the bluebird in my yard

In addition to these new challenges, keep on drinking 2 glasses of water each morning and getting your exercise. Pre-decide your healthy snacks and try to get a few minutes of mindfulness or meditation in as well ask keeping your sleep routine, sparking joy with creativity and keep on being of service.

Have you been so inspired by pushing out of your comfort zone that you’re doing a home improvement project or are studying ballet on-line? I hope you’re still practicing affirmations and have incorporated more plant-based meals in addition to doing core exercises which also helps boost your resiliency.

Day 14: Coloring or Drawing to Tap into Your Feelings 

Sometimes words fail us, which is one reason that coloring, drawing and art therapy is a powerful way for people to express themselves without words. Research has found that choosing colors, creating patterns and working with your hands helps reduce anxiety, intrusive and negative thoughts and helps diminish the fight or flight reactions that may be troubling.

Focusing our thoughts on colors and creativity and is a calming activity that has been used for years, it provides a sort of mental canvas to work out and process feelings. 

Resources:

The Kennedy Center is sponsoring Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmzjCPQv3y8&t=13s

Dover Coloring Books: https://www.doverpublications.com/cb001/index.html?s1=Colornews2&s2=NewSite-Various&s3=cb001&s5=colornews2

Day 15: Taking a Photo of Nature to Remind You of Our Interconnectedness 

I discovered a pair of Western Bluebirds in my backyard about 5 weeks ago, which sparked my interest in creating a safe place in my backyard for all sorts of birds. Before I knew it, I was purchasing live mealworms, setting up a sunflower feeder, filling up a birdbath, and buying suet by the case, and that’s in addition to the 3 birdhouses and 2 hummingbird feeders. 

The truth is, we are all connected by the air, water, and earth that surrounds us.  We don’t have to go on an African safari or Alaskan cruise to see wildlife, it’s all around us: Flowers, squirrels, and birds in any park. It’s just a start. 

Just as you slow down and focus on your breath in meditation, slowing down, being still and quiet while you’re out will inevitably attract your attention to the beauty of the natural world. 

I hope you’ll share your photos.

Day 16: Listening to a New Podcast to Expand Your Perspective

Broadening your perspective is like peering into a new dimension.  You may be surprised at what you find. 

Look for a topic that you know nothing about or something you normally dismiss. Maybe it’s Italian Opera or Japanese baseball. The list is endless. Just commit to something interesting and dive in at least for 1 hour. 

Here are some suggestions:

Song Exploder: For all of us who wonder how a song was made or the meaning behind it. You might listen to Will Butler from Arcade Fire or Ramin Djawadi who wrote the theme song for Game of Thrones.

The Black Guy who Tips: A hilarious married couple, Rob and Karen keep it real and cover current events and celebrity issues.  

Stuff You Should Know: Explains everything that you never thought about before

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Very informative and thorough information explained in a way that makes sense.

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Day 17: Reaching Out to Remind You the Value of Connection

Staying connected during the Covid-19 pandemic has many important benefits. People who are isolated are more likely to be depressed, angry, self-medicate, and indulge in less than healthy habits like smoking and using too much alcohol, all of which can weaken the immune system.

Reaching out and extending yourself to a neighbor, to someone you see walking the same path every day or to an old friend helps build a network of community, more love, compassion, and the very real sense that we’re in this together. 

Suggestions for Covid vulnerable neighbors

Leave some flowers from your garden in front of their door

Offer to pick up groceries, prescriptions 

Drop-off a meal or snack

Offer to walk their dog, mow their lawn or put out the trash

Day 18: Strolling Through a Virtual Museum, Aquarium or Garden Tour Online to Nourish Your Soul

Art, music and dance are all part of nourishing and nurturing more health and wellness.  Take a stroll through a museum or garden to delight your senses and expand your thinking. 

No matter where you are, you can have a virtual tour of many museums including:

 The Louvre in Paris (https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne#tabs

The American Museum of Natural History: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/american-museum-of-natural-history?hl=en

The Georgia Aquarium has live webcams for the tanks with Whale sharks and Beluga whales: (https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/ocean-voyager/ )

The Vatican Museum with the Sistine Chapel: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/tour-virtuali-elenco.html

Where will you go? Leave a comment or link to your favorite discovery.

Day 19: Reviewing your Notebook to Remind You of Your Limitless Potential

Has it really been 19 days? This has been so much fun!

I’m so grateful that you’ve come along on this 19 day journey.

Today, I’m inviting you to take a look at your notebook and see all the healthy and protective routines that you started, and hopefully are continuing. I hope you feel stronger, more rested, recharged and are seeing joy in small things.

I hope you’ve enjoyed healthier snacks and more movement and that it’s easier to sit quietly for a few minutes of mindfulness or meditation.

All of this will serve you well in the coming months and will help you live more fully in the present, developing more resilience, health, and wellness.  Take care!

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