This fall has knocked me down a few times. Has it been the same for you? I’m trying to do a bit better at taking care of myself, and part of that is listening to Inner Katie. Inner Katie tells Physical World Katie to do things like write, go for a walk in the woods, bake something new, read, and tuck yourself in early for a good night’s sleep. Physical World Katie has a tendency to go out of her way to numb herself to these good, heath-giving tips. So here I am, back at my digital creative corner, trying to reclaim a space I’ve been absent from for some months.
I sat down about a week ago to write something here. Many, many paragraphs into it, I stopped because I became very bored with myself and deleted the whole thing. No one, including me, needed eleventy-three paragraphs of the difficulties of this fall, starting with my bike accident and going up through the horror that is our most recent election.
So, instead, I have made the active choice to let all that shit go. Holding onto all the ways the world has let me down this fall was seriously sending me in to a dark place. Sometimes it’s been difficult, but I’m realizing I can take much better care of myself and be a happier, more productive person if I thoughtfully embrace things that fulfill me.
Here are a few things that have really been helping me the last few weeks:
- Being active. Sometimes this means a bike ride (though, admittedly, biking has fallen down a few notches since my bike accident). Other times, this means a simple walk around the neighborhood, to the coffee shop, or to and from work. Many times, it means going to one of my favorite places as of late: the woods. I’ve always loved hikes on trails through the woods, but lately walking through the woods has made me downright joyful, probably due to the combination of getting fresh air, moving my body, being around animals, and spending time quietly observing the world around me.
- This one should, technically, fall in line with #1, but I have a few things to say about it, so it gets to stand by itself: yoga. I’ve taken yoga classes before, and have even invested in several punchcards at one of my local studios. However, I was never gung-ho about yoga enough to attend all the classes my punchcard allowed for me before the (very generous) six month time limit expired. Clearly, I’ve always liked the IDEA of yoga more than the actual practice of yoga. A week and a half ago, my yoga studio offered a special deal on a 10 class punchcard, and I quickly purchased one. Since then, I’ve taken 3 classes…and I’ve gotten REAL emotional in all of them. This time around, yoga seems to be helping me tap into a lockbox of negativity and emotions I’ve been carrying around and wasn’t even aware of. While I’m thankful for all the physical benefits of yoga, this time I’m especially grateful to the way yoga is helping me work through some of the dark emotions I’ve been carting around.
- Reading. This year has been a really good reading year for me. I’ve just finished my 36th book of the year and have reached my goal of reading more than 30 books in 2016. My reading has been a bit up and down this fall. Reading helps me in a way I can’t really describe. It’s like good therapy for my mind and soul. That’s been such an important thing to remember this fall, as my reading took a little hit. I always feel better when I’m immersed in a book, so it’s always worth it to pick a book up and read it.
Life is full of peaks and valleys. Along with embracing and taking comfort in the meaningful relationships with friends and families, these are the things I’m choosing to embrace right now as I navigate my way out of this little valley.
Happy holidays…here’s a peaceful deer spotted on our wintry hike yesterday.