Pressure, Pushing Down on Me… Admit it the song just jumped into your head and, catchy and as beloved this classic Queen anthem is with the powerful voices of Freddy Mercury and David Bowie, I think we have all had enough pressure over the last 12 months.
As I sat here contemplating how this post should be a clever play on words all about pressure cooking and canning my mind took an entirely different turn towards self-care and caring for those around us. Stating the obvious, we are all under a lot of pressure and everyone handles it differently. With COVID, job and economic uncertainties, at home teaching (still), social inequalities and political differences and, just general chaos of this last year we are all tuckered out.
Happily, I see some light at the end of the tunnel that I feel may no longer be a freight train and I remind myself to put my head down and power through because there is hope paired with action. But, even with the vaccine roll-out and the promise of better days in the months to come, if you do not take enough care of yourself getting to the finish line will be really hard and I want us all to cross it like Usain Bolt after 3 double espressos.
So for a little fun or to relieve some of that pressure for all you "Pot Heads" out there (as those who are in love with their Instant Pots or other pressure cookers are known) I have created a quick at a glance pressure cooking reference guide for the side of the fridge or cabinet door. And below have added some of my pressure relieving techniques from the last 388 days. But who is counting?
*I am by no means a professional and the only Ph.D. I have is from the school of hard knocks (Magna Cum Laude, I might add) but I have a list of small things I try to do each day and perhaps you might find some of these helpful as well. For me, many activities are centered around cooking or the kitchen because it is something I really enjoy. The key is to find your joy.
- Make yourself a cup of tea vey deliberately. Slow, methodical and in your favorite cup. While waiting for the water to boil make a list of good things, happy times, goals, inspirations, travel destinations, whatever gets you excited about where you have been and where you are going. Maybe not today, but soon!
- Start a cycle of encouragement. Tell someone near you what you appreciate about them.
- Prepare a meal, no matter how simple. Light those candles. Use the fancy plates!
- Go for a walk.
- Listen to music you love. Loud. Dance all by yourself if you are inclined.
- Make yourself a gourmet grilled cheese and some tomato soup. Comfort food is called that for a reason.
- If you see something on social media that you do not like.….. Keep on scrolling!
- Cook a delicious meal using ingredients you rarely splurge on with the theme of somewhere you want to travel.
- Commit to posting mostly or only positive things on social media for a while.
- Reorganize something. Your closet, pantry, spice drawer, coat closet, under the kitchen sink. Organization gives you control over your environment.
- Write a real letter or send a postcard to someone you care about.
- Invite your friends or family to cook together over zoom or Facebook. Sit down to eat together and talk throughout the meal. While not the same it is a great alternative and the important part is staying connected. And, very soon immunized families can be together again!
- Turn off the news. Turn off your phone and step away from the computer for a whole day.
- Make sure to laugh. At yourself, funny pet memes or giggling baby videos. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress.
Lastly, just remember that this too shall pass.
Like a kidney stone. But it will pass.
Hopefully, that made you laugh. Go ahead, it's good for you!
Missing you all more than you can even imagine,