We all have our own ways of comforting ourselves, with certain methods being notoriously healthier than others.
This week, I am reflecting on what recipes I currently have for coping with life, and in particular, my go-to comforters for when stress rears it’s head.
I use the analogy of a recipe book because 1. I like food, 2. it all lines up nicely with the cooking imagery I use in my Story Chefs writing workshops and 3. it makes the subject more relatable to more people.
So, what do I currently do to comfort myself and what have I done in the past?
In no particular order, and with no self-judgement, I have over the years been a nail biter, hair puller, smoker, sugar addict, yogi, over-eater, alcohol binge drinker, sleeper (when suffering from depression I could sleep for 16 hours or more), writer, walker, talker (with trusted family&friends and a therapist), pet owner and TV watcher. There may be more but for now, those are the ones that spring to mind and quite honestly, I am surprised about how many there are.
As expected, the list contains a mixture of healthy and not-so-healthy ones and so I have broken them down like this:
Healthy self-comfort methods
Walking, writing, owning pets, sleeping/resting (in moderation), talking with family/friends, therapy, exercise
Unhealthy self-comfort methods
Nail biting, hair pulling, smoking, excessive sugar/food/alcohol/TV intake
Since I began this journey of self acceptance five years ago, I have been working hard to tip the balance from unhealthy to healthy and am proud to have quit most of the unhealthy choices and to be working quitting the remaining ones.
My most recent milestone has been to quit the smoking, which I began to do when I was 16, a transition point I found particularly stressful, and I am immensely proud to have done it. I’ve quit smoking a few times before but this time it feels different; I want to live and smoking kills – it’s been a huge middle finger to the unworthiness I have carried around for a long time and one that I know is going to change my life ten-fold, in fact it already has.
But, I’m unhappy though because I have replaced it with over-eating and particularly, over-eating sugary treats. I have had many a binge moment over the last few months and, whilst I am totally aware that a blow out every now and again is healthy, it has become a daily thing for me and I am eager to catch it now before it gets worse.
Writing has become a huge comfort for me and whilst I do daily journalling (which I have named my daily comfort writing ), I think that I am also in need of some new recipes in my cookbook of life to ensure that I keep healthy in both body and in mind.