How are you doing out there? I thought this might be a really (really) good time to provide some accessible actions to take good care of your mental and physiological well-being. Because when things get gnarly, don’t underestimate the power of going back to basics.
Gratitude journaling, with a kick. Have a look around your life and write down 3-10 things for which you are grateful and why. I find that the second part of this prompt transforms the activity into something deeply nourishing.
Step away from the data buffet. Take breaks from media consumption and screens in general. We’ve all been through **a lot** these past few years. Our nervous systems are still recuperating (or trying to) so please don’t overdo it. That won’t help anyone. Give it a rest, circle back to the news when you have the reserves to absorb and contemplate the information.
Find ways to sweat. Exercise to the point of schvitzing, pour yourself into a hot bath, go for a run, be a fast-walker, get into a sauna if you can. Our bodies are wise, mindfully let it release whatever it needs to.
Try a timed free-write. Give yourself a set amount of minutes, say 4-7, and write continuously. Get a good flow going, try to keep writing the entire time without picking the pen up off the paper. Turn on the tap, let the words stream out of you. Maybe rip up or burn those pages afterwards as a mini-ritual.
Be nice - to yourself. What makes you feel good? I’m not talking about vacationing in Ischia for 10 days. Think “within reach.” Make a list and then go do one or more items as a way of both shifting your mental state and exerting some autonomy. Heck, do them all.
Even the act of writing these things down can release a dose of feel-good chemicals into your body. Some of what’s on my list to help inspire your own…
- Have lunch with a friend.
- Go for a surf.
- Do a metta “lovingkindness” meditation.
- Build a fire.
- Buy yourself a plant.
- Dip into a museum for a quickie visit.
- Read a few pages of “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron.
- Organize a drawer. Organize all of them.
- Don’t set the alarm.
- Get your toes in the sand.
Sun-gaze. Stare directly at the sun until you see spots. No, don’t do that. That’s a terrible idea. I was just making sure you were paying attention.
Be nice - to someone else. It’s easy to feel powerless in these times but you can make a positive difference today, here and now. Find ways to be of service to your community - be it a friend, your partner, a professional contact or family member, whoever. Might be something small. Not sure? Just ask.“Hey, how are you? How can I help?” Your inquiry might be medicine for the recipient. Or try out Letters of Love, which is one of my favorite moments of the week.
Give some of these foundational practices a go and let me know how they work for you. And a common sense reminder: If there’s anything I can do to support your journaling practice, please reach out.