My boyfriend and I travel to New Zealand from Amsterdam to escape renovation stresses for a while, only to find ourselves forced into lockdown with my brother, his wife and their two kids. An instant household of six. It might be the premise for a shitty sitcom if my new housemates weren’t so grounded, and focused on preventing rather than creating drama.
What we are creating, though, is time and space for each of us. To do so, we’ve all had to reflect on what we need. What can ground us during these unpredictable times? The renovations back in Amsterdam have deemed us nomadic since November, hence my lack of posts since then. It was simply too much for me stress-wise to factor them in – plus, I haven’t had a kitchen. But stress can be devastating to gut function and, despite its name, Cooking with Nothing has never been solely about food.
So until I manage to muster up another recipe, here are my daily non-negotiables for grounding myself. Although ‘non-negotiable’ is perhaps too strict: reducing stress is also about letting go of the rules a little, too, especially if I choose to forgo yoga one day for some good quality family time.
- A walk outdoors, first thing in the morning – before turning on my phone
- At least 30 minutes of spiritual practice. For me, that’s chanting (I practice Nichiren Buddhism), but it can be anything that fills you with positivity. It might be reading inspirational texts, journalling, meditation – whatever floats your boat
- Yoga. I’m not assigning a certain amount of time to my practice, just making time for it. Some days it’s a full Ashtanga sequence, others it’s 20 minutes of grounding postures before bed