October 2020
Listening to the Doctor!!
The Doctor is Doctor Laurie Santos of Yale University who created the record setting class on Well Being, which I've taken and mentioned last month.
This month she shared a list of her top 5 coping skills and WHY to do them.
Her message prompted me to make a few changes that have made a difference.
To view her video, click here.
It's easy to slip into bad habits when some of the things we enjoyed have been removed from our life.

I'm sure that you have had things removed from your weekly agenda as places you enjoyed have been closed due to social distancing. After watching Dr. Santos' video I realized that as weekly events disappeared from my calendar I had slipped into some bad habits. I made some changes that have made a big difference.

Hopefully you will see something that will prompt you to make a minor adjustment. Here's her list of 5 coping skills suggestions and what I discovered I needed to change:

  1. Exercise - When our gym shut down I no longer did my weight resistant training 3 times a week. I told myself that working in the yard was achieving the same results. Honestly - it wasn't. I was once again feeling some twinges in my back and my knees which had disappeared as I had improved my core strength. I remembered I have resistance bands in the closet. When I pulled them out and used them to imitate the workouts at the gym, within a few workouts my body felt much stronger and the twinges were gone.
  2. Gratitude - I have continued to do the morning exercise I shared with you a few months ago related to being thankful and grateful. Except....the bad habit I was creating in #3, below, had me getting up later than usual and I realized that several times a week I had been skipping the exercise. When I got back on track with it, every day became easier to live in joy and thanks!
  3. Sleep - I love to read. With fewer places to go and a bit less to do, I began reading more than usual. Which isn't bad except that I was staying up till midnight or 1 in the morning if the book was really good. Which had me sleeping in longer and skipping some of the things I always do in the morning to set up a great day. Getting back to making sure my head is on the pillow between 10 and 11 has made a huge difference in my energy and easily maintaining a positive attitude.
  4. Get Social - I can be a hermit, content to work in the yard, read and work on whatever project I've decided to tackle. To get more social I started reaching out to friends I hadn't talked to in months. I found a lot of them were pretty down and feeling fairly lost not knowing what to do with themselves. I heard the comment often that "I'm just watching tv and eating". As I shared the changes I've been making it gave them some ideas and some motivation to get off the couch and push themselves to get out of the tv habit. These calls were a huge benefit for me also because my spirit is always fed when I can help someone else.
  5. Recognize negative emotions, accept that you are experiencing the emotion, check your body for a physical reaction, take some time to nurture yourself and turn it around. Thank goodness, this is such a natural habit with me at this point that I can honestly say step 1, 2, and 3 happen without having to think. The piece I was not taking time to clearly focus on was nurturing me. I try to do some self-nurturing every day, but once again, as the bad habit of staying up late was created, focusing on nurturing me went out the window. It's made a HUGE difference to have that back in my daily routine. It can be as simple as smelling the roses, a quiet meditation track, or focusing on connecting with Mother Nature as I work in the yard.

I urge you to take 6 minutes and watch Dr. Santos video to gain an understanding of the "why" behind each skill. She explains things so well and with a sense of humor. I often see myself in what she's saying. Hopefully she will give you some ideas for some changes you can make to improve your quality of life right now rather than waiting for "things to go back to normal". :)

Certified Human Behavior Specialist
Certified Body Code and Emotion Code Practitioner
Certified Level 3 Spring Forest Qigong Healing