What is there to say in these trying times? There is so much we don’t know and even more that is beyond our control. Advice and best practices are changing every moment. In all this scary-uncertainty I have found that the way I hold onto joy (or at least somewhere near happy, cause let’s face it, some days we’re all just trying to hold onto anything better than freaked-out) is to focus on “the little things”. Those all-important Little Things are different for each of us. They are the seemingly small or trivial things that lend a feeling of joy, or calm, or peace, or comfort, even if the feeling is fleeting or barely perceptible. They may be small, but it is important to notice them, even to bask in them.
What’s topping my list of Little Things lately are the shy and not so shy Springtime flowers that are around my neighborhood; every walk around my block reveals some new bit of beauty. Having the opportunity to be making food for my family; cooking can be a chore, but it can also be a joy, even more so when you add some newness or creativity. Taking walks with my dog, looked at with a dog’s enthusiasm; think how much happier we’d all be if we had the same enthusiasm for life as a dog has for tromping through the mud. Seemingly simple things like sitting down with a cup of tea; taking the time to relax and enjoy the moments it takes to finish a cup. Reminding myself to feel gratitude for life, for health, for friends, for family; gratitude for anything and everything you do have.
Along with noticing the Little Things, I have been reminded of how vital rhythm is. My amazing mother-in-law, who taught kindergarten for 20+ years, always says “rhythm repaces strength”. And boy is she right! Keeping a semi-normal rhythm to mine and my family’s day can seem like a chore, but letting that rhythm go ends up causing far more work. So, I do my best to get to my mat every morning for yoga or pilates for a virtual class with the wonderful Ann of The Graceful Yogi. Keeping regular meal times. Maintaining your usual bedtime and wake time, (or better yet, try adjusting to being an earlier riser – I’ve found that early mornings are a great, uncrowded, time to get outside), go to bed on time, or even a little early (sleep supports your immune system)
Nutrition is key right now. Although I may want to live off of corn chips and cookies, drowning my anxiety about the state of the world in wine. Now is when it is of the utmost importance to eat a sustaining and nutrient-dense diet. Keeping up our nutrition, feeding our immune systems is vital! Making sure to eat loads of vegetables, enough healthy fats, nuts, seeds, whole grains, (grass-fed, organic, pastured, non-conventionally raised/non-feedlot, sustainably sourced, wild-caught) proteins, and fruits. Avoid sugar!!! It impairs your immune system. Baking is wonderful, and a great stress reliever. Now maybe the time to try new recipes that use less sweetener, and try out alternatives like molasses or honey or coconut sugar. Get adventurous, try some of those old Health Food Store thrown-backs like Nutritional Yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar, Kelp, Seaweed, Miso, Nato, Tempe, Aminos…