It has arrived. That first day where it’s logical to turn on the heat on the commute to work, even though you know that you’ll be using the A/C on the return trip. Yes, that’s fall in the South.
That means it’s time to spend some time seriously considering an important issue – coziness. Ever since Covid (which is NOT in any way, shape, or form to be confused with “cozy,” thankyouverymuch) first struck, many of us have found ourselves spending more time inside our own four walls, but not necessarily spending much time in cozy-comforts as we frantically navigated work, home, school, and a host of tasks that were suddenly upended from whatever norm we had been experiencing. While this “new normal” is neither “new” nor “normal,” we have had time to make some accommodations and establish some routines.
But fall gives us a chance to take another look at those and adjust for comfort.
To me, “cozy” is about sensory comfort. Clothes that don’t scratch, pull, or tug, like many-times-washed flannel jammies. Warm, nourishing food, like honey-ginger tea or slowly-simmered soup. (By the way, soup is one of the ultimate, lazy-day, home-cooked dinners. Get a good loaf of bread at the grocery and you look like a Kitchen Boss with little more effort than you’d put into heating up a frozen dinner. Click here for some good starter ideas.) Hot baths. Spices. Fuzzy blankets.
What all these things have in common is this – it’s hard to whirl around like a stoat stalking a rabbit (seriously – click here! Break dancing as hunting behavior – nature is deeply strange) when you’re focusing on cozy. After all, when I’ve got good hot chocolate and an English murder mystery to contemplate, I’m less likely to be shrieking at current events. (Being informed is important, being rendered crazy by such things is totally optional.) And shrieking is not calming. (Occasionally, it is therapeutic, but not calming.)
So my suggestion for this week comes in two parts. First, make a list. That’s it – just a list. Use scrap paper so you’re not tempted to get all cattywampus making it a “pretty” list. Just make the blankety-blank list.
On that list, include without judgement at least four things associated with each of your senses – look, taste, touch, smell, hear – that you find comforting and joyful. Your list won’t look like anyone else’s – that’s the whole point of it.
Now, you’re ready for Step Two. Pick one thing from that list and fit it into your day. Maybe you’ll treat yourself to a mulled cider on your lunch break. Maybe you’ll listen to Cole Porter (or maybe GWAR is more your thing – you do you, Diva!) while you chop vegetables for that soup you want to try making. Maybe you’ll try takeout from that Indian/Ethiopian/Korean/fusion restaurant that always looks interesting to you, but no one else ever seems to want to try. Maybe you’ll sign up for a class to learn how to make stained glass. Maybe you’ll order some out-of-the-ordinary perfume samples. (I think I might try that one! Here’s a second possibility on that option.) Maybe you’ll order a pair of funky socks that make you giggle. Maybe you’ll scrunch through leaves. Maybe you’ll hang around a bonfire. It doesn’t matter what it is; all that matters is that you make time for you in your day in some sort of tangible, pleasurable way.
It’s fall, Divas – a magnificent time to seek joy!