Design

10 Soothing Things to Chill You Out Today

dog

We had other posts planned for today, but now all I want to do is sit in the corner and have a quiet heart attack. So, let’s all take a quick breather. If you need it, here’s a soft landing place for you…

Above: Look at this little face.

Jordan Firstman's bed

Imagine sleeping in comedian Jordan Firstman’s epic bed!

Take a deep breath and count to 10.

white cliffs of dover

Pretend you’re walking down this path.

Watch this Tetris game with super soft pillow things.

Know that a group of kittens is called a mischief. Also, a shiver of sharks and a crash of rhinoceroses.

pancakes

Think about your simple pleasures. Says Samantha Irby: “You know what makes me happy? Unexpected phone calls in the middle of the day. Remembering what I liked at that one restaurant we went to that one time. Half-dead grocery store flowers just because they were on sale.”

Listen to toddler Anton name the Beatles.

Watch Li Hongbo’s paper sculptures.

high five

Give someone (or yourself) a high five. Sending so much love your way today. Now, we wait. xoxoxo

P.S. Simple pleasures, and what sounds do you love?

(Kittens photo by Stocksy/Christine Love Hewitt. Pancakes photo by Stocksy/Julie Rideout. Soft Tetris via Kottke.)

  1. Emi says...

    A group of bunnies is called a…

    fluffle.

  2. Denise says...

    I used the live jellyfish cam in my Calculus class while they took a quiz. It was very popular and soothing!

  3. Maria says...

    Hi CoJ staff, I would love to see a post rounding up women who have voted for Trump and hearing with their own words, why. I am genuinely trying to understand why it’s even as close of a race as it currently is. Sam Harris’ latest podcast speaks to this and I’m craving more.

    • Alex says...

      I like this idea

    • Amanda says...

      This would be interesting! However, it would definitely be a tough one, as it can be hard to make feature posts about a person whose behaviour you do not wish to normalize… would be super interesting if done carefully!

    • P says...

      ooh. interesting… I would like to read this… but perhaps it would cause a very negative backlash in the comments and then cause a kind of hateful vibe all around, which I feel is generally avoided on CoJ. They try to be positive and uplifting, while still tackling difficult issues in a tactful/sensitive manner. I feel like such a post would be too… difficult to stomach for a lot of readers? I feel like the subject matter would be too volatile. But it’d be interesting for sure, because I am very curious. I have no friends who are outwardly Trump supporters, and the only people I know live deep in the rural areas, where their demographics and lifestyle are completely different from my own. I’d be interested to hear from someone in my own demographic (30s, female, professional) who support Trump… it’d be quite a journalistic challenge to convey the appropriate tone! I hope CoJ considers it.

  4. Susan Y says...

    Yes, I knew the ‘free to leave’ comment would spark disagreement, and for a minute I had forgotten all about how covid makes that practically impossible at the moment. However, in normal situations it is not impossible; I know because I left, and stayed away for 5 years, on money that I earned. Nobody paid a dime on my behalf. I did the research, secured a work visa, later on landed a job in the foreign country, paid taxes, and ultimately received citizenship. Of course that option is not easy for most. So if one cannot leave, what are the options? Be angry, expect retribution, demand that everyone else feels your pain before the world can be right again? I would say, get to know your neighbor; look up local nonprofits doing good work for the people in most pain and volunteer there, or give money. Write to the local paper and invite the community to a forum of discussion and healing. Yes, we do need to be intolerant of intolerance, 100% agreed Olivia! But Jessie, I find it strange that you would just assume I am angry and that I expect others to “halt their mourning in order to make this experience more comfortable for people who have chosen to support a person who wishes to further dehumanize so many of us.” I simply asked for more constructive action and attempts at understanding the other side. – and more reaching across the aisle instead of continued fists in the air. I encourage you to read this article: https://www.city-journal.org/glenn-loury-on-systemic-racism-trump-blm
    By the way, I actually voted for Biden, with the hope that his seemingly decent human character would be better for our country right now than the alternative. However, I can completely understand why many voted for Trump, and why many are very unhappy with the direction this country has been going over the past 20 years.

  5. Susan Y says...

    I think it would be way more productive to be preparing ourselves for how how to be more kind and compassionate and helpful toward our fellow Americans no matter who is elected. To be constructive in building and solidifying the kind of country we all want to live in. Let’s face it – everyone -no matter their race or political affiliation- needs to accept that yes, we are all different, and we may never fully be able to walk in another’s shoes, but that at the end of the day we are all choosing to live in this great country- and it is up to us to keep it great. Tolerance cannot be one-directional. (And by the way, if you are embarrassed to live here or to say that you’re an American because of our president or because of 50% of the voting population, remember that you are free to leave…..)

    • Olivia says...

      Love your message of tolerance, Susan! But I think it’s extremely privileged to say that people who disagree with the president or those who support him are “free to leave.” Procuring work visas, or any other path to citizenship/long-term residence in a different country, pulling up stakes and starting over somewhere else, requires a huge amount of money and resources that many people cannot access.
      Have you heard of the paradox of tolerance? It is true, tolerance cannot be one-directional. But, in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society MUST be intolerant of intolerance. It is not anti-American to criticize intolerance when we see it–in fact, it is one of the mechanisms that is “constructive in building and solidifying the kind of country we all want to live in.”

    • Jessie says...

      We are not free to leave, Susan. Either because of economics in normal times (it is extremely expensive and difficult to emigrate), the fact that this is the only home we have ever known, the inability to work elsewhere, or the added present reality that COVID-19 has effectively banned us from all other developed nations. We are not free to leave. Furthermore, it is not the responsibility of people with broken hearts from marginalization and dehumanization to halt their mourning in order to make this experience more comfortable for people who have chosen to support a person who wishes to further dehumanize so many of us. I would encourage you to spend some time with your feelings of anger toward witnessing the pain that others are in (regardless of how they chose to express that pain). Why do you think this stirs anger or resentment in you? Is there something in your heart or history that this shines a light upon that causes the discomfort? If someone called you a fish this morning you likely wouldn’t have any meaningful emotional reaction because you clearly know that you are not a fish. Is there something here that you feel is being directed at you that causes pain for you because perhaps it resonates in some regard? Maybe I’m off base, but your words here suggest to me that the pain of others has sparked an emotional reaction in you that is not one of empathy or tenderness.

    • Sarah says...

      As a citizen of Canada, I am frankly terrified of a continued Trump assault on the environment. He doesn’t listen to the science of climate change and none of us can move to escape that if we don’t like it. Not trying to make anyone feel badly. But many people in the world are freaked out by Trump because the U.S.’s influence is so large.

  6. Betsy says...

    I stayed off all social media, tv, non-work related computer viewing yesterday. I was about to lose it on Monday. My anxiety is still high, but I love this COJ community so much. I just knew I could come here for calmness. Full of lovely, wise, intelligent people. Hoping for a Biden win, but preparing myself mentally for another 4 years. Time will tell, but I know I can always count on this lovely group for comfort, in the coming days, weeks, years. Light and love to all!

  7. sarah says...

    This is exactly what I needed today!

    I keep reminding myself that an election could make things better, but there’s still so much to do, even if my wishes come true. It’s nice to love your president, but our tax dollars are supposed to make our lives better. Let’s keep the system accountable to us! Let’s not stop the hard work of making this world a wonderful place to be. In a democracy, that job belongs to everyone. Voting is just the starting point.

  8. Rusty says...

    I’m nit religious in any way.
    I lit a candle and prayed for America today.
    Sending love and hope from Australia.

  9. Małgorzata says...

    Sending love from Warsaw. We are also still waiting for the result and resolutions worthy for Poles…

  10. Yvonne S says...

    I would LOVE to cuddle with that ADORABLE TREASURE (photo of puppy ) and make all my anxiety float away. I am talking to him and petting him on the screen. I ADORE HIM!! Made my day!!

  11. Anni says...

    Fingers still crossed in Germany! I had really hoped that this anti-democratic person would get less votes to have a clear result. Can‘t wrap my head around the fact that so many people In the US actually think that this person without any morale or manners should be a World leader. It frustrates me because that all has a really bad impact not only in the US but on the whole world.

    • Jane says...

      AMEN!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes, agreed x a million.

    • Rose says...

      As an America, I am also baffled by how many people support him, not just in traditionally conservative areas, but even here in California (4 million people voted for him here! It boggles my mind!!) It’s one thing to be conservative or Republican and vote for someone like John McCain or Mitt Romney, neither of whom’s politics I agreed with but who were/are both honorable men. It is baffling how many people in this country have voted this immoral, heinous, selfish, fascist man. I’ve lived outside of the CA bubble (intentionally after 2016, I work in public policy and wanted to better understand how people in the Midwest/South think) and I’m still so shellshocked, especially after his response to Covid, which has decimated those areas.

    • Holly says...

      Agree x a million, trillion! And you make a GREAT point, Rose. I say that as a solid independent who voted for Biden and was hoping for Bush to win the last time we had such a nail-biter election.

  12. Ramsey says...

    Thank you so much for that post. Please post something similar today. We need it. Unless Biden is declared the winner, in which case you can just post photos of people jumping for joy and popping bottles of champagne!🤞🏼

  13. Such a well needed post. The path is so beautiful! Where is it? xS

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      The white cliffs of Dover in England xoxo

  14. Meghan says...

    Woke up in the night and couldn’t resist checking the news to see if there was a result. I remember doing the same thing four years ago. Couldn’t fall back asleep so I imagined myself walking down the path in this post! Thank you. I am deeply ashamed at the state of the world. Why is this a close election.

  15. julesg says...

    Watching it unfold from Australia and aching for you all, the tension. These images totally lifted the mood in our home, thanks, take care, stay safe

  16. Cathie says...

    Hello,
    Watching all the news from France and feeling anxiety growing… Had to meditate a long time this morning to feel calm again. Deep breathe ! I might binge watching series today… or binge cooking, apple pie is on the list !
    Cathie

  17. Monica says...

    I’ve been allowing myself some spare minutes to watch YouTube videos of what I like to call “people doing human things” – strangers standing close together listening to a street musician, gender reveal fails, etc. It helps me to focus on the good to get back to. For your enjoyment, Sweet Caroline in a Boston subway: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTXD4kpbATI

    • b says...

      I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole yesterday watching videos of otters who serve as surrogate mothers to orphaned babies.

    • b says...

      Orphaned baby otters, that is. Not human babies.

    • Marybeth says...

      I love this! Thanks for sharing.

  18. Sheri says...

    Sending positive thoughts from Canada.

  19. Kirsten says...

    Sending love from Denmark. We’re still hopeful ♥️

  20. Christina Marsden says...

    I’m feeling anxious and stressed and I’m from Tasmania! I think I will need a soothing bath tonight. Sending love and support xxx

  21. KRez says...

    Quiet heart attack is the best description. Same. Same.

  22. Nurse K says...

    Ummm, sorry major no here: J Firstman’s bed does NOT soothe me…in fact it totally gives me creeped out heebie jeebies. Upon first seeing it on his insta I immediately wondered how it can be cleaned. I am not fastidious nor a pearl-clutcher but wow, EWWW! From what I feel is a basic, reasonable hygiene perspective it strikes me as sooo scuzzy and problematic. Anyone else more triggered than soothed by this fake-fur scape?!

    • Jules says...

      Hahah. I pictured myself falling down the tiers when I was sleeping! And you know that feeling when shag gets old and kinda rough like old carpet?

    • Diane says...

      Same here, Nurse K! I just….can’t.

    • Sara says...

      me! I cringed when I saw it on his instagram. As someone who washes their bedding weekly and is highly allergic to dust, I find it SO GROSS.

    • Shashi says...

      Hahah – i felt the same. And also the path totally freaked me out bc I’m afraid of heights. But the puppy – that made me feel good. Thanks CupofJo for pulling together a variety of options for us!

    • Leah says...

      I love that you called it scuzzy. Perfect word.

  23. Erica says...

    Ahhhh! I did some searching and a group of kittens is NOT a mischief! Baby rats are sometimes called kittens and group of them is a mischief – so very different!! A group of kittens *is* however called a kindle, or more rarely an “intrigue”

    • Anon says...

      An “intrigue”. Ooh, I love that. Thanks for sharing!

      And thanks COJ Team! I believe a group of COJ women are called “Awesome”. ;D

      Love and peace

  24. Laine says...

    Sending folks south of our border (Canada) a whole lot of love today. ❤️ May I suggest more sensitive language though? As someone who has lost two close family members to heart attacks, I find my stomach sink everyone I hear people use “having a heart attack” as a joke or metaphorically.

    • Jane says...

      My granddad died in a ship collision, I get the same tics everytime someone uses the word “sink” as a joke or metaphorically.

  25. Virginie says...

    positive thoughts and much strength from the great white north (Lol…Montreal!)
    Hope things change for the best

  26. I’m a crazy pug person, but my personal favorite–a group of pugs is called a GRUMBLE! Exactly what all of those little smushed face sounds like :)

  27. Melo says...

    A mischief! Hahahaha, thank you for this wonderful collection of humor and serenity, Joanna. It definitely brought a sense of breath to my day. Inspired by you, we (my cat Junipurr and I) put together a “Feel Good Kit” of mostly cat-related humor and cozymaking finds, plus a few oldie but goldie throwbacks (i.e. philharmonic flashmob and rice krispies). Here it is, if you’d like to see:
    https://www.junipurrstudio.com/cat-parent-academy/feel-good-kit

  28. Capucine says...

    Same. Your first paragraph nailed it, didn’t even need to read the rest!

  29. Jen says...

    In between doom scrolling I took my kids to play in a creek for a couple hours and made SK’s morning glory cake so my kids can self serve breakfast tomorrow morning when I’m certain to not be at my best…regardless of results or lack thereof! Start my final phone banking shift in half an hour.

    https://smittenkitchen.com/2020/10/morning-glory-breakfast-cake/

  30. K says...

    Thank you.

  31. Cynthia says...

    I voted this morning, and my precinct was not very busy, but I went after most people have gone to work. Then my husband and I went to Aldi. I found the perfect bins for my sewing books, so I organized them. I finally put away the rest of the bed linens from our camper, and cleaned out a bookshelf. Just how many old file folders does one need? After lunch, I ran errands. I did donate some shoes to Soles for Souls through DSW. I have not listened to the news.

  32. Liz says...

    “now all I want to do is sit in the corner and have a quiet heart attack” 😂 BIG MOOD TODAY. Thank for the smiles in the middle of the stress as always

  33. Janey says...

    Keeping everything crossed from here in the uk. Been nervous all day, can only begin to imagine how you Americans are feeling…

  34. Amy says...

    Aww that smooshy puppy ❤️

    I cast my vote several weeks ago through the mail so it all seemed a bit anticlimactic, but I am feeling the stress today, which has manifested in the form of carbo-loading. Those pancakes look excellent.

    You know what else is a great stress reliever? Orgasms. I could be a walking ad for Dame products—the Arc has been worth every penny. Love my H but no man can hit the g-spot quite like a vibe.

    • jane says...

      Same. Same. Same. I am also making cornbread right now, to eat with pats of butter.

  35. lilliana vargas says...

    You definitely don’t want a quiet heart attack, not something to wish for.

    • Joaquina says...

      She was not being literal or wishing for it. This election has brought so much tumult , stress, and uncertainty and today all of that can feel especially overwhelming.

  36. Meg says...

    Take courage today, dear ones! I’m sending love and a fierce hope for a brighter tomorrow. Waiting with bated breath! Love your friend to the North.
    Xo.

  37. Katie says...

    Anton names the Beatles is sooo sweet and just want I needed today.

  38. Kaitlyn says...

    Thank you CoJ!

    In the past 5 days I found out my husband and I are having a baby boy and started feeling his kicks both inside and out. I come from a family of girls and all of a sudden thought – what do I do with a boy. Then I thought – CoJ! I looked up your old birth posts with Toby, and was filled with so much excitement, I welled up and shared it with my husband.

    The election feels and is so overwhelmingly important, but so are so many other wonderful things happening right now, it was the perfect way to start my day! Thank you for all you share with us.

    And thank you to all the women here, you are such a comfort!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh congratulations, Kaitlyn! You will fall head over heels for that beautiful little boy ❤️❤️❤️

    • Nikka says...

      Congratulations, Kaitlyn! I saw this and just had to say: what wonderful news! Thank you for sharing with us all. xo – Nikka from California

    • Hayley says...

      As a mom of 4 boys, you are in for a delight! Congrats. It’s a joy to be loved so sweetly by a son. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Erin says...

      Kaitlyn, I too grew up in an all-girl family and now have two boys, who are 7 and 10. I was nervous about it at first, but I really love it now. Congrats on your news!

      Also, I find that the “what do I do with…” anxiety is sort of inevitable. (“What do I do with a boy? With a baby who can crawl? With a 4-year-old? With a kid who is obsessed with castles? With a child who won’t eat vegetables?” etc. etc. etc.) But you don’t need to sort it all out in advance — you get to figure out being a mom a little bit at a time.

    • Amanda says...

      Congrats Kaitlyn! I’m also pregnant with a boy and did the exact same thing (looking up old CoJ) posts when I found out.

    • Sage says...

      Just adding to the chorus: You are in for a wonderful ride! I have no daughters to compare the experience, but raising a son is so much fun! And still full of LOTS of snuggling and sweetness. Much love from AZ. :)

  39. Diane says...

    Thank you for this post, definitely needed today. I dug deep and found even more coats and scarves (given to my hubby by his mom that he had never worn bless her heart) to donate to our local shelter and then linens donated to a place that was nearly an hour away. The drive was just the thing since driving is relaxing to me and I could listen to my favorite podcast. It felt good to give (duh!) and good to stop looking at WAPO and NYT constantly. Love to all and lots of it coming from Seattle. and hope so much hope that things will go the right way this time.

  40. Sherri Becker says...

    ❤️Anton!

  41. Yvonne says...

    ..you know exactly what we need today! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you so hard it hurts!

  42. NW says...

    Sending love & courage from England x
    No sleep tonight over here, trying to follow your news!

  43. Lee says...

    Just what I needed today, a moment of levity. That bed is beyond!

  44. Y says...

    Thank God for you, your team and this community Joanna. I just had a big piece of chocolate cake for lunch! Probably the last thing I need right now is sugar, but a salad was not going to cut it!

  45. A says...

    Anton: “Umm…. a boy.”
    Methinks Ringo would love this.
    Hang in there, Joanna and friends!

    • Erin says...

      I was inspired to become an election worker from a cup of joe post a while back! Been a beautiful day for voting in MI! Almost ready to close the polls.

  46. OMG Anton! I’m ded.

    • Kat Rosa says...

      Thank you so much for this <3

    • Sasha L says...

      Yes!! The otter cam is also excellent, esp at feeding time.

    • Sherri says...

      So cool!

  47. Juliette says...

    Good luck Americans. I’ll be watching from Australia with bated breath.

    • Cassandra says...

      Oh man, that bed upped my stress level just imagining all the dust and hair and whatever that would get stuck in it! Eek!

  48. MariaE. says...

    Anton just made my day, my week, my month, my quarter!!! Just what I need today!

  49. Christina says...

    Thank you. I try not to read any news today, since we can’t do anything anyway, Europeans as we are.
    Instead I baked bread and made crepes and did so much laundry. Your post was the perfect break before bedtime!

    • Mel says...

      Thank you and the many other friends from non-US countries for writing! It makes me feel more connected as a global community in our hope for a better, kinder tomorrow!

    • Mel says...

      Haha, ditto! I think the secret is that we need to be adopted by Barb, the foster mama behind @kitten_faces! :D

    • Emily says...

      That account is literally what I watch when I need to calm down! I’ve been staying off of social media this week but sometimes I want an account that is only cute animals.

  50. Claire says...

    I am working from home, but I did get myself some flowers during a quick trip to the grocery store.
    Wonderful post.
    Reading these comments I am especially touched and encouraged by the well wishes from sisters in other countries. that just makes me tear up a bit. So much good will out there – its easy to forget that sometimes.

  51. Patricia says...

    I feel like I am sitting in the waiting room at the hospital and waiting for the doctor to come and and tell me the news. Will our country survive and be well again? Or will we be sick and sad and feeling our worst for another unbearable 4 years?

    • C says...

      Patricia, thank you for articulating this so beautifully. And SAME HERE

  52. lesley says...

    I am trying to understand how Jordan washes his sheets?

    • Kate says...

      Lol same here! All I could think was, “ok, but how do you clean that?!?”

  53. Marisa says...

    Sending our love from Canada! At risk of jinxing things, we bought champagne and hope we’ll be cracking it this evening. In the meantime, that puppy face is everything. xoxo

  54. Amy says...

    This is wonderful Joanna, and I’m so grateful. However, this is a funny smart brilliant group of women and these twelve hours are the most important of the entire election. I’m writing this from a car in Iowa because I drove 5 hours last night from Chicago to knock doors in rural Iowa for people who have had their ballots unfairly rejected. THAT’S HOW CLOSE THIS IS. Do not believe the polls. If we want to flip the Senate, which is the only way real meaningful change can be accomplished, we have to win these close races (like Theresa Greenfield vs Joni Ernst in Iowa!) Please, please find some time today to phone or text bank (it’s easy and not scary I promise, we’re just calling Democrats now ). Balance right? Do an hour of yoga and then an hour of calling and repeat. Don’t watch the election returns—they’re not going to tell us anything useful until 9PM EST and probably not before then. If you live outside of the country, you can phone and text bank, it’s not illegal! Please don’t wish you had done more tomorrow. Tomorrow will be too late. Every single vote counts. I spoke to a woman who was disabled and couldn’t get to the polls desperate to vote an hour ago and we got her a ride. Even if you’ve never phonebanked before, you can learn it in 10m, even if you’re technologically challenged :).

    Don’t wish you had done more. Do more. For 15 minutes. For an hour.
    Go to votesaveamerica.com and click on volunteering to learn more or go to togetherfor2020.org/calendar.

    Sending love!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you!!!

    • Favi says...

      Yes! Thank you for your work! Calling all my friends to make sure they voted!

  55. Shannon says...

    Thank you for this!!

  56. Amelia says...

    This is awesome. Also, I want to say that it’s a testament to how authentically CoJ weaves your own values and politics into your work that this feels helpful and nurturing, not escapist and condescending. There are other blog-y places that say “We know you want a break from politics so here’s some content that looks like it’s from another planet!” and it just feels sad and stressful. You do the work consistently, and that makes these moments to breath well-earned and well received.

    • Claire says...

      “We know you want a break from politics so here’s some content that looks like it’s from another planet!”

      Made me laugh!

  57. Sarah says...

    Speaking of a soft place to land, Sara Bareilles wrote a beautiful song called A Safe Place to Land that she sang with John Legend… It’s about the family separation policy, which is part of what makes it so great and so terrible….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht2NCrlghS4

    And also, she wrote a beautiful song in 2016 about Trump (as she imagined Obama thinking about him) that Leslie Odom Jr sang, not as soothing, but kind of comfortingly… perfect…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI8TCA3fJcs

    I will also be having a quiet heart attack in the corner, but these songs will help a little bit.

  58. Quinn says...

    I knew you’d come through today – thanks Joanna. Sending love while listening to rain falling (and trying to focus on work).
    Signed, your very nervous neighbour in Canada.

    • Sonia says...

      Love this reply, Quinn! As a fellow neighbour in Canada, I’m feeling the exact same way and doing the exact same thing (rain and all!).

  59. Andrea says...

    I haven’t read the other comments yet but my goodness imagining walking down that path on the cliff has the exact opposite of relaxing me!

    • Milou says...

      ME TOO!!!

  60. Madeline says...

    From a very anxious person who is doing as much phone banking as I can today, I hope Samantha Irby isn’t the only one who loves random middle-of-the-day phone calls!

    • courtney says...

      Haha, thank you Madeline!

  61. Heather says...

    I heard on NPR this morning that Mo Willems will be hosting a Democracy Doodle on the Kennedy Center website starting at 7pm Eastern tonight. My five-year-old and I loved watching his Lunch Doodle series at the beginning of the shutdown last spring, and it seems fitting that he’s back to help us through another tough, stressful time. https://www.kennedy-center.org/mowillems/

  62. dominique says...

    Bon courage my American pals!
    xoxo

  63. Denise says...

    Thanks, I especially need the breathing one, and the kittens. I’m at my office which is completely wrapped in plywood to protect the glass from the upcoming expected protests. You’d think the fortress would feel secure but it only makes me more anxious. Definitely the calm before a battle in the air. Everyone is barely functioning trying to get some work done. & now I’m going on the humane society website to see all the kittens. Be kind to each other!

  64. A says...

    Read Fahrenheit 451 aloud with my ninth graders.

    From the introduction by Neil Gaiman (60th anniversary edition):

    “If we lose them [stories], we lose our shared history. We lose much of what makes us human. And fiction gives us empathy…gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.”

    • Claire says...

      So wonderful!
      And I see your Ray Bradbury and raise you 1 Sir Terry Pratchett: ” There’s always a story. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.”

    • Meg says...

      Love this!!! Literature is a balm and a comfort and keeps us asking questions.

    • Lee says...

      Oh Neil. He is so spot on, love him. Thanks for sharing this great quote.

  65. Calla says...

    thanks so much! this was exactly what I needed today!

  66. jdp says...

    drinking a nice cup of tea and looking at this post!

  67. Emma says...

    Thinking of you from Spain! Love this List…

  68. Meg says...

    I think a group of kittens in a kindle, and a group of cats is a clowder (we doubled our household cat count to 4 during quarantine whee!). Thank you for giving me the opportunity to think about something other than politics.

    • Kathy says...

      And a mischief refers to rats :-0

  69. Agnès says...

    I’m thinking of you, from Paris, the future is full of hope.

  70. Maria says...

    Lovely post! soft tetris hypnotizes!
    Hugs

  71. stephanie scherer says...

    Your Anton content is keeping me afloat right now…. thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us! Hugs and love to all, S

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha Anton is happy to oblige!

  72. Tania says...

    I love Samantha Irby but “unexpected phone calls in the middle of the day” is my idea of hell hahaha. Thank you, anyway, for this cuddly and diversionary post :)

  73. Jilly says...

    Sending love today to all my American neighbors to the South! I’m certainly thinking of you from Canada <3

  74. Emma says...

    This post was lovely. I woke up this morning with an intense need to declutter my entire apartment, and thankfully my very chill husband obliged and together we have sifted, sorted, tossed and organized. I am sure it’s a mixture of both election and third-trimester anxiety (what a time!) but now I am feeling much more zen and hopeful.

    • b says...

      I also want to organize all the things, except I’m an organized minimalist (to a fault sometimes) and so there is nothing to organize.

  75. Colleen S says...

    I’m doing a marathon of DVDs and trying to stay off social media and Twitter news.

  76. Anon says...

    Oh friends! I can’t believe it is here. Thinking of you all and sending so much love from Canada. Xoxo

  77. Maggie Kiely says...

    I would feel alot better if I could face-plant into the fluffy neck rolls of that first dog…but I guess I’ll settle for wine and hiding from the news.

  78. Christine says...

    Thank you for today’s post – exactly what is needed. I love CoJ for so many reasons, but today just nailed it.

  79. Maryn says...

    Gahhh, is that photo (four down) of the White Cliffs of Dover? One of my favorite spots on earth. Thank you for this lovely post!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!! Good eye!

    • marcella says...

      the white cliffs of Dover reminds me of the movie Dunkirk! When they finally make it back to England at the end of the movie and see the cliffs from their boat it was so breathtaking.

  80. Anne says...

    Also, a swarm of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope. I think that’s just lovely.

    • T says...

      so, so lovely. xoxo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So beautiful. Xo

  81. jeannie says...

    Mush needed post! OH, that top picture!

  82. Kristin says...

    I’ve been trying to focus on work all day and it’s been an uphill battle… I am just so worried and anxious. Love to all of the COJ readers and writers, especially today.

  83. NM says...

    I knew I should come here for some peace! You always read our minds and hearts. I did some phone banking for Biden in the morning but now I am done and need to do some chocolate banking for me. I’ve been melting dark chocolate on bread in the toaster oven. And then eating it. xoxo to all the anxious hearts. We are in this together no matter what.

    • Kelsey says...

      Chocolate + bread is what we all need today. Brilliant.

    • Emily says...

      @NM, do you deliver to Massachusetts?

  84. Love this.

    A few things that are / have helped me:

    – Watching live stream videos on YouTube of animals — the manatee sanctuary at Homosa Springs in FL is wonderful

    – Asking myself what my heroes would do— Mr. Rodgers, Neil Armstrong, Maya Angelou, David Whyte, Martin Luther King, Prince etc. – then pretending in my mind to do those things. The brain doesn’t know the difference between pretending or if it’s actually happening so it floods the system with feel good stuff and helps resource from other people.

    – journaling about hope or the possibility of a positive outcome. So regardless of the outcome, what could be the possible positive outcome(s)?

    – Mac N Cheese for lunch and dinner.

    – putting my hand on my heart and telling my little self it’s ok and I’m sorry she’s anxious

    – Xanax. Took one yesterday and that was a first.

    ❤️

    • Maryn says...

      Thanks for the live stream nature/animal videos tip! Going back and forth between a few right now and they are everything. :)

    • This was so helpful! Some things I hadn’t thought of. Thank you, Ashley! 🖤🖤 Hayley

  85. MelB says...

    All of these are just perfect, except for that bed. This pediatrician and dust-allergic can’t even handle the potential for dust in that fur. It’s like fingernails on chalkboard. Today was a day for $3.99 flowers at Aldi for me and to drop on friends’ porches. It’s going to be a long week, and we can all use some brightness in our days.

  86. Kelly says...

    Listening to “Don’t You Worry” by Stevie Wonder. Deep breaths.

  87. liz says...

    I’m thinking chocolate is necessary too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes definitely!

    • Linnea says...

      And wine! So. Much. Wine

      Sending you love and hope from Sweden 💕. As crappy and anxious as I have felt today (and the last four years!) I cannot imagine what it feels like for you. I am holding your hands virtually, and sending you all internet hugs. May the future hold something better for us all.

  88. Allyson says...

    Woke up early to have coffee at home, not on the drive to work. Took a Xanax. Shared the latest COVID numbers for my small community on my Facebook so people don’t lose sight of just what all is at stake today. And now, I have to find a weighted blanket to sit under all night. Cheers, hugs, love to everyone today.

  89. Alyssa says...

    Oh yes, this is what I need! My anxiety spiral is insane today. Why did I always think a group of kittens is called a kindle?

    • Calla says...

      Hahahahaha stop! I wish it was, a kindle of kittens, can’t stop laughing

    • Michaela says...

      Okay I had to google this because I was curious! I group of baby cats is a kindle and a group of baby rats/mice (also referred to as kittens) is a mischief — at least according to the interwebs. Both bring me joy to think about though!

  90. Alysse says...

    Thank you for this! Much needed.

  91. Allyson says...

    Great post. Thank you!

    Anybody else absolutely hate 2/3 things that make Samantha Irby happy? Unexpected phone calls?! Dead grocery store flowers?! Um, no thanks!

    • Louisa says...

      Ha! How about 3/3? Thinking about restaurants is just depressing right now!!

  92. Meghan says...

    Youtube videos of falling dominoes. Weirdly fascinating and hypnotic.

    • katie says...

      V for Vendetta has the BEST dominoes scene. (But, a political movie).
      You might also like some classical music creative videos – they use shapes and marbles and do amazing things! Like this one based on Tchaikovsky. https://youtu.be/GCTyFp0PpHE

  93. Marisa says...

    Joanna, I was wondering…. how about if(when!) Biden wins, you get a dog?!?! What do you think? I’m sure the boys would be in favor :)

    • Maryn says...

      I second this!

    • Vanessa says...

      Pressure!!

    • Marisa says...

      hahaha- no, definitely, not trying to put more pressure out there! Just trying to distract myself with a fun thought :). I’m the one who wishes she had a dog today!

  94. Manda says...

    A group of Crows are a Murder

  95. Meg says...

    You perfectly named how I’m feeling – “all I want to do is sit in the corner and have a quiet heart attack.”

    I’m feeling anxious and weirdly alone right now, so just want to say to everybody else (maybe in order to convince myself?): whatever happens today, you’re not alone and we’re in this together <3

  96. Lauren says...

    Looking forward to bundling up for a brisk walk (its in the 40s here) and listening to my favorite podcast – Who Weekly! Also decided that today is a good day for comfort food gluttony – just made nachos for lunch and plan to make Martha’s mac and cheese for dinner. Treating myself to anything comfortable in these decidedly uncomfortable times :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes!!

    • Emily says...

      Martha’s Mac and cheese is easily the best Mac of all time!

  97. Meg says...

    This is exactly what I needed right now! You perfectly named how I’m feeling – “all I want to do is sit in the corner and have a quiet heart attack.”

    I’m feeling anxious and weirdly alone right now, so just want to say to everybody else (maybe in order to convince myself?): whatever happens today, you’re not alone and we’re in this together <3

  98. MA says...

    Thanks – what a great list. A mischief of kittens!
    I called my parents this morning, who are on the complete opposite side of the political spectrum, and was reminded that regardless of who wins, we are all in this together.

  99. Mara says...

    Today as I work I’m listening to my favorite podcasts, as long as none of the episodes breathe a word about politics. Then after work I’m getting a pizza from my favorite place, even if it’s a tad overpriced. For the sake of my mental health I won’t be hunkering down to watch minute-by-minute coverage. I’ll probably put on a fun movie and just pop into Twitter from time to time for updates. Hugs to everyone out there, especially those who feel like this is a life-or-death situation.

  100. Nicole Christie says...

    Thanks for this, Joanna. What would I do without Cup of Jo? Blessed to be part of this community, especially today. And now…indeed we wait. ❤️🤞🏻

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3

  101. Laura says...

    Lots of deep breathing, tea, chocolate, and ASMR audio today!!

    • carolyn says...

      Thank you for this post. I shared it with my anxiety-ridden daughter who lives in Florida who needed it today, as did we all. She loved the pancakes! I went for the kittens, but that was a given…I’m now home with my 7 cats!

  102. liz says...

    your posts have been perfect this week. thank you.

  103. MC says...

    God same. Deep breaths.

  104. Jessie says...

    Today, I’m going to go and rewatch my favorite parts of my favorite shows (Fleabag, Suits, Ms Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and cook homemade pretzels with nacho cheese sauce. I’ve had it planned for weeks! I even woke up early to get work done, so I had more time during the day. Waiting is so hard and typically I’d curl up in bed with anxiety and make poor social media choices. So, I made a plan for something better!

    • b says...

      Miss Fisher is my favorite. I’ve seen the whole series through a bunch, but the other day I watched the Christmas in July episode (you know, where they go to the creepy mansion?) and it was SO GOOD. It’s so well done.

    • Jessie says...

      B, oh it’s such a joy! And, Nathan Page, swooooon! He is my celebrity crush forever and ever. If you haven’t seen Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries on AcornTV, it’s also delightful. I was hesitant to try it because how can it compare, but surprisingly it was also lovely. I’m going to watch that episode today now in honor of you. Thank you for the reminder!

  105. Joanna + team, how do you always get it so, *so* right???

    Just 20 minutes ago, already feeling the anxiety aflutter, I started culling together my own list of distraction/self-soothing strategies. Obviously this post is now at the top of the list, but here’s the list in case anyone else would like to see (and please feel free to add your own suggestions, if you’d like!)

    https://app.compelld.com/c/mpcGhMJrFnFgSywaB9ZJt5

    • Jenna says...

      Love this list! And love Compell’d. Making fun lists on Compelld is always a fun distraction for me :) so that’s an added bonus. Thanks for sharing!

  106. Sarah says...

    I just went and stood in a bookstore for a minute. I didn’t need to buy anything, but I did need to take a big breath of fresh papery air.

    • Sarah says...

      Love this!

    • Heather says...

      Sarah,

      I think we are kin.

      xo

    • Kristin says...

      Love this. What a good idea :)

    • Erica says...

      This is beautiful and I know the exact smell!

    • Calla says...

      omg good idea! Definitely going to do this this afternoon!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg I just did the same at Books Are Magic!

    • Sadie says...

      I’m picking up a big stack of fiction from the library today. I’m planning on hiding in books until it feels safe to come out.

  107. LB says...

    My favorite name for a group of animals is a flamboyance of flamingos! Always makes me smile. Thank you for this!

    • yj says...

      THANK YOU FOR ADDING THIS. A “flamboyance”. I’m just going to sit in the corner and chuckle with my mischief of kittens :)

      and for this website and the community.

      <3 <3 <3

    • isavoyage says...

      How wonderful!
      Is there a site where all these words are listed?

  108. Ann says...

    Thank you!

  109. Courtney says...

    This list is so good! I can’t even pick a favorite (though that furry bed looks AMAZING). Poor Ringo. A boy! Hahah.

    Please don’t have any type of heart attack. We need you here! xo

  110. Julie says...

    Thanks Cup of Jo team. Sending love to everyone out there today. And for the love of the hairs that have not yet fallen out of my head from stress, if you haven’t voted yet, VOTE, PEOPLE, VOTE!!!!! I don’t want to go bald!!!

  111. GT says...

    Hugs for everyone for this week. No matter what happens, let’s hope our nation is stronger together and our priorities are rooted in helping each other during this trying time.

  112. Christa says...

    And a charm of hummingbirds. ✨ Def a little hard to function today.

  113. Mouse says...

    That video of Anton is not helping with my matrimonial plans with him…..:)
    And we have a mischief of kittens right now. Definitely helping.
    Please VOTE.

  114. Amber says...

    Thank you for this! Just what is needed for today! Xoxo

  115. alison says...

    I would LOVE to imagine sleeping in Jordan Firstman’s bed, amiright?! (I know he’s gay, but a girl can dream.)

    • a.n. says...

      lolol this made me giggle.