Everyday Living

Life is just so...daily. I wake up, smack the snooze button a few times, go to work, come home, cook dinner, do stuff, go to bed. And most people's lives aren't a whole lot more exciting. Recovery is such a monumental task that it's easy to start putting things off. Some of the things I'm postponing are necessary- do I really want to take a trip when there's a chance Ed might join me? But recovery is a part of life, and to do that with everything would only make our work so much harder.

I found these tips for simple ways to start enjoying today on the blog On Simplicity:

  • Spend a few extra minutes in bed today, luxuriating in the warmth of slept-in sheets.
  • Eat breakfast without multi-tasking. Enjoy the sight, smell, and taste of your food.
  • Play a song that gets you revved up before you start your day. Repeat as many times as you need. (”Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake is my embarrassingly regular go-to song. I get to feel like a bad-ass and complete dork at the same time. Sweet!)
  • Stop saying, “I’ll be happy when…” You don’t need security, true love, prestige, or good taste to be happy. Food, safety, and a good sense of humor will get you through in a pinch.
  • When you step out the door for the first time, take 10 seconds to really notice your surroundings. Drink them in without judging. (Even if, like me, you live uncomfortably close to cow pastures…)
  • Remember how badly you wanted to be an adult so that you could live life by your own rules? Enjoy the fact that, for the most part, you get to make your own decisions today.
  • Say “hi” to your coworkers instead of brushing by them. Ditto for family members.
  • Celebrate inconsequential victories just for the fun of it. Didn’t burn dinner? You clearly rock.
  • Leave a kind note for someone to find. Your spouse, child, or janitor will appreciate it, and you’ll probably feel better as well.
  • Stop waiting for someone else’s approval. If you like where you’re at (or simply where you’re headed), that’s good enough.
  • Check your progress on your larger goals. The steps you take to get there can be the best part.
  • Give in to a craving! Nearly everything is okay in moderation.
  • Find five minutes to sit back and just breathe. Close your eyes and let your concerns take a backseat for just a few moments. Remember that even high priorities are rarely as urgent as our adrenaline tells us they are.
  • Smile for absolutely no reason. You’re alive; that’s a pretty damn good excuse.
  • Slip into a pair of comfy socks.
  • Set aside 15+ minutes for something that’s purely fun. Not all hobbies need to have a purpose or redeeming value. Remind yourself that’s it okay to just have fun.
All of these are a good way to practice mindfulness. What are your favorite ways to just sit back and enjoy a slice of life? If you don't have any, do you have any ideas?

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Cammy said...

The piano is always a good way for me to soothe myself when I get overwhelmed. Even just sitting down and tinkering on it for 5 or 10 minutes does wonders for my anxiety.

Spectacular Spirit said...

Music is great, as Cammy said. I play guitar, and sing while I do household chores (Motown music and dish-washing go together perfectly). It takes me to my happy place.

I also like the comfy socks idea- I love cute, cozy socks!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say hi as well- I have read your book, and follow your blog. I myself have just started a recovery-oriented blog as well- http://spectacularspirit.blogspot.com/

You are inspiring, and have been a great influence. Take care!
-Spectacular Spirit, (Katie)

Reagan said...

Thank you! I really needed this post.

Carrie Arnold said...

I used to do piano (I took lessons for about 12 years), and so I love music too. But now my favorite ways to self soothe are either crochet or doing my jewelry.

And the socks are totally necessary. They let me live in denial that vacuuming my floors can indeed wait one more day! Though my circulation has always been poor, which the AN hasn't helped, so my feet are freezing anyways.

Bron said...

Thank you - these are indeed great. I can think of one for every season, though they may not be possible for everyone to do daily. In winter, I like breaking ice that's formed on puddles. In spring I like to meander near daffodils. In summer I like to just enjoy the warm sun on my shoulders (not a common occurrence as I currently live in the UK), and in autumn I love walking through crunchy fallen leaves. But most of all I like to be able to do things for their sheer enjoyment, not because I 'should'. I hope you all can too :-)

Carrie Arnold said...

I can't believe I forgot my favorite thing: cuddling with Aria! Talk about simple joys. The joys are increased if a) she hasn't just eaten her duck-and-green-pea dry food and b) I've managed to clip her nails. Sigh.

samsi77 said...

My first thought as I was reading the list was that this is a great summary of Mindfulness and then you said it. My favorite self soothe task is relaxing with my doggies, rubbing my pups ears, petting them or just cuddling!

Laura Collins said...

What a great list!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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