As we face unknown periods of time at home, practicing social distancing and perhaps eventual lock down here in the UK, social media is full of suggestions for self care and looking after our mental health.
Quite rightly so! Now more than ever it seems essential to rely on my Feel Good List!
I have a list of things that make me feel good, help me boost my energies and mood, and find peace in the hectic-ness of life. Except that now, the hectic-ness has stopped and everything has sloooowed down. The items on my list are a real life line at the moment. As the days pass, I’m adding other things to the list or adapting activities as I find that I cannot do some of them in our present circumstances.
So what’s on this list then and what’s changing?
Unstructured time is off – our whole way of being is unstructured at the moment and so many of us are trying to find some structure in the gaping hole called “staying at home”. Going to the cinema, having a massage are on hold – for now – and I’ve replaced them with things that bring me joy in my home – healthy thriving house plants, taking time to cook from scratch, comfy clothes, sitting in the arm chair in the afternoon sun…
The simple “self care” item has expanded somewhat – sleeping well, washing hands, social distancing, eating healthily, mediating every day and getting exercise as I can.
This Feel Good List grew out of the 10 Happiness Resolutions I put together way back in 2015 when I started this blog as a way to search for Everyday Delights. I revised the list when I started trying to live more joyfully, in a lighter way in 2018. You can read more on this page.
As I refine the list daily in current circumstances, I find the items tap into my need to be intentionally and consciously creative and present. To not only search for, but find joy in simple Everyday Delights and live my life as fully and richly as I can. This means noticing myself (feelings, reactions / responses, moods, energy levels etc), my environment and myself in my environment.
Around every corner is the opportunity to notice. We can notice those little connections that make life alive.Anne Wilson Schaef “Living in Process”
But as we are all discovering, finding joy in the every day is not easy to do in reality. In any given 24-hour cycle I find that periods of anxiety, frustration, peevishness, loneliness and tears are interspersed with smatterings of small moments of lightness – joy I suppose (such as the birth of spring, the sunshine, the birds singing). Moments when I feel the weight of all the problems lift temporarily and I can breathe freely before reality sets back in.
“Upward spirals of flourishing“
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m learning to give myself permission to feel the positives and the negatives, and to go with the flow, ride the waves. I’m also reminded (in this post by Joyful author Ingrid Fetell-Lee) that joy is an emotion in and of itself – it’s immediate, momentary, visceral, instinctive – and surprisingly accessible. And as if that’s not enough, loads of these small moments can lead to “upward spirals of flourishing“. I like that phrase, it evokes a positive, optimistic energy.
Back to the Feel Good List. Yes, it is changing, as it needs to – my my “Pandemic” version below.
Tell me, do you have a Feel Good List? What is on your Feel Good List at the moment, during this time of crisis ? Have you added new things over the last few weeks?