It’s Day 22 Of Quarantine And My Mind Is On A Coping-Loop

Day 22 quarantine
Day 22 quarantine

Captains log… I joke, but not really.

This is a dream right? I ask myself this many, many times a day.

Last night I had a nightmare, then I woke up and remembered the global pandemic and thought, that has to be another nightmare. But reality eventually floated to the surface… no, this is real.

My mind is on a coping loop. Something triggers the heaviness, the gravity of what is going on in the world, in my town, or maybe it’s something small that has triggered me, maybe I’ve caught a glance of one of my big kids trying to cope themselves, and I spiral.

Just before I allow myself to fall, fall off the cliff into the dark hole below, I catch myself.

I begin listing off what I am grateful for: my house, my backyard, my four kids, the freedom to go for walks, still having a job, my health.

Then I list off what is in my control: what activities I will do with my kids, what I am going to wear that day, who I can talk to through video chat, what media I will consume, something nice I can do for myself.

I pop a piece of gum in my mouth. I chew through the wave of anxiety. It fades into the background.

I’m back on solid ground again. The spiral has stopped. I move through my day.

Connect. Hugs. I love you’s. Smiles.

We get dressed. We brush our teeth. We go nowhere.

But it feels good to feel ready. Ready for the day.

I exercise. Exercise is everything. I’ve never exercised so much in my life.

I garden. Gardening is coming up for air. I keep thinking about the many, many people who can’t even step foot outside.

I run through my gratitude list again.

My mind floats to everyone I can help. I ask my parents and quarantined neighbours to send me their latest grocery list. I reach out through Instagram… anyone need to chat? I reach out to people who are alone.

Helping helps.

I ask myself, what can I do tomorrow? Donate blood? Volunteer for my local food bank?

I want to do something.

I can’t get into podcasts or audio books. I can’t even get into Netflix series… not even Tiger King. It leaves my mind too idle. I can’t follow.

Music and books. That’s my escape. Real books. The kind I have to put my glasses on for, sit down and read.

I jump back and forth between music and my book a lot of the day.

Laughter. Funny enough I am laughing a lot. The memes are a much needed bright spot in my days. I’ve always laughed in moments of grief. It’s hard-wired into me. Inappropriate laughter a bizarre little trait, but I embrace it. I love that I laugh in the darkest moments.

I remember some of what I have been told or heard…

It’s okay to feel anxiety. It’s okay to feel depression. Everyone is.

Drop perfection.

Don’t try to grow your business or your savings. Your health is your wealth right now.

Survive this.

This isn’t forever.

I don’t know who I wrote this for. Was it for me or for you? A little of both. But it felt good.

Find me on Instagram. Instastories are my lifeline. I’ll see you there.

Did I lose my identity again?

Did I lose my identity again?

This past spring I fell into a depression. I had been trucking along and a couple small events completely derailed me. I won’t get into too much detail about those specific events, but it gave me a glimpse into the future, a road I was heading down. This was a huge wakeup call which has lead to some positive changes in my life.

First, I want to mention, and remind myself that personal growth is a lifelong journey. I will never be done. Actually, I feel like that is what a lot of my thirties have been about.


This depression was hinged on the fact that I suddenly felt like my whole identity was tied up in my job, or more specifically, the industry I’m in and social media. My self worth was much too tied up in the noise that can surround telling my story through Nesting Story and it had to stop.


I slowed down, switched my focus to my family, work that was on my plate and babied myself for a few weeks.

Just as I began to pull myself out of the fog at the beginning of summer, our whole house got sick. So I rode it out. But I promised myself that I would slow down enough to enjoy summer, enjoy my family and create content for Nesting Story that I was really passionate about.

Yesterday I was one of four women who recorded a podcast together. Myself, along with three close friends in the industry discussed friendship. This almost two-hour raw and honest conversation forced me to not only self-reflect, but receive feedback from my dear friends. This feedback was surprisingly positive.

Isn’t it sad that I was surprised that they thought I was a good friend?

Since yesterday it has dawned on me, I, once again, despite promising myself I would never do this again, had lost my identity.

Nesting Story was born from a place of loneliness, isolation and a promise to myself that I would never lose my identity again. Something which I did during my first three weeks of motherhood.

creating a blog

I worked hard to not lose my identity when my twins were born, and I kept it in tact. But in the past couple years as Nesting Story has grown, I feel like I have lost my way.

Back when I switched Nesting Story over to a personal blog, and I sat at my small desk in the corner of my living room, poured my heart out in the evening to the handful of readers that I had, and buzz words like monetization, strategy, engagement, etc… never entered my mind.

corner desk

I just told my story.

A lot has changed since those days. My kids are older and my last two are beginning school. My little corner desk has turned into a large office space. Nesting Story has gained a lot of media attention. I have a team of three amazing women (and moms who I couldn’t live without) who work behind the scenes at Nesting Story. And Nesting Story has become a full-time career, providing an additional household income, taking a lot of weight off of Mike’s shoulders.

But through this amazing growth in my business, I lost who I was. Yes, I had   weekly date night with Mike, and I was secure as my identity as a wife and partner. Yes, I was constantly pouring love, time and attention into my kids, which made me know who I was as a mother.

But who was I? What was I doing for me? What did I like?

Everything else was tied up into my workaholic tendencies and I needed to go on a journey of self discovery. This realization isn’t new. The writing has been on the wall for a while… just check out the theme of my blog posts during the last year.

I am happy to announce that since writing those blog posts about finding joy, slowing down, self care and happiness, I have made some changes. Here are a few:

  • I’ve begun working out… for me, not a trip or an event. Just to feel good.
  • I’ve made sure our family is vacationing more, because I’ve realized I really like travelling with my crew.
  • I love playing Marco Polo. I know, this is an odd one. But for years when we’d go swimming at my parents’ house I’d just sit and watch our kids swim. But this summer you can find me with goggles and flippers on, swimming all around the pool. It’s so fun!
  • I love running with our dog Oliver. But, I don’t like long distance running. Two kilometres, three times a week is my sweet spot.
  • I love my friends. I have reprioritized my closest friendships and have been investing in those relationships more.

vacation with twins

You get the idea. I am finding me and it is wonderful.

When it comes to work and Nesting Story, I’m still here. In fact I am hoping this new zest for life will trickle into the content I create. I am being more selective about how much time I learning and strategizing and will be sinking more time into creating. I will be delegating more to my team so I can focus on storytelling.

But here’s the big one…

I am going to write like no one’s reading.

That might sound weird, but when I went from getting feedback from a few hundred people on one platform, to tens of thousands on multiple platforms, it messed with my head and made me hold back.

Actually I think the image of me playing Marco Polo is a perfect metaphor for what I want my life to feel like. I don’t care who’s watching, despite the fact that my kids think I look like an sickly Ninja Turtle with their googles on.

So here’s to a new chapter. An imperfect, authentic chapter full of self discovery about who I am at this stage in my life.

Joanna Venditti - Nesting Story

You can find more of Nesting Story on Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook.

I won’t let winter swallow me

What is the temperature where you live? Here, just outside of Toronto its the kind of cold that the air hurts your face. I barely venture outside, and even driving somewhere makes me groan. But I am refusing to let winter take me down with it.

Last week I wrote a post about how I was actually enjoying Christmas break. In fact the next day when I re-read it I annoyed myself. Because the next day I unravelled. Actually I unravelled the day after that too. I hit my wall, because doing multiple activities a day with my family left zero time for my introverted side to go into a quiet place and recharge. I was burnt out, peopled out and just done.

I didn’t cry though, which is a big improvement. I more just started stressing audibly about messes in our home and saying loudly, “I need school to start.”

Actually, random fact… I learned last week from my lovely husband that apparently I talk to myself… all the time. According to him I narrate my day. A habit I am assuming I picked up over the past couple years of working from home with kids in school and daycare.

So when Mike would yell, “pardon?” every five minutes from the other room and I had to yell back, “I wasn’t talking to you!” It didn’t help my fraying nerves.

Last year the winter won. I always start fighting seasonal depression each fall, but between having a bad case of strep throat in January of 2017 and immersing myself in the red hot political world of news, I fell into a black hole of despair. It took me a couple months and some big changes to pull myself out, but I finally did.

So by the end of the day on Saturday I had a choice to make. Was I going to let the winter swallow me like it did last year? No I wouldn’t allow it.

So what I am I doing about it? I am taking control. On Sunday I put my foot down and slowed down. I sent my family out of the house and enjoyed three hours of silence. I am still standing up for what works for me.

But the two biggest things of all…

I am hanging onto a routine while life is routine-less. That means setting my alarm for 6:45pm and doing our typical routine to get our twins to daycare, despite our big kids still being off for the holidays. And I am hanging onto my typical grocery shopping and meal planning routines.

I am being careful about what I watch and consume. Whether it’s a disturbing movie, the news, or even too much crappy food. I know that it is tempting to let it all in when you are mostly homebound, but I have finally learned that all of those things have a big impact on my mental state.

How do you feel this time of year? Is there a certain time of year that triggers you? Do you have any tips on how to beat the winter blues?

Here is a look back at some of our family’s summer routine  videos that I created for Baby Center. Maybe we can all take a little motivation from these routines.

Why I do what I do and the mistake I made when I became a mom

making cookies

For me, before becoming a mother, I thought motherhood was my end game. In fact for the first few years after becoming a mom, I gave up my identity thinking that is what a great mother does.

Instead that made me miserable, resentful and dull.

I realized that being a great mom meant finding my own path and still having my own identity, so that I am happy and joy-filled, which spills over to my kids and husband who I love fiercely.

Years later I made myself a promise as I lay on our couch, growing two babies inside of me, feeling my identity slip away once again…

twin pregnancy

I would live life fearlessly and share my journey with others.

My hope is that my family can connect with moms who are trying to find themselves again, who wonder if it’s okay if she takes her own path. Moms who are finding their journey very different and a little more terrifying than they anticipated. Parents who are lonely and just want to feel a little more normal. Moms who are lying on their sofas, growing life inside them, not knowing what is about to come.

I am so excited that I am now sharing my journey on Baby Center’s YouTube channel as well. Check out our first video and don’t forget to subscribe to Baby Center and hit the notification button so that you don’t miss a video!

A Day In The Life 6 (Video) – How I Learned The Hard Way That Self Care Is So Important

four kids

On this particular day I am shocked when I not only write a to-do list, but the day goes as planned and I am actually able to tackle everything on my list.

The three girls play so well, but I notice Holden is feeling a little left out, so I brainstorm ways I can include Holden.

While taking care of myself, (which was on my to-do list), I talk about how I learned the hard way that self care is so important, especially after I became a mother.

Welcome to our day…

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube so that you don’t miss a video!