Self-Care Sunday #1: The Power of Baking and Amélie The Musical

Words: Emily Cliff

Tired? Stressed? Anxious about life, the universe, the pandemic, politics and everything? Welcome to Self-Care Sunday; a place where we can all take a moment to ignore absolutely everything on our to do lists to do things that make us happy. So put down that salad, pick up a slice of cake and pour the biggest glass of wine your kitchen has to offer; no one is leaving this page without gaining at least 10 stone in emotional eating – and with books, music, films and more to make you feel good.

For me, and many other people baking is a perfect way of releasing stress. Something you can shift your focus to. Something that you can take your time to and truly create a masterpiece, and then just stuff your face with it at the end. As much as I adore the orchestral sounds of my hand mixer and fan oven, I always have to have an album or soundtrack on to accompany me. I’ve always liked musical theatre. Ever since I could talk I was always finding a way to be Mary Poppins, or Truly Scrumptious. That’s why these soundtracks bring so much joy and happiness and, most importantly, serenity. 2020 has been a pretty shitty year to say the least, however for many of us it has made us grow an appreciation for the little things in life. For example, taking 10, 20 or even the whole day to just stop. Stop to smell the roses, stop the mind from running 100 miles an hour (especially when I can barely run 10 minutes without needing an ambulance and a shirtless picture of Chris Hemsworth to get me going again). Watching a Disney movie or revisiting a memory from your childhood is perfect for this!

We all need to look for the good in life. Whether it be helping an elderly person across the street or petting a dog in the park, it’s the little things we do or notice day to day that make life worth living. Amélie is a french film all about kindness and where it can lead you. Turned into a Broadway musical in 2015, with Hamilton’s Philipa Soo playing the lead, the soundtrack captured the hearts and smiles of many that came to see it. Unlike others, I discovered the world of Amélie through its original cast recording and fell in love with her charm, and character instantly. From the suicidal fish to the glass man, this film has everything you could possibly need for a Self-Care Sunday watch.

Now, if you haven’t already got through half a pack of Tesco’s Finest croissants at this point, i’ll let it slide because it’s the first week. However, if you need transporting to a holiday when you can’t get away I’d suggest you get eating those croissants right away. The one thing I love about this movie, and its musical sister, has to be the music. When your passport has expired and you can’t leave your house without Mr Boris throwing a tantrum, it’s natural to want an escape, our very own Tardis if you will. I find french music perfect for this, and the Amélie soundtrack, both the musical and film can transform your Echo Falls into a delightful Sauvignon Blanc. However, the moment from the film that captured my heart was the very first act of kindness she showed, returning the childhood box to Dominique Bretodoux. The music both in the film and the musical seems to capture every emotion imaginable that was going through his head when he received the box, and the sheer happiness and buzz Amélie got from returning this lost treasure. The act of kindness was not only making someone else’s day brighter, but her own.

A throwback and blast from the past is brilliant for everyone when it comes to self care. Many of us forget that we have to take care of ourselves, not just by eating, drinking and exercising, we forget to allow ourselves to indulge in the nicer things in life just once a week. If there is anything we have learned from Amèlie, and taking care of ourselves is that if we make others happy then the gesture is bound to reflect in ourselves. So when you step into the booth of self care what do you see when it goes bright? A happy memory? A favorite song or album? Harness that. Savour it. Self care is anything from taking a moment to breathe to doing a full skincare routine, to even going on TikTok. It’s important to remember to take these little moments again to just stop. So when you think of self care, you are not being selfish, in fact you are being quite the opposite. Everyone deserves some Me Time, why don’t you?

Now with that in mind, put on our Self-Care Sunday playlist, and be fancy! Make the best muffins, croissants and cookies you possibly can! And to refer to a completely different movie, anyone can cook! And if it makes you happy, screw what everyone else thinks.

Listen to the LDN’s Self-Care Sunday #1 Playlist here:

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