When I wake up in the morning, I love to sit in stillness and peace. I get a cup of tea and in quiet reflection and meditation; I journal some words of affirmation and become centered in myself, drawing in on my inner strength and spiritual connection to Mother Nature. This is my self care routine. It is my lifeline that keeps me going when the chaos of war, disease and addiction can overwhelm. Sometimes this routine is not enough and I add in a workout to get my heart rate up and clear my head. I keep putting one foot in front of the other and when I get lost in what is to come and what hasn’t yet, I remember to find joy in the little things, in the small moments of a sunset, the wind on my face, a hug or a smile. In the day to day mundaneness of living and loving; this is life and here I am.
As a Mental health professional, self care is so important in navigating the challenges of a pandemic (hopefully moving to an endemic). Where do we go from here? Hope lies in connection with others who show me how to live, love and find joy. Sometimes, I am able to escape into another world by going to a concert and getting lost in the music or a fiction book and getting lost in the story, this helps me to get out of the daily grind. I recently read an article from a psychologist on 5 secrets to happiness: maintaining a positive mood, eating healthy food that helps with your mood, listening to music, moving your body and knowing and sticking to your values. All of these are valid and necessary for health, wellbeing and even happiness, however I believe they left out one of the most important facets of life: connection and community. We are social creatures and we don't heal or grow in isolation. I have found that in order to stay centered in the face of change and chaos around us is in connection and daily self care routines that keep us in a state of hope and feeling alive. Finding the joy in life in the midst of chaos is no small feat and takes daily effort but is worth the price of maintaining serenity and sanity.