It happened again this morning, didn’t it? Woke up in shock, checked the news, and it was just more of the same, and maybe even a little worse than yesterday. It looks like that’s going to be the case for the foreseeable future—but you still have to take care of yourself and eat breakfast, even when the world you thought you knew is melting down in a cloud of noxious smoke. Feel free to start with stress-eating. You’ll be in excellent company. As writer Sloane Crosley tweeted, “The nation's food diary for this week would read like a dare.” 

This is not inaccurate, but it’s not especially sustainable. (Sustainable in a personal sense, not in an environmental sense because, well—the world is a tire fire right now and Stephen Hawking is counseling us to move to outer space.) For now, it’s perfectly acceptable to stack doughnuts on your arms like bracelets and gnaw your way naked, shovel Dorito and pimento cheese omelets into your sleepy maw, and smear Nutella into your eye sockets, ear canals, and onto your skin until you are cocooned in nutty, chocolaty numbness. That’s fine for a little while, and then you must rally—especially since our national healthcare situation is pretty much TBD.

That starts with getting out of bed. This is hard! Especially at this time of year when there’s approximate 35 minutes of sunlight a day and temperatures are beginning to dip. A person could, in theory, stash a few cases of granola bars and cereal under their bed and hunker down until springtime (or 2020), but really, that whole getting up and walking around thing is really great for you. 

Make it easy—no fancy cooking, but simple, nutrient-bearing, reasonably delicious things. Avocados are hella good for you, packed with protein, high dietary fiber, and low amounts of sugar, as well as healthy fat that improves brain function, even in the worst and darkest of times. Smear that on whole-grain bread (it’ll keep you fuller for longer), and douse it in spices (Penzey’s spices seem like a great choice right about now) to feel alive like you did in the olden times, a week and a half ago. A layer of Omega-3-packed anchovies or salmon atop all of that reignites your palate and pleasure centers, and reminds you that there is still joy to be fought for upon this darkening earth. 

Now is the wrong week to kick your caffeine habit. The world needs you fully functional and energized, and you may even care to augment your coffee with grass-fed butter and medium-chain triglyceride oil to keep you sharp and bulletproof (allegedly). Does that add extra calories? Sure, but you may need them for the struggle. 

Eat fruit. Fruit makes you happy.

But above all else, do not miss breakfast. It is, in troubling times, a touchstone—a reminder that you were lucky enough to wake up this day and fuel yourself into the next one. Let it be a source of strength, sustenance, and pleasure if you possibly can. Let it trump the darkness.