“Exercise, prayer, and meditation are examples of calming rituals. They have been shown to induce a happier mood and provide a positive pathway through life’s daily frustrations.”Chuck Norris
My husband had this idea of choosing five activities to do each day to help promote health and longevity. He called this practice “take five” and I am stealing it! The deal is you can choose any five daily practices that you feel will feel help you cope with each day and add some peace. Here are the five I have chosen:
1. Go Outside
Spending time outdoors has become an obsession for me. While we are in the throes of a pandemic, taking in fresh air is especially paramount for good health. There is no better way to safely leave the confines of our home than to spend more time outside.
Even if it is just sitting under a tree, or taking a leisurely walk, I feel rejuvenated after being outside. During the winter, I love to shovel snow and feel the ice cold air on my face. I’ve posted a photo of my daughter, embracing the north country winter.
Even if just for a few minutes each day, connecting with the great outdoors and Mother Nature gives me a strong sense of connection to the universe.
I meditate to clear my mind, with a single focus on the moment at hand. I have difficulty achieving this without my mind racing. Some people use mantras to help clear their mind. During the long cold winters, I use jigsaw puzzles.
I work on these puzzles, almost daily, all winter long. I like to think of them as my very scaled-down version of creating a mandala.
Working on jigsaw puzzles helps to silence my thoughts and enhances my meditative focus. Through this form of meditation, I can find the peace and clarity that I seek.
In addition to daily walks I try to do a little stretching each day.
When I feel more motivated, I use my 1980s-style step aerobics block that my sister gave to me a couple of decades ago. It’s simple and fun. I just turn on my favorite drum and base beats and step away!
We all know exercise is good for us. Just find what works for you and go for it. Just make sure it is fun.
4. Cold Water Facial Immersion Therapy
Every morning and night I dip my face in freezing cold water for up to four minutes. I even talked my husband into it, as well! We call it our “face plant!”
Hear me out on this one. I know the thought of dipping your face in cold water sounds crazy, but there are so many touted health benefits that I just had to give it a try.
First of all, this is a fast and easy way to stimulate the vagus nerve. Additionally, it gives me an immediate sense of calm, even if I am feeling anxious. Studies have also shown that cold water facial immersion before bedtime actually helps to promote a good night sleep.
5. Read and Learn Something New
In addition to reading at night, I like to learn something new every day. It keeps my mind active and promotes (brain) neural plasticity. There are so many ways to expand your knowledge base, so don’t worry, if you are not a reader. Here are some alternative ways to learn:
- Watch TV or listen to podcasts
- Audio books – great if you are not a reader or if you have a long commute to work
- Workshops and classes – check local listings. They have everything from walking histories to wine tasting seminars
- Museum visits – in our city, we have the Frederic Remington Museum
- Listen to the old-timers – you will be amazed at their wisdom and what you can learn from them
Anyway, you get my point. Become a life-long learner.
There you have it – my “take five!” Let me know what daily rituals you practice to promote your health and well-being.
Happy New Year and thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)
Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.