I’m going to deviate from my usual food rants and talk about something that’s been on my heart lately; self care.
This past month has taken a toll on my husband and I both mentally and physically as we’ve been helping his mom recover in the hospital. While most people are still going strong with their New Year’s resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and take better care of themselves, I’ve ordered more take-out than I care to admit, haven’t had the energy to get to the gym, and seriously can’t remember the last time I washed my hair.
I’m exhausted, but this past month has taught me a lot about what I really need in high stress situations. My best self care tip is completely counter intuitive but it’s what got me through these last few weeks. The greatest self care advice I can give is this: Don’t worry about self care.
Because sometimes certain situations in life take precedence and it becomes difficult to eat right, exercise, and take care of ourselves. I believe worrying about what we should be doing to better ourselves when circumstances might not allow for it can take a huge toll on our mental health.
Didn’t have time to prep the healthy lunch you wanted? It’s ok. You’ll be able to find the time another day.
Can’t make it to the gym? It happens. You may not have the time or energy now, and that’s ok. Don’t give up, just accept the situation and plan another day.
House a total mess? Triage the situation and only focus on what needs to get done, even if it’s just washing a load of clothes (and don’t worry about folding it, you can take care of that later).
Couldn’t get in 8 hours of sleep? That’s ok. It’s just one day. Take a deep breath and try again tonight.
Life happens. I am not where I want to be physically and mentally right now and that’s ok. Set backs are a natural part of life but we are constantly changing beings and are capable of bouncing back.
With that being said, if time and energy allows, do try the following things to help your mental state:
- Take long, deep breaths. Set a timer for every hour if you have to.
- Try a hot soak in the bath.
- Spend 5 minutes stretching before hitting the hay.
- Make some good food choices. Squeeze in as many veggies that circumstances allow (hello McDonald’s Southwest Chicken Salad) and drink plenty of water.
If you are up for it, get in the kitchen and whip up some healthy eats. Cooking has always been cathartic for me and eating in nourishing food is one small way to show my body some love. I haven’t been perfect at it lately, but I’m still trying my best.
Hummus was the first thing I made once I was able to get back into the kitchen. It doesn’t get much easier than throwing things in a blender and calling it good. Much of the flavor comes from harissa, a spicy chili paste common in north African cooking. It’s warm, smokey, and contrasts perfectly with creamy chickpeas. A little honey balances out the spice.
Friends, take good care of yourselves this week. Show yourself some love and treat yourselves kindly.
Sweet and Smoky Harissa Hummus
For the Hummus
- 1 Can Chickpeas (reserve the liquid)
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Tahini
- 2 Tbsp Harissa
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp Honey, plus more to taste
- 1/2 Tsp Salt, plus more to taste
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- Olive Oil
- Smoked Paprika
- Chopped Vegetables, crackers bread…
Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid, and place in the bottom of a blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients for the hummus and start to blend. With the blades running, start to drizzle in the reserved liquid from the chickpeas until the mixture is smooth. Taste and add more honey and salt, if desired.
To serve, place the hummus in a bowl, top with pepitas, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of smoked paprika. Serve with vegetables, crackers, and bread.