Aug 1 18

What’s Your Chicken Soup?


self help chicken soup

Did you know that chicken soup is actually good for you? Like scientifically “good for you”!

Apparently it can help to heal you when you’re sick. And it isn’t just an old wives’ tale – it’s said that eating chicken soup can actually help soothe a cold. The chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus in the lungs, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, and fight inflammation in the throat. Well it’s got to be worth a try, I’d say!

So is it true? Who knows!

But regardless of whether the physical benefits are actually true and scientifically proven, the psychological benefits of a warming bowl of chicken soup when you’re feeling under the weather and a bit sorry for yourself definitely are. And we can all feel this way sometimes I’m sure, whether we’re actually ill or we’re just having a bad day and feeling fed up with ourselves. Unfortunately, having an off-day is part of life.

So can a hot bowl of chicken soup make you feel better when you’re just feeling down? On those days when you can’t be bothered with anyone or anything, those days when you’d rather just hide away under the duvet until the darkness passes? Maybe it can, it depends on you. Maybe chicken soup can soothe you and make you feel better on those days. Who knows?

But let me explain. I’m sure you’ll agree that a rushed chicken cup-a-soup when you’re in the middle of a busy and stressful day is unlikely to do the trick! No, the trick here is not the actual soup but the act of having the soup. So picture the scene….. you’re feeling ill and someone says that chicken soup will help. What happens? You get yourself all cosy on the sofa, maybe with the duvet over you and the telly on, maybe you’re in bed with it on a tray, all tucked up and feeling snug. Maybe you’ve decided to do absolutely nothing or just to watch your favourite film or do something else that you enjoy that’s not too strenuous, read a book, listen to some music, whatever…..

So there you are with your bowl of hot chicken soup thinking “I feel a bit better now actually”. But is it the soup, or is it something else?
I’d say it’s more likely that you’ve decided to be kind to yourself, to take some rest and do something that you enjoy without feeling guilty. Because obviously it’s ok to do it if you’re poorly, isn’t it? But why can’t we do this when we’re just having an off-day? Instead we make ourselves feel even worse because obviously we should be happy all of the time or there’s something wrong with us or we’re just ungrateful or lazy or weak or whatever! We think it’s just us that feel like this but let me tell you, we all have bad days and it’s ok, it’s normal. You don’t have to beat yourself up or pull yourself together, you just have to be kind to yourself a bit more.

So what’s your “chicken soup”? Because let’s face it, it’s not chicken soup is it?

Take a moment now to realise exactly what makes you feel better when you’re feeling down. Is it snuggling up under the duvet, having a pyjama day and watching your favourite film? Would that make you feel better? Is it reading a good book without interruption, doing some painting or a puzzle? Is it getting together with a friend, getting a warm hug off someone or just having a chat on the telephone without feeling guilty that you really should be doing something else?

There are so many things that could make you feel better so whatever it is, just do it and enjoy it. It’s your choice if you want to say “Today is cancelled due to lack of interest!” Just do it! Eat your favourite food, have chocolate if you want, you’re a grown up! You can do whatever you want! And when you look after yourself in this way, you’re looking after both your physical and mental health. And you’re speeding up your recovery time too. Because you could say “I’ve felt low all week and I don’t know why” or you could say “I felt really low the other day but I treated myself to a “me-day” and I felt so much better”.

So find out what your “chicken soup” is and consume it freely whenever you need to. And please remember this…. Feeling guilty in such a situation is a complete waste! When you take care of yourself, you will be able to function more efficiently and do whatever it is you are required to do in your every-day life. Even if you can’t afford to cancel the whole day, you can allow yourself some time to recover and to feel better. Even if you allow yourself half a day, an hour or even 15 minutes, do it. Be kind to yourself, consume your “chicken soup” and enjoy every minute of your allotted time, guilt-free.

Do it, because your worth it! It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity!