I have written and re-written this blog post three times so far.
This is not easy.
As most of you know, I write a blog post every week and it’s almost always light-hearted and funny.
But this week, I’ve been at a loss on what to write…
Do I write a regular blog post – as I would any other week – so that people have a sense of semblance? So people feel like nothing has changed?
But things have changed…like it or not, they have.
Do I write a blog post giving advice on all the tips I’ve been giving on saving food and making the most out of your daily cooking? Well, that might be helpful to some but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone out there who thinks they aren’t doing enough (that has never been my intention).
A few years back, I wrote a blog post on calming fears and uncertainty after one of the first terrorist attacks happened in Paris (you can read that blog post here). Just like what is happening now with the corona virus, people were scared. There was so much fear when it first happened – it was horrific because we had never seen anything like that before. As attacks continued around the world, we were all still fearful, but systems had been put into place where we could deal with the attacks differently (even though we, unfortunately, still haven’t been able to stop them completely). I think the difference now is that this isn’t about a group of extremists that we can put a face to…it’s about a virus that we know nothing about. And, as days go by, we need to figure out how to deal with the onslaught of information we are getting and be diligent in deciphering the actual truth that is out there from the fear mongers that are spreading information that is neither helpful or calming.
So what do we do?
I think its about what we choose to do with what’s been given to us..
First of all, we’ve been given this planet to inhabit and, if you ask me, we haven’t done a very good job taking care of it.
During times like this when we can’t use socialization as much to feel connected, being outside in nature is the best way to find peace in the world (I know I do my best thinking and praying when I walk my dog each day).
We need to take care of each other but we also need to take care of our “home”…this planet we live on.
Now let me just say one thing…
I am not a healthcare professional nor am I educated in mental health. What I do know about is food…and, more specifically, using food to fill our bellies and nurture our minds. It’s always been important to me because it feels good to give but, in giving, I was receiving the love right back.
As part of my introduction in my cookbook, I talked about Bake it Forward and it’s benefits, aside from being a thoughtful act.
“This initiative began with the simple concept that spreading love through food can create a small ripple effect of kindness that can then radiate all over the world. Altruism, the simple act of doing something for others in need, is at the core of who we are (one study showed that we are hardwired to be altruistic/empathetic because our ancestors needed this form of cooperation to survive. Cool, right?!) So, as we move around in a world where there is less time and seemingly more “need,” doesn’t it make sense that baking for others might be the ray of hope we’re looking for?”
In this past week (although, globally, it’s moving into it’s third month worldwide), I have been drawn back into the kitchen because cooking and baking gives me reprieve from what is going on in the world.
It makes me feel useful.
It makes me feel needed.
It gives me, if even for a few moments, a distraction from all of the noise.
But what I don’t want to do here is “tell” people to “do” something. I won’t tell you to get in the kitchen if it causes you stress (yes, cooking is a necessary tool you need for survival but now isn’t the time to feel bad that you haven’t yet learned how to maneuver around your kitchen in a comfortable way). I just think I’d like to tell you what has helped me feel a bit more sane in this past week:
- I’ve learned that not judging ANYONE has been so liberating (that person who seemed unkind probably has their own story to tell so be kind to them anyways). I am assuming everyone is affected by this and that people who suffer from depression will be having a very hard time making sense of this but I’ve also learned that people who look fine on the outside are probably not fine on the inside…be kind to everyone.
- I’ve learned that when I am the most panicked, I try to find one thing to be grateful for. Maybe it’s the air that I’m breathing today (it’s fresh and clean and aren’t I lucky that I live in a country that has plenty of it?!) or maybe it’s the fact that my feet touched the ground when I woke up this morning – lots of people won’t have that privilege.
- I’ve learned that I needed to lean in to this when it first came out (we have a social responsibility to learn just enough about this so we have the tools to live safely and intelligently). I also know that your body knows when to lean out of it too. Too much information isn’t always good – especially when we are being bombarded with so much and nobody is sure what to believe anymore (which is no ones fault…we are all just trying to be helpful).
So, what I’m doing is trying to find purpose – whatever that looks like right now (it seems to change daily).
I’m trying to keep busy to keep my mind from wandering (which is soooo real in my head!).
I’m trying to be patient with everyone.
And I’m trying to have faith that everything will be okay.
And it will be.
With much love,