Staying Stable

Everyone has their own ways of keeping on the mark. Let’s “encourage one another daily” with the lessons we’ve learned. Here are a few of mine:

  • Get enough sleep. For me, that has to be 7-8 hours every night.
  • Balance outward and inward time. Not too much reading, writing, and thinking; not too much socializing.
  • (Try to) Maintain an orderly environment. My picture of order probably allows for more “chaos” than yours — chaos and creativity have some connections — but wasting time looking for lost things sets me spinning.
  • Breathe. For me, this includes aerobic exercise (even 5 minute dance breaks while working) stepping outside for fresh air, singing anything with long phrases (chants from the monastic and liturgical traditions). It’s best (for me) if the music also helps me focus on God.
  • Eat well. Breakfast is a ritual of preparing oatmeal with cranberries, chopped apple, and cinnamon (in the bowl in the microwave … not a big project). Lunch can be a homemade soup, salad with some chopped poached chicken, or natural PB&J and more fruit, dinner is soup or stew or salad.
  • Snack smart! I keep a snack box with dried fruit, chocolate chips, and packets of British cookies (usually 8 cookies at 70 cents to $1.50 at my local Indian market). Why British cookies? No artificial anything. And if I eat the entire packet, I’ve only had about 600 calories — nothing like if I burn through a package of Oreos.
  • Be slow to speak. Once I started to know my triggers and bad habits, I had to start shutting my mouth. So if someone uses intrusive, inappropriate questions … I don’t need to get angry or to correct them. I just need to shut up. If I’m growing anxious in a meeting and getting ready to talk too much … I just need to shut up. Easier said than done. But it’s the right thing to do.
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