Are you in touch with your comfort culture? More than just a catchy buzzword, comfort culture is that sense of comfort and pride that comes from who you are, where you’re from and how you do things. It’s the space where you can relax and let the stresses of everyday life melt away, even for just a few minutes. It’s the feeling of being with old friends who really know you, sitting around the table with family enjoying a great meal or taking a walk under the stars with someone you love. It’s living authentically. How long has it been since you felt that way?
If you can’t remember, you’re not alone. Those moments when you can relax, kick back and say, “Ahhhh” are hard to find. Everyone’s lives are so hectic and stress-filled these days. Between pressure at work, racing to get the kids to practice, bills stacking up, and everyone with their eyes on their cell phones instead of on each other, it can be difficult to find a minute to simply enjoy life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips for finding your own personal comfort culture so you can enjoy real moments, real people and real food – all with an eye on quality connections.
Remind yourself to relax. It might sound odd, but many people don’t realize how tense they are at any given moment of the day. Take a moment to simply breathe and let go of the tension you’re carrying around.
1. Unplug. Disconnect from devices for a while. Declare your lunch hour to be an electronic-free zone. Take a walk outside, have lunch with a friend or co-worker, read a book, go for a workout, anything that doesn’t involve looking at a screen.
2. Kick back with friends and family. Do whatever feeds your soul with your favorite people on the planet. Be the grillmaster at a neighborhood barbecue on a Sunday afternoon. Meet down at the lake for a bonfire with the people you grew up with. Have your best friends over for movies and popcorn. Play a pick-up game of basketball at the park.
3. Enjoy your favorite comfort foods. Guilt free. Whether it’s your grandmother’s famous casserole, a burger and fries, or down-home, done-right, made from scratch biscuits, food and comfort were made for each other. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Hardee’s, for example, has recently tapped into its own comfort culture, serving quality food the way you would make it, while celebrating real people, real moments and local pride. In its new campaign, “Tastes Like America,” they’re evolving the brand with a focus on giving people the comfort culture experiences they’re craving and honoring down-home, done-right food.
4. Let the chores wait. Ban the job jar! Busy working folks tend to load up their weekends with chores that they don’t have time to get done during the week. Cleaning out the garage, mowing the lawn, finally washing those windows after a long winter. But if you’re doing chores all weekend, you’re not re-energizing yourself from a long week. Designate Saturday as your chore day, and save Sunday for relaxation and recharge.
5. Pick and choose the tips that will work best for you. Tapping into your own, personal comfort culture is about filling your soul with whatever makes it soar. There’s time in everyone’s busy day for that.