by Jill Schroder
Finding balance amidst the tumult – a challenge at any time, and particularly now that we are into the year-end holiday season and also into almost a year of Covid. The countless roller coaster restrictions affecting many people and many countries are at bending and breaking points, financially, physically, emotionally, and in many other ways.
Those of you reading this post are probably among the fortunate. Even so it is challenging and we do need to draw on our resilience, range of resources, and skillful means for finding balance and staying sane at this time. Despite our good fortune we miss or have lost the ability to connect with people we love, our ability to support those in facilities who need our personal contact, and the opportunity to participate in the activities that nourish us.
Depending on where we are, our age and our family situation, there are many dimensions of life that are restricted, changed or simply gone. Still, we are moving together to come through this deeply challenging time.
Here is a very incomplete and off-the top list of skillful means for finding balance and staying sane. It was fun and helpful for me to compile it, and I hope it will be the same for you to read it.
- Meditation is one activity that’s at the top of many lists. It invites calm, space and capacity. Here’s one of many current options.
- Become part of the worldwide movement toward evolving our consciousness. Here’s one of many paths.
- Eat well and find the balance of health and pleasure by supporting local businesses and farmers, and by making your own meals.
- Listen to music, dance along, join in, feel connected. One of my old faves is Where the hell is Matt? And a new discovery, I Sing the Body Electric from Fame. Music and dance always lead me to laugh and cry, and really fee, my body-heart, connectedness.
- Gratitude! No need to say more.
- Connect deeply to our feelings…feel and acknowledge them and let them flow through.
- Make a list of people you care about, or who might be alone and would appreciate a check in. Call or Zoom with them, and really connect. Here’s a lovely suggestion for sharing a ritual to connect over the miles.
- Take long & slow or fast & brisk walks in nature. Stop to look at leaves, rub some evergreen needles between your fingers, and savor the smell. Forest Bathing is a real thing!
- Do not forget some form of exercise – tai chi, yoga, Nia, calisthenics, stair climbing… one that works for you. Vary it up. I’ve just come across a very flexible set of exercises that can be done at home with just body weight.
- FInd ways to contribute to those less fortunate – gift certificates for street people and the food bank; $$s to some of the thousands of organizations doing such good work in these crazy times.
- Rest, take a break, be still, do nothing. Not always easy but Oh so good to have in the mix. I recently came across this Spanish proverb which says it all – “How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterward”.
- Last but ever so not least on this incomplete list is humour – laughter, jokes, riddles, comedy. There’s a lot of wonderful material making the rounds. Best is when it’s not too much at another’s expense. A stand-up who is a recent favorite of ours is Nate Bargatze. I like that it’s clean, simple, unexpected, and I LOL often and long.
I would love to hear some of your skillful means for staying sane, some links or tips that nourish you. We are, now as ever, in this together.