Spring is sprouting here in the Rocky Mountain area. Daffodils and forsythia burst with bright yellows, fragrant pink and purple hyacinths delight us as we walk the neighborhood. After that wild March Madness, we hope that we can share our Springtime Strategies for coping and self-care in a world of constant change. We think it might be time to grow a new version of ourselves.
Our Pivot and New Strategy
- Be selective. Time management is crucial. Discipline and self-care are essential tools for holding the balance not only in my life but in Mikelle’s, too.
- Choose peace. Suffering with others doesn’t help. Empathy and compassion do help. The unfamiliar stench of war in Ukraine is jolting. We can imagine you have been shocked by the devastation, too. Ukraines’ beautiful cities turned to rubble, and we know people with disabilities are most likely suffering even more as they search for safety, medical care, and an evacuation route. As much as we want to stop the pain cannot prevent it. We can donate. We like World Kitchen and Global Giving. And we can hold the space for peace by living a peaceful life as much as possible.
Mikelle and her team members aren’t as affected by the Ukrainian crisis as I am. They never grew up with tuck and cover drills and the images of mushroom clouds flickering on the old black and white TV screen. So it occurred to me they were unprepared for what could happen, and I found I had a little PTSD from all those drills.
True, this younger generation never worried about nuclear annihilation but has had to contend with school shootings, drug epidemics, COVID, and significant mental health challenges. But, unfortunately, each generation has its issues to contend with in their youth.
At the moment, this is more my challenge than theirs. So, I have chosen not to spend time on events that I cannot change or influence. I catch up on the news via my phone for a few minutes, and that is all. Instead, I look for entertainment that uplifts me or entertains me. My priority is my family.
Meditation does help. Both Mikelle, the team, and I take time to do Zin Yoga which slows down the body through static stretching and deep breathing. Greg Braden’s short Heart/Brain meditation can settle us down within minutes; this method researched through The Heart Institute focuses on aligning our hearts and brain activity, resulting in improved immunity and lower cortisol production, which causes increased illness.
Exercise: When in doubt, move! Through COVID-19, movement has been responsible for improving our mental health while strengthing our bodies. Mikelle’s team participates in Zin Yoga sessions following my strength-based sessions with Keely Knack, who is helping me perfect my handstands and cartwheels. Movement is a focused activity, and to do it well, one needs to be focused. Then, the world’s problems go away for a couple of hours. We hear laughter again, hugs shared, and peace is restored, at least within us.
Drawing: This has been fun. Long ago, I had aspirations of developing new artistic abilities. First, I’d start, then stop. Then, I realized to develop new skills like gymnastics; I needed structure and practice. So I began the 120-day challenge to draw anything; a line, a leaf, a landscape, or a face. Some drawings came easy; others required a little YouTube assistance. Again, drawing required focus leaving the worries behind for at least 20 minutes. My skills are improving!
Reading. Books have always escorted us into another world. Stories change minds, lift hearts and take us on a transformational journey. So I have committed to reading just a few pages a day. MIkelle’s team has taken it upon themselves to read to Mikelle from books they are reading while sitting in the park drinking coffee.
Nature. Walking in the woods or even around the park can bring us into the current moment. The snap of a twig, the scent of the pine, and the view from a mountain top help us realize there is more to life than the news and to-do lists. Walks, outdoor cafes, and long drives in the foothills relax us as if we took some medication. Of course, gas is expensive, and we don’t drive as much as we used to do, but it provides us with a great reset and refresh every few weeks.
Connecting with loved ones. Now that we are in the post-pandemic era hanging out with friends and family assures us we are not alone. Together, we can talk it out, work it out, laugh and hug. It is priceless for all of us.
The focus of our blog and podcasts is to share our journey, to have a conversation, and let you know you are not alone.