her only weakness as a running partner was her extreme hate for all other dogs. …

I’ve reached 1,000 followers. Does it matter?

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Photo by Michelle Tresemer on Unsplash

When I published my first Medium story about seven months ago, I had zero followers. When I clicked publish, I wasn’t sure if a single soul would ever see my article. But a few souls did see it.

Somehow, someone found it and read it. And shortly after that story, I picked up four followers. And I loved and appreciated those first four followers. I still do.

Fast forward seven months later, I have recently reached a personal Medium milestone with my 1,000th follower. …

A FOMO poem, written in quarantine

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

The days have blurred. The nights the same.
Too many lies I’ve heard; everyone to blame.
Wash your hands. Close the schools.
Don’t touch the mail. Follow the rules.

I stay inside. I don my mask.
A virus kills. I know my task.
Disinfect the house. Disinfect it all.
Oh, crap. I’m running out of Lysol.

That was then. Now it’s changed.
My Facebook feed is rearranged.
Pools, vacations, dining out.
I see you. Your maskless face you flout.

Yet, I’m still at home. Am I the only one?
You’ve no idea how much I want lockdown done.
But can’t you see the growing list of dead?
What makes you think the ground is safe to tread?

It hardly matters. Never mind.
You do your thing. I’ll do mine.
There will come a day this thing will end.
We will meet for coffee. I’m still your friend.

Avocados don’t need fancy ingredients

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Image by Michael Shivili from Pixabay

I’m all about simplicity in my cooking. The sooner I can get out of the kitchen and start eating, the better. Fresh ingredients are perfect for uncomplicated recipes where their natural flavors shine.

And nothing is more simple than guacamole. It’s best made with very few ingredients, all of them fresh. Don’t even think about using garlic powder or store-bought lime juice on your avocados.

The best guacamole I ever had was at a tiny Mexican restaurant where the waitress wheeled out a cart full of ingredients and mashed the guacamole right at the table in front of us. …

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