Relationships

A Sixty-Second Way to Feel Good

Julie Houts comic

Do you follow illustrator Julie Houts on Instagram? She made this amazing series to help everyone quell their anxiety for a moment. Take a deep breath and play along…

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

Julie Houts comic

How great is that? I really do feel more relaxed. Sending you all the biggest hug during these difficult times. Hope you’re hanging in there. xoxoxo

P.S. The Grand Canyon trick that changed my life, and a tongue twister just for fun.

  1. Karleen says...

    I love this! Reminds me of the kids book, Press Here (which my 3 year-old LOVES) but for adults.

  2. Liz says...

    I’ve come back to this every day since you’ve posted. Thank you for helping me cope. We’re in this together. All my love from Sydney, Australia. ❤️

  3. OL says...

    That was so good. Thank you for posting it.

  4. jane says...

    Oh yay – I’ve followed her for years and I am so happy she is using her powers for good because she can be very dark lol. I love her illustrations.

  5. Sarah says...

    This was very comforting! Just what I needed from COJ tonight.

  6. Susan says...

    I wish the media & gvmt. would share more ways to help. I know of a few things in my area (pantry packs for kids meals, restaurants donating) but I think people really want to contribute. Maybe cupofjo can start sharing ideas? Being able to help others helps me feel less helpless :)

  7. I got laid off from my job as a graphic designer for a nature travel company on Friday. Today is day 1 of both unemployment and quarantine. I feel a bit low and it is THE MOST TERRIBLE TIMING (though I know it is directly correlated to the virus… tourism industry is taking a HIT!)

    This helped. Thanks for sharing. Stay safe and indoors COJ community!

    • MDeck says...

      Devin – I’m so sorry to hear. That’s really hard and stressful. This is a scary time, and I’m sending you all my most positive thoughts. Stay strong.

  8. Bryn says...

    I love Julie Houts! She is immensely talented. I have her first book and one of her prints. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Isabella says...

    Currently staring out at grey skies from my bed while sick and scared in the Bay Area, and that gorgeous wash of summertime blue in the last image feels like oxygen to my soul. Hoping everyone is feeling safe and strong, or at least finding sustaining crumbs of safety and strength amidst all the difficulties.

    • Abesha1 says...

      Even the weather here feels apocalyptic at the moment, doesn’t it???
      And yet, if it were sunny, I’m not sure that would be better. Tough days here in the Bay.

    • jane says...

      Fyi, an expat I follow in Hong Kong says that it is abating there and things are returning to normal and that the US can expect the same and to hang in there – flu season will be over soon! That really helped me, hearing that, hope it helps you too!

  10. Mary says...

    Thank you I needed this! On top of everything going on in the news, my 2 year old is doing appointments with children national hospital to figure out some things and this morning I got news that his blood results were off And needed more investigation. He was seeing a Neuromuscular doctor and Cardiologist, now he has an appointment with a Metabolic and Genetic doctor at the end of March. I feel scared for what might be wrong, and also worried his appointment will be canceled or we will get sick going into the hospital. And then worried that if he needs to go again will there be a shortage in something he needs. Or not able to have his blood draw. Also what if they don’t let us travel from state to state At some point, and we can’t go from Maryland to our appointments in Washington DC. Ugh it’s a challenging time for everyone but I feel like I am drowning in worry for my son and all that is going g on in the world, so deep calming breaths are very much needed.

    • Jenna says...

      This is just awful. I am thinking of you and your son. I don’t know how to stop all the worry but i hope we can take a bit of it on for you.

    • cilla says...

      Mary, sending you my love

    • Shirley says...

      I’m so sorry Mary. Please continue taking deep breaths and try to focus on each moment. Focus on the breath to bring yourself back from your worry as often as you need. Try to focus on what you CAN control and let go of what you can’t. Try to remain steady and calm for your child but remember that he is also allowed to see you as human, with emotions. Focus on the color of your child’s eyes in the daylight. And the way he smiles at you at the end of the night when you put him to bed. Tell him I love you as often as you can, but focus on the syllables themselves and what it may sound like to his ears. Focus on your senses and have him focus on his too. Have him carry a smooth rock or fuzzy bear or anything that he loves and ask him to rub the item whenever he feels scared or nervous. Most of all, hang in there, and take care of yourself too. I’m a therapist and mindfulness teacher and really really hope some of these tips help. Sending Love and hoping your son is okay, XO, Shirley

    • Mary says...

      Thank you all for your kind words and advice, really helpful and needed! I followed your tips Shirley, and felt myself focusing on my child and the now, rather than everything going on, and what ifs about tmrw, which I realized was making me miss the lovely, wonderful moments of growth that he was having everyday in my stress. I also love the idea of him stroking something with a comforting texture when scared, all the masks really scare him and blood draws with people in masks can be intense so anything that helps… I am sad as his physical therapy practice is most likely closing soon, and he gets so much from that. I worry for the much more vulnerable children that go there that could regress if not in care long term, and the parents that are trying to cope working from home, as well as being home school teachers and now potentially therapists for there children while working full time. I cringe when I see people ignoring the guidelines and being out and about in groups, they are really hurting so many people in so many ways. But I am thankful for the many acts of kindness and love that are happening around the world, people coming together and helping each other, and the tiny everyday quite things that if not ignored can be so powerful. Take care everyone!

  11. Sonia says...

    Meera,
    Virtual hug. You’ve got this. We’re rooting for you.

    In my darkest hours, I held on to simple, but oh-so true words: This too shall pass.

    You will overcome this, and be stronger for it.

  12. kiki says...

    Huh, I think i’m too jaded by agency life. This just read like a terrible client brief to me…makes me want to rage just a tiny bit. LOL.

  13. Ellie says...

    She is fantastic!

  14. Giulia says...

    A hug from me too! Sending you love from London xxx

  15. Meera says...

    My boyfriend that I thought I would spend forever with broke up with me suddenly, and with little preamble, a day before the recent increasing stay at home restrictions. I have a propensity for anxiety, depression and mania.

    While I know there are bigger things then me out there and am trying to do my part for the community, I’m really afraid about what the next two weeks confined at home, alone with no family, with nothing but my thoughts to dwell on in this difficult time, will do to me. I’ve always been so thankful for the COJ readership and wonderful, supportive comments here and could really use a virtual hug at this time! Love all of you and stay safe.

    • Robin says...

      Sending a virtual hug.

    • Lauren says...

      Thinking of you and sending hugs – you’re not alone <3

    • That sounds so hard Meera. Sending you virtual hugs and lots of love. Take good care of yourself right now, you deserve it.

    • Dawn says...

      So sorry – sending hugs! Break ups are tough and especially now, I am sure it will be even tougher. Hang in there! You will get through this.

    • Jess. says...

      Meera–hugging you! 2015 was my year of “things piling on,” and I want to tell you that I made it! And so can you! (I’m not just sending hugs, but real, genuine love) xox

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Sending hugs to you, Meera. That sounds really hard. You will get through this. Xoxo

    • dana says...

      Hey Meera. I also had a year of “things piling on”. It was horrible, even without the quarantine restrictions, so I can only imagine how crappy you must be feeling. Sending you a huge hug and a suggestion….

      During my horrible year, there was one thing I would kind of look forward to: Each night, I would fill the tub with hot water, balance my laptop on the toilet (streaming something familiar and comforting– like Friends or Parenthood or the movie Julie and Julia. I must have watched that move a thousand times that year), and eat a bowl of ice cream while I soaked in the tub. Sure– it didn’t really fix anything in my life. But it would trick me out of my obsessive thoughts for a little while. Maybe it will help you too? <3

    • nicole says...

      Try to keep busy. Paint your bedroom a cheery color. Bake some cookies. Watch a whole season of a funny show. Stay positive. call an old friend.

    • nadine says...

      Meera, it sounds really difficult. I have a propensity for depression and anxiety too and I’m struggling in this days to remember about the beautiful things in the world out there. If it can help you even for a moment, watching this video made me feel a bit lighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ver8vy7US4s
      Sending a virtual hug your way.

    • Eli says...

      You are so strong Meera! Hang in there – you’ll make it through to the other side. Big hugs!

    • Amy says...

      Meera – you are a star. Don’t let anyone dim your light. Sending you love.

    • Hilary says...

      Hugs for you, Meera! ❤️

    • Neysa Mendes says...

      Big hug Meera. Might I suggest The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy . I thumb through and quickly enough I’ll find a page which really resonates with how I’m feeling/how I’d like to feel and it calms me a fair bit.

    • Liz says...

      Sending a virtual hug! If you want a good cry (or several), may I suggest reading A Little Life? When I was dealing with a breakup, that book helped me let myself release my emotions. Or if you want some humor, I love Samantha Irby :) you will get through this! It might suck! But you can do it!!!

    • Isabella says...

      I’m so sorry, Meera — grieving the end of a serious relationship on top of all the current events is most definitely a case of too much piling on at once! Sending hugs and support. I hope you have friends and family you can reach out to right now, and I hope you can find the strength and determination to do the reaching out; I know from my own struggles with depression how hard it can be to throw open a window and shout for help, but people do want to, and they love you, and the CoJ community has got your back!

    • Ginny says...

      Sending love and light and peace to you <3

    • Plant mom says...

      Meera—you are stronger than this situation and I am right here beside you to ride this out and be a support! You are so loved by so many.

      Xoxo,

      Your former officemate, work wife and COJ reading bestie (yes, it’s me)

    • Lizzie says...

      Hi Meera! A lot of folks have already posted great advice here, just wanted to add that it might help to set up a phone call or facetime date with a friend during this period. While you’re stuck at home alone, try to talk to someone every day. I bet even old friends would be happy to reconnect and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel after talking with someone. Good luck and remember you are stronger than you know! Sending a big hug! <3

    • Emily says...

      Thinking of you! I can’t imagine how painful and scary this must be. You are strong– you will get through this. Think of this as a balm for your soul, a time you can cocoon yourself and do what makes you feel better. And don’t be afraid to reach out to trusted family, friends, or even strangers if you need anything. You are not alone. Sending love your way !

    • Annie says...

      I agree with Isabella – try to get at least one phone call or FaceTime with a friend a day. It does not need to be a close friend – anyone will do, even if mundane topics. Tell the people you are close with that you need a little extra from them right now. Daily interaction helps to keep us grounded, even if virtual. Sending you good vibes!!!

    • JenniferinAustin says...

      Sending a Texas-sized hug your way, Meera. xo

  16. Katie says...

    This reminds me of the kids book Press Here. Nice visualization.

  17. Giulia says...

    This really helped. I’m pregnant, away from home (the north of italy) and in the UK, which is taking no reasonable precautions yet, so I am so terribly anxious. This truly helped. I will be going back to that beautiful blue if I feel panicky again. Sending love to you all, and courage! Xx Giulia

  18. Erika says...

    Loved this, thank you!

  19. Rusty says...

    I thought I didn’t want to do that … but … I did it anyway and it was good! :)

    • Lauren E. says...

      SAME! Thanks COJ. Sending you guys love.

    • BC says...

      Same! But I am so glad that I did :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      It really was weirdly calming.

  20. m says...

    This was creative and nice, thanks!

  21. Amelia says...

    This is so great, thanks for sharing!