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@ellisjrosen @newyorkercartoons

How are you doing through all this?
I ask you because often we just plug along and don’t stop to notice.
So stop for a moment, take a few deep breathes and notice.
I’ve been up and down, between being okay and then going stir crazy.The rain has not helped!
Meditating daily helps me be more aware of my thoughts.I am able to catch myself when my mind start to over think and create anxiety.
It is so important, especially right now, to notice when the mind starts to create havoc.
When we have this awareness we can OBSERVE and not get carried away into your thoughts. We can take some deep breathes and note that they are just thoughts and that we can choose to let them go.
The thoughts will come back, just keep observing and letting go.
When you notice this pattern go into your breath. Here is a good way to do it:

  1. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts
  2. Hold your breath for 4
  3. Exhale for 4
  4. Hold the exhale for 4
  5. Repeat

This is the simplest and most effective way to get out of your head and into your body.
It is very important for your mental health.
I bring this up because I have noticed many people are extremely anxious.I think the main cause is watching the news too much.
Yes people want to stay informed. This can be done very easily with just 10 minutes a day.It is not necessary to watch the news more than that!
Notice how watching the news makes you feel, does it:

  • give you shortness of breath
  • create a tightness in your chest
  • put your stomach in knots
  • cause sleeplessness
  • create negative thoughts that stay with you and repeat in your head

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider cutting down or even cutting out the news. I seriously think the news creates a lot of depression and anxiety in our society.
Turn off the TV or log off the internet.Here are some alternate activities that will make you feel better:

  • go for a walk – the beach, the forest, anywhere, just get outside
  • read or listen to a book, the public library has an amazing APP
  • listen to a podcast, there are so many great ones
  • watch an entertaining show (avoid depressing ones)
  • listen to music you love
  • do a puzzle
  • start a project: write a book, create a podcast, take up drawing, painting
  • play a game in person or invite a friend online
  • clean out a closet or drawer
  • clean out your storage space

Stay connected to how the things you are doing make you feel and choose activities that lift you up, not pull you down.
Hang in there everybody, this too shall pass!
Sending you lots of positive vibes.
xoAli

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by https://www.positivelypresent.com/

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Illustration by: Adrian Furrow

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re doing well.

I came across this interesting article I thought might interest you.

It’s about how we naturally have a surge capacity to help us get through difficult times:

Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters.

Thing is though, this difficult time is lasting a long time with no end in sight.

The article talks about how our surge capacity needs to be replenished but since we are still in a state of flux, it has not been able to renew itself.

Makes me think of when you’re worn out and depleted and you go on holidays, it’s so recharging and replenishing.

The article gives you strategies for coping through the pandemic:

  • Accept that life is different right now
  • Expect less from yourself
  • Recognize the different aspects of grief
  • Experiment with “both-and” thinking
  • Look for activities, new and old, that continue to fulfill you
  • Focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships
  • Begin slowly building your resilience bank account

READ THE ARTICLE

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Although things have improved somewhat, the pandemic continues. Life will not be back to normal for some time. It’s become a marathon, so we have to pace ourselves. Taking care of our mental and physical well being is more important than ever.


1) STAY POSITIVE
This may be the most important. We have all slipped into negativity and frustration at times because we cannot do the things we are used to being able to do. It’s natural to feel this way, but be careful it doesn’t become a habit. A negativity habit is very easy to form due to the negativity bias and hard to break. Notice if you’re on a complaining loop and try to snap out of it.

2) CUT BACK ON THE TREATS
Enough with the donuts already! I have never seen so many people walking around with so many donut boxes! It’s been kind of entertaining actually.
Yes, most of us have been indulging a little more than usual since the pandemic hit.
It’s time to get back on track. About a month ago now I decided, too many treats and cut it down to once a week. It is hard at first because sugar is addictive, so each day you crave it again, but stick with it and the cravings will go away within a few days to a week.
Limit it to one treat a week, eat healthier and the extra pounds will start to come off. Patience and persistence! PS. When you have a treat, make sure it’s actually worth it.

3) GET OUTSIDE
Get outside every day. This is imperative. Especially now that Summer has finally arrived, we have to soak it up while we can! Make time to go out for a walk, bike ride, swim each and every day, even two times a day, if you can. It’s important for your mental and physical health.

4) BE AWARE OF YOUR FEELINGS
How do you feel? We can go into auto-pilot and just plug along unaware. Notice if you’re feeling lonely, pent-up, irritable or are incessantly complaining. If you are, take steps to feel better, take control.

5) WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING?
What are you watching and how does it make you feel?
I just finished watching Ozark, and I did enjoy it, but it was pretty dark. When you watch a show regularly you can’t help but get swept up in it and think about it through-out the day. If you’re feeling down than it may be best not to watch a depressing, violent, etc. type show.
I just started watching Jane The Virgin and am really enjoying it. It’s light, fun and playful.

6) MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise! Especially if you’re not working right now, make it your “job”. Exercise will make you feel better in so many ways, good for your physical and mental health.

7) APPRECIATE
Things could be far worse. We are not in a war, we have food, we have shelter. Given that we are really the luckiest people on earth, we can tend to forget how good we have it. There are people in this world, right now, who are suffering for lack of food, shelter, safety and worse. Appreciate what we have, because we really do have so much.

Hang in there everybody!

Accept what you cannot accept. Swimming against the current is exhausting – go with the current instead, life will be much easier.

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Hi everyone,

Hope you are keeping well. Who would have ever thought that we would be in this situation?!

It feels like a movie (have you seen Contagion? It is exactly this!).

The stress and anxiety sometimes gets to me, but overall I am feeling calm and know that this will eventually pass. It’s been a good time to reflect on life and appreciate what we have.

I’ve had a post-it note up on my wall forever, now it applies more than ever:

ACTION IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR ANXIETY

That anxiety, stress and fear we are feeling is in our bodies. We need to get it out. I find physical movement is the best way. Make sure you are not holding it in, breath and move!

I find that going for bike rides, listening to upbeat music, dancing and of course exercising does wonders. Always makes me feel better!

Getting outside is also important, getting fresh air and a different perspective. We have been so lucky with amazing weather and our city has never been more beautiful, we are so lucky to live here.

Teaching my classes and seeing your faces has also been so grounding. Thank you for joining me. It’s been a huge learning curve, it’s wonderful to learn new things.

Helping others is another way to take action. Here are 3 things you can do to help right now:

1) Give Blood
Given the situation, blood donation is very low. Consider donating if you qualify.

2) Assist Seniors
This website connects you with seniors who need assistance. Things you can do range from cooking, delivering food, shopping for groceries, driving to appointments or a phone visit.

3) Help Medical Professionals
Food delivery services are oversubscribed. Front-line medical professionals do not want to go inside grocery stores and expose the public. Volunteers are matched with a medical professional in their neighbourhood by postal code to help with delivery.

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A very powerful message.

CLICK “CC” on lower right of screen for sub-titles.

click “CC” in lower right of screen for sub-titles

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Let’s make this our goal this week!

 

Here’s how you do it:

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Every joy disappoints.
What’s here doesn’t please you, what’s far off you crave.
                                                                               ~Anne Carson

I could so relate to this.

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For more than 30 years, psychologist Ming Kuo has studied the effects of nature on humans. She  became intrigued by the positive effects of nature after she started to dig into the data. “It’s only when you look at the patterns of what people are like with more and less access to nature that you start to see this pattern”.

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“Nature is like a multi-vitamin”
I have always felt this my own body!
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I highly recommend you listen to this fascinating podcast: LISTEN HERE
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I was really touched by this video of Mr. Rogers testifying before the Senate Committee to defend funding for the newly formed non-profit  PBS. Forty-nine years later his message is more relevant than ever.

I hope you will take a few minutes to watch, it will warm your heart.

 

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