Good morning and Happy Friday, Colleagues
Spring is in full swing — April showers and the beginning of warmer days are here. The recent Easter long weekend was an invitation to unplug and I am hopeful that many in the McMaster community took that seriously. If not, you have another weekend facing you so you can try again!
I am sure I am not alone in feeling extremely grateful for what spring has in store: the beautiful sunrises and the light lasting into the evening, providing more energy after work hours, the return of birds to the trees and fences, the emergence of pollinators waiting for early blooms. Especially as we are entering into a more extreme lockdown scenario, I am very grateful that the world feels like it is inviting us back into nature.
In addition to my gratitude for nature, I thought I would share a few other creature comforts that I am thankful for these days:
Comfort food! That defines very different things to different people, however those of my generation will agree that cereal has always been a comfort food. And an ‘anytime of day’ food. My Mom was pretty strict about buying ‘healthy’ cereals, so when I could get my hands on Froot Loops, my childhood favourite, it was a TREAT. Rush forward a few decades and I NEVER buy cereal, however I was recently turned onto a newer brand of cereal, Magic Spoon. See what the hype is about. The shop from home bug struck and I indulged in a variety case of four boxes and I am a bit hyped about this cereal now, too. In fact, I have been eating it straight from the box which is VERY comforting. A healthy snack and a flash back to those little mini boxes we snacked on as kids (still availble!!). I also found this tutorial on eating mini boxes… if you need a distraction. ? If you have caught me eating Magic Spoon by handfuls on one of our virtual meetings – sorry! It is a bit addictive and since it is so healthy – no guilt! My favourite flavour is of course the fruit (loop) version.
Sassy socks – fun and comforting! It has been just over a year since McMaster announced the work from home policy due to the pandemic. Let’s all agree that with remote work, remote work fashion has emerged. No judgement from me. I had already declared that running shoes were the new dress shoes! I have been stretching the sock fashion thing for a few years – me it is all about sassy socks. You know what I mean – the ones with a few choice words to keep you energized during your web conferences. Need a light moment? Just look to your ankles and voila, you get to giggle at the sassy sayings on your socks that cannot be spoken aloud but are sometimes a nice stress relief. Yes, I have done this. I not only wear these socks, I also have been known to give them away, as they make great gifts for hard to buy for people. If you want to join the club, you can find an online source (this one is Canadian, not an endorsement). If you STILL have no idea what I am talking about, just search ‘sassy socks’ (PG warnings apply).
And finally, what could be more comfort inducing than rest? That may sound like a way to turn down the productivity (and with the weekend coming, that is GOOD), but what if I told you that more rest will equal more productivity? Sounds a bit counterintuitive, although any expert nappers out there likely have figured this out. Since I am not a good napper, I learned about Rest as a productivity tool from Dr. Alex Pang. He suggests seeking rest from our frantic schedules provides space to rest our minds and in turn will result in us being more productive and effective I first heard about Dr. Pang through my Calm app where he offers a Master Class in Rest. That caused me to seek out more info and I discovered that he has a book called “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less” and several recorded talks online so you can get a ‘try before you buy’ experience. Watching one of his videos could offer you a good rest from your routine, while learning more ways to take advantage of this comforting approach to self-care. And there are lots of other resources on this topic, too. Rest!
Don’t be shy – please share back what brings you comfort these days.
In the meantime, wishing you all a comfort-filled weekend ahead! I am getting a head start by taking today OFF so I can do some comfort seeing myself!