These are a few things I've done this first week of 2021 that are helping me cope in these difficult times. They help me feel less anxious, and I'd even go so far as to say these things help me feel good in a time when feeling good can be elusive.
I did a lot of that this week and plan to do more, which I’ll eventually write about in detail on a future post. Decluttering and organizing are satisfying. Here’s one project I did and when I go and open that drawer now, it makes me happy. Yeah, it’s the small things.
Keep a diary. Especially now, with the world experiencing a pandemic, we regular folks should be documenting our lives. Published history is written by the people in charge, but it’s the everyday activities of you and me that will really tell the story.
Having kept journals for much of my life, I can tell you that it's not only therapeutic, but fulfilling and an important part of collecting history of regular people. Of course, you don’t have to keep the journals or let anyone else see what you write – I’ve torn out a lot of pages over the years – but looking back at my writing is how I can remember what happened, when, how I felt, and all the things that I want to remember. I've kept journals through my pregnancies, my travels, working and just everyday life and I'm so thankful to have them.
If you’re trying to start any new habit by the way, I recommend reading Atomic Habits and Tiny Habits. Or listen to podcasts by the authors.
Along similar lines, I'm keeping a bullet journal to plan my days, track habits, keep lists of books, shows, and podcasts I want to check out, create wish lists, collect art inspiration, plan adventures for when we're free to roam again, and so forth.
Get lost in a good novel or something inspiring that's not online or on a screen.
I got this book for Xmas and I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was! Well written, with humility and humour, it reinforced what I already knew: a lot of folks are going through very hard times (as you might know, MJF has Parkinson's), and humans can be incredibly resilient and full of grace. I'm planning more book recommendations for a future post.
Walk. Get outside, even if it’s cold. Commit to just 20 minutes. Breathe deep, look around.
A lot of people don’t have that freedom and I don’t take it for granted anymore. Ask a friend to walk with you or go alone. Listen to an audiobook or podcast, or the thoughts in your brain. Do a one week challenge or something like that if you need motivation: one week, 20 minutes a day, and track it. I know walking regularly has made a big difference for me, physically and for my mental health.
That’s it for now. I’m thinking of showing more of my place and what I’ve been doing to make it more organized and nicer. I also want to write about my many plants, offer book/podcast/movie recommendations, and share some of my favourite vegan recipes in future posts.
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Thanks for taking the time to read this and have a good weekend.