What’s Saving My Life Right Now

When I was in college, some friends and I used to joke that February should be abolished. Although it’s the shortest month of the year, it usually feels the longest. As a native Californian living in the very different climate of Boston, I was ready for winter to be over in February, but the long New England season had other plans. Somehow I always felt some degree of despair in February. Sometimes it was more of a vague feeling of discontent; sometimes it was very specific and difficult, like the year I had an emergency appendectomy and developed debilitating depression in the weeks following the surgery.

So I think it’s a brilliant idea to mark the midpoint of winter with a list of things that are saving my life right now—things keeping me sane, things keeping me on the more optimistic side of the attitudinal spectrum. Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy shared her list yesterday and is hosting a link-up for others to do the same. I remember reading her post about it last year, and so this year I’ve decided to join in and make my own list:

  1. Collagen and coconut butter in the mornings. I’m rarely hungry when I wake up, but whether blended into my morning tea or eaten on the side in the form of a cake batter collagen protein bar, getting a little protein and fat into me has helped me get moving in the mornings.
  2. Cooking huge batches of food. Not spending excessive amounts of time in the kitchen while still having food ready to eat at all times makes the AIP about a thousand times easier.
  3. On a similar note: chicken liver pâté. When I get hungry in the late afternoon, I no longer reach for something sweet; I eat some pâté with carrots, radishes or apples. It fuels me until dinner without starting up the blood sugar roller coaster. Bonus: it’s packed with incredible nutrition!
  4. My new heat therapy neck pillow. My old pillow was broken beyond repair, and I went several weeks without. A few days ago I sewed myself a new one and filled it with organic buckwheat. When my neck and shoulders feel tight after a day of too much sitting, I pop it in the microwave, put it on my shoulders, and let the heat work its magic.
  5. Getting off Facebook. I logged out of Facebook on my computer and deleted the app from my phone at the beginning of January. I suspected I would feel better, but I never imagined just how much better I would feel. I’ve logged in only once in the past month to check notifications. I probably could have skipped it: there was nothing important.
  6. A temporary screen time ban for my kids. My children are on week two of a complete ban on screen time. This is not a punishment; I simply noticed that they were so obsessed with when and how much screen time they were allowed to take that it was practically the only thing they talked about. So I said we’d be taking a break. To my surprise, they didn’t protest at all. My oldest even seemed relieved. Within 36 hours, the effect was palpable: no meltdowns, less whining, more imaginative play, and generally much happier children. It’s so much more pleasant being around them, and I think they feel much better, too.
  7. My InstantPot. I use it nearly every day, and I can’t imagine my life without it anymore. I even took it on vacation a few months ago and plan on doing so again.

Making a list like this is a little like having a gratitude practice. Sometimes just thinking about the pleasant things in life makes it so much easier to bear the trying things. If you have a list of your own, you can share it at Modern Mrs. Darcy and go read the other lists that have already been posted there.

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9 thoughts on “What’s Saving My Life Right Now

  1. I just did the same with Twitter (deleting the app and logging out from my laptop) and it feels so good! I set up email notifications for DMs and mentions, so I don’t even open it to check my notifications. I quitted Facebook few years ago and now I have a simple profile with no friends that I only use for groups and I don’t have the app on my phone. I agree with you, I never imagined how much better I would feel!

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      1. Since all my friends got a smartphone with WhatsApp, we stopped using Facebook messages and I constantly found myself scrolling to my feed suffering for comparison and things like that, so I quitted. But I’ve always been active online and I missed my planners/books/blogging communities, so I created that profile 🙂

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  2. Hi there! I loved your list 🙂 I’ve been toying with the idea of deleting Facebook… it’s become such a toxic environment! I like Alice’s idea of just having a friendless profile as there are a couple of groups I would be sorry to leave and I use a page for my business. Anyway… thanks for sharing. Instant Pot has definitely made my list this year 😉

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    1. I’m glad I inspired you for a better Facebook experience. As I said above, I constantly found myself scrolling to my feed suffering for comparison and things like that, so I quitted. But I missed my groups and I needed a page for my own blog, so I created that profile.

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  3. Hi, I really love your list very much, I’ve realized that I spend too much time on my phone, particularly on those social apps, and I feel my neck and shoulders are stiff some time. I have been thinking about using my phones less this year since January, and I wish I can do more real face to face social events with friends too.

    How is your handmade neck pillow doing? I’m considering to buy neck pillow for improving my neck condition, 2 days before I read this: https://bestpillowforsleeping.com/touch-of-comfort-memory-foam-neck-pillow/ This pillow seems nice, what do you think?

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    1. Thanks! My handmade pillow is fantastic! That pillow does seem quite nice, but it’s different from what I use. I have a “normal” pillow for sleeping. It’s fairly low. And then I have my neck pillow, which I warm up in the microwave and lay on my shoulders to ease tension. Although I often use it when I go to bed, I don’t actually sleep with it. I move it to the side when I turn out the light because I find that it’s too cumbersome to use while I’m actually sleeping.

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      1. You are welcome, Stephanie. I have a heat pad too, every time I use it before I do the stretches or I will have a massage. I’m thinking to buy a real neck pillow to help me reserve the curve of my neckbone when I sleep. Anyway, I’m still doing the research… ;p

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