Comforting Things for Difficult Times

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To say that the past few days have been difficult for women would be an understatement. All of us at the Attic have been messaging back and forth, expressing anger and sharing support. We don’t need to get into details as it has no doubt been the same for so, so many people we know. Instead, we’re sharing a few of our favorite comforting things:

  • Food, first and foremost. Cooking is a good way to anchor yourself in the present moment and to think about what it is that you’re doing as you’re doing it and nothing else. Cozy meals have consequently been abundant in our respective homes. Lauren turned to her favorite, easy (vegan!) meal – a “Comforting Red Lentil and Chickpea Curry” from the Oh She Glows cookbook – while Raquel made an almost identical recipe from Bon Appetite with her brother. Olivia also turned to curry on Thursday night, but currently has Smitten Kitchen’s Dijon and Cognac beef stew sitting on the stove (or rather her husband does). Lee meanwhile likes to bake to relax and her favorite at this moment is Nigella Lawson’s chocolate loaf

  • Reading always seems to be difficult when our minds get away from us – as Raquel experienced this week while reading Naomi Aldernamn’s too-timely The Powerso movies and television seem to be the way to go. Olivia, Lauren, and Raquel have both been rewatching old favorites – The Philadelphia Story, When Harry Met Sally, and episodes of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel for Olivia – The Holiday, Pride and Prejudice, Ratatouille for Lauren – and Maisel, the Emma miniseries, and Penelope on Netflix for Raquel. Rory always turns to superhero films for comfort, especially Wonder Woman, and Eliza recommends favorites like Pride (2014), Some Like It Hot, and Mamma Mia for being “very solid, funny, and feel-good choices.”

  • If you can focus on a book, then Attic favorites include last year’s picks from Olivia’s “Eight Gentler Women’s Novels” reading list and Lee’s stack of Nora Ephron essays and The Secret Garden. Raquel’s best comforting book is Parnassus on Wheels and How to Walk in High Heels – “The latter is not literature but a good how-to guide for a lot of things that I read as a teenager and which made me feel secure and independent. Also comforting in that learning new/easy skills makes you feel productive when you just want to give up on everything. I don’t know if it has aged well but it's definitely a fun read.”

  • Olivia recommended Virginia Woolf’s Flush in the above link as a gentle, comforting read, and true to the nature of that book, our pets are very important to keeping us calm. Our dogs and cats and rabbits keep us company and their snuggles make everything better.

  • True to her status as Beauty Editor, Rory always turns to physical self care, whether through face masks or long baths. Her favourites include Dr. Jart’s soothing face masks, both in rubber form (Olivia has also tried this and found the mixing of the formula to be extra calming) and as a sheet mask, and LUSH’s “Ceridwen’s Cauldron” bath bomb. Rory is not alone with this form of self-care – Lee shares her love of bubble baths, and face masks are a love for all. Olivia’s currently fond of Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration mask for its smell as well as its texture, Lauren swears by L’Oreal’s clay masks and slow manicures, and Raquel likes the yes to cotton mud mask while also recommending Klorane’s Smothing and Relaxing Patches after a long cry. 

  • We at the Attic tend to turn to aromatherapy either through cooking itself or through candles. Lee’s longstanding love for Voluspa’s Mokara candle is well-established and Raquel finds comfort in anything that smells like a fireplace (her favorite being Archepelago’s Havana candle), while Lauren isn’t too far off with Teakwood & Tobacco. Olivia, meanwhile, isn’t that into candles, but she’s taken to lavender pillows to help relax. 

These are just a few of our ways to cope these days. What are yours, and what do you all recommend?

We have provided links to the books mentioned above through our affiliate, Wordery – an independent, online bookseller – and we may earn a small commission through any purchases made through them that will go towards the running of the site. Likewise, links have been made to skincare products, but no material in this post is sponsored.