Take Your Power Back

Happy May, my lovely friends! I hope you are rounding out this week with some sense of contentment and are looking forward to the fabulous weekend ahead. It looks like spring might finally arrive next week in Massachusetts, so dust off those bicycles and garden spades!  Have any fun plans? Done anything out of the ordinary in the past few weeks? I’d love to compile a list of fun activities this community has been up to, so hit reply and let me know! Bonus points for pics!

What have I been up to this week? A little of this and a little of that. 

I ordered prints – The last time I actually printed photos was in 2015 or so, and my frames could definitely use a refresh! Earlier this week, I went on CVS.com and ordered about 100 prints, which are shipping straight to my door!

I baked banana bread – My good friend, Sophie, has been raving about her banana bread recipe, which she has adapted from our girl Martha. I finally made it and it was exquisite. 

I went LIVE on Instagram for the first time – This was an odd experience, but I ripped off the band-aid and finally went live! Though it was just a stream of consciousness from a morning in my meditation room, I’m hoping to go live next week with meditations and maybe a few short flows! 

I took a bath – Throwing it back to an idea from week one, I finally took my own advice. I lit a candle, poured in my favorite epsom salt and watched an episode of Desperate Housewives on my computer. I think one of these will be necessary for all future bathing rituals.

Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable week, despite the news about extending the lock down and last week’s announcements about school closings. I’ve also been super excited about teaching yoga on the beach this summer, only to find out earlier this week that all permit processing was halted when the DCR closed their offices back in March. Here’s to hoping they open up again before June rolls around. TBD!

Life can change in an instant, and it has. We don’t know when or if things will ever be back to the way they were pre-covid, and there are still so many unknowns. Will I be able to take my summer vacation that I’ve been planning for a year? I’ve been furloughed – when will I be rehired? Do I need to eat spaghetti 3 nights a week with the impending meat shortage? You are not in control of external circumstances, and you never have been. You can’t affect the answers to those looming questions, but what you can do is learn to pivot, and it starts with surrendering to the fact that these things are out of your hands. Harness your own power and focus on the little things that you can control right now. What can I control, you ask?

How much news you consume – If you’re spending countless hours watching the news right now, stop. The media outlets feed us information that keeps us coming back for more. You can sit through a news briefing only to realize you didn’t learn anything new, yet you feel twice as stressed and annoyed as you did before you watched it. Instead of turning on the TV, choose a news outlet you trust and check their headlines online once a day. Avoid reading dozens of articles that start something like ‘Economists/scientists/politicians hypothesize that the pandemic might…’, try to stick to the proven facts to eliminate any unnecessary panic. The other option is to avoid mainstream news altogether and just watch SGN instead. 

How you spend your time – We have all gone through periods of grief over the past several weeks, so being a couch potato has been totally acceptable, but if you are ready to be off the couch and can’t find the motivation, start small.

  • Make Your Bed – Several studies show that people who make their bed every day tend to be generally happier people. It gives you a sense of accomplishment early on in your day, and you tend to be more productive. Coming from someone who never used to make their bed, I finally picked up the habit and I do find that I’m really pleased with myself afterward!
  • Document Your Gratitude – I’ve mentioned gratitude before, but if you’ve made the bed and think you’re ready for more, grab a notebook and write down 5 things that you are grateful for. Do this every morning, and really consider how each of those things makes you feel. If you know that every morning you will need to write down five things, you will become more aware of the little things that make you smile throughout the day.
  • Invest in a Paper Planner – At the beginning of 2020 I bought one of those fancy day planners that has monthly and daily goals, to-do lists, fancy stickers to put on special days – all the bells and whistles! I write down my work commitments first, but then I pencil in all the other things I want to do throughout the day, like prep dinner, work on this newsletter or do the laundry. I also pencil in fun things like taking a yoga class, painting my nails or gardening. I may not get to everything every day, but it keeps me motivated to put things on paper. 

Your Space – My friends and family have never known me to be the tidiest person on the planet. My spaces are free of grime, but, as Matt says, I tend to “build nests” of stuff around the house.  Over these past few weeks, I’ve made a conscious effort to keep our home tidier, and it makes me feel SO much better to have an empty sink and a coffee table free of unopened mail. Clutter causes us so much unnecessary stress, and it may be adding to your feelings of lethargy. While you don’t need to individually fold everything in your underwear drawer via the KonMari method to find satisfaction, try to start by cleaning up one room in your house that you use often, like the kitchen or family room, and commit to keeping it clean. Like making your bed, you will feel that same sense of accomplishment, and your brain won’t go berserk every time you notice those dirty pots and pans still sitting on the stove.  

So what do you think? Can we take our power back and make choices that will help us drown out the chaos and disappointment?  What are you doing to battle the blues? I want to hear from you! Until next time, my friends!

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