• lynneeveratt

Let's Quarantine Like Jerry Seinfeld

Macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza, and ice cream are flying off the shelves. Comfort food is back. So is comfort music, comfort reading, and comfort viewing. Even Vogue's Anna Wintour is wearing comfortable clothes. Choosing a selection of old familiar songs for your playlist, a book you've read before, or a show you've seen countless times, is a great strategy to deal with uncertainty, uplift your spirits, and calm your mind. We know how the song goes, how the plot unfolds, and how the story ends. It's reassuring. The 5-Minute Recharge is here to reassure you with comfort food for thought–evidence-based strategies, tips and encouragement to help you navigate the pandemic and beyond. Let's get started! ONE COMMENCEMENT QUOTE “Empathy has got me so much more, so much farther, in not only my life, but in my career. Mirroring, empathizing, validating someone else's experience or point of view is just about the most radical act of ambition...this has made me money, friends, priceless memories. It's allowed me to fully accept and provide love. It's made me recognize mistakes and learn from them. And above all, it made me happy.” – Actor Ryan Reynolds offers advice (and pizza) to students at his old high school


High school students in Oregon created a video thank you made up of handmade signs that spelled out messages about what their teachers and staff mean to them. THREE COMFORTING IDEAS  #1 CHARGE YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL IMMUNE SYSTEM The stress of the Covid-19 crisis is a continuous drain on our minds and bodies, making recharging with regular wellness practices more important than ever. The 5-Minute Recharge has 31 proven strategies to boost your resilience, but we do have our favourites. Gratitude is one of the easiest and most effective ways to recharge. The Roman orator Cicero referred to gratitude as the greatest of all virtues and the parent of all other virtues, and science backs him up. In experiments, people primed to feel gratitude behave with greater honesty, more generosity and increased self-control. They even exercise more. People who actively practice gratitude are less depressed, have lower levels of stress hormones and are younger at the cellular level than their less grateful counterparts. But that's not all: they also sleep better, have better relationships and are more successful at work. Write down three things you're grateful for and try to really feel the emotion of gratitude. Don't rush through the exercise to get to the check mark on your to-do list. Savour the feeling of gratitude, the virtue that sparks other positive behaviours and charges up your life. “Your psychological wellbeing depends less on the things that happen to you and more on the things you pay attention to.” – Dr. Alex Korb, author The Upward Spiral #2 GET INTO THE FLOW Quarantine fatigue has begun to set in for many of us, a state that behavioural economist Syon Bahnot explains is due to a decreased marginal utility of activities. In other words, your most recent Netflix binge doesn't feel quite as good as it did at the beginning of quarantine. The cure for quarantine fatigue is the state of flow where you lose yourself in an activity as time enjoyably flies. But how do you get into flow? You may not realize it, but you are entering and exiting flow on a daily basis. You may be resisting flow because it feels impractical, so the first step is to notice when you lose yourself and time flies (Netflix doesn't count–you have to be doing something active.) After a bad experience in which she froze as she was about to perform, violinist Diane Allen did some soul searching and discovered that the entry point for flow was her state of mind. Thinking about sharing the message of the music and creating unity prior to performing relaxed her and let the music flow naturally. Connecting with what primed her for the flow state became her flow strategy. You can discover your own flow strategy by asking the following questions: Where am I when I'm in the flow state the most? What am I doing on the outside and the inside? Why is it so meaningful? Once you know your flow strategy, you can use it to shift into the flow state on purpose and with purpose, even in different situations. For example, Diane used playing the violin, and the mindset of sharing and unity to get herself into the flow state for an excellent Tedx talk. “Being in the flow state brings out the best in all of us.” Diane Allen #3 LET'S QUARANTINE LIKE JERRY Jerry Seinfeld is sheltering in place in New York with his family while his Netflix special provides comfort comedy to millions and the Seinfeld series similarly soothes in endless reruns. How does this comforting comedian find comfort? Routine. Jerry is maniacal about his routine and famous not only for comedy, but for his X-method. Every day–including every day in quarantine–Seinfeld has a writing session. He sits with his pad, his notes, and his coffee, and will not allow himself to do anything other than write. After each completed writing session, Seinfeld puts an “X” on a large wall calendar. As the Xs accumulate, he can see a visual representation of his progress and an incentive not to, as he puts it, “break the chain.” Lynne used Seinfeld's X-method to stick to her new yoga routine. What habit do you want to establish that would benefit from the X-method?   “I love routine. I get less depressed with routine. You're just a trained animal in a circus. I like that feeling: Now we're going to do this trick, now we're going to do that trick. That makes me feel better.” Jerry Seinfeld *********************************** The Fast Five 1. Addie's Top Ten Resources for Mental Health - AGS website 2. Self-soothing exercises with Dr. Kristin Neff - Checking in with Susan David  (Time 21:20) 3. We Will Have the Chance to Choose a Less Hurried Life - Alan Lightman, The Atlantic 4. Exercise and COVID-19 - Psychology Today 5. Small Ways to Improve Your Everyday Life Right Now - Gretchen Rubin, Ten Percent Happier Podcast (Time 55:05) *********************************** YOUR 5-MINUTE RECHARGE CHALLENGE YOUR COMFORT PLAYLIST “We could change this whole world with a piano...” – Ed Sheeran, What Do I Know? Spotify recently noted a 54 percent uptick in people making nostalgia-themed playlists, the comfort food of music. According to musician and academic Nathan Leigh Jones who is studying the effect of music on emotional wellbeing, music that connects with us can make us happier and enable us to tap into our best selves. Nathan encourages us to think of playlists like targeted musical medicine and design our playlists with the knowledge of how music affects us, well in advance of needing a musical intervention. According to Nathan, a common mistake we make when designing playlists is to take the easy way out, using the title as the prompt--for example, adding “Don't Stand So Close to Me” to your pandemic playlist--rather than thinking about what the song is trying to tell us and, most importantly, how it makes us feel. This week's 5-Minute Recharge challenge is to harness the power of music to soothe. Take a few minutes to design a playlist with songs that comfort, inspire, or simply make you smile. Here's Lynne's comfort music playlist:

  • Play that Funky Music (Wild Cherry)

  • Rose Rouge (St Germain)

  • Brick House (The Commodores)

  • Who's Zoomin' Who (Aretha Franklin)

  • Boogie Fever (The Sylvers)

  • Chuck Baby (Chuck Brown)

  • Groove Is In the Heart (Deee-Lite)

  • Don't Start Now--Purple Disco Machine Remix (Dua Lipa)

  • Funky Town (Lipps, Inc.)

  • I Love Paris (Les Négresses Vert)

  • Spente Le Stelle (Emma Shaplin)

Your turn. Play on! “If music be the food of love, play on.” ― William Shakespeare Wishing you a safe, healthy and comforting week ahead, Lynne & Addie

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