The last year and a half has been tough on everyone. Fear of disease or even death, isolation, restrictions, and loss have put an enormous strain on our mental health and happiness. While the pandemic isn’t over, most of the world is no longer in lockdown. People are venturing out. While the past 18 months were about surviving, now is the time to plan for thriving. Only you can make this happen, though, and this is the opportune moment.
Several years ago, I read an interesting article on how walking can set your mental well-being. It made perfect sense to me as I’ve found a relaxed walk helpful in dealing with stress since my twenties.
It’s been almost a year of the pandemic. Boredom is a result most of us are familiar with. Life awaits us with adventures to be had, relationships to forge and nurture, new experiences and opportunities behind every corner. Yet we still have fears and limits to what we can do safely during this time. The result is we spend most of our time within our homes. Last Sunday I wrote about how my home is my haven and asked what is your refuge. Today let’s consider how our home affects our happiness and mental health.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
One third of your life is spent at work according to Gettysburg College. For some people, it may be an even larger percentage of time working. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are now working from home, often at reduced hours, or, unfortunately, have lost their jobs altogether. What is your job to you? Is it merely a means of putting food on the table and keeping the roof over your head? Or is it something more? Your career should be more than just a job. It should be a vocation. The thing that gives you meaning and purpose. It won’t always make you want to leap out of bed and throw your arms around the world every morning. But it should give you a sense of satisfaction and belonging that goes beyond being happy to see your paycheck at the end of the month. A bad job can make you ill physically and mentally. A good job can make you happy. I know this from my own experiences.
Modern life can be hard, and feeling stressed or down is part of the norm. If you occasionally feel this way, let’s look at it as an opportunity for self growth. Have you noticed many of the most successful people at managing life like to ask questions? They are curious and ask questions of others and themselves. They embrace an attitude of learning throughout life. Before implementing the changes needed to transform your life for the better, you must know why problems have surfaced. Periodically we all need to do self inquiry; asking ourselves questions to help us grow, adapt, and deal with our goals and lives.
“There is no pill that comes close to what exercise can do, and if there was one, it would be extremely expensive.”
Claude Bouchard, director of the human genomics laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center
The Coronavirus pandemic has contributed to millions of us spending more than at home than usual. I have not been as active as my body needs, and there has been a negative difference. I’m sitting here today thinking about adding activities to be more active. I’ve been reading about the latest science of exercise. Did you know that exercise can have a positive effect on your life in many ways? According to Time magazine’s The New Science of Exercise, only 20% of Americans get the recommended 150 minutes of strength and cardiovascular physical activity per week, more than half of all baby boomers report doing no exercise whatsoever, and 80.2 million Americans over age 6 are entirely inactive. It seems exercise is really medicine – great medicine better than any pill. Let’s look at some of the most significant benefits of exercise and some tips to get you started. Read More
It’s now October and in some areas of the country, days of gray skies may now be more frequent. My sister lives in the greater Detroit area in Michigan, and all this last week she has complained about dark, rainy days. The rain stopped and she had 4 gray days in a row. That is typical weather for fall and winter in Michigan. This time of year can make you feel blue and experience a loss of energy. Be aware that some people can be sad or depressed during low light days of winter. It is called (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder. I wrote about my feelings of sadness and feeling lethargic when I lived in Tennessee and Michigan during the winter days of gray. In fact, that is one of the reasons I moved to Miami in my 20’s. I’m just so much happier in bright sunny Florida. Read More