Self Care Soup. The most comforting of all the universally comforting comfort foods.
This time of year is a huge struggle for me with the children and always has been, even before setting up my indie biz. Groundhog Day feels and cabin fever take their toll.
This year I had an epiphany (I chatted about it on my insta stories). I'm an extrovert and when I'm isolated for extended periods of time, it affects my mental health.
During the school holidays my routine is different, my personal and professional space is invaded and, to quote the freshest of Princes, my life got flip-turned upside down.
Even the little things, like chats with the other parents at school, teachers or the lady in the shop suddenly stopping (or being replaced with *constant* children chatter), has a huge affect on me.
It's like opposite Seasonal Affective Disorder. (I started singing Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey in my head when I realised and continue to sing it when I catch myself feeling that way).
The paradox though, is still needing that downtime and quiet time and recharge time and just, well, ME time.
Spending *every bloody minute* with the kids over the summer sort of removes that option (or at least makes it very difficult). It takes away your autonomy. So my mission now is to find ways to make those periods of rest and recharge a priority. To consciously seek them out, do them, plan them and schedule them. Like a date night with myself.
I’m hugely aware that what makes you happy and content is very much a personal and individual thing.
But I kind of like to think of it like a recipe and the actions and activities are like ingredients.
There are a bunch of ingredients that we know are good for us, some that we know to have in moderation. Some ingredients are our favourite flavours, some aren’t to our taste at all and some disagree with us completely, set off our allergies and make us poorly.
Self care soup. The most comforting of all the universally comforting comfort foods.
And each time we make it, we make it slightly differently. Some things aren’t always doable but it’s best to keep our pantry stocked with lots of things so we don't rely on those ingredients which are comforting but should only be used now and then.
Here are a list of ingredients that make up my Self Care Soup. Some I do without thinking, some I know I need to do more of and some I know that I need to do less of. However, they’re all things that make me feel better while I’m doing them or after I’ve done them.
- Singing loudly (like, proper belting out as loud as I can)
- Being at the beach
- Cuddling the pets
- Eating a yummy treat
- Going for tea and cake with friends
- Going for a drive
- Chatting to my favourite people
- Playing a board game
- Doing a jigsaw puzzle
- A long bath
- Watch a musical
- Choosing what is on the TV
- Doing my hair
- Listening to a podcast
- Watching Carrie Hope Fletcher’s vlogs
- Watch an old movie
- Playing a video game
- Taking care of my appearance
- Sitting by myself in a cafe
- Sunday Roast
- Walking the dogs
- Spending time with family
- Play my ukulele
- Listen to old music
- Listen to cheesey music
- Listen to classical music
- A cup of tea
- Lie on my bed
- Watch crappy tv
- Funny YouTube videos
- Having a good tidy up
- Being in a forest
- Seeing friends
- Spending time with the children individually.
What would you put in your self care soup? What comforting but overused ingredient can you let go of or cut down on? What simple thing had you forgotten all about that soothes your soul?
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