Maintain The Cheerful Vibe This Winter

Maintain The Cheerful Vibe This Winter

BRING ON THE CHEER!

Knowing the months ahead will be a challenge to everyone’s mental health I’m proactively creating a plan to stay cheerful! I want to manage anxiety, stay cheerful and radiate vibrant health.

Here’s the list I’ve compiled. If you’re like me you’ll need a few strategies, that work together to make this a winter filled with peace and joy.

THE PLAN TO STAY CHEERFUL

  1. Revisit your best TEACHERS. Dig out books, quotes, figures or songs that you treasure most. Take the time to immerse yourself in the ideas that re-orient you to your joy center.
  2. Plant bulbs indoors. Watching new growth poke through the ground ignites cheer. Paper whites planted now will be full height during the holiday season. Crocuses, hyacinths will come next and then daffodils and tulips.
  3. Permission to REST. The rested version of ourselves is more able to stay cheerful than the version that’s sluggish or in survival mode. Give yourself permission to snuggle in, get toasty warm and take a break during the day, read a few pages of a book or have a little cat nap.
  4. Make a JOY list. Big small, logical or not, make a list of experiences that bring you joy. Include as many small things as you can and include a few of them in your plans for the day or week. Joy can have a real effect on our brain chemistry, fueling and strengthening us more than we know.
  5. Choose your WORDS. Regardless of where you are but especially in the throes of any big life struggle, take a pause and ask yourself – What qualities do I need most right now? Write them down. Address them one at a time. Each morning engage in the OH MY WORD daily ritual by drawing and colouring the chosen word on your daily page. The word will return to you throughout the day and be reflected in your experiences. Repeat the same word day after day until you feel it is a part of you before moving onto the next.
  6. Try ADAPTOGENS. These are a class of herbs and foods that help us achieve equilibrium in body and mind. A few common ones are rishi, maca, ashwagandha, and rhodiola. Do your research and start slowly.
  7. Gaze into a LIGHT THERAPY lamp. This may sound a little woo woo but it works! Turn the lamp on for 15 minutes in the morning and feel your mood lighten. You can actually feel yourself getting cheerier. It’s particularly good for people who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
  8. Take a STEAMING BATH. I love this I fill the tub with hot water and lavender Epsom salts and a squeeze of bubble bath. I do it right before bed and then curl up like a happy, little kitten.
  9. Get a stack of FUNNY BOOKS and MOVIES. Keep the laugh muscle exercised.
  10. Light CANDLES. There’s something about candles that makes me… exhale….”aaaahhhh”. Have them flickering in the kitchen, bedroom, living room, dinner table.
  11. Engage in HOBBIES. Hobbies make us happy. They boost creativity and confidence. Having a hobby is a radical form of selflove and care because you are taking the time to engage in something you love. So, what interests you? Genealogy, pet fostering, crafting, puzzling, writing? Need ideas? Check out hobbies on Wikipedia there are over 600 to choose from!
  12. HOST a virtual group. Common interests bring us together, create a bond and give us a place to belong. Keep the group small and manageable so everyone will have a chance to contribute and get to know each other.
  13. JOIN virtual groups. Why not be a part of several groups that represent your interests? You stay connected and benefit from a sharing of thoughts and ideas with a diverse group of people.
  14. Make DATES. The single biggest predictor of human resilience is support from other people. Set up dates (phone, virtual or in person) with loved ones and friends. Establish your own covid19 safe pod or bubble so you can spend in person time with loving, supportive people.
  15. WALK…walk…walk. Walking has been a mental health lifeline for so many people during the pandemic. Keep it up all year. If you can brave the weather suit up, bundle up and connect your feet with the earth.
  16. Keep an OPEN MIND. Instead of looking ahead into the cold winter months with a sense of foreboding expect that winter will be a beautiful season. We attract into our lives what we think about.
  17. Remind yourself it’s NORMAL. If you have a not-so-good day remind yourself it’s perfectly normal. This acknowledgement will lessen any anxiety and allow the cheerful’s in. When I have an ‘ugh’ day I take deep breaths to reset and then open my OH MY WORD journal regardless of the time of day and draw and colour – LET GO. This goes a long way in releasing any negative energy.
  18. LIMIT news time. Too much news these days is just not good. Remember our thoughts create our reality so if we allow ourselves to be constantly consumed by news those news stories and the associated feelings will solely create the world in which we live. Find a balance of staying formed and being engaged in things you LOVE.
  19. Yoga, mindful mediation, deep breathing, journaling practices. All help maintain psychological equilibrium and restore cheer.
  20. Proactive CHEERFULNESS. Focus on what is going right in your life right now. Research has found that having a ratio of 3 positive things to every negative emotion helps people flourish. Grab on to the positives and hold onto them throughout day.
  21. Find JOY in what you have vs what you don’t. The tough stuff is meant to challenge us. It encourages us to develop new qualities and find new solutions and silver linings. We can seek to be cheerful in the face of adversity or we can succumb to the negativity around us. The choice is always…ours. This point was brought home in spades last summer when I was in India. I saw small communities of people (parents, children, adolescents, elders) living on the medians dividing traffic. They were always happy, the (beautiful) women crouched, engaged with each other; the kids laughing, playing; the elders working with their hands. The community buzzed with life. They weren’t thinking about what they didn’t have but what they did.

I hope you find some strategies on this list that resonate with you. Taking care of our mental health has never been more important than now.

Take care friends. Be healthy. Be well. Wishing you warm cheer and positive vibes.

 

 

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