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First of all, you need to decide that YOU deserve to feel good. We all do. You need to get excited about life on your own again. Lean on the friends you can count on and take some time for yourself. Here are a few things I do whenever I need to get MY life back on track…
- I check out the local and regional newspapers for exciting things to do. I like the arts, so I start finding cool theater, concerts, dances, sporting events and fun activities. This week, I’m taking a golf class, going to a museum and hanging out at a spa with a bunch of my girlfriends. Keep busy with things that you love to do.
- Call all those friends you keep meaning to get together with. You know who they are…those folks you meet at church who you’ve promised to have sushi with that group of colleagues you always say you’ll have a drink with sometime. Call them with your fun activity ideas in hand and make a firm date to hang out! Then DO IT! No canceling allowed!
- Do stuff by yourself and take ALL THE TIME YOU WANT. I can’t wait to go to the museum. I’m going to really take my time and read every exhibit plaque that interests me. Others might want to move faster through the exhibits, but by yourself, you can slow down and begin to feel your own groove again.
- Get a new do. I went to the hairdresser and announced that the gray in my hair needs to be GONE! She colored the gray out and put in a few streaks of platinum on top. Then, she blow dried my hair straight instead of curling it. We decided not to have a part in my hair, so it just falls open wherever it is. The result is a fresh new look that is classic, elegant and very simple to maintain.
- Clean Your Space. I made a plan and then, I executed it. I cleaned – deeply – each room in my house. I went into drawers, went deep into closets and threw all kinds of needless stuff away. Right now, my trash can is full of excess stuff. I also started putting together stuff for charity. Once I’m completely done, I’ll take it over to the Salvation Army. I ended up with a clean house and a feel good attitude. Not a bad trade off!
- Go Church Hopping. It’s fun to hear the songs you know with a different melody or to hear what a different church is doing for a holiday that is coming up. I went to a synagogue here in Southern California and had lovely conversation with the congregants there. And the Rabbi was very easy on the eyes! 🙂 I also got a few ideas for my religious school class.
- Help someone in need. There is always someone out there who needs help. Find him/her and ask how you can help. My nephew has decided to enroll in college, so I helped him fill out his Financial Aid Application and college application. My girlfriend Jen is getting married in a few months. Yesterday, I helped her get her dress fitted properly. We took lots of pictures, which she can put in a photo album later. Thank goodness I thought of taking pictures! It was so much easier to find the matching earrings and necklace when we went jewelry shopping.
- Do Your Civic Duty. I was asked to give the invocation for the City Council’s open session. I did this and I guess I did it pretty well. The policy advisor for our County ran after me after I’d left and asked if I’d give the invocation for the next County meeting. If you cannot give an invocation, go ahead and do that jury duty or volunteer to help with your local city parks and recreation committee.
- Cook up a Storm. The first time I had visshycoise, I was on a cruise ship bound for Mexico. I never thought I could actually make this French soup myself! But you’ll never know if you don’t try. Right!? I bought the leeks from our local farmer’s market and I was eating cold potato and leek soup in no time. YUM!
- Work a little. I brought some of my teaching work home with me and I’ve done a little bit each day. Sometimes, I’ll set my clock for a half hour/hour and pledge to work just that much. I have a hard time getting started, but I don’t want to stop once it’s over. I actually get quite a lot of work done watching TV during commercials. It’s amazing how much can be done with short bursts of work.
- Work out more. I like taking walks after dinner as the sun is starting to set. The neighbors are out and they wave “hello.” These last few days of summer are great days for getting back into an exercise routine. Or buy a FitBit and get yourself involved in getting your body moving again. Be sure to get one with a heart rate monitor. Go to the gym and get REALLY sweaty. Let the trainers push you. You’ll feel awful during the actual workout, but you’ll feel great when it’s all over. After my workout, I like to go hang out in the jacuzzi and let my muscles soak. Ahhhh! It feels so good!
- Get healthy. Yes, it’s time to get all those tests you keep putting off. This summer, I went to get my blood work done and have my annual mammogram. My mammogram was clean, but my blood work showed that I’m at risk for diabetes. I need to take better care of myself. I cleaned out the fridge of all the sugar and fatty foods and threw them out. I went to the grocery store and bought whole grain bread, crackers and flour along with lean protein. I bought more fruits and vegetables that I can snack on instead of potato chips. I have another blood test in three months and I vow, here and now, to do better.
- Plan/Go on an overnight trip. I like to go to the beach before the summer ends. It’s fun to walk along the sandy beaches and think of all the good times you’ve had over the summer. Perhaps I’ll take a quick dip in the ocean before I succumb to a long leisurely day of sitting on a beach chair, reading magazines and watching the other swimmers in the surf. Where would you like to go?
- Take a class. Find something you REALLY want to learn and show up. Craft stores give art lessons every month, join one. About a month ago, I cut my fingernails way down and started taking violin lessons again. I took them for several years as a child. I’m back in the “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” stage, but it’s exciting to get back into something I was learning when I was younger. Now, I have a fresh prospective even as I’m struggling. Being a teacher, it reminds me of how my students are feeling when they are struggling. My new violin teacher has so many strategies to help me with all kinds of things like “how to hold my bow correctly,” and “how to loosen up my fingers in preparation for string work.” WOW! What a great music teacher! She’s inspired me to think that maybe, someday, I’ll be able to play this… I’ve always loved this violin solo.