"I’ve just finished baking a cake”, she tells me. "A healthy one!" She adds. I can hear her wink, grinning through the phone.
This would be normal if it wasn't 2pm in the afternoon on a busy workday. But I know my friend well: she is highly trained, not just in baking, but in the art of cherry bakewell-ing. Read: she knows how to help herself heal and recover from setbacks.
Even when she is feeling lost, she voices it. "I'm not ok, every time I feel I'm stronger, I realise I still have these weaknesses. I feel lost."
She is not the only one.
In a single week, if different people are telling me the same thing, and I feel it myself, it is hard not to pay attention.
I have a couple of theories about feeling lost mid-year.
One theory is simply: energetics.
Life by June typically gets tricky. And sticky t00, if you're in a hot country.
Most people have been working non-stop for several months, deep in the swing of life's ups and downs for almost half a year since they last took a break.
It's enough time for both good and bad habits to have formed, especially following crises or chaotic, life-changing events that have happened, whether they are good or bad ones.
The second theory for feeling lost in June is chaos.
Crazy, unexpected things have usually happened in the six months since December.
They might be good or not so good. They might be traumatic. But things have happened, and life goes on without much of a break.
So by way of an antidote, here are three things I've done in the past little while.
Three ways to comfort myself when lost, curated by observing some of the most powerful women I know carry on through it all:
One is truly affected by the company one keeps.
Sharing with trusted ones you can turn to when you're feeling low is a blessing.
The ones who can see you in the eye of your storm, and can sit calmly and be there for you when it passes.
They see you in the mess you're in and still tell you that you're loveable. That you will be ok. That there's a way through the tunnel.
Better yet, they might even make a plan with you.
Because they can also often remind you of what you need most: healing protocols.
2. Healing protocols
In a recent episode of the Crown, I watched with complete understanding as a lonely Princess Diana put a pair of headphones on, blasted some disco music into her ears, and proceeded to roller skate around Buckingham Palace.
This is another great example of cherry bakewell-ing.
She knew it would bring her a bit of pure joy, make her feel better, and so she did it.
Your healing protocol is about putting measures in place so that you do what you need to feel joy, to feel better.
Your healing protocol can even be things you don't like doing or hearing when you're upset.
For example, I realised that I'd been telling a friend to take it easy all week. I had totally forgotten that she'd told me those precise words have entirely the opposite effect on her.
Some people love cleaning. Others, like Princess Diana, love blasting the music on and dancing. Some people don't want to hear certain things if they're feeling low. One of my teachers takes themselves physically away to a new place, a getaway of sorts, as soon as any inkling of burnout begins.
Reminding yourself of what your healing protocol is makes all the difference.
But actually reconnecting with your own healing protocol can't happen without pausing.
It is a globally understood fact that phones will die when they lose their charge.
Unfortunately, we aren't like phones, because we do seem to carry on even on 1% battery.
Often, to even get to a point where you can remember your healing protocol, you usually need to put the brakes on.
It isn't so easy to stop when you feel lost.
But that's what friends are for. And healing protocols too.
I always know if I'm spiralling, if I can reach out to the right friend they will hit the brakes on behalf of me, and nudge me the way back to me.
Friends have a knack of reintroducing you back to yourself.
And then you can pause to take in the view from where you are.
Friendship, joyful activities, and taking a break: all sources of great comfort to helping ease a nagging feeling of being lost.