Mind your mind: A recipe for self-care

Ingredients:

  • One or more friends — you can tailor this number to your emotional and social needs
  • A self-moderated number of comforting beverages — may or may not be alcoholic
  • One or more servings of comfort food — I prescribe a considerable amount of carbohydrates to sustain feelings of satiety and contentedness
  • One comfortable nesting area, tailored to your needs — a cozy café, your couch or bed, a pillow fort, a towel on the beach
  • A healthy dose of sunlight — I recommend the comforting glow of candlelight if sunlight is inaccessible, because after all, this is Vancouver

(Optional)

  • Comfortable lounging clothes: onesies, pajamas, sweatpants and/or a cozy sweater
  • Visual entertainment, such as reality TV or a comedic movie. Laughter is good for the soul — perhaps also try a good book for more mental stimulation
  • A low-stress, low-stakes activity to distract or entertain you and your friends. Board games or cooking, maybe?
  • Music of your choice

Method:

  • Turn off your phone. This is strongly recommended for the best possible mental recuperation.
  • Great human experiences are created over shared experiences, so grab a human who you enjoy spending time with and who you won’t mind being vulnerable around. It’s easy to feel like you must go through life alone, but that’s only a mindset you’ve boxed yourself into. It can be unsettling to open up, but people care about you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them.
  • Get comfortable in an environment you like or feel okay being yourself in. Don’t be afraid to take off your make-up or whatever armour, physical or emotional, you wear during the work day. Kick off your shoes. Put on some soft, loose clothes. When your body is relaxed, it will be easier for your mind to follow.
  • If you can be outside in the sun, do it. Humans, like most other living things, thrive in sunlight. Remind yourself that you can feel light and warm and that the hard times will pass.
  • People bond over a sense of community, of shared food, ideas, pain and laughter. Talk about what’s weighing on your mind, or don’t. Tell funny stories or jokes instead and laugh off your bad day. Order takeout and have a meal together. If that’s not appealing, put on some music and cook food together. Just do something uncomplicated with the person or people who care about you, because burdens are always lighter when shared.
  • Enjoy this break from reality and responsibility, and repeat when necessary.