Happy Sunday! I hope you are enjoying your weekend.
As we have just started our eight week practicing social isolation in Bulgaria and the government has announced this morning that they would ease some of the restrictive measures, I thought of what I have managed to do so far. I have experienced all sorts of emotions and I have decided to take it one day at a time and choose a suitable coping mechanism accordingly. There were some highly productive days when I felt that I can complete even the strenuous tasks off my to-do list. Then, there were some creative moments in which I colored some pages off my adult coloring books and brainstormed for hours blog posts for the next few months. Still, I had quite a few days which were spent simply on my sofa listening to good music, reading a book or watching a captivating movie or TV show. I decided to take a more liberal approach to the situation and allow myself moments of doing absolutely nothing without beating myself too much about it. With time I realized that there is nothing wrong neither in being productive nor spending your day in your pajamas. These are simply different coping mechanisms and are perfectly acceptable – there is enough anxiety in the world right now so let’s not add more to it with comparing ourselves to how the other people are doing.
The purpose of this blog post is not to share what you can do while staying at home – I think there are millions of articles dealing with this topic and I am already a bit behind the trend. No, I wanted to share what has remained for the majority of the time my go-to coping mechanism and what has helped me retain my sanity. I hope you will find something for you as well.
I love waking up a bit earlier each morning (at least before Kaloyan does). For the past week or so this has proved to be extremely difficult and I am trying to find the reason why. However, in the days where I have some time to spare before tending to my working responsibilities, I love writing my morning pages.
I got the idea from the dancer Julianne Hough who shared it a couple of months ago. It is a really simple activity: wake up and free write. Writing without any inhibitions so early in the day sparks the flow of creativity and wakes up your brain. While doing my morning pages, I don’t worry about my handwriting, grammar, spelling, finishing thoughts, or the content of the day’s entry even though I am so self-conscious of my writing here. Instead, I embrace the idea of writing about how I am feeling or what I am thinking about at the moment. There were days that completing my morning pages was cathartic. It helped me sort out some of the emotions that I had about some issues that I was experiencing. It is a liberating and therapeutic feeling and I find it very helpful in these turbulent times.
Still, I don’t do it every single morning. I love my structure and routines so much that I find it difficult to simply free write every day. I use the method only when I really need to pour my thoughts somewhere and hence don’t beat myself about missing a few days (or even a week!).
Favorite childhood books
Now, this doesn’t come as a surprise as I am a huge book lover. For the past few months I got a bit behind on my reading list – there was so much going in my life with wedding planning (soon there will be more on that), working responsibilities and general life that I simply had no time and energy for reading more than 10-15 pages each day.
This quickly changed as we started spending all of our time at home! Now I use my lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends to catch up on my reading and is the best feeling. And what has really helped me keep my sanity is turning to some of my old-time childhood favorites. Currently, I am re-reading the Harry Potter book series which brings me so much joy and makes me feel much calmer. I have just finished the fourth book of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I plan on finalizing all seven of them by the end of the lockdown. Do you have any favorite books that you have re-read recently?
Mom’s cake + a recipe
The first two books from the Harry Potter series were actually birthday gifts to me from my mother more than 15 years ago. While reading her birthday wishes on the first page of the books, I decided to check my recipe book for my all-time favorite cake that my mom used to make while we were growing up. Reading my favorite book while eating my favorite childhood cake – now, that is what I call a bliss!
Mind you, the recipe is not the healthiest one but it is so easy to make and so delicious that you will forget about the ingredients the minute you taste it! I have already shared it with a few friends and it has become one of their favorite recipes as well.
My Mom's Cake
- 5 medium eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- Step 1 Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Lightly coat your cake pan with some vegetable oil and dust with all-purpose flour.
- Step 2 Beat in the eggs, one at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed. Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until the mixture resembles fine damp sand. Add the vegetable oil and the milk and stir lightly with a spoon.
- Step 3 Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa, add them to the mixture and beat on medium-high, just until everything has blended well. Do not overbeat.
- Step 4 Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean—40 to 45 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
And voila, in just under and hour you have a super delicious cake for your breakfasts and afternoon sacks for the next few days!
How are you coping with the situation at the moment? What has helped you the most? Let me know in the comments.