Comfort stuff, an easier way to handle stress


So soft and fluffy and comforting. Source: southern marsh collection

Lately I’ve been in the mood for comfort stuff. You know…things that feel like mom. She always knew how to soothe me and pull me back from the abyss.

Usually I turn to food – pasta, chocolate and mashed potatoes. Mac or cheese is an old standby but I also like cooked cereal – the bland kind that tastes like cardboard. (Don’t ask, I love it!)

Sometimes I need more intensive therapy, liking buying something nice for myself.

Buying for someone else is not therapy. That comes under duty in my book. It has to be something specifically for me. Something I can use but don’t NEED. In fact, the less need, the more comfort.

That’s how I end up with so much fleece and soft, fluffy bed clothes. (My sick outfit for the winter is a completely fleece leopard print lounge outfit. So soft. So soothing. Almost worth being sick…almost.)

Cats are also a great source of comfort. There is nothing like a face full of fur (unless you have sticky lipstick on, in which case it is annoying plucking all the fur off). Soft purrs soothe. Gentle head butts are welcome too. Cats know when they are needed. If I take a midday nap because I’m not feeling well, I’ll wake up to three cats on the bed. That doesn’t happen when I sleep at night.

Watching old movies or funny sitcoms works for me too. They have to be peaceful and funny and happy.

I don’t like drama or tension. If I did yoga (one of these days I will), that would be soothing. Breathe in and breathe out. I do the breathing exercises without the yoga and it helps.

macandcheeseFinding the right action that comforts yourself is critical. Stress will find a spot in your body and wreak havoc. Mindful breathing or buying or healthful eating (or pet ownership) beats MRIs, CAT scans and other medical tests and subsequent medications..

Never underestimate the power of stress. It can feel like a heart attack or cripple your gut without warning.

Over the next few months, I will perfect the art of soothing. OMMMMMM!

What do you do?



56 thoughts on “Comfort stuff, an easier way to handle stress

  1. Pingback: Things that feel like mom 😁 ❤ – Hope Dream Wait

  2. I don’t find naps with the cat soothing – probably because he is still possessed by the devil and his head butting kind of hurts, not to mention the constant drooling. I do like fleece, though. And long walks in the country with my Border Collie. And non-political NPR podcasts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, Kate: You hit all the major ‘comforters’ in this post: mashed potatoes, fleecy PJs, cheerful movies, little gifts, pet-love, deep yoga breaths and Mom! Makes me want to lie in bed all day watching old Christmas movies and eating left-over mashed potatoes and gravy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read though I have to admit I love online shopping too but mostly for home stuff like candles, furniture and such. I still want my purchases to be useful… well somewhat useful 😛

    oh and yummmm I love mashed potatoes… watching holiday movies this time of the year and going for long walks. I used to do yoga three times a week but I am pregnant now and so can’t really do that though I should really look into prenatal yoga!

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  5. Fleece is good! If we had a kitty, just having her near or on my lap would be a great stress reliever. I feel anxiety most mornings when I first get up and the first thing I do is grab my laptop and check blogs. Then I head to Tinykittens… ah. A day trip is a good way to leave my worry and stress behind… 🙂

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  6. The only time I was aware of feeling stress recently was when I was trying to crop, size, and insert photos into my Christmas letter using Word. I would get it just right, and then I’d make a change to the margin or the text, and it would throw everything off. There must have been some hidden code that didn’t like the way I was trying to do it. After lots of effort and multiple tries, I could feel myself getting tense. My solution: Leave it for another day.

    But there’s also the small, everyday, unnoticed stress. My best solution for that is frequent efforts to be aware of my body. As I go about my day, it helps to stop every so often and check to see if my shoulders or jaw are tight and then make them relax. Other stress busters for me: music and just stepping outside.

    I went shopping today, hoping to choose some Christmas gifts. It’s always so hard to find just the right thing. I got some ideas, but the only thing I was certain of was the colorful, loose top I bought for myself. I’m looking forward to using it on Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny you should write this. Just yesterday I told my wife that I haven’t read any of my coffee table books in ages. One of my weaknesses when I’m at an antique store or a used book shop is a to buy those big, huge coffee table books on any given topic. For some reason I find them to be a type of “comfort food” but without the calories. I always pick one or two up to thumb through when I’m stressed. But fortunately this hasn’t happened in a while. Macaroni and cheese is a great comfort too, though.

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  8. A book and anything with cheese. I do yoga, but it’s really, really hard to meditate and breathe when you’re angry. And I’ve been really, really angry the last three weeks.

    Walking helps, too. Especially if I can find a trail with trees. In LA, this is not easy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have to try boxed mac n cheese. My husband doesn’t like it so I rarely make it. There is a local restaurant with a Friday special for it. We put the flannel on the bed a month ago. So cozy. Fireplace has been on this week. Prior to this week we had some unseasonably warm weather but winter is now here.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pets, be it a dog or cat, are great therapy and stress relievers. I know what you mean though about buying something nice for you personally, and the less needy the better. Clothes space here is limited so I buy what I need, or replace something that has finally worn out. But food. Oh yeah, fruit pastilles or recently white chocolate toblerone (the old block with less gaps and more chocolate) which are currently on special offer for £1. Comfort eating may soothe my nerves but then guilt factors in and the whole effect (and pleasure) is ruined. Ho hum!

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  10. I’ve been practicing much more mindful breathing to deal with stress. I just read a series of novels in which the main character, a Buddhist monk turned P.I., practices that a great deal. I went to a funeral last week and after the casket had made its way to the front of the church and the congregation sat, the first words out of the minister’s mouth were, “Let’s all take a deep breath.” The gasp practically sucked all the air out of the room, but it made me feel better.
    It’s cold and rainy here today – hot tea and fleece and my sewing machine will keep me happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ohhh, you sound like me 😀 Fleece = amazing. I will wear fleece all day every day. It’s so comforting and cozy. My cats do the same thing… they won’t sleep with me at night, but if I lay in bed during the day they are instantly there. Strange how they just know, right? I hope your stress levels get better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was… soothing?! to read! I wasn’t expecting that! Haha.
    Yeh, I usually turn to food- which is a cycle in itself. Because I get frustrated that I ate junk food.. Hm. I need to redirect that food intake to relieve stress don’t I… I love the big sweater comfy idea and the cats..
    I grinned at lipstick fur line and i like how real you were with the fact, not giving to someone is less like therapy and more like duty hehe. Owned it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really don’t like buying for others. It’s not that I’m cheap but I was raised by a thrifty Mom and hate the idea of wasting money on stuff that no one will use. Unless you know someone really well, it’s a wild guess. A large portion of gifts we get (unless they are Starbucks gift cards) end up donated.


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