What’s your go-to simple pleasure when you just need a little comfort in your life? Mine is coffee. I find it most comforting when I can drink it alone, in my sunroom, before anyone else in my household is awake. I can savor it with a little cream and steaming hot, brewed in my sturdy old coffee maker or, if I’m feeling fancy, brewed as a single-cup pour-over just for me.
I also appreciate a piping-hot cup of Caribou (my favorite local vendor) especially on a rainy day – cold drizzle outside, hot coffee inside – it just makes everything “right” in my world – at least for the moment!
The things that warm us up, make us feel good, harken back to some soft familiar memory or simply wrap us up in comfort are important to us on a lot of levels. They tug at our emotions – hopefully bringing a sense of calm and rest. They stir our senses, often our sense of smell (a very powerful sensation) and perhaps our sense of sight, feel (warmth!) or even hearing (for me, popping corn does it on ALL levels!).
Sometimes we get wrapped up in a feeling of deficit – it can happen when we feel hurried, overworked, over-scheduled, or even when we’re lacking adequate sleep/rest. It’s a feeling of insufficiency, of not having what we need, and of feeling less-than our normal selves!
Our best defense against this feeling of insufficiency is of course, to actually avoid the circumstances that drive it – avoiding unnecessary hurry, self-driven overwork, boundary-less over-scheduling and neglecting solid sleep hygiene – but, you know that.
Once we’re in the thick of those feelings of not-enough-ness, it’s important to recover!
The danger lies in seeking out less-than-healthy methods for that recovery, some of us choose:
- Shopping (even if we can’t/shouldn’t afford it) as our comfort tool.
- Alcohol (with the risk of over-indulgence) as our comfort tool.
- Sugar (which also has an interesting anesthetizing attribute) as our comfort tool.
- Self-pity (which can make us feel even worse!) as our comfort tool.
Whatever you choose, please know that you always have at your disposal, many more healthy options like:
- Exercise (as a great, mood-altering activity), especially out-doors!
- Hydration (especially if you flavor your water, with a little citrus or cucumber!)
- Tea (which can also have other healthy properties!)
- Rest (a nap is a very healthy, adult option!)
- Conversation (or even, sending a note to someone you love).
- Seeking out contact with a loving pet (your own, or the neighbor’s)
- Feeding the birds (giving back to nature always lifts your spirits!)
- Cleaning something (that junk-drawer is calling) – it make you feel so accomplished!
There are always choices we can make. Sometimes, in the moment, we forget we have choices and we default to an activity that isn’t really in our best interest. I know I’ve done that, and I suspect, you have too! But there’s always redemption and recovery! Yesterday’s poor choices can lead to today’s better choices! Old habits can be altered; unconscious “auto-pilot” actions can move toward conscious choice and be renewed as better endeavors.
I love my coffee, but I’m building a wide repertoire of healthy (and healthier) choices I can rely on for jarring me out of my moodiness or sense of insufficiency. I am enough (and so are you) and we can do better! Join me on the journey?