We are just back from a couple of days away in Bridgetown – just over 100km to the east of where we live. I took some photos of flowers from the garden where we stayed and one of the view from the back verandah. It was very quiet and peaceful. Just what I was seeking!
Sometimes I find life overwhelming. I don’t think I am alone in that experience! Just thought I would put together a list of some easy things to remember when feeling stressed/depressed etc.
- Remember there are some things in my control and others are not (inspired by the Stoics)
- Remember that it is not things that upset us but our beliefs/judgements about them (Stoics)
- Be grateful for life, health and the many good things in my life
- Be in the moment, as in “when doing the dishes, just do the dishes”
- I sometimes break the day down to hours or minutes e.g. “for the next hour I will shower and make my bed” I can do more if I want to but the goal is to just get one or two things done. (works for me).
- I try to remember that others are fighting their own internal battles (we don’t know what it is like to be them) so try to be compassionate and try to see where they are coming from.
- I find something to do that lightens my mood – I love taking photos of flowers or editing photos so I can set up a small project (go out to the garden and snap away and them come inside and edit the photos) and it can help me lift my mood.
- Listen to a podcast. I am currently into learning about Stoicism and there are heaps of podcasts and YouTube video to watch or listen to.
- If every thought in my head is coming out bleak I need to consider it might be my thinking that is out of kilter and not the rest of the universe!
- Sometimes I write in my journal and maybe do a mind map (in my journal) to get a more objective picture of where my life and thoughts are at the moment. See what I can change and what I can’t.
- I try to resist making big decisions when stressed. I sometimes want to do something straight away but encourage myself to review the idea at a later date – maybe three months, depending on the issue.
- If all else fails, I go and have a rest for a while. Often I feel better afterwards!
I was on the treadmill at the gym this morning. They have a screen where you can choose to watch TV or have different outdoor scenes etc. I chose Channel 54 on TV. They featured different holiday destinations in Australia. I was surprised to see Echuca, Victoria and the Murray River as I used to live and work there. A paddle steamer was chugging down the river.
I remember I had a job managing a ‘corner store’ that sold just about any convenience foods and takeaway lunches. I worked from 5am to about 10pm at night six days a week. I have never worked so hard in my life! I was twenty at the time and we were living in a tent (true story for another day) in the caravan park adjacent to the store. The owners wanted to take a couple of months holidays and offered us the job with the house behind the business.
On Sundays I would take a ride on the paddle steamer and just stretch out on the bench seat and relax! I had a precious few hours off and I really soaked up that leisure time. When I saw the paddle steamer on the screen this morning, that was what immediately came to mind.
PS No, that is not me on the treadmill 🙂
I haven’t really thought about this question until now. On completing a five week course in Creative Writing today I am almost ready to hang up my pen! I didn’t research the course in great depth as I just thought it would be great to do during this time of home isolation. In fact the course was geared very much toward writing fiction novels and the development of character, scenes, point of view, momentum etc.
I found that the only way I could develop a character was to base it on the character I know best – ME! That got me thinking and I quickly realised I am not in the least bit interested in writing fiction. I have often thought of the possibility of writing a memoir but I am not even sure about that now.
I have had this idea of “writing” in the background (the name of my blog for example!!!) for many years but maybe it is time to take a different path. After all, why do people write memoirs? Is it to reassure themselves their lives had some meaning and purpose? Or is it to reconcile life’s experience and to find peace at its conclusion?
Maybe it is the COVID 19 affect that is perhaps making me stop and think about where I am headed and to look at possible alternatives for the future. that can’t be a bad thing.
8. Just for Today, I will have a programme. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests – Hurry and Indecision.Author Unknown
I am finding that having a ‘to do’ list is really helpful in this time of being isolated at home. I have done some really mundane tasks that were at the bottom of my priorities but it felt good to get them done. I also plan some leisure time and exploring hobbies that haven’t progressed much in the past. For example I have tools and guidelines for calligraphy but haven’t invested much time or effort. Today I decided to go back to basics and start afresh – take time to check I have the right pens, ink, instructions etc. It turns out I have all I need so I just need to practise.
Needed to get out of the house today and enjoyed a short break at the beach. I took a few photos with my phone and edited (cropped) each of them a little differently. The bottom right was just taken from a different angle from where I was standing and the sun reappeared. What is it about the beach that is so calming – especially when there’s not many people about?
How are you holding up with the current restrictions? It seems that most people are finding some positives in slowing down the normally fast pace of life.
Here is another quote for your consideration/reflection:
7. Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.Author Unknown
6. Just for Today, I will exercise my soul in three ways, to wit:
(a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.
(b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests just for exercise.
(c) I will not show any one that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
Something to think about during this strange time with Covid 19!
3. Just for Today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.Author Unknown
How did you go yesterday with remembering you are as happy as you make up your mind to be? Confession time – I didn’t do so well but the quote kept coming to mind so I wasn’t totally unaware that my happiness is in my own hands.