Did you ever find yourself slipping into, how shall I say it, a less than happy mood. Every now and then one of us has such a – let’s call it – “Bad Hair Day!” Fortunately, being together as many years as we have been (54 this month), usually when she is up, I am down and vice-versa. So, when she is down, I bring her back up and when I am down, she brings me back up. And the good news is that it usually only lasts a few hours. Today started out that way.
One of the things we have missed on this latest adventure is our line dancing and so today we decided that we would play some line dancing music we have on our computers. Nothing works better as we both love country music and it doesn’t take long for us to get our feet tapping and before we know it, we are line dancing doing some of our favorite line dances.
While we do not follow what many might consider a hectic pace, you know, rushing around doing a bunch of things all at once, our lives aren’t sedentary either. When we “relax” you might find us in front of the television, our computers, or doing a hobby (I write, she makes jewelry or some type of craft work).
I used to consider myself a “multi-tasker” but lately I am finding that I prefer to do one thing at a time. True, there are times one might see me watching TV while reading a book or have my nose in my Smart Phone. Fact is, I am not multi-tasking – I am in the company of others that are watching something on TV that I am not particularly fond of and so, they are doing their thing while I am doing mine – it is just that we are in the same room.
Besides, lately it has been proven that multitasking doesn’t necessarily reduce stress but increases it. Increased stress is a sure-fire way to cause our brains to deteriorate. The older I get the more I realize that I need to stop and pause every now and then and take in what we could call “ordinary moments.”
For instance, one of the daily routines I follow (when I am home) is to stretch as soon as I get out of bed, then I write in my journal, post a quip or two on Facebook, have my breakfast, and then on many days, go to our line dance practice. While away, I have done some (not the line dancing) of these daily routines although I must admit I have not been consistent. And believe me, such a routine requires me to be consistent to feel good about myself. Also, when one enjoys line dancing and the music that accompanies it as much as we do, it doesn’t take long to feel lost without it.
So, on my daily list of “to-do’s” we plan on doing today, first thing was to make sure that when my computer is on, line dancing music is playing in the background. I am sure, that even though our intentions are to catch up on some computer work, we will be taking line dancing breaks today.
Another thing I have been attempting to do the older I get is to practice mindfulness (you know being in the present moment and appreciating whatever is happening around us right now). As a result, one of the things on my ‘list of to-do’s’ today is to take a ten or fifteen minute walk (assuming the weather will cooperate as we have been having rain) so that we can take in our environment and sense what is happening around us as we walk.
Personally, I love to walk and it has been recommended as a great form of exercise. However, the type walk I am contemplating is a “mindfulness walk.” My wife cannot walk as fast as I do and so, such a walk will be good for the two of us. I say this because this type of walk is one in which we can notice how we might just smell the rain in the air, picture the colors around us be it the color of the various trees or flowering shrubs, how some grass may be growing rather well while other spots appear brown and dying, and who knows we may even hear the birds singing.
All this takes us out of the condo and into a different environment. In doing so, we have an opportunity of becoming one with nature, even if only for ten or fifteen minutes. Such a change improves ones’ mood and wakes us up to all there is to be thankful for.
If we recall our working years, we probably remember that being on the “fast track” as one way of stating it, only caused more stress and if let to run its’ course was a sure way to a heart attack not to mention all the other diseases that might be attributed to stress. Being mindful at our age (and any age for that matter) is one way to eliminate much of the stress in our lives.
So, if one would prepare a list of things to do to assist with removing some of the stress in our lives, such a list might include such things as:
Take a walk either alone or with your significant other at least fifteen minutes each day.
On this walk, rid your mind of everything except what you see and hear while you are walking.
Don’t look for anything in particular – that way when you see a bird, a squirrel, a chip monk, other people walking and talking, or what have you – you will be surprised which adds to the joy of taking the walk.
Know that by doing this small ritual once a day, you are taking care of you. And this is important because as you well know, there are many others in your position that do not have such an opportunity to take a walk every day.
Doing this daily may also provide you with five things:
By opening your mind as you walk to what is around you, hopefully you will feel more peaceful and as a result see things more clearly than what you did before your walk. Result – peace of mind due to opening your mind.
Leaving the confines of your home, apartment, condo or what have you to walk in nature’s environment, may just give you a better appreciation of nature.
Smelling the rain, taking in the fragrance of the various flowers and all that mother nature has to offer also gives you the opportunity to have a chance to breathe deeply, something I know I do not do often enough.
While on this walk do your best to only take in what you see and smell during this short walk. Once the walk is over, your mind should be clear. A clear mind is one that should see things in a different light and thus may provide you with some problem-solving moments.
Being with ourselves taking in all that is around us while not thinking of anything else should also provide us with a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for all that we have versus thinking about what we don’t have.
I started this piece to overcome a feeling of moodiness and it served its purpose so much so that I thought I may as well use it for my weekly post to my rants and raves on this site. Hope you enjoy!