finding comfort in the simple things

Published on March 29, 2020

Many of the things upon which I used to rely for comfort are now no longer part of my life.

I cannot go out for a coffee with a friend. I cannot travel elsewhere. On the contrary, I feel rather guilty leaving the house, even if I am operating within the guidelines set forth by the UK Government.

This has led me on a new adventure: to find comfort in the simple things in my life. When I think back to “normal life,” I made a conscious effort to appreciate small things in my life. The background noise in the coffee shop made me think about all the great conversations going on in the world. The sound of my toast crumbling in the morning made me feel lucky to be alive to experience such a wonderful sound.

The small things are the activities in which I now find greater comfort. Being able to enjoy a good meal is of good comfort, but so is being able to enjoy any food at all. Being able to have a good day at work provides me with comfort, but so does the feeling I have a job at all. I am starting to notice all of these other things in which I can find comfort -- things that may not be what I used to think about, but are increasingly important today.

Over these last few weeks, I have been struggling to know what to think about the world. At times, I have wished that someone would just tell me how I am supposed to act (although I know that would not be helpful, with the benefit of hindsight). In amongst all of this, I have tried to find more of the simple things in my life and appreciate them when I notice their presence.

One thing in which I am taking comfort is my mornings. Even on workday mornings, where I may have to go quicker than I would like to prepare breakfast so I can start work when I like, I still like to take time to reflect on the moment. The morning may not be particularly special -- it may be just like any other morning -- but to me, right now, that is beautiful.

The fact I woke up this morning at all is great. The world in which I woke up may be facing a number of challenges -- and it may frustrate me that the best thing I can do is stay at home, when it feels as though there is more I should be doing -- but at least I am here. At least I woke up.

I have also started to find more comfort in eating chocolate. This does not mean that I am eating as many bars as I can get my hands on, rather that I am turning to chocolate as a simple comfort in these times of struggle. When I think about it, chocolate is actually a complex food -- and one I am trying to appreciate more, now I have some more free time -- but until now I had not thought about it.

I think when we go through rough times it is more important than ever to take comfort in whatever we can. My first instinct was to think about what I had lost -- my weekly coffees, my travelling -- but I should have been thinking about the simple things I still have. Unlike so many others, I have access to food (even if I am very concerned about the long-term sustainability of our supply chain), and I have a job where I can work from home.

These are wonderful things -- and things for which I have always been grateful -- but now, when more of my life is spent at home, I realize just how much comfort I can find in them.

I think everyone right now is looking for something in which they can seek comfort. For me, I am seeking comfort in chocolate. I am thinking about chocolate more than usual -- and perhaps, at times, I allow myself to worry about what would happen if I lost out on chocolate -- but I am accepting these thoughts as they come. It just so happens my mind is looking for something comfortable, and chocolate happens to be it.

For you, it may be the simple pleasure of reading a book while lying in bed. Or it may be that the clocks have just changed and so, if you are allowed, you’ll be able to go out on evening walks where (hopefully) the sun will be out. (If you are not allowed outside, you can still appreciate the sun from your window. I find the sun to be very healing, even if you’re not outside.)

What are the simple things in which you find comfort? You don’t have to be too over indulgent, but you also don’t have to be guilty about finding something in which you find comfort during these times. It’s important that we all take care of ourselves, and when the weight of the entire world is on your shoulders, it’s good to have a method of relaxation on which you can depend.

Chocolate, right now, is grounding me. So are the mornings I am able to experience. When I see the sun come out, I feel so much better. These may be simple pleasures, and they may be nothing like going on an adventure to a new city, but to me, they mean the world. (Although I would still love a craft coffee right about now!)

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