Our days may be getting monotonous and boring. Ask yourself these #questions to stay on a path of #positive #energy and #mental #health.
Right now many of us are searching for ways to restructure and revitalize our days, which may be getting monotonous and even boring. In this article I want to share questions you can ask yourself, every day, to keep you on a path of positive energy and mental health.
1) What am I grateful for today? Practicing gratitude is linked to many benefits; better health, relationships, sleep and self-esteem. In these trying times we all need positive outcomes, so take a few minutes each day to make a list of things for which you are grateful. There are so many things that can go on that list, from simple things like shelter, health, and drinkable water to friends, family and even the ability to be who you truly are.
2) How am I taking care of myself today? You really are not at your best taking care of others until you take care of yourself. Self-care reduces stress because it allows you to be more in touch with what you need and gives you a sense of control over your life. Self-care is going to look different for each person, but should involve things that make you feel happy or grounded or safe. It can range from cooking a good meal for yourself, to taking a long bath or a nap, to going for a run.
3) What can I learn today? Life is all about learning and growth. This is a unique time to think about how you are learning and adapting to change. Think about all you have learned to be able to move forward during this time of restricted connection and mobility, and of financial stress and worry for the future. You have been challenged to change, what have you learned from it? It is also a great time to access the many free learning resources available online. We have been doing virtual tours of museums and watching courses on the free Great Courses Plus channel.
4) How am I connecting with others today? I have written about the importance of connection in this time of distancing. We need each other. You can call or text your friends, check on the neighbors, or even join a mutual aid effort in your community. Zoom happy hours and other video conferencing get-togethers are the best we can do right now to have connection. So try them out.
5) What negativity am I letting go of today? Right now it is easy to get caught up in the negative because there are so many things to be negative about; people dying, fear of getting sick, lock down, home schooling, being out of work, financial crisis. It is time to let that go and give ourselves permission to live differently, fail utterly and accomplish little. It is time to stop holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations and then feel bad when we do not meet them. So, it is OK if you don’t get dressed today, if you don’t return all your emails and texts, or if the kids do not learn anything today. I feel it is a win if everyone is alive and well and not angry at bedtime. Figure out what is actually important to you in this moment and focus on that.
6) How am I moving my body today? We know that crisis and confinement cause stress and anxiety, and we hold this in our bodies. To feel grounded it is important to move and breathe so that we are in our bodies and out of our heads. Take a walk around the neighborhood, do a yoga video, put on music and dance, or run the stairs in your home or building. Even small thinks like stretching, rolling your ankles and wrists, or tensing and relaxing parts of your body can create some movement.
7) How am I creating wonder or joy in my life today? It is important to have a sense of wonder, awe and beauty in our lives. You can engage in it through fun and exploratory activities, find it by looking at or walking in nature, or create it through art and movement. A fun activity to try while staying at home is experiencing your home as a museum. Wander around your home, as if you were in a museum, and appreciate some of the things you have, like a piece of art, a photograph, an interesting light fixture or a favorite blanket. When something interests or captivates you, take time to notice its characteristics and details. Pay attention to the memories it conjures.
These are times of challenges and changes. But in these times comes opportunity for contemplation and growth. Read my other articles on Coping, Staying Calm, Having Connection, Collaborating, and Crashing through the walls you hit at www.lifebydesigncoaching.org.