If I see one more shirtless man or hyper-extended young lady stretching their way to a better body and healthier mindset, I think I might scream, or at least run to the kitchen and bake myself a double chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese frosting ! We all have our limits and I believe I may have reached mine! Chocolate cake consumption isn’t the only way to a less stressful life ; lemon bars also do the trick. Better yet, carefully wrap one of those zesty lemon treats along with your Turkey-Pesto ’n’ Tomato sandwich in your backpack and start: W-A-L-K-I-N-G .

I’m not suggesting a dart-for-the-door dramatic exit, by any means. High drama usually brings high anxiety and these twin stressors are the last thing you’re looking for on your road to refuge. I’m suggesting:

1. Pack a snack and favorite beverage.( Me: I’m coffee and cream in a small thermos and PBJ on whole wheat)Place lunch in back pack.

2. Locate a nearby park , walking path or neighborhood (pick a preferred place. You’re looking for comfort, safety and calm).

3. Upon arriving at your Lunchtime Labyrinth: (a) designate a starting point and (b) identify your lunch spot.

4. Take a deep B-R-E-A-T-H and begin walking.

5. Allow yourself at least 10 minutes to walk and arrive at your Lunch Locale, taking time to see, listen , look and feel your surroundings.

6. Once you arrive at your Lunch Locale: create a Peace Picnic just for you. It’ll feel self-indulgent but go with it. You’re actively creating a safe place of refuge and peace where you will be the guest of honor.

7. Savor your lunch. Sip your coffee. Allow yourself this luxury of time and purposeful peace. (Give yourself at least 15 minutes).

Peace Picnic (photo by Ruben Avilio Mauricio)

8. Quietly pack up your lunch and prepare to return home.

9. Close the Moment: look around you, feel the space you’ve created and honor it. You’re creating a mind-muscle memory to savor later, again.

10. Walk home ( with a tiny grin and a less heavy heart and .. maybe renewed hope.)

Self-care can be chocolate cake and lemon bars.

Self-care can be peace and picnic lunches, too.

This post was previously published on Shelter Me.

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The post Surrendering to Chocolate Cake appeared first on The Good Men Project.