It’s been a tough few days — anniversaries will get me. So, assuming that a particularly obvious anniversary’s effects may be common among us, I’m going back for today’s post to my pandemic-time survival index, “The *More or Less* Definitive Guide to Self-Care” by Anna Borges.
I have been looking for my sewing supplies today, since I suddenly have three reasons to do some mending. That meant digging into a kitchen cabinet, where I found my button box — but not the separate box for other sewing supplies, namely needles and thread and (I hope) spare scissors. I’ve got to do some more searching for that sewing box.
The search was more exercise than I thought, which made me stop at the Ms when I picked up the index. (That’s how I think of the book, since MLDGSC doesn’t really come to my mind as an abbreviation.) “Move,” well, jumped out at me. As Borges wrote,
“The frustrating thing about exercise is that it’s both incredibly good for your mental health and incredibly good to do when your mental health is suffering. You’ll have to find what works for you — it might be as small as taking a regular trip around the block — but it’s worth it once you do.”
Opposite that paragraph is a page full of what Borges calls “Not-Overwhelming Tips to Move Your Body When it’s Hard.” Here are some of my favorites:
— Start your day off by stretching in bed.
— Exercise at home where you won’t feel watched or judged.
— Don’t put pressure on yourself to complete a whole program or stick to a strict schedule.
When I lived in my former apartment, I was within walking distance of Lincoln Park Zoo. I didn’t want to walk six or eight blocks both ways just to go walking, but I could convince myself to go and visit various animals. The point was, I tricked myself into walking anyway, I just didn’t think of it as the only thing I was doing. Once I was at the zoo, I could ask myself whether I wanted to see anybody else, not whether I felt like adding to the distance I’d have to walk myself home.
The zoo needs reservations now, and I’m farther away from it anyway, but I use the same principle: What else or who else do I need to see or do while I’m up? You may translate this into “I wonder whether this store is open — I’ll go check” or “I hear they did some creative things with their boarded-up windows — I’ll look.”
You’ll be surprised with something on your way, and maybe it’ll just be the beautiful September day. So turn off the computer and move!
Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.