Day 5 “challenge”: Treat yourself to a food you love.
I got a little stuck on this one, because everything I cook is something I love, and the places in the city where I get excited to eat are out of my budget for the next few months. So I made the dish I always get at Penang, a Malaysian restaurant in Philadelphia’s China Town: oyster omelette and coconut rice. I’d never made either before, and was very nervous about using canned oysters, but it came out great. I did forget to add fish sauce to my eggs, and I could taste the difference, but I was still very pleased with myself and the meal. (I can’t flip an omelet to save my life so it was ugly as sin, but I’m gonna eat it so what do I care.) It was great to have as many oysters and cilantro as I wanted, and I made enough for leftovers because 1) oyster omelet is delicious cold the next day and 2) I plan on making a red curry this weekend and now I don’t have to make another pot of rice.
Day 6 “challenge”: Treat yourself to an hour of self care.
Once a week I do a face mask, hair mask, and exfoliate my body. To stretch it to an hour, I was going to paint my toe nails. However, I wasn’t in the pamper mood, or really in the mood to do anything. I figured it was time for basic self care, i.e., taking care of my basic needs. So I cooked and cleaned! I know that doesn’t sound remotely exciting, and I should be cooking and cleaning everyday, but I took care of my needs by feeding myself, and I took care of myself by taking care of my home. Now I’m ready for bed, and I can rest easy knowing I was productive, and it feels good to have taken care of myself even when I didn’t feel like it. I call it a win.
Day 7 “challenge”: Put a picture or quote up on your mirror that makes you feel confident.
I have a mirror in a little corner next to my front door, and I stuck a piece of paper on it that says “Keep your head up.” That phrase always reminds me not to be self defeating, which is a big problem I have.
Day 8 “challenge”: Write about something you are grateful to your body for allowing you to do.
I’m in school to become a veterinary technician, which involves constant lifting, bending, squatting, and kneeling. I am grateful that I will be physically able to do those things, because this is the only career I’m excited about.
Day 9 “challenge”: Express your appreciation for a source of support in your life.
I feel like there’s something sad about naming my therapist, but I’d be a hot fucking mess without her. About two years ago I got hit with a whomping case of agoraphobia, and I can say positively that if I had been seeing any of the therapists I’d seen before, I wouldn’t have progressed at the rate I did, not even close, maybe not at all. She’s also the first therapist I’ve had that seems to give a damn about me (but in a professional way.) I feel like she’s genuinely excited when something good happens to me, and she very much wants to help me get out of bad head spaces. She’s patient with my reluctance to be emotionally honest, but she doesn’t let me bullshit. I found her by word of mouth, and I’m tremendously grateful that I have her in my corner.