(Notice how I didn’t say “happy”. That’s because you can be successful in sadness too. And in every other human condition.)
Art by Caitlin Slade @thewalkiestlady
1. Sleep. You can’t do anything well if you don’t get enough of it. This includes getting through the day and coping. Never mind succeeding. This is what motherhood and then menopause has taught me.
2. Sit quietly. Even a couple of deliberate minutes will make a difference in your life. So crawl into your closet or your car if you have to. Unplug, disconnect, decompress.
3. Eat with relish. Ok, maybe not that neon green stuff in the shelf-stable jar that you can get at some grocery stores. No! That stuff is disgusting! It means whatever you are eating, eat it with appreciation and joy. Isn’t ice cream bad for you? The simple answer is no. Do you realize that there are people out there in the world who exist for decades on little more than alcohol and cigarettes. And maybe coffee. Your body can handle the occasional ice cream cone, especially if you enjoy it thoroughly.
4. Feel what you’re feeling. How did we get in the habit of smothering our feelings with alcohol, drugs, food, work, shopping, gambling and sex? What are we so afraid of? When my 15-year-old son’s best friend died suddenly our whole family was shattered. We spent months, and to a lesser degree, years, with heavy hearts, downtrodden spirits and faithlessness. For the first time in my life I allowed myself to really feel what I was feeling and that experience has been perhaps the greatest teacher of my life and a period of uncharted growth of my soul.
5. Be by water. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ocean, lake, pond, stream, pool or large puddle. Everyone feels more peaceful by water because our bodies are comprised of 90 to 70% water depending on age. The positive vibration of water creates a positive effect in our bodies. It just feels good!
6. Hug people. Anyone. Everyone. Especially if it makes you or them slightly uncomfortable. This human connection is what we long for and need and avoid.
7. Laugh with your friends. No explanation required, right?
8. Move your body. You know how good it feels to wake up and stretch your body from head to toe? Your body loves that! Do it often.
9. Watch a kitten, dog, baby or child sleep. Then you will know real peace. Time-saving tip: Combine this with #2.
10. Realize that in every encounter, there is an opportunity to give and/or receive love. If someone’s nasty to you it’s because they need love. So give them a little love. If someone’s nice to you it’s because you need it. So take it graciously.
I would love to collaborate with you more. Follow my book page, Divorce: A Love Story, on Facebook here. Connect with my Instagram page here. Watch for my new podcast Alive & Kicking in just a few weeks!