We’ve just reached December which happens to be one of the most stressful months of the year.
Firstly, the holidays are coming up, and for anyone who celebrates them, this can be an extremely stressful period of time. Even though my mom and I usually just invite my dad over, decorating, cooking, and baking can still be overwhelming, particularly if you want everything to be perfect. And don’t even get me started on the difficulties of finding suitable – but still affordable! – presents for everyone. It is a nightmare.
Even more importantly, though, the exam period is breathing down my neck, which means a copious amount of studying – studying ending in dying is no coincidence, me thinks – and lots and lots of stress.
To give you and myself a break from all of this, I’ve brought you the ten things that comfort me the most in the world. I hope we can (1) connect over liking the same things, or (2) this could be potentially helpful for anyone looking for relaxing things to do.
So, buckle up, friends… or not, because we’re going on a nice, relaxing stroll today.
Me being a bookworm, I doubt it comes as a surprise that I find considerable comfort in books. There’s just something so magical about stories, worlds, and characters that feel vivid and real, particularly if I’m already familiar with and fond of these stories.
When I’m in need of a comfort read I either (1) pick up a romance, or a lighter novel I’m certain I’ll enjoy, or (2) reread one of my favorite books. Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, for instance, is one of my favorite series to reread when I’m stressed or sad. I love the world and the characters so much that going back to these books feels like going home.
#2: Reorganizing My Books
This is a weird one, because tidying up and organizing things can 100% make me anxious and sad. A case in point, end of summer, I bought new bookshelves, and even though I was immensely excited about them, it took me weeks to get started on actually putting my books on them. The shame of it just kept growing and growing until I had absolutely no desire to do it at all – my poor babies were sitting on the floor in massive piles, silently judging me for weeks. It was ridiculous, I was ridiculous.
However, other times, when I don’t have to organize my books, I find myself drifting to my shelves to redo at least a few sections. Similarly, I’ve enjoyed going through other parts of my room – like my nail polishes, or my clothes. There’s something therapeutic in organizing your stuff in a way that will make you pleased with the results.
#3: Shopping and/or Planning the Perfect Outfit
I love fashion, and I’ve always had so much fun putting together outfits. One time, for a three-day school trip, I packed some of my favorite stuff… only to realize that nothing really worked together. I’m relatively sure no one realized my distress, because it’s not like the items totally clashed with one another, they just didn’t properly fit together in my mind.
That said, having learnt from that experience I started to pack outfits for my trips, as opposed to individual pieces of clothing. I remember inviting a friend over to help me select and pack each outfit – with accessories and all – into plastic bags, and only then into my suitcase. I was… a lot as a pre-teen.
I still think of outfits when packing – just not this obsessively – and I haven’t lost my love for fashion. I love dressing up and planning and shopping, and I was so pleased when I finally found a friend at uni who enjoys shopping just as much as I do. I love all my friends, I do, but most of them (1) hate shopping, (2) prefer online shopping, or (3) have very little patience, so our shopping trips are SHORT.
#4: My Favorite Food
Truth to be told, I dislike eating out – fast food and self-service places are fine, but “proper” restaurants make me feel uncomfortable. There’s something about the staff being super prim and proper that makes me nervous; I can’t even explain it. Not to mention that more often than not we’ll be forced to wait for our food, all the while being surrounded by delicious smells. This means that I’m usually done with restaurants before we even get to the food.
Food, though, can be so comforting. We don’t have family recipes, sadly, but my mom is an excellent cook, whose meals always make me content and happy. As for me… I had no interest in cooking so far. *hides* I know, I know, I’m 23, I should get my shit together, but man, there are parts of cooking – like touching raw meat – that make me go ew to this day.
Fast food, pizza, chips and the likes are a gift to humanity, as well, and don’t even get me started on chocolate or cakes. Yummy, and so damn comforting.
Having a post idea that I love – which has been all of this blog, I think? I stopped putting out half-assed posts after moving to wordpress – is amazing! Working out the details, making graphics, figuring out how best to say something etc. can really take my mind off whatever put me in the “I need comforting” mood.
And of course, just being part of the book blogging community is ridiculously good most of the time. Bloggers are friendly, well-spoken folks, and I love discussing books with y’all on your blogs, here, or on Twitter – although I’m not as active there as I’d like to be, because I’m scared of strangers. *hides*
#6: Friends and Family
I think this a pretty generic one, but it’s nonetheless important to mention. Whenever something is bothering me it can really boost my mood to talk to, or just hang out with my friends, or my mom.
#7: Being Physically Comfy
For all my talk about dressing up, I tend to spend my days at home in my pajamas, which means a nightgown or a long-tee + leggings combo. I also have so much love for soft sweaters and fluffy socks. Curling up in bed to read, or to watch something in comfy clothes is the best feeling in the world.
#8: Making a List
When I say, “make a list” I don’t mean lists about what I have to do in the future – if anything, those types only stress me out more. (That said, if you love making those that’s 1000% valid!) Rather, I love making lists about what I want to watch, or books I’ve read this past year, in other words, things I enjoy doing. Using different colored pens and decorating the pages is the best, most fun part of making these lists.
Another thing – I’m not particularly good at multi-tasking, but making a list whilst watching something, or listening to a podcast is as easy as multi-tasking gets, and I highly recommend it.
#9: Going on Pinterest
Pinterest is one of those social media sites that love, but only use sporadically. If I’m in the mood I can spend hours pinning stuff to my boards; at other times, I might go months without visiting Pinterest.
In a way, it’s mindless entertainment – you’re simply saving pictures and ideas you like – but it can also be used as a way to get inspiration in all areas. I’ve seen authors use it for books they’ve created, which seems fun, but alas, I’m no writer.
I mostly use Pinterest to collect fashion, nail design and home design inspiration, or really, just to save that strikes me as cute or pretty. I’ve also started making color-themed boards and book aesthetics, and scrolling through these is super-relaxing somehow.
You can follow me here, and I’ll gladly follow you back. I haven’t followed any new accounts in years so my feed is 95% recommended pins, as many of the people I follow have become inactive. 😦
#10: Watching Shows, Movies or Youtube
Unlike with books, I don’t necessarily mean re-watching something – I more often watch new things than things I’ve already seen. I just put on a movie I think I’ll enjoy, or a tv show I’ve already started, and am loving. There are some exceptions – when writing this post I’m re-watching the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix – but generally, I don’t re-watch much.
If you’re looking for comforting, entertaining shows that feel like a warm hug I highly recommend The Good Place, Schitt’s Creek and One Day at a Time, all of which have incredible family and friendship dynamics.
My favorite thing to watch on Youtube is, huh, Buzzfeed Unsolved, so it’s not peak comforting, but I love it a lot. There are a few other true crime channels I’ve watched before, but nothing is quite as good as Buzzfeed Unsolved, imo.
Are you overwhelmed by all that needs to be done before the holidays? (I have to admit, I’m not doing too well with presents…) What things comfort you when you feel sad or stressed?