Although Spring has begun and we are emerging from natural semi-hibernation, taking time to review this period before stepping forward is worth the time. How do we navigate the darker, deeper times in our lives?
Yesterday, I decided to play with my 6-year-old niece. A cold, dark day is perfect for building a blanket fort. She was thrilled that I came to play with just her (she is 8 of 8). We built the fort and began a movie. She ate some food and then got comfortable and fell asleep. My sister and I ended up watching the rest of the movie–spending one on one time we hadn’t had for a long time because we live over a thousand miles apart and dedicate much of our time to nurturing local (immediate family, community service). I was grateful I chose to be mindful about spending time with my niece and sister instead of dashing off to work on other projects.
I’ve found that it’s important to be mindful with our daily intentions. Ask yourself, “What is my focus today?” Whatever your answer may be, action comes down to nurturing and what does that look like. What movement serves you during this time? I need to slow down and spend time doing exercise and work that strengthens without taking away from my energy reserves. Here are some ways for you to nurture mindful intentions that will support you during the depths (times when you have low energy, anxiety/depression symptoms, illness, pain, difficulty moving forward).
- Nurturing Choice and Accountability: Choose one to three tasks to work on or complete during the day and then accept the consequences. Are you expressing an opinion or advocating for an organization or topic you feel passionate about? Have you received praise or persecution? The consequences of praise or persecution can be uncomfortable and finding a way to accept consequences in a positive manner–personal accountability– provide opportunities for growth (See Brene Brown’s work on Vulnerability).
- Nurturing Faith: A big part of faith is trust. Learning to express trust through boundaries is essential. Trust and boundaries go both ways, trust for yourself and trust for others or higher power.
- Nurturing Divine Nature: No matter how pressed down I feel, I consistently remind myself that I am a daughter of God. Sometimes this includes reading scripture, finding a positive quote, or baking! Yes, baking is a creative outlet and a part of nurturing intelligence, spirit, and tactile movement that supports uplifting you.
- Nurturing Worth: Make your bed everyday! It doesn’t matter how just make it your way. Making your bed is one thing you can accomplish with ease and it makes you feel better when you go back to bed. It is something you see throughout the day that is complete, encouraging confidence and well-being.
- Nurturing Integrity: Be Honest with Yourself! Do a self-evaluation of your thoughts and actions in the morning or evening without judgement. Observe yourself honestly and categorize as healthy, unhealthy, comfortable, uncomfortable.
- Nurturing Knowledge: Take moments several times a week to learn new things. Information from your contacts in email, books, magazines, or other research can help lift yourself using a lower energy process. Sitting or lying comfortably (on your made bed or elsewhere) and reading or studying things are productive and progressive.
- Nurturing Good Works: Keep it Local! Service in your community can help you feel your value and increase your well-being. Service can suit your lower energy level in winter or during the depths. You can volunteer with your local library, most have a Friends group, a local museum, food pantry–even if that is buying a few extra items each week and taking them to a drop off once a month, Youth Assistance programs, Lions Club/Rotary or other clubs, a nearby zoo, school PTA, or church organizations. You don’t have to give a lot of hours to make a big impact. One hour a week or less makes a difference.
- Nurturing Virtue: You have value because you exist. Do you allow others to have value because they exist? Find ways to support your self and others by avoiding judgement and simply observing, listening, and being.
May you thrive as you nurture yourself during the depths and emerge from semi-hibernation with peace.