I asked for help finding a word for the year that fit and was meaningful. A great suggestion was "movement" and I am trying that out with these goals and with the image above which was taken years ago right before we took a hot air balloon ride in Aspen. The sensation of joyful movement I experienced on that ride is the type of emotional wellness I would like to recreate.
After my January insights about how my personality based habits were impacting my ability to move forward, I spent some time trying to think about it differently.
Then I spent some time listing what I liked about my wellness in the past in terms of physical, mental and emotional well being. The second step was brainstorming how I could regain some of those things in my current circumstances. So here goes!
First up was that I liked having a Pilates body that was also shaped by walking hills and stairs a lot. The outdoor walks were in an interesting, beautiful area where there were things to see and/or destinations like a great coffee shop. It also truly was a case of walking uphill both ways due to the terrain, lots of stairs in our home and lots of very physical yard work. I let all that go after moving 5 years ago to a single story home with no yard in a flat area with no nearby interesting destinations, but this is not the first time I have had to remake my physical health and exercise habits.
I broke it down with allowance for still recovering a bit from foot surgery, living in an uninspiring walking area (boredom reigns), and being both out of shape and heavier than I want to be.
1. Start Pilates again.
I can't work with a trainer at a studio (thanks COVID) but there are great resources online. I found a 25 minute standing beginner workout that is perfect for right now at The Girl with a Pilates Mat. I looked it up and two to three times a week is a good starting point. I'll send her a donation at the beginning of each month to pay for my classes.
2. Take one or two Challenge Walks each week. Work on distance, speed and climbing (hills/stairs).
I will walk where there are hills or stairs or balance challenges and drive to a starting point if needed. I brainstormed some ideas and came up with mall walking (stairs), a walk to the closest Starbucks or deli, a walk to a nearby park, and walking the very uneven Ventura pier. I'm going to see what may work for me. Then I'll look into any trails or other walking routes that may be nearby once I am more fit.
3. Cut way back on alcohol.
I didn't drink at all for at least 2 years after coming back from a previous health crisis and then only very occasionally for several years after than. Like many, during the pandemic I have gotten in the habit of a drink before dinner basically every day. I don't need the calories and my liver and sleep patterns would certainly benefit from less imbibing. Starting with February being a very limited alcohol month.
Secondly, I really liked having more mental stimulation and sharing it with people with whom I could be fully myself. This one is much harder for me to visualize and operationalize.
We used to go to a world class art museum, lots of small live theater, outdoor art shows or walks. We went out to eat regularly with Thai food being one of our favorites. I was a member of a very interesting book club that also had parties and took weekend trips together. I took lots of art classes. I had a close friend with whom I could talk about anything.
Then we moved to a very suburban area where I had no connections and just as I was finding some of these things the pandemic hit. I do have some nice local friends who I enjoy and who are great emotional support, but not that feel free to bare your soul type of best friend one.
I am determined though that staying healthy and getting stimulation can't be mutually exclusive despite the challenges of COVID.
1. Take full advantage of the local artists' studio and all their exhibits and events.
Look into becoming a member and perhaps volunteering in some way. Find any other art exhibits in the area.
2. Find a way to spend time making art again.
Try drawing a series of pictures with a theme. Perhaps try a class with one of the artists from the art studios. I know there is a figure drawing workshop, glass art and I'm sure many others.
3. Read what I really enjoy and write reviews of it.
Period or other location mysteries anyone? Victorian, WWI or WWII. Paris, London, etc. Go to the small local bookstore and see what they have.
4. Figuring out how to increase the types of friendship connections I crave.
Who might I have met or meet who could be a kindred spirit? How can I get together with people to deepen connections during this endless pandemic?