What makes you feel good? Do you have “go to” friends or activities that can ground you peaceably … quickly? When others around you are freaking out, can you stand as an island of calm, knowing you will successfully deal with whatever is thrown your way?
I wish I could say, “That’s me … forever anxious-free and trusting the Universe.” Alas, “Let’s go hang with her; she’s calm,” said no one ever about me. That’s okay. I have other good qualities.
The unrest of the world around me in the last few years has meant I’ve needed to identify places, things, and people that feed me with positive vibes, like love, humor, truth, and beauty. I’ve spent focused time looking at my life to see what lifts me and what doesn’t.
These always lower my stress levels and feed my soul:
Places (when it’s safe again to rejoin the world outside our homes):
~City of 10,000 Buddhas – a community near me which has an active Buddhist group with lots of activities plus a vegetarian restaurant on site.
~The Japanese Garden in Portland – a dream trip to take someday soon
~The patio off my kitchen mid-day when it’s quiet and the hummingbirds let me share their space. Recent wildfires have increased the traffic of different species of birds coming to my yard, like the white-crowned sparrow, a precious, friendly sort that’s nearly as small as the hummers.
People (and pets):
There are indeed people I check in with when I’m feeling out of sorts. Depending on why my undies are in a bunch, these people include my girlfriends, or the writings of wise, sagey people like Pema Chodron or Brene Brown, or political experts like Dr. Rachel Maddow (did you know she was a Rhodes Scholar and has a Ph.D.?).
My cat, Kali, provides the greatest sense of soothing of anything else listed here. Spending time petting and brushing her costs nothing, is readily available, and benefits us both. She loves when I put down everything just to spend time with her. She fills me with joy, hope, and calmness.
~working with paper crafts
~the sun on my face
~buying a small bouquet of pretty flowers for my table or office
~$5 to spend online at a dollar store
~doing something for someone else
For Your Consideration
Here are some suggestions for ways to feed your soul now and when our world returns to an okay time to be around others. Lots of these activities can be done in groups online now:
~yoga; lots of online resources are available for the beginner
~spas and retreats where wellness is stressed over beauty
~massage, including self-massage
~listening to a nature soundtrack
~better yet, spending time in nature
~crafts, including adult coloring
~spending time with your spiritual community
~walking, exercise which also allows for more time in nature
~sex, have a make-out session. It also helps to hug yourself if you’re alone.
~reading, preferably something inspiring
~napping (see my blog On Napping)
~disconnecting from all devices for a prescribed period of time
~taking a bath
Relying on people, places, and things to smooth out the rough edges is not a crutch. Having healthy coping resources reminds me this too shall pass.
If you need more information about some of these suggestions within your area, check online.