I get it: the lockdown; grief; concerns for the health of ourselves and our loved ones; economic challenges; injustice; and so much more are creating stress these days. This is why it's so crucial for us to think ahead about ways that we can stay healthy — mentally, spiritually, and emotionally as well as physically — during these winter months.
Please send your suggestions (use the comments section at the end of this post or reach out to me on Twitter) for how to be both peaceful and deeply alive in these strange times. Here are just a few of mine.
Almost every week, I brainstorm either on my own or with a friend about new options. I'm always seeking new ways to stay inspired and enlivened. Sometimes this results in new practices and tools. The irony is that even this process can help me to feel more resilient.
Obviously, I need to know if the practices I'm experimenting with are working. So, I need to notice how the new tool is working (or not). In what ways is this new practice feeding my sense of resilience? Or is it doing this at all?
Among the excellent practices of InterPlay is the notion of “noticing“. All this means is that I'm allowing myself to notice how things are working. What sensations did I have in my body or what thoughts came up? Did I have an emotional response? I don't need to analyze or judge these noticings. Literally, it is simply about the noticing itself.
Noticing is also a great reminder that what works for me may not work for you without adapting it to who you are. At the same time, the more we share with each other, the more options we'll have! Not surprisingly, this sharing with each other is a great tool for resilience.
Since these times don't easily lend to in-person meetings, it's a great idea to maximize our online options. Computer meetups (Zoom, FaceTime, and so on) have become very “normal” ways to interact in 2020. Even people who previously had no interest or knowledge of computer connections like these are using them now.
Ironically, I've found that time away from the computer or other screens is also essential. One of the best sources of awe and inspiration is nature. For me, this means getting outdoors. That may be more challenging in winter, but it's just about the right gear. If you have layers of well-made clothing, you can go out in almost any kind of weather.
The other thing that I'll always mention is self-expression. This may be one of the most underrated tools in the resilience toolkit. For me, this means composing and arranging music. I also find writing to be an excellent source of self-inspiration. If you don't want to write a blog, poetry, or other works for publication, try journaling. It can be a wonderful way to create your own resilience.
Whatever tools you choose, I hope you'll let me know about them! Thanks for reading and be well.