While a pandemic is going on during the few weeks before Holy Week it is starting to feel like Lent around here. The forced discipline of slowing down and stepping away does have its benefits though.
Because a lot of my external inspiration such as museums, book stores, libraries are closed, I am forced to find alternative but still helpful ways to inspire, entertain myself. Slowing myself down and finding contentment is more accurate. Small acts of self-care are happening as well. Routine maintenance if you will. Here we go:
Take A Walk
Living so close to the office, there are times when I will take a 20-30m walk to work. There are not too many people walking around in the dark at 6am. Sure I can count it as exercise just to get in my daily 10,000 steps but it is also reflective and therapeutic. It gets my blood flowing. I enjoy the cool wind on my face and the fresh air unspoiled by commuters. It’s a great way to shift into second gear as my work day starts.
It doesn’t happen every morning but when I have the chance to do a quick yoga or stretch time it does have the power to change my day. I find that if I set my alarm to wake 15m earlier, I will spend that time on the mat.
During the pandemic we are told to wash our hands for twenty seconds. Choosing to use warm water and soap is soothing. I could see this as an inconvenience in my busy day or I could appreciate this small time of reflection, to breathe and appreciate this self-care. With this mindset I am well over 20 seconds. The same for prepping dishes for the dishwasher. I could see this as a chore or I can be grateful for this amazing resource.
The Great Outdoors
I have been spending a lot of reflective time on the front porch lately. A bit of an informal meditation. My eyes are open and I take in everything around me. And usually there is a lot to take in. From there I will close my eyes and feel the elements. Birds chirping is good. Phone vibrating with texts is bad. I find myself doing this when I am in nature. The most recent time was a visit to Arkansas. Warming sun, water flowing, wind with a bit of a chill. Refreshing.
One of the best things in life is soup. It is world-renowned for its simplicity of nourishment.
Naps are always a good idea. A few years ago I would have disagreed with this. I needed to stay awake, be productive. Don’t waste the day! Don’t waste the precious time off. Times have changed. I don’t protest a good nap anymore. I don’t even fight it. I won’t get upset if I intend to close my eyes for just ten minutes but woke up two hours later instead.
I am grateful I have dismissed the need to scroll through the news sites or social media. I cannot imagine the hype, finger pointing and misguided opinions from opposing sides. And I don’t care to see bored people creating auto-tuned singing or dance moves at home either.