Sara answered, “No, I think I am okay, I am pretty sure I am just having one of my panic attacks. This vaccine is just so new and scary, and I keep hearing about people having bad allergic reactions. I’m just feeling anxious right now. My breathing exercises usually help but they’re just not working today.”
Rachel said, “I get it. Would you like to hear how I calm myself down when I am feeling agitated?”
“Well, when I’m home, I make myself a nice soothing cup of green tea and relax on the couch. But when I can’t do that, I pop a few Froot Loops in my mouth. I always carry a small box in my purse. I tell people it is for my grandchildren, but it’s really for myself.”
Sara furrowed her brows, “Froot Loops. Why Froot Loops?”
Rachel chucked, “Well, here’s a fun fact. Studies at the University Bordeaux in France have discovered that when you feed rats Froot Loops it increases the amount of dopamine in their brains as much as if you gave them cocaine. Since dopamine is a feel good chemical, those rats felt pretty darn happy after gobbling down that cereal.” Rachel reached in her purse and pulled out a mini box of Froot Loops and gave it to Sara.
Sara poured a bunch of the little fruity nuggets into her hand and raised her mask to pop them in her mouth. She chewed them carefully and popped in a bunch more. “Yum” she said. “I haven’t had these in years.” When she was done she tried to hand the unused portion back to Rachel.
“No backsies in a pandemic. Please keep them and enjoy.”
Sara looked down at her watch and her eyes opened wide: her fifteen minutes were up. She smiled at Rachel and said, “I don’t know if it was the Froot Loops or your kindness, but I am feeling so much better now. Thank you.”
The two women walked out together and went their separate ways. As Sara climbed into her car, she popped a few more Fruit Loops in her mouth and grinned. This wasn’t so bad after all.