The Soul Care Series: Mental Health

Person holding sign saying Peace Be Still

Over the next few weeks I am going to address the 4 aspects of holistic health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Since it’s Mental Health Awareness Week I’m going to start with Mental Health. While most people would think of health and jump to physical first, there is a lot in the other aspects I mentioned that affects physical health (did you know that trauma may impact weight gain? I bet you didn’t) and so it seems worth starting with it even regardless of the date of publication. 

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My 5 favourite comfort food recipes

Woman Cutting Cilantro

If this title gave you a vision of me as a perfect tradwyfe who always cooks wholesome meals from scratch with organic ingredients and doesn’t spend a significant amount of money in take-aways, I’m here to reassure you that I am not. I had two take-away pizzas last week alone. But, unless I am ill or out of food and unable to go buy some due to illnesses, I tend to cook from scratch. I love cooking, as you’d expect from someone writing a cookery book, but I also have my times when I just want to feed myself something comforting and nourishing that takes little time to make. How long it takes is one of my criteria for “comfort food”, but for others, it may be different. 

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The Soul Care Series: Stress Management

Woman relaxing

Last week, I talked about sleep and rest. One of the biggest impediments to rest is, unsurprisingly, stress. Before I dive into what is the mainstream advice and how that affects us as Catholics, I’d like to talk about stress itself. There are two kinds of stress: good stress, or eustress, which is a response to something that keeps us motivated and alert and then goes away when the stressor is over, and then what we all refer to when we talk about stress, which is a response that isn’t measured to the source and it’s even worse when it becomes chronic. And I don’t mean to make a value judgement that you should be able to control your response so that it is measured to the stressor, I know it doesn’t work like that.

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My Decluttering and Organising Philosophy

Empty Flat

Decluttering is one of the words on everybody’s lips, especially now we are in lockdown and so spending more time at home…which means not only we are more likely to have our mood affected by the environment around us, but also because, for some of us, the extra time on our hands has given us a chance to tackle the big jobs that are always left behind. I am a right mess, mostly due to chronic illnesses making it difficult to keep on top of housekeeping at all times, but I think that’s what makes me a worthy guide on the subject. Too many decluttering gurus are really neat people who enjoy cleaning (and to be fair, I enjoy it too because it gives me a sense of accomplishment and I love to let out anger on a dirty oven). I am someone who had to find ways to cope with doing the bare minimum but manage to live in tiny urban spaces (by choice, I am more of a minimalist than people think…).

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The Soul Care Series: Rest and Sleep

Cat sleeping

Joy always goes in two directions.
We never give joy to anyone else without giving joy to ourselves, any more than we behave in an untoward way toward others without wizening ourselves.
Mother Mary Francis, PCC
From Cause of Our Joy: Walking Day by Day with Our Lady (courtesy of Daily Catholic Wisdom)


As I was praying over what to talk about this week, this quote came through in my inbox, and it seemed really fitting in a way, because no cranky and sleep-deprived person is ever able to truly give joy to someone else. And still, rest is such a contentious issue in our society. There are people who seem to boast in not needing much sleep, and people who don’t get enough sleep not because they have such a twisted view, but because of the mountain of demands on their time. If sleep goes out of the window, you can imagine what the attitude towards other forms of rest really is.

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