In Partnership with…
On my fourteenth round of trying Doja Cat’s “Say So” dance, I realized it was time to let it go.
Sweat dripping down my blemished skin, making its way down to my bony clavicle, I realized that it just wasn’t working. I had failed. I immediately deleted the video on TikTok and threw my iPhone into the kitchen. It was already 1:13 p.m. and I hadn’t accomplished a single thing except trying to learn a viral dance that wouldn’t even make it into my group chat.
Was I okay? Why was I attempting to launch a TikTok? Was this my version of spiraling at a time of quarantine? I didn’t have an answer.
Like most Americans, ever since COVID-19 upended our lives, my mental health has been iffy at best. I’ve distracted myself by eating bags full of carbs and crunchy fried things, scrolling through Instagram to keep me busy, while writing on the side to get my mind off of things. But every time I read about how our president is handling this with grave incompetence, or nurses dying on the frontlines to save those with coronavirus, or how people are protesting to come out of quarantine, I spiral. My urge to scream is assuaged by my lack of energy. Though I know how grateful I should be – I have a bed to sleep on at night, food to eat, friends to call – it feels me with insurmountable guilt knowing that thousands are dying while I’m complaining about TikTok.
That same morning, I received a package from the CBD brand called oHHo. I’d opened the package, where I discovered two separate paper cylinders with illustrations of Colorado and New York. How funny, I thought, thinking the universe was pulling a fast one on me. I’m currently in self-isolation in Colorado, my new place of residence, while New York had been my home for the past decade. Was this a sign? If anything, it felt kismet.
Regardless, I expressed much gratitude as I was in need of something to calm my anxiety. Turns out both locations are core to oHHo‘s business as both locations are where they farm their CBD. One strain is from the mountains of Colorado, the other, the valleys of, well, Hudson Valley. The two states are the crux of oHHo and it was ironic that it was the same for me. Similarly, both Colorado, my place of birth, and New York, where my career was nurtured, were essential to the person I became. As I pored over the thought, I realized it triggered me into a state of nostalgia.
As it’s described, nostalgia is a “longing for the past,” or remembrance of a period or place that connects with a happy memory. Nostalgia also derives from the two Greek words: Nostos, which means “return home” and “algos,” which means pain. Together, it means homesickness and the pangs you get when you think about your past. Nostalgia then, in its essence, is a mix between pleasure and pain. It both punches you in the gut, but somehow makes your smile.
Recent studies have shown how powerful nostalgia is for your well-being, even going so far to conclude that it’s the antidote to fear. According to one Rutgers University finding, nostalgia is the only tool that can “help restore a sense of meaning in life.” One researcher there concluded that nostalgia allows humans to “think about our most meaningful relationships – the people who love us, make us feel important, and give us confidence.” Ultimately, nostalgia is so potent because it reminds us of who were were and how we still matter.An article from reiterates this notion and explains how nostalgia’s primary function is to make sense of our ever-changing emotions and allows us to make sense of it all. “You were once the person who visited your grandmother and hosted dinner parties, and you’re still that person, even though you can’t do those things right now,” the article emphasizes.
In that moment, I remember having a That’s So Raven type of flashback, and traveled back to my humble one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment. The humble walk-up has three plants in one corner, though two have died. There’s a tiny stove that sits next to my L-shaped IKEA couch. As I open my window, a hum of Caribbean music blasts through, its based booming through my concave chest. A block party is about to begin. I walk down my stairs and outside, take a left towards the Brooklyn Museum. With an iced oat milk latte in hand, I wind my way through the bustling farmer’s market. There, I bump into an editor colleague from my past, we briefly catch up before she gives me a warm hug.
Back in the present, I tear into both Colorado and New York tinctures and place a few drops under my tongue. I hope it will calm my sporadic mind, one that has difficulty retaining information as of late. oHHo suggests trying .25 ml and then increasing by .25 ml until you reach 1 ml max. In my case, I take .5 ml, wait a few seconds, and swallow the oil. Instantly, my brain feels as if it’s embraced by a supernatural force. I move to lay on my back and gently closed my eyes. It feels warm and I feel secure, as if a heavy blanket sits on my abdomen. The sensation allows me to stop time – no more nostalgia, just the present moment.
When I later ask the brand about this #brainhug sensation, they explain to me that it’s very normal. After all, CBD – aka cannabinoid – brings our bodies back into homeostasis.
CBD – aka Cannabidiol – is one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The primary cannabinoid in oHHo’s oils helps bring bodies back into homeostasis. The reason their products work in the way they do is because they are full spectrum (which, if you need a refresher, go here) – not just including CBD but many other cannabinoids as well, enhancing the overall benefits.
It works in tandem with our own endocannabinoid system, which regulates and balances the body, including our immune response, communication between cells, metabolism, memory, sleep, among many other functions. A CBD like oHHo, then, allows your body to come back into balance.
“For some this could be sleep, for others, anxiety, and still for others, inflammation,” the brand tells me. “If your brain was feeling particularly overloaded when you tried it then perhaps your system responded to oHHo by calming it down and trying to bring you back into a more restful state.”
For me, the CBD oil stopped my mind in its tracks. After my brief meditation, I opened my eyes back to the world, refreshed and renewed. I conclude that while nostalgia is indeed powerful, it’s best used in small doses for times when you feel as if you’re helpless. For the day-to-day, it’s truly being present, practicing discipline in the moment, and conquering your fears with your own volition.
Nostalgia be damned – if I can make it in New York, I can make it through quarantine.
To get oHHo, check out weareohho.com
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