Everything is fucking nuts right now.
2020 has seen bushfires, floods, shock deaths, climate change acceleration, nation-wide drought, and a global pandemic. And it’s only March.
Wave after wave of bad news fills our feeds. Even places like Instagram, where we go to escape the day and look at pretty things, seem to be littered with reminders on how we can be better and all the things that need fixing. It’s overwhelming, as my biggest stresses of how I’ll pay my rent each week pales in comparison to those of climate refugees, or those stuck in self-isolation, or running amidst political turmoil.
When it seems like all I can do is wash my hands and visit my local package-free store and ride my bike instead of driving. I know the little things do count, and our individual choices add to collective groundswells of action, but still: the helplessness is suffocating.
I don’t want to think about it all.
So this morning I’m making this list, for myself and for anyone who feels like I do right now. A list of ways we can find joy and keep up hope, some happy things to remember, and good news that may have slipped through the cracks in your news feed. I’m sure this small message has been written countless times already, but I guess it stays important as long as we stay living amidst this wild world. It’s something I can contribute to the world right now, and it’s a start.
Here’s some stuff that makes me happy:
- Baking. Or more so, eating the baking. This recipe is my absolute fave and worth a try. If your supermarket is out of flour like mine was (thanks boomers, calm down), try nutella on toast with popcorn on top. Or dumplings - always dumplings.
- Wear your favourite clothes. Even just around the house. Dress pretty for yourself.
- Watch some uplifting or funny Netflix. Put your phone away and find something else to do with your hands like knitting or fiddling with some lint, I don’t care: just keep the news source far away. I recommend Queer Eye because Jonathan Van Ness is a hero, or (obviously) Brooklyn 99.
- Take notice of your own feelings and accept them as they come. It doesn’t matter what causes them, but it matters that you are kind to yourself and live your truth.
- Swim in the ocean. I know it’s already getting cold and maybe the ocean is so far away, but there’s something about that sea-salt soak, getting pummelled by waves, and being physically a part of something unimaginably large. It just strips away your problems.
- Drink heaps of water. Being uber hydrated always helps.
- If you’re feeling healthy, go donate blood or plasma. They have the good Tim Tams - it’s worth it. Then continue on that giving buzz - reach out to a local community centre or old people’s home and donate some time to walk dogs or pick up groceries for those who might need it at the moment. Contribute to Good Bitches Baking or plant a tree with Million Metres. Anything helps.
- Make your bed up nice with clean sheets and a fluffy blanket.
- Order some fresh flowers! #shamelessplug but seriously so worth. Supporting small businesses anywhere is a winner all around.
- Send nice messages to your friends, especially those you’ve lost touch with or who live far away. Or call your grandparents! My Nana will chat to me about the weather and what’s in her garden and it lasts about 10 minutes but I know it makes her day.
- Ask for help with whatever you’re struggling with.
- Look up cute dog videos. Or cute whatever videos. Here is a kiwi getting excited about a food package, a penguin chasing a butterfly, and a dog meeting the lifesize version of it’s favourite toy. You’re welcome.
- Do your laundry, deal with those emails, and buy some healthy groceries. Also, exercise maybe. None of this taking a bath and lighting candles bullshit, it’s time for practical self-care.
Some of it might be hard and some of it might be unproductive. But maybe worth a shot.
Most of all, I want to know what you do to take a break from the world and make yourself your own #1 priority. Comment here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM me on Instagram at @bloomsday_nz
You’re so welcome here and I’m always here for a chat if you need it.