I think it’s fair to say that we are living in very uncertain times; living through a situation in which none of us could have possibly imagined. Most of us are pretty scared and looking for comfort.
As well as the dreadful uncertainty of who might have the virus, when we might get it ourselves, whether we will need hospital treatment, how our family will be etc. we are all trying desperately hard to keep our own and our families mental health in good check. As a mum to two kids, a wife to a man with Multiple Sclerosis (classed as vulnerable) and with three elderly parents, the current situation is just horrendous. I totally understand the anxiety. And I also understand the need to keep it under control and keep my family functioning and well, both mentally and physically.
We need comfort. And we must find it. I recently read a magazine article (before the virus outbreak) which talked about finding comfort in many different ways to help us through difficult times. Well, how apt. I’m now pulling together my own “comfort library” so that I can take out the things I need when I need them.
So what is a comfort library?
It is quite simply collection of things you should make use of when you feel anxious and stressed. These should be simple things we can access around our own homes, and with the prospect of being in our homes for the next 12 weeks, there is quite literally no better time than right now to create your comfort library.
This is something that will differ a lot between people, but if I tell you what’s in mine, then I’m sure you can easily create your own, and also create one for your kids.
Think of all your senses and how you might soothe each of them. So for me, I love a nice cup of tea and I have a favourite mug. To start the day with the perfect cup of tea, in my favourite mug, which looks and feels so satisfying, I’m taking small pleasures in that. Perhaps you love hot chocolate, or a really lovely chamomile tea – go for it – sit down and savour it and think about the feel of the mug in your hands and the sensation of having that lovely soothing hot drink.
And whilst we are thinking about touch, the next item in my library is a lovely soft fleecy blanket we keep in our living room – even if I’m not cold, whilst we have been in these past few days, I’m putting the blanket over my legs and enjoying the lovely gentle feel of it, and enjoying feeling cosy. My dogs have also very much been on my knee too. They are a very integral part of my comfort.
So whilst in your living room, perhaps you’re going to have a bit more time to watch TV than you normally do, can you choose to watch a TV programme you find comforting and distracting. I can barely watch the news at the moment, so I’m trying to watch super-gentle and possibly funny TV programmes. For me, my ultimate comfort TV is Miranda, it never fails to make me laugh. You might not like that, but you must have an old TV show that you love, like maybe Friends, or Vicar of Dibley, or even The Goode Life, anything that is total escapism and reminds you of lovely calm times.
Alongside what you might choose to watch, what about music – you’ve got to have some music in your life, and you should put it on full-blast and dance round your kitchen, maybe on your own, or with your kids. Choose music that gives you good memories and amazing feel-good vibes. This will obviously differ very much from person to person. This week I’ve been totally digging The Pixies Doolittle, turned up very loud. Because it reminds me of being 16 when I was cool and felt invincible.
If you’re not into music, what other sounds give you comfort? The sound of birds singing? Sit in your garden and just listen. Or do you love the sound of waves crashing on a beach – search it up on YouTube and get listening.
And once you’ve watched your comfort TV with your soft blanket or your pet on your knee (my dogs have been cuddled to within an inch of their lives this week), you need to think about smells you might find comforting. Light a candle or burn an essential oil. Lavender is the obvious stress-relieving oil but you can check out my other blog on other oils that work a treat. And if you are after a candle then check out my friend Nikki’s new range of candles.
I love a bath, and quite often don’t have time for one, but I will certainly make time over the coming days. I’ll be putting shed loads of bath salts into the bath and taking a good book in with me. Choose books that are really gripping and escapism or lovely feel-good stories.
Hopefully you are getting the picture now. You must take moments each day to find some calm. Today my phone ran out of battery and with nowhere to go, I decided not to recharge it and have a break from social media. And that has made the most enormous difference to my wellbeing today. This evening I feel much calmer and more resigned to this situation. Can you give yourself a break from endlessly scrolling through horror stories about people who are ill, or people who have had fights over toilet roll? Reading those posts are not going to help you in anyway.
I hope you have found this helpful. Please go away and find your comfort. And remember that this is temporary, it will pass. We cannot control what is happening out there right now, but we CAN control our attitude towards it.
Stay safe, stay well and stay home xxxxxx