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Shifting perspectives on the meaning of true happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Grace Wakim

*(Image Description) Free-lance blogger Emily Ambargis discusses the transformative power of self-care routines for mental health. Her social media content inspires others to optimize their well-being and redefine society’s perception of healthy living. The account offers advice on building confidence and finding hope in the pandemic.*

GREENWICH, Connecticut — The lifestyle blog founded in March restores a lost sense of love and passion for Miami University students after it canceled in-person instruction for the spring semester.

Senior marketing major Emily Ambargis left Miami on Mar. 15 with unresolved mental health issues and body-dysmorphia.

Communication between social media users has expanded mental health movements across all platforms and made it easier to connect with different narratives. Similar to the prerequisites of a mental illness, the coronavirus is borderless; it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care about any previous conditions or the unpredictable outcomes of covid-19 on your life.

Her world at home unfamiliar and quiet, but Ambargis underestimated her willpower. Instead of fixating on the shutdown, she took action and found herself in the world’s silence.

Ambargis maximized her health by adopting new physical and emotional routines. She experienced a dramatic weight loss and used the Instagram account to share workout vides, food recipes and exciting ways to implement healthy living during quarantine.

“My transition photos were sent 17 times and I cried because I didn’t know what people were saying about me,” said Ambargis.

Although there are dangerous aspects of social media, Ambargis stimulated a society full of happiness and love.

Happiness, a familiar, yet elusive concept that humans long to acquire. As children, we unknowingly conform to society’s perception of happiness, and consequently associate it with academic or financial success.

At home, her materialistic components of success are gone, so she strengthened her self-love and worked to build an inclusive online community of fellow female college students. If success brings you happiness, but is ultimately synonymous with success, mental health is repeatedly ignored.

Ambargis is tired of falling victim to this in-genuine feeling. “There's always room for growth, don't take not being at the top as a failure. The journey is the accomplishment, but the end result is the prize.”

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