March 2020 SOLC–Day 24
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
A week or so again, Leigh Anne Eck put out an invitation to all slicers to participate in her “Spring Fling.” A virtual party’s always a great idea (No cleaning–Yay!), but this year, given the state of things, Leigh Anne transformed it into a self-care party. Perfect! Your entry ticket to the fun was to bring along your “three best self-care ideas.”
So, here, in no particular order, are three of my self-care ideas–some of the things that are helping me get by from day to day. I don’t always remember to do them, but when I do, they make a difference.
- Research/Learn–Sure, I’m learning lots about google classroom and ways to support remote learning, but that’s not what I mean. I suggest spending some time researching something that sparks your interest. Dig into it. Read a little. Research. For example, recently I was intrigued by a reference to the Erie Canal. I knew nothing about it, so I googled it. Wow! Did you know that the canal (360 miles long, 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep) was constructed mostly by Irish immigrants who were paid in money ($10/month) and whiskey? And, when the canal was finished in 1825, cannons were lined up along the towpath-each one just within earshot of the previous one. Then they fired them one after the other in a rally along the length of the canal. It took 81 minutes to complete and was the fastest communication ever in the US at that time. The canal also provided a route for goods, information, new ideas and even people to flow. Think Underground Railroad. Fascinating, right? It’s a great distraction and just think about the trivia you could add to your dinner conversation!
- Focus–At least for a little bit every day, take the time to slow down and focus. For some this might be meditation or some sort of mindfulness practice. For me, both writing and photography help. In these crazy days, make sure to take a minute or two to peel back the patina of the ordinary to reveal the luster of the extraordinary. It’s there if you take the time to look. Really. Just spend a few minutes looking at a blue jay and you’ll see what I mean.
- Positive self-talk–I am a worrier by nature, and can all too swiftly circle the drain of utter disaster. This is one of those experiences that calls for a lot of mental framing. For me, that means I need to severely limit how much news I ingest, but also be very careful about the messages I give myself. Or how I think about what’s going on. I’m trying to be very metacognitive–aware of what I’m thinking and active about adjusting it based on reality or the moment at hand. I have to rein myself in from my natural tendency to go straight to “worst case scenario.” My husband playing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” for me doesn’t hurt either.
These are by no means my only self-care tips. In addition to these, I’m a huge fan of exercising, reading, taking long hot baths, connecting with others, creating, and getting outside.
What are you doing these days to take care of yourself?