A Refreshing Reset: Who Doesn't Need That?
The Ebb Part of It

Now, More Than Ever

. . . it's time to . . . 

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On Mondays I share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up!

This week . . . we're down to the final week before the election. Tensions are high. Overwhelm is everywhere. Weariness is dragging us down. I don't know how you're faring, but I . . . kinda can't stand it. So this weekend, I thought a lot about things I can to do to get through this week with (what remains of) my mental and emotional health intact. It's not so much about starting our engines as keeping them humming this week!

So. Let's get to it.

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"If it's out of your hands, it deserves freedom from your mind, too."
            --- Ivan Nuru

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Oh, Ivan. What a great quote! Wise words, for sure. But . . . so much easier to say than to do.

The thing is, though . . . most of us have already made up our mind regarding who to vote for in this election. Shoot . . . a lot of us have already voted!

So we've done what we can.
It's out of our hands.
Now . . . we need to free our minds.

Keeping up with the news this week? Not gonna help you! Last March, Lori Gottlieb of the Atlantic said, "Bingeing on up-to-the-minute news is is like stress-eating -- it's bloating our minds with unhealthy foods that will make us sick." So now is the time to . . . walk away from the news. Stop the doomscrolling. The latest Trump outrage or poll result or newest endorsement will not make you feel any better -- and it won't give you that certainty we're all craving right now.

What to do instead?

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Get outside!

According to a Cornell study earlier this year (pre-pandemic even), just 10 minutes in a natural setting can help people feel happier and decrease the effects of both physical and mental stress.

10 minutes!

So. Take a lot of outside breaks this week. (Maybe every time you feel the urge to check the latest headlines?) Go for a walk around the block. Plant some bulbs in your garden. Look around for the prettiest leaf you can find. Sit on your patio and watch the birds. Anything. Just get yourself outside -- every day!

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Meditate!

Whatever that means to you. It doesn't mean you need to sit down on a cushion with your legs crossed. (Although that's a fine way to meditate!) Maybe your version of meditation is . . . knitting. Maybe it's walking. Maybe it's praying. Maybe it's mixing cookies. Maybe it's winding yarn. Meditation . . . is really any way for you to be mindful of whatever it is you're doing -- which calms your mind, slows your breathing and heart rate, and helps you relax and de-stress.

And if you're looking for some music to accompany your meditation practice, I have one to suggest to you:

(Sorry - this is just a screenshot and won't actually play if you try to click the "start" arrow. Here's the link.)

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The Wong Janice creates beautiful cello music for meditation and relaxation. Although it may sound a little new-age-kooky, her music is created and designed to relax you! This track, for example, is based on 60 BPM (beats per minute), which is the optimal tempo to get your heart to relax. The music is beautiful, and can serve as a restful accompaniment to any kind of meditation. Give it a try when the stress and fear start creeping in!

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Move!

I won't harp on about the value of fitness in combatting stress and worry (I do enough of that around here as it is), but . . . moving and getting the blood flowing is a Really Good Thing when you're trying to stay calm and carry on. Take a walk. Do some jumping jacks. Turn on an exercise video. Dance around your kitchen. Just move!

And if you're looking for a gentle yoga stretch, here's a good one to try:

It's Yoga With Adriene's latest Halloween release . . . Yoga for When You Feel Dead Inside. It's designed to get you up and moving when you really feel hollow and empty and, well, dead inside. Like . . . now.

I tried it yesterday. It's gentle - so even if you've never really tried yoga before, it's a good place to start. (And if you've never watched a Yoga With Adriene video before, don't be alarmed by the opening minute. It's her annual Halloween special practice - and she's doing a zombie parody of her usual opening. She doesn't continue the practice in zombie mode.)

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Watch a movie!

Kill some time and de-stress with a lighthearted movie (or two). Nothing heavy or overly dramatic this week! Here's a list of 31 Feel-Good Movies That Will Definitely Make You Smile (from Oprah Magazine).

Do you have any movies to add to Oprah's list? 

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Listen to some music!

The Atlantic has put together a Spotify playlist especially for this week! Twelve songs to "express impatience, agitation, and hope." Give it a listen -- it's a fun list.

What songs would you add?

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And . . . that's it for me on this Monday morning. Let me know if you have any other strategies for staying calm in this stressful final week before the election.

Here's to a good week for all of us!
Hang in there.

 

Comments

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Carolyn

Ummm....this is JUST what I needed. (Thank you!) Because, man, I've been sad and stuck. Just all the LOOMING. We have a snow day today--which means all kids home, postponing my work deadline (because it's impossible to concentrate). So outside it is, for me. Snow pants and cozies. Out for a walk with whoever wants to join me. Hopefully a few birds to spot and No. News!
What would I add to the list? Something that gets me in The Zone. Which is practicing piano, for me. I REALLY have to concentrate on getting my fingers in the right place, so there's NO mind wandering when I sit down to play. I find I'm doing it more and more--stopping to play for 10 or 15 minutes when I walk past the piano. It's restorative. Nourishing. (If brief) ...but I'll take it! Have a good-as-possible week. Keeping up the Hope! xo

Carole

This is all such great advice, thanks for the links to the special playlists and meditation music. I'm focusing this week on Samhain rituals and that is helping take my mind off the upcoming election. It's definitely time to take a step BACK from the news!

Vera

All good things Kym - thank you for the links! And, as Kat says on her blog "banish the word struggle" - more good advice!

Dee

I think a LOT of us are election-weary! But, it is so hard to not watch the news after years of it being a habit.

AND............I guess there are still LOCAL news things we need to know, but ..............maybe a break would be a good idea.

Hope you have a restful and peaceful week.

Margene

This morning it was 19 degrees, but that didn't stop Mylo and me. We walked 1.5 miles dressed in warm clothes and watched the sun come up. It was so fun and magical. Election? What election? LOL Now the sun is out and it's a balmy 25. We're going to love our mid-day walk (because of fewer layers-for one). I have become very good at checking the news and walking away for the day. No "alerts", no TV, no scrolling of the doom variety or even the fun variety. Life is so much clearer when you can see where you're going ("in the now"). Tuesday may be a bad day (or the start of a bad week/month/4 years), but it isn't here yet. xo

Sarah

We have typically watched the NBC Nightly News as a family during dinner every evening, but we stopped having it on a couple of weeks ago because my daughter was getting so anxious about all the bad news that she was really having issues getting to sleep. So now she usually has on a cooking or home improvement show, and my husband and I watch on an iPad with a shared pair of AirPods. And I confess that, news junkie that I am, I've actually been paying less attention to it, and I've noticed that I've felt a little less anxious as well. I think that, combined with my rage running, has been making a difference, but all the same I'll be happy when the election is over -- even if it takes much longer to find out who won, at least we won't be bombarded with TV ads and phone calls and texts all the time!

Kat

Excellent ideas! I have been limiting my news to the NPR update in the morning... and trust me, most days that is even too much! And and I am a poll worker on Tuesday... an excellent way to keep busy and not think about things! And thank goodness for knitting and spinning!

Mary

oh boy ... I read that same article in The Atlantic that you did! I am totally planning to knit a sweater between now and election day. and listen to a few books and podcasts (that aren't about the news). I'm even planning to explore a few new playlists or five ;-) and get outside/on the treadmill or the mat as often as possible. (there might also be a TJ's run planned for Saturday. you know. to be really prepared).

kathy b

Kym , great ideas. I would add listen to light hearted podcasts and order more yarn

sustainablemum

As a Brit I am watching from a distance, it is hard enough for me to listen to the news but I cannot imagine what it is like to be living through it to. It is such a difficult time right now isn't it, so much uncertainty. I love all your ideas for looking after yourself. I also love Yoga with Adriene I do one of her videos every morning, I am intrigued by the video you have shared I might just have to watch it to see the intro.

I hope your have a good week and manage to put the events in your country to one side for a bit, hard though I am sure that is.

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