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Christina’s Corner: September 8, 2023

This is Christina’s Corner: the What A Week edition. Life has thrown a lot of us some curveballs recently, and I’m not here to excuse it, though I am here to blame mercury in retrograde. (Whether you believe it or not, it’s great to have a scapegoat that doesn’t actually hurt anyone.) I believe that when you are experiencing Just One Of Those Weeks, it’s time to pull out all the stops to care for yourself.

Contrary to what capitalism has us believe, self-care doesn’t mean just spending money on services or products. It also means doing deep-down work so that you don’t have to escape life on the daily. Maybe it means scheduling some time to talk it out with a therapist or a friend, renegotiating tasks with a roommate or partner, or scheduling some moments to sit outside in nature.

There’s no general prescription for what to do when you’ve Had A Week, but here are some things I enjoy.

Eat: Let’s hear it for the humble potato. It is delicious. It gives us french fries, baked potatoes that can be dressed up in a million different ways, potato salad, gnocchi… and the list of potato-based comfort food goes on. Sometimes I even trick myself into eating a salad by adding potatoes on top. Looking to do the same? Enter the Nicoise salad. You could make yours a lot of ways: I don’t eat fish, so I nix the tuna in favor of adding some rinsed and drained chickpeas, smushed with a fork to take its place. Hard boiled eggs, green beans, and a mustardy vinaigrette to boot? Done.

See: In case you are not a “watch stand-up comedy person,” I might suggest that you try several to find the right match for you, and don’t throw out all the ones made prior to 2020 as dated. Like storytelling? Trevor Noah might be your guy. Want to have no idea what to expect? Try Suzy Eddie Izzard. Want to see a pregnant woman defy all of your expectations about well, expectant mothers? Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra special is where it’s at. Even if you have seen it a thousand times, it’s a joy to laugh along with the pauses as you’ve always heard them. Check out clips on youtube or listen to their album tracks on spotify if the specials aren’t available to stream.

Do: One of my favorite things to do when I’m having a bad day is to donate to an organization that means a lot to me. There are obviously a lot of great places out there (ahem, please see the website in your browser currently). One of my non-cancer favorites is called One Simple Wish, which grants wishes to kids who are experiencing the foster system. There are wishes of all price ranges and in all amounts of urgency needed, and a bunch of Halloween-related requests just went live. You can donate $15 so Elizabeth has glasses for costume or $22 for Steven to have a mask. The other part I love? OSW believes that no matter what, kids don’t “age out” of the foster system and deserve support for whatever adventure is next. Your week may still be lousy, but some kid will have a really exciting Halloween costume. And that’s pretty great.

Have a comforting, funny, generous weekend,