Don’t Get Lost in a Dark Cave – Ideas for Finding Your Way
Imagine you’re exploring an underground cave. Some areas of the path are narrow and steep, winding up and down between stalactites and stalagmites. There are twists and turns with branching caves going in various directions, but you have a map, so you know which path to take.
As you near the deepest part of the cave, suddenly your headlamp goes out. Everything is pitch black! You’re uncertain about what to do or which way to go. You notice you’re heart rate quicken and your chest tighten as fear settles over you.
For many of us, this experience is similar to the past year with all of the uncertainty, the chaos, the inability to “see” the future. Knowing how much our brains hate uncertainty, it’s no wonder there’s been so much anxiety and stress!
Now we’re in a new year, but there are no guarantees. We still can’t predict what this year is going to be like. Even though we’re adapting to our new constraints, many of us are tired of the isolation, of the loss of the way things used to be. We may have more stress related to our finances, health, family, and job.
Now more than ever, we need to keep our positivity battery charged so we can find our way and maintain our resilience, our hope, and our patience with other people’s stress. We need to intentionally plan and take time for things that boost our internal resources. This is not selfish; it’s not indulgent; it’s not wasting time. It’s a necessity for our mental health and our ability to function. It’s as important as sleeping, eating, and breathing. (OK – breathing may be the highest priority…)
Here are a few ways I’m finding my way through this dark cave:
- Music – listening, singing, and even dancing in the living room
- Staying in touch with friends and family – asking for help, offering support, and having fun
- Yoga – I love the movement, the meditations, the calming effect on my mind
- New interests – I’ve been reading the latest research on our microbiome and how it relates to our health
- New hobbies – I’ve started making my own kombucha, kefir, and yogurt
- Getting outside – for walks and even a little cross-country skiing
What are you doing to charge your positivity battery? What else could you do? Make it a priority.