SUBSCRIBER BONUS: My most effective comfort and coping tools
Food is just one of the tools in my comfort and stress-management toolbox
On Monday, I shared an article exploring whether or not I still use food as comfort. (TL;DR: Yes, in a way that feels both soothing and mentally healthy, and it’s only one of many tools in my toolbox.) If you haven’t read it yet, start here:
In a follow-up comment, one person asked, “What else do you do to relieve anxiety, self-soothe, and manage stress?” My first Whole30 in April 2009 forced me to find other ways to navigate discomfort by taking away the foods and drinks I used to lean on so heavily. Today, I’m even more dialed in on the strategies and tools that work best for me—and I’m happy to share some of them here with you today.
But listen—none of these are ground-breaking. I haven’t discovered some super-niche technique or tool that nobody’s heard of (sadly). But sometimes we just need reminding, permission, or grace—or all three. That’s what you’ll find here.
Tool #1: Going to bed toddler-early
I have figured out that nothing helps more than throwing up my hands, saying, “This day can suck it,” and going to bed toddler-early. (Always with a fiction book, NEVER with my phone.) The book helps take my mind off the stress and quiets my racing thoughts, the sleep helps restore my energy and capacity, and there’s something about purposefully ending your Very Bad Day that just feels like a middle finger to the universe.
Do not feel guilty for this. Let your partner handle the kids. Sleep in the guest room if you need the space. Grab a book, some herbal tea, a bath—the key is purposefully deciding to end this day on YOUR terms.