As military spouses, our stress is a roller coaster on a good day. This year, it is more important than ever to process stress between the end of the year resolutions, delayed shipping, and not going home for Christmas, because even though the military said, “Yes, go!” Covid said, ‘Hey! No.” Creating space to get grounded could be as simple as play, journaling, or having sanctuary days.
Move your body
Legally Blonde taught us you get endorphins from exercise, which keeps you happy and keeps you from making decisions you might regret. This could look like a 10-minute dance party to the kids’ favorite Disney songs or a breezy walk in your neighborhood.
Putting pen to paper
In The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she presents the idea of Morning Pages. Morning Pages are three pages of free-writing in a journal. It doesn’t have to make sense or be eloquent like a 19th-century poet. The point is to let your brain release the thoughts it keeps holding onto subconsciously. Free-writing frees up thinking space, just in time to realize you forgot to send your mother-in-law’s gift in the mail.
Let nature nurture you
Nature provides us with serotonin, a mood-stabilizing hormone. Now that the weather is cooler and you don’t have to worry about mosquitos, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Whether you put your feet in bare grass or run in the woods, breathing fresh air gives us perspective. Nature reminds us everything has a cycle and that it’s okay to go one step at a time.
Meditate on it
Meditation does not have to be sitting straight in a chair and chanting. Meditating can look like listening to quiet music for ten minutes, watching the fire, or listening to a guided meditation. Meditation allows your body and breath to sync back together.
Sanctuary Days are a practice I started implementing this year. They consist of staying off social media and my phone for two days a week. Sanctuary days allow me a chance to regroup, rest, and plan out my next week. When the world tells us to speed up, we can slow down. We can choose to do it differently.
The rush of the world will take your energy and attention in a heartbeat. This month, permit yourself to add rest into your calendar. Carve out time to breathe, so when 2021 arrives, you feel ready to face whatever will come your way.