Throughout 2020, chaos morphed into a powerful tempest, swirling round us all. Amid these storms, we often feel powerless. The restrictions on our right to gather, worship, and spend time with family and friends weighs heavily on me. I miss the monthly music therapy work with local Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, the glorious chaos often found in face-to-face classes (chaos can be a positive experience, too), and now what appears to be an unrecognizable holiday season. However, if you pause, reflect, and perhaps tap into your creative side, there are a couple small, daily changes that will calm some of the negative chaos and provide focus. As I reflect on the past 18 months of sobriety, the following activities helped me push through the chaos and find strength and calm. Hopefully, these activities will provide a balm for you as well:
1. List three things each day that you are grateful for. Such a small task, but looking around at our many blessings boosts the spirit and puts our current struggles in perspective. Grab one of those old notebooks that often surfaces when decluttering and make a short, daily list.
2. Spend 5-10 minutes per day practicing mindfulness. This brief pause provides much needed stress relief and increases our ability to focus. Here’s one of my favorites: The Chocolate Meditation.
3. Get creative-plan ways to interact with others. Organize a virtual book club, Zoom morning coffee sessions, Bible study, or family game night. You don’t have to organize large groups. Start with a small virtual soirée with 3 or 4 friends. Here’s a virtual family game night from Thanksgiving (While I added a couple items, most of this game was found browsing online.).
Remember, COVID will one day be reduced to an unpleasant memory. Are you struggling this holiday season? Then right now, stop and improve this day with a bit of self care.
If you know anyone who might benefit from these activities, please share.
Thanks for reading!