The past week I’ve been trying my best to be as present and focused on the moment as I can. I have acute anxiety and recently things have felt extremely uncertain which leaves me functioning mainly on racing, negative thoughts and not much else. One thing that can be extremely frustrating when my mind goes down like this is that I can still hear my rational voice. It’s asking me, begging me to make a positive decision, exhibit some positive behaviour. But when you have a mind and thoughts that are so well versed in anxiety and depression the emotional side can easily drown out anything that isn’t what you are immediately feeling.
When this happens I try my best to acknowledge the small victories. To not discount them and be disappointed in myself for not achieving more. Something that works for me, is to create. To create movement, to create something articulate out of my thoughts on paper and to create grounding, nourishing foods. The practice of creating puts me in the moment. Having done all of these things for years, I have found that improvisation is my greatest ally.
One of my favourite rituals when I need to feel comforted and grounded is to make a warm drink. Usually with a plant milk base, a little mellow sweetness and whatever herbs or powders are needed. Making my own plant-based milks is a very calming activity. It’s much more simple than you would think.
You can then use the milk as a base for hot drinks, in smoothies, for baking, for cooking oats, drinking on its own.
Almond & Coconut Milk
1 cup almonds (soaked overnight, or roughly 8 hours)
1/2 cup coconut flakes or desiccated coconut
4-5 cups of water (depending on desired consistency)
2 medjool dates, pitted
seeds from 2 cardamom pods
pinch pink salt
(optional, dash of vanilla)
Rinse the soaked almonds thoroughly, add to an upright, high power blender (I use a Vitamix) with the rest of the ingredients. Blend for 2-3 minutes on high until smooth and frothy. Let the milk sit for a couple of minutes and then strain through a nut-milk bag (you could also use some clean muslin or a clean thin tea towel). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.