Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Daily Debrief

About two weeks ago I needed a combination therapy/cup of coffee/put-on-your-big-girl-panties conversation, so I called up a friend who's been in Fiji for a long time and has ridden out the waves with grace and poise. Sweetheart that she is, she met me that very afternoon for a long talk.

While all of our conversation was helpful, the biggest gift that she gave me was some structure to my journaling. I'm a big believer in writing and try to do it regularly, but although I've used prompts I don't tend to stick with them. Enter (fanfare please) The Daily Debrief.

Written first thing in the morning each day, the debrief has three main parts - good things, bad things, and intentions.

  • Good things (5) has overall mood and is ranked by benefit and enjoyment. Strive for five -- even after a rough day there are five good things to look back on.
  • Bad Things (3 or less) can be skipped after good days. A key point here is to LIMIT the number of bad things written about and also to acknowledge mistakes
  • Intentions (1-3) are the priorities for the day, the attitude adjustment to facing the world, the change to behaviors so mistakes don't happen again. This section is also limited to just 3 intentions for the day. This avoids analysis paralysis as well as that sense of guilt if the to-do list doesn't go to-done at the end of the day. 

I've been doing this fairly regularly for the last two weeks and it's been wonderful for me. There's something about seeing my worries in writing that makes them more manageable. I've been surprised by how few worries we actually have -- even though the ones we have are big ones -- and even after the roughest days how much there is to be thankful for in our lives. Simply getting it all out has definitely helped calm my mind. The very act of thinking about what I want to do next has helped me focus my time and be more productive.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Keep the boredom at bay

Summers growing up were long and hot. We didn't have a TV and the city pool didn't open until 3PM, so I learned at an early age that I needed to be good at entertaining myself. This has served me well over the years as I've had anywhere from a few hours of downtime to entire months. Here's a short list of things I've fallen back at different times on to keep my mind and body active:

- visit museums, libraries, galleries. Prep for the visit by reading up about what you're going to see. After the visit research questions you had and things of interest that you learned about on the outing
- take a local tour - none scheduled? Ask around, often there are people with specialties in the most surprising things that would be happy to show you what they know
- join organizations, like a library book club
- start an organization, like a geocache club
- check facebook events for things happening near you
- reconnect with old friends either in person or via phone
- ask a new friend out for coffee
- walk or bike around your current location
- plan meals with new recipes or special ingredients, make an outing out of finding ingredients, photograph each step of the meal prep
- go for body work - massage, facial, pedicure, etc.

Good luck!