I may never be finished, but if I keep at it, I can be less behind . . . The deeper I dive into a project, the more there is to do . . . The more I learn, the more I realize I need to learn . . . My son may be 22, but I am still a mother.
Since the list of things to do is never ending, I aim to take care of my health every day. To me this means eat right, sleep right, and exercise right; and I pray. Eat right means eating nothing from a box, bag, or can; and eating about 80% fruit and vegetables. (I also avoid alcohol and even over-the-counter drugs whenever possible.) Sleep right means allowing myself at least eight hours a night. To exercise right consists of a blend between cardio, muscle building/weight bearing, and stretching. I also move all joints in their full range of motion and include spinal care and core exercises. – This (balancing the to-do list and my physical health) is the easy stuff.
What’s harder for me is separating myself from someone else’s pain. Empathy is good, but to absorb myself in someone else’s pain is not. Their bad mood should not effect my happiness or positive mood. This separation of self from others is advantageous not only to my mental (and thus physical) health, but to theirs.
Since moods are contagious, it’s important to keep the sunny side up.
Obviously, controlling our emotions is difficult. To help me deal with mine, I exercise (which releases feel-good hormones) and meditate. The meditation “chant” that helps me is: I will not harbor negative thoughts. As I say this over and over, I break it down word by word. (Such as, harbor: to let in, to store, to dwell on. Thoughts: they control my mind, they control my emotions.)
Another thing that helps me keep the sunny side up is to hug my Buddy, after all, hugs are proven to release feel-good hormones.
In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert wrote that her meditation was,
“I will not harbor unhealthy thoughts anymore.”