today is a banana bread kinda day..
It's so easy to feel helpless when faced with the enormity of major disaster. And as there are just so many major events happening in the world right now it's so easy to be overwhelmed by it all. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and that everything is beyond your control? For me it’s make something, I either paint or I cook. It soothes me to think that something that I make might bring cheer to someone at this tough time, even if only in a very small way…so today I am coping with the problems of the world by making pumpkin soup and banana bread.
Of course our hearts go out to all of those dealing with the terrible situation in the Ukraine and also here at home dealing with the floods in Queensland. Being an empath at this time is really hard, don’t you think. My anxiety is through the roof this week and I am already avoiding looking at the news, not because I don’t care, but because I feel at a loss as to how I can usefully help or have any impact.
Not only are we feeling this global pain we are still managing all of our day to day worries…paying the bills, work issues, kids homework, the dog pooing all over the kitchen floor 3 nights in a row (yes really) and sick family and friends. Some days we can find the strength to keep going and some days it's just not happening.
I have put together a short list of things to do that I find helpful on the hard days...I hope they help you too xx
Things to do on hard days..
Watch an uplifting movie or re-watch a TV series that you may have watched years ago...it can be comforting knowing what to expect and it often fills us with feelings of good times in the past
Listen to an inspiring podcast...i love hearing about other peoples lives and experiences
Read a fictional novel to get out of your thoughts
Take a break from your thoughts...even if only for 10 minutes and remind yourself that you don't have to listen to your worry thoughts all day
Write down your thoughts in a journal...journalling is always something I wish I did more. It does help me put my thoughts into perspective. I heard a recommendation this week to write angry pages. Have a rant and write down all your angry thoughts and get them out of your system. We have lots to feel frustrated and angry about at the moment and we don't want to take this out on others
Take a break from the news and social media
Focus on breathing...the simple act of deep breathing can make a big personal impact during times of crisis. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds. Hold this breath for two seconds, then slowly release the breath through the mouth for five seconds. Hold at "empty" for two seconds. Repeat this at least five times. We rarely breathe out fully. Give it a try x
Cook something that feels comforting or cheerful...is banana bread your go to? I hate throwing away overripe bananas x Recipe for Healthy Banana Bread here...just in case you need it too
Listen to a soothing playlist...one I love on Spotify is called Sweet Soul Sunday...good any day of the week
Create something...I saw a great idea of knitting a growth blanket. Even if you only knit or crochet one row a day it will turn into something beautiful before you know it, giving you a sense of accomplishment.
Watch something funny - I have a friend who swears by watching a Michael McKintyre clip on YouTube every night before bed for a more relaxing night's sleep...it's worth a go! :)
Healthy Banana Bread by Cookie & Kate - Recipe here
Great podcast episodes..
One of my latest podcasts discoveries is The Diary of a CEO with Steven Barlett. This sounds like a business podcast, but it isn’t. A few years ago Steven was a broke, university dropout, living in one of the worst parts of the country, alone, with nothing but a laptop and a dream. Fast forward a few years and he is now a 29 year old ex CEO of one of the UK’s fastest growing companies. He has recently become the youngest member of the Dragon’s Den panel. Each week Steven interviews guests from different backgrounds, experiences and learnings. I enjoyed this episode with Jay Shetty, author of the best-selling Think Like a Monk. Here they discuss the 3 simple things a happy life needs. Listen here
Happy Place with Fearne Cotton - Fearne interviews Tara Brach - You shouldn’t always believe your thoughts. Psychotherapist and meditation teacher Tara Brach feels freedom comes from understanding that you are not your thoughts; they’re real, but they they’re not necessarily true. Tara explains how to challenge what you think your mind is telling you, especially about yourself. Listen here
Books read this month..
Here are a few books that I have enjoyed and have been a good distraction over the last month.
The Way of Integrity - Finding the Path to your true self - Martha Beck
A New York Times best seller
Best-selling author, life coach and sociologist Martha Beck explains why 'integrity' - being in harmony with ourselves - is the key to a meaningful and joyful life.
In The Way of Integrity, Beck presents a four-stage process that anyone can use to find integrity, and with it, a sense of purpose, emotional healing, and a life free of mental suffering. Much of what plagues us - people pleasing, staying in stale relationships, negative habits - all point to what happens when we are out of touch with what truly makes us feel whole.
Dying to be Me - My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing - Anita Moorjani Anita freely shares all she has learned about illness, healing, fear, 'being love,' and the true magnificence of each and every human being! This is a book that definitely makes the case that we are spiritual beings having a human experience . . . and that we are all One! In this truly inspirational memoir, Anita Moorjani relates how, after fighting cancer for almost four years, her body -overwhelmed by the malignant cells spreading throughout her system - began shutting down. As her organs failed, she entered into an extraordinary near-death experience where she realised her inherent worth . . . and the actual cause of her disease. Upon regaining consciousness, Anita found that her condition had improved so rapidly that she could be released from the hospital within weeks . . . without a trace of cancer in her body!
Before You Knew My Name - Jacqueline Bublitz
An extraordinary, unputdownable debut novel exploring trauma, connection, and our cultural obsession with dead girls.
'This astonishing debut turns the traditional crime story on its head ... Darkly funny, deeply insightful and completely heartbreaking.' Petronella McGovern, author of Six Minutes
'The most wonderful book. Unusual, beautiful, feminist, gripping, deserves to win prizes. I loved it so much.' Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups