Stacey: I wrote a whole post about all of the steps I have been taking this year on my own journey to wellness. You can read them all HERE and I hope you can draw from it for ideas if you are looking for what to incorporate into your own journey. One item that I did not have in my original list, but is one of the most important, is seeking out inspiration and reflecting on my past. I dig deep on a daily basis to get me through moments and periods in my life, where I don’t think I can go on or I worry that I can’t come up with a solution to keep my family safe and calm. When my mind is spinning and my heart is racing and all of the great ideas listed on here just won’t cut it – I look to my people and I look to the past. I am inspired by so many people who live with tough stuff and the fact that they are still standing, that they still exude joy and positive attitudes – that gives me strength. And when I think that I’m not strong enough, I look backwards. Journals, old blogs and even Facebook memories help to remind me of episodes in my life where I remember thinking it was the worst it could ever be, that I wouldn’t survive it, that my sanity couldn’t handle one more thing… and then I remember. I’m still standing. I’m still scrapping and my boys and I are all finding reasons to smile each day. This is what keeps me well.
Amy: My wellness practice is gratitude journalling. A few years ago I got a gratitude journal with gratitude reflection prompts. These prompts were very helpful as I started this practice. As I have continued this practice of daily gratitude it has evolved into simply writing down (at least) three things I am grateful for at the end of each day. On days I am finding it hard to think of something to be grateful for, I will read back on past entries to be reminded of all I have to be grateful for. This practice has helped me to more naturally choose gratitude in my day-to-day life.
Tara: I have learned to distinguish between self care and self soothing. I am really good at self soothing – getting a foot rub, indulging in a sweet treat, but not so great at self care. I am working on improving my physical health by going for a walk with my children every day.
Nic: Meditation! Most people can’t just get right into meditation so I recommend starting with a 4-7-8-4 breathing technique (that is, 4 seconds inhale, 7 seconds hold, 8 seconds exhale, 4 seconds hold and repeat) while lying down, focusing on emptying your mind of thoughts. One technique I used to help me do this when I first started was putting each thought into a bubble inside of my imagination, and blowing them away one by one to help clear my mind.
Ms Devine: Writing. Our brains can get so tangled in thoughts. My go to wellness practice is grabbing my journal and writing down my thoughts and feelings. There’s something so therapeutic and freeing about getting the feelings out and looking at them.
Amanda: Walking. This is also good to burn calories of all the season’s food offerings since food hasn’t been cancelled this season. I take a few deep breaths of fresh air to help my mind settle.
Allie: I pretty much just walk the dog at this point.
Liza: Napping: As a student and a group home employee my sleep schedule makes no sense sometimes. When it all gets too much, I enjoy tucking in for a nap to reset and forget about all my deadlines and assignments for a little bit. Drives: Christmas music and a Christmas lights tour is oh so good for your soul.
Deb: My favourite practice thus far has been women’s circles, specifically those done by Amanda Perrone. She is local (in Durham Region) and is on Facebook as RISE with Amanda Perrone. Her website is www.risewithamanda.com. Most of her circles and workshops center around the moon and its effects on our psyches. I first met her at a new year workshop day at The Wellness Path last January (God that seems like a lifetime ago now!). I always come away from her sessions energized, calm and focused on creating positive energy in my life, no matter the circumstance.
Lauren: Walking. On a vibrant street for stimulation, inspiration or distraction. Or in Nature, by water or in a forest. A slow, quiet, mindful, soothing walk, taking in, staying aware and being in relationship with the gifts, beauty and needs of Nature. Or a more paced-up walk to combat the pressures of life, to boost the immune system and still the mind. I have playlists for the times when music can be added medicine. But usually I walk in silence. To nourish my body, I take a walk down to the Nutrition Bar for a juice and an uplifting smile. Follow them and their joy-spreading page at https://www.instagram.com/thenutritionbartoronto/
Michelle SB: Meditation is the key to keeping me stable. Not for hours at a time, but for moments where I commit to total stillness allowing my awareness to shift to my breathing. If I’m too keyed up though (and that’s been the case for a lot of this year) I turn to my Malas and either affirmations from my book/deck or Ho’oponono pono, or proper mantras. The repetition does a great job of slowing everything down – from my heart rate right to my racing thoughts.
Fancy: For my anxiety I usually run. Running has pulled me through some very dark times. I also enjoy weight lifting. Recently I was inspired by a friend to keep a gratitude list. Every night I add one or two items to the list I’ve started. I’m looking foreword to watching the list grow.
I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.