Sometimes the best way to cope with anxiety, loneliness, and sadness is to force yourself to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house. Staying busy is almost always better than spending the day(s) laying in bed sleeping or binge watching netflix. ALMOST always.
Today is an exception to that rule. Today, hot chocolate is the answer.
I’m on my second cup of the day and right now it’s the only thing bringing me a remote amount of pleasure. The warmth is comforting and the sweet taste reminds me of the times my mom would make me a cup of hot chocolate after an afternoon playing in the snow or the times my dad would get me hot chocolate to drink during the Santa Claus parade. There’s something so nostalgic about the drink and it brings me a feeling of being cared for, even if I’m the one who has to make it for myself these days.
It’s funny because sitting here all curled up in my warm blankets in my warm bed with my warm hot chocolate I feel like it’s the middle of winter. I keep thinking that if I look outside my window I’ll see a blizzard and a blanket of snow but in reality it’s warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Yet, the warmth that I’ve surrounded myself with right now is bringing me the same comfort that it would bring on a cold snowy night. It’s nice. This is as close to self-care as I’ve come in quite a while.
I know it seems cliche, but sometimes it really is the little things that make all the difference. I’ve been having a hard time coping with all of the changes that life has been throwing my way recently and there doesn’t seem to be much that can really pull me out of this habit of self-isolation and negative thinking. But taking small steps to do something for myself that I find comfort in has done more to improve my happiness in the last 30 minutes than anything else has all week (with the exception of therapy–talking to my therapist trumps hot chocolate any day).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to spend some time in bed sleeping or reading or watching Netflix or whatever it is that you do to cope. You don’t have to leave your house every day to prove to the world that you can cope with life. If you are getting through each day and surviving without hurting yourself, you are coping. While it may not be the best idea to spend weeks and weeks in bed without leaving the house, it’s okay to take a break if you need one.
So go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate or tea or maybe bake some cookies or make a DIY banana split. Do whatever you need to do to feel better (as long as it won’t hurt you) so that you can bounce back and live your best life. Don’t let other people dictate how you cope with the rough patches in life. Getting out for fresh air and keeping yourself busy are important, but it’s also important to give yourself a chance to process through all of the tough stuff and recuperate. In my experience a nice healthy dose of hot chocolate is a great place to start.