Mental Health: Ways to Perk Up When You Feel Like You’ve Been Percocet’d

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Percocet’d? I’m making words up now. Is everyone okay? Am I okay? Only time will tell! Fun mystery!

I’m having some bad days and some okay days, not any particularly good days. Things that have perked up my mood are organizing things around the apartment, going for walks or doing yoga, reading a light, “for fun” book, cooking, baking, and keeping my usual morning and night routines. I say morning and night proverbially. Because… I keep vampiric hours.

Anyway.

‘Tined or not, I always love doing Yoga With Adriene. It’s free, approachable, and she’s lovely. 10/10 recommend. Even if you’ve never done yoga, she has a practice for you. Since staying in can be so sedentary, especially in a NYC apartment (approx. size of postage stamp), it’s nice to stretch ya hamstrings.

I’m reading dense things for school, but my light, “for fun” read right now is A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood, very Gatsby-esque. It’s an escape. While it’s great to buy physical and digital books to support authors, if you’re unable to financially and your library is currently closed (like the New York Public Library is), check out your library’s e-book rentals online. Of course you can read from an e-reader, but if you don’t have one you can also read from a phone (like me), laptop, etc.

I love a vegetarian green curry over basmati rice and tried out a new recipe. It’s comforting to eat something I make from scratch and I recommend doing the same if you’re able to. It’s nice to have a break from frozen meals and canned stuff. I have some similar recipes I’ve made here on Bummed Out Bailey:

Recipe: Thai Curry Vegetables (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: THE Stew, AKA Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Tumeric (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Malai Kofta (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

In the mornings I chug some water, put in my contacts, wash my face, brush my teeth, apply toner, clean my mouthguard, put the kettle on for tea, make the bed, put on my serums and sunscreen, then get dressed for the day. I drink a pot of tea from my great aunt Ann’s teapot, eat, and then take my meds. Every. Morning.

At night Rick and I do a check-in (we take turns saying something we appreciated about each other that day, something that’s on our mind, and how the other can help), I take my night meds, turn down the bed, shower, change into my PJs, wash my face, brush my teeth, apply toner, clean my mouthguard, floss, use mouthwash, put on night and eye creams, apply retinol, take out my contacts, fill up my bedside water bottle, and read myself to sleep.

Wow, that was cathartic to list out and thrilling to look up and link products! I just realized something! The stakes are so dang low that I’m excited by minutiae! Even linking something like Polident! I’ll take it! Send help! Or snacks! It seems I’m having a meltdown!

The above are just things that have been helping me. There’s a lot of content floating around the internet asserting how to best use your days during the ‘rona ‘tine, but I think the most common, important denominator is to have some kind of routine tailored to you. A routine for the ‘tine. A ‘tine for the ‘tine. I’ll see myself out.

Godspeed during this weird time.

Warmest,
Bailey


Wednesday posts cover something that’s top of mind for me that week and are written in a short period of time. This means that editing is not strong. While it’s not my best work, it is my best, unfiltered thought.


More on Bummed Out Bailey:
Mental Health: Moving. Improving?
Mental Health: The Social Toll of Invisible Illness
Mental Health: Homebody v. Quarantine…Body?


Do you love Bummed Out Bailey? Want to help keep it going? Support me on my Patreon. Your contribution means more to me than you’ll ever know!

To subscribe to Bummed Out Bailey by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website and enter your info into the form. I can also be found on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: THE Stew, AKA Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

My best friend from high school, Alana, texted me asking simply if I’d made The Stew. Capital T, capital S. I hadn’t even heard it yet, and I’m supposed to be the one hip on popular recipes. BOB fail.

Anyway, she said it was so good and so many people had made it that its name had been dropped and was now just referred to as The Stew. I served it with some Thai jasmine rice, but that was entirely unnecessary. The Stew stands on its own!

Ingredients

1/4 c olive oil, more for serving
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 t minced ginger
several pinches sea salt
several pinches fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 t ground turmeric
1 t red pepper flakes, more for serving
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 15 oz cans full fat coconut milk, blended if necessary*
2 c vegetable stock
1 bunch rainbow chard (or Swiss chard, kale, or collard greens) stems removed and torn into small pieces
1 c mint leaves, for serving

*Sometimes, even with a good shake of the can, coconut milk will remain separated. In this case just plop it all into a blender and blend it for 5-10 seconds to make it smooth again.

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic, onion, and ginger, pinches of sea salt and pepper, and cook. Stir occasionally until onion is translucent, about three minutes.
  2. Add turmeric, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas, and season again with generous pinches of sea salt and pepper. Stir frequently while cooking so the chickpeas fry a bit in the spices and oil and start to break down a bit, about eight minutes. Remove ~1 c cooked chickpeas and set aside for serving.
  3. With a spatula, crush remaining chickpeas slightly, something that will help thicken the stew. Add coconut milk and stock, seasoning again with pinches of sea salt and pepper. Bring stew to a simmer and scrape off any bits that have formed on the sides or bottom of pot. Stir occasionally for about 35 minutes as the stew thickens and flavors start to come together.
  4. Fully submerge greens in the stew and stir, cooking about five minutes so they soften. One last time, season stew with sea salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, top stew with mint, fried chickpeas, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves four.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 7/10
Big points for ease, but it wasn’t as life-changing as I’d expected it to be!

Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 7.5/10
What would make it score higher? (me, to Rick)

Chicken. Ground beef? Steak?

Rick, a meat-eating spouse

Adapted from Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric.


More on Bummed Out Baker:
Recipe: Borscht Topped with Sour Cream
Recipe: Roasted Tomato Basil and Rice Soup (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Enchilada Soup


Do you love Bummed Out Baker? Want to help keep it going? Support here. Your contribution means more to me than you’ll ever know!

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Just in time to have missed the holidays, here’s a holiday recipe! Maybe you’re late to celebrate something or other and this still applies. Or, maybe you hate black eyed peas and would rather bust a munch on this delish casserole on New Year’s Day, instead.

Ingredients

~2 lb. sweet potatoes (~4 medium or, in my case, two XXL), peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 c pecans
1/2 c gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 c full fat coconut milk from can
3 T coconut sugar
1 t + 2 1/4 t cinnamon
pinch + 3/4 t sea salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 T ground flaxseed
1 T coconut oil, melted
1 T maple syrup
1/2 t vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place chopped sweet potatoes in large stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil about 20 minutes until easily pierced with fork.
  2. Meanwhile, put oats and pecans in a food processor and pulse a couple of times. You want to break them up a bit, not be a meal.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together pecan/oat mixture, ground flaxseed, coconut oil, maple syrup, 1 t cinnamon, vanilla, and pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Once sweet potatoes finish boiling, strain through a colander and return them to pot. Top with coconut milk, coconut sugar, 2 1/4 t cinnamon, 3/4 t sea salt and nutmeg. Then, mash mixture with a potato masher.
  6. Transfer potatoes to an 8×8″ baking dish and top with maple pecan topping. Bake for 15-17 minutes, keeping an eye to ensure topping doesn’t burn.

Serves 8-10 as side dish.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 6/10
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: 5/10

Tastes like a sweet potato.

Rick, a meat-eating husband

Adapted from Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Recipe: Roasted Artichokes (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Cornbread Casserole (Gluten-Free + Vegan)
Recipe: Corn Risotto (Vegetarian)


Do you love Bummed Out Baker? Want to help keep it going? Support here. Your contribution means more to me than you’ll ever know!

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Recipe: Chole Aloo Tikki (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

What’s up everybody it’s me, mister steal-yo-gurl-with-Indian-food.

season’s greetings! (see what I did there)

Ingredients

2 potatoes
1 T sea salt, divided
1 T cornstarch
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground cumin
1 t cayenne
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 T ground black pepper
3 1/2 T olive oil, divided
1/2 t black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 small dried chili peppers, chopped
1 t cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
1/2 T fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t curry powder
1 t ground turmeric
1 t tomato paste
1 T water
1 tomato, chopped
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot, cover with water, and add 1/2 T sea salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and peel potatoes. Peels should slide off pretty easily after boiling!
  2. In a bowl, mash together cooked potatoes, cornstarch, ground ginger, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, remaining 1/2 T sea salt, and pepper. Mash together using a fork, masher, or your hands if you’re feeling wild. And particularly clean. Your hands. Your hands should be clean.
  3. Oil (clean) hands and divide potato mixture into four portions. Pat each into a patty about 1/2″ thick.
  4. Heat 1 T oil in a skillet over medium. Fry potato cakes about three minutes on each side. Then, remove them from skillet, set aside, and keep warm.
  5. Grind peppercorns and cloves with a bullet-type blender or mortar and pestle if you got it like that.
  6. Heat remaining 2 T oil in skillet over medium-high. Stir in chili peppers, cumin, and bay leaves. Then, add onion, fresh ginger, and garlic. Stir until onion is golden, about three minutes. Then, add pepper-clove mixture, curry, and turmeric.
  7. Dilute tomato paste in the water and then stir it and the chopped tomato into the skillet. Cook over medium heat until the tomato has softened, about three minutes. Stir in chickpeas and let mixture flavors meld over low heat for ten minutes.
  8. Take bay leaves out and spoon chickpea mixture over the potato cakes. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve.

Serves four.

Bummed Out Bailey Rating: 6/10 Spicy, which I like, but a little too time-consuming to make IMHO.
Rick-the-Meat-Eater Rating: N/A – Where was that guy?

Adapted from Indian Chole Aloo Tikki.

More on Bummed Out Baker:
Malai Kofta
Thai Curry Vegetables
Moussaka


Do you love Bummed Out Baker as much as I love creating it? Want to help keep it going? Support here.

To subscribe to Bummed Out Baker by email, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website to find the form. Follow Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild, Facebook for mental health articles and discussion, and Twitter for sassy or informative tweets.

If you or someone you know needs help right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.