When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I integrate more mindfulness into my life. I take a more thoughtful approach to my activities and thoughts, and take mini-breaks to slow down. It really helps me to feel less scattered and more focused. My brain is always turning and processing and problem solving, but I know that sometimes I just need to slow that down or focus on something specific, and I do that when I need to.
I don’t have a specific meditation practice, but I do go outside regularly and stop, listen, smell and look around. I ground with the earth and sometimes lie on the grass and watch the clouds drift by. It may sound silly, but it really does put you into a different space. We have lots of trees and so many birds. I love to listen to them. Right now, my grass is tall and full of dandelions and violets. I love them so. I can’t bear to cut them yet and they are feeding the pollinators. I take it all in with gratitude, pleasure and joy. Sometimes I’ll put on ocean sounds or some soft piano music to relax.
For exercise, I walk several times a day with Olive, our sweet dog. I do lots of work around our property cleaning up. I have two large garden plots and I do a ton of stretching with all of my aches and twinges that occur regularly. I was a gymnast as a youth and enjoyed rollerblading for many years, but these days I find all of the things I do to be enough to keep me moving, active and limber. I would like to do more.
I guess my message is that sometimes doing what we can is enough. I feel I’m a pretty well-balanced person, despite the fact that I don’t have a regular discipline of these practices. I fit them in randomly every day and they help me. I have learned to take a few minutes here and there to really listen to nature and do some stretches. I take the time in small bursts and it is okay that I don’t have a scheduled practice. I do these things every day as a natural part of finding my joy and balance in life. As long as we are doing something to take care of ourselves, it can be enough.