How to get through the rough edges of life

I asked last week, Tell me how do you get through a rough day, week, month, year, or even a lifetime. For a tip, a trick, an activity, a song, a ritual, et cetera. I was delighted to seek and receive. From you to me, to you. Thank you. (Edited for precision)

Books.  When things are good, read devastating books about how cruel the world can be; it can be comforting to know others have survived worse lives. When things are bad, turn to what a sister librarian referred to as “potato chip books”— books so easy to read that you devour them without a second thought.

Appreciate the little things and go outside more. Look at nature; not just walking for the sake of it, but really looking around at nature and how it exists.

Maybe the fact beauty exists is a reason to keep going.

Everything passes, everyone struggles. Life has been difficult since the beginning of time. Pay attention to what’s going right and to the good things you have, and to all the things and situations and people that have helped you. Occasionally ask for help. At this moment, you are (almost always) okay. Nature, beauty, art helps. Take photos of beautiful things. Play with a cat or a dog. Pet dogs you encounter– as many as you can get away with; without being a pest. Remember you are tiny speck living in a universe too vast to even imagine. Humour, even “dark” humour. (Maybe especially dark humour, hehe.)

Sometimes crying is enough.

Daily centering prayer, a form of meditation through interior silence developed by Cistercian monks based on the 13th century Middle English text, The Cloud of Unknowing. To take time for silence between and in the midst of daily activities.

A warm tasty beverage break (Mexican hot chocolate, Nepali gold tea, a creamy coffee, or bone broth.) Playing a song from my Good Mood Spotify playlist (Diamond day by vashti Bunyan- good for the morning or why do fools fall in love el musiquero.) Wash dishes like you’re holding a baby.

Prioritize rest and go to bed really early; for a couple of days at least. Let go of every commitment or activity that is not absolutely necessary at the moment. Intentionally schedule one day to act as if you’re
; Netflix, read or sleep the whole day. (Most important) Don’t run away from your feelings, don’t distract but sit with them instead. Feel your body: Ask yourself, what sensations and emotions do I feel right now? Don’t think about the problem or situation that caused them. Focus on the body. It feels uncomfortable at first but then after a couple of minutes, the discomfort fades and there is a feeling of relief. Sometimes it is huge, other times it it small, but it is always better than before.

Look at the sky. Try to describe the particular colors for that day.  Sometimes, it’s just navy blue.  But sometimes let your mind surprise you with how much you want to see.  

Pen-to-paper journaling. The sound of birds flying by my window, singing happily because it’s about to rain. My cats staring at me while I type something with the ever-loud mechanical keyboard. A YouTube video where someone’s sharing their passion about something and teaching me how to love new things… And many more.

Sitting next to a tree, looking up a tree trunk at the sky, walking slowly in woods or other non-human spaces and listening. Knitting: Following that thread keeps me tethered to myself and calm.

When the world overwhelms me, I nest. I choose a space in my home to tidy or improve in some way. Whether big changes or small, I find solace in making a positive impact on my surroundings. Even if that just means coloring a picture to put on the fridge. Sending hugs and love to all. ❤

Sometimes it’s just helpful to know we aren’t alone and there are things we can do for ourselves.

Stoicism as a way to deal with difficult life circumstances; a set of psychological techniques to help you better deal with negative emotions.

Read the Bible. Take some time to do your hobbies.

Genuine self-care. Treat yourself like you would treat your kids/a kid: lots of tender love but also pushing them to be tough and resilient. Gratitude training, to turn rough days into teaching days, and Ok days into great days.

Acknowledge that nothing really matters and yet every little thing matters. Be alone with your thoughts and find friends to talk to. Get some rest and some fresh air. Eat some chocolate but not too much. Listen to strangers like me, but maybe not too much.

A few things: A long, slow run without music; Practicing singing or guitar; Being with family; Brewing a cup of tea for yourself.

Breathe. Take your time and have a big ass cup of tea, then forget it, warm it up again, repeat as many times as needed. Go for a walk, smell all the spring smells: “demons hate fresh air.”

We get through the rough times by breathing, by looking for the tiny sparkles of lightness, by acknowledging the suck, by listening to our hearts when they tell if we need angry music, a silly dance in the living room, or a good cry.   

Reminding oneself that one is human, and creating challenges that are understandable to the human brain.

And, all the virtual hugs!!!!!!! (っ^_^)っ

Until next time,

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