From the Editor's Desk: Restoration in Everyday Tasks - Verily

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately.

When we started self-isolating, I imagined we’d eat simply—how could we do otherwise, when spreading out grocery pickups and dealing with out-of-stock ingredients? Part of my job as Verily Yours editor is testing new recipes for Verily Table, and I wondered whether that would even be possible. But as the reality sank in that we’d be home for a while, I began looking for recipes again. Each new recipe completed and dish tasted brought comfort, but not just in the typical way we think of “comfort food.” In a time when much of my usual routine was stripped away, trying new recipes gave me the normalcy I craved.

So much else has changed, but cooking dinner is one thing that still happens every day. And in that way, it is a source of respite for me, a time when I can sink into a normal rhythm of chopping and stirring and tasting. I have also come to see it as a creative project. Yes, I’m following directions, but I’m also making substitutions with what I have, and adjusting to fit our tastes. And the result is something I have made with my own hands.

The ordinariness of the dinner hour has become extraordinary, and an everyday task has become a form of self care.

It can sometimes be hard to see how valuable these everyday tasks can be beneath all the logistics of getting something done. Here at Verily, we understand that because we also struggle with these realities in our lives. And that’s precisely why our membership, Verily Yours, was designed the way it is—to help lift some of the mental load from our everyday lives, which, in turn, helps make those everyday experiences more meaningful.

You may have noticed that we’ve begun publishing previews of our Verily Yours newsletters on the main Verily website, and that’s something you’ll be seeing more of. This week, for example, we’ll offer a peek at a Verily Home edition about perking up the walls in your home (even if you’re a renter), a Verily Table edition featuring a chicken dish with “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning, and a Verily Work edition about why having default choices can save us time and energy.

Prior to last week, each edition was delivered only as an email newsletter, but now that we've launched our Verily Yours Collection website, all content, past and present, is accessible to members. So if you see a Verily Yours article (or several!) that piques your interest, you need only to start your free trial to read it on our beautiful, ad-free Collection website. In the process, you'll be supporting our mission and sustainability as a publication.

Our upcoming Verily Yours editions are nice complements to the regular free content at Verily this week, where we’ll have much of our focus on mental health. One woman shares lessons she has learned from living with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and how those lessons have served her during the pandemic. If you’re feeling fearful right now, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for that one. Another woman will share how 72 days working aboard a cargo ship freed her from burnout. Even though many of us probably don’t have that option, there are concrete takeaways to learn from her experience. We’ll also take a look at evaluating our friendships and alternatives to completely cutting off so-called “toxic” people.

We’ll dig into history with a piece on heroines of the past who were pioneers in health care (beyond Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie), and we’ll touch on fashion with a piece about fine-tuning your style during quarantine. And for a touch of fun, we’ve got ideas about making the most of a rainy day.

As you engage with the content this week, we warmly invite you to consider joining the Verily Yours community. We’d be honored to add the Verily touch more deeply to your daily lives (and each membership starts with a FREE 30-day trial period). We can’t run Verily without our dedicated readers, and we wouldn’t want to even if we could.