The Joys of Boredom
We mentioned author Margaret Atwood in last week's "good story" newsletter, and this week she's back for an encore. In a recent essay that takes us on a journey through historical and imagined pandemics, Atwood encourages us to take heart. Humanity has been through this many times before and will emerge on the Other Side. We just need to make it through this part, between Before and After. The 5-Minute Recharge is here to help you navigate the terrain between Before and After with expert advice, encouragement and wellness tools. Let's get started! ONE BORING QUOTE “Before I studied boredom, I studied anger, and that's been studied so much that it became a bit boring.” ― Sandi Mann, psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire as quoted in The Washington Post When it comes to boredom, there are two paths: the Netflix and chill path or the Sir Isaac Newton path. We recommend the boredom of Sir Isaac who used the time he had during London's Great Plague in 1665 to discover calculus and gravity. We hope you use this time between Before and After as a calculus to discover what you consider to be of gravity. Stress will make it difficult for you to follow Sir Isaac's example, so before you set out to find your gravity be sure to put on your emotional oxygen mask and care for yourself with the five pillars of wellness--sleep, step, sweat, reflect and connect.
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles challenged Twitter to recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in their homes. Much creativity and hilarity ensued. THREE IDEAS #1 WALK ON!! Of our five SLEEP, STEP, SWEAT, REFLECT and CONNECT pillars of wellness, STEP is one you may think would be challenging under lockdown, but you'll want to start designing your indoor track when you hear about the latest research. A new large-scale study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationfound that by increasing the number of steps taken each day from 4,000 to 8,000, all-cause mortality dropped by 50 percent. If you can up it to 12,000 steps from 4,000, you reduce your risk of pre-mature death from heart disease, cancer, or any other cause by 65 percent. The good news is that you can amble. Speed doesn't seem to matter. So STEP it up! Try to move in some way, throughout the day, even if slowly or in snatches. ―Dr. Charles Matthews #2 WHAT IF YOU TREATED EVERYTHING AS AN ENDGAME? Scott Barry Kaufman is a humanist psychologist who wants us to live creative, fulfilled, and self-actualized lives. As a humanist, Kaufman is insistent that the good life requires taking responsibility for your existence and steering it in the direction you want it to go. It's easier to steer your life when you view everything as an endgame, treating each experience as an end in itself rather than a means to an end. For example, if you're in a conversation with someone, listen as if the other person is all that matters, rather than using their words as background noise while you try to think of a clever response. When every moment is an endgame, you can't help but become aware of the moments that are moving you forward and those that are pulling you back. Pay attention, and let your positive endgame moments lead you to the good life. “If you didn't have a purpose before, now would be a good time to up your game. This is your chance. This is a really good time for heroes to emerge.” – Scott Barry Kaufman, podcast interview Finding Mastery #3 YOGA WITH ADRIENE Adriene Mishler is Lynne's lockdown hero. Until she started 30-Days of Yoga with Adriene, Lynne was suffering from a flare-up of plantar fasciitis that made her pop ibuprofen and hop around a lot on one foot. By day four with Adriene, she was almost completely pain-free and off anti-inflammatory meds. Lynne's sure it was the yoga that stretched her out and eased the pain, and is looking forward to emerging from self-isolation as someone she's always wanted to be: a yoga person like Addie. I think that if we are to prioritize one thing right now while seeking balance at home, yoga is a good option as it has the elements to tend to all parts of the self--the physical body, the mind, and the heart. When we prioritize this kind of self care, it doesn't take a lot. – Adriene Mishler *********************************** The Fast Five 1. Social distancing isn't the right term - Jenny Anderson, Quartz 2. Brené Brown warns us not to engage in comparative suffering - podcast (25 minutes) 3. Coronavirus sanity guide - A selection of interviews and meditations from Ten Percent Happier 4. Stop trying to be productive - Taylor Lorenz, The New York Times 5. The most fun way to make your life awesome (pandemic edition) - Eric Barker's website *********************************** YOUR 5-MINUTE RECHARGE CHALLENGE MUNDANE MOMENTS MATTER “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard A recent study led by Ting Zhang, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, found that documenting the present, even the seemingly mundane, has value. We significantly underestimate how much pleasure we can derive in the future from rediscovering our observations of the past. REFLECT is one of the pillars of wellness, so we encourage you to reflect on something ordinary you did last week and spend a few minutes writing about it (you can find Lynne's recollection of a seemingly mundane activity here). Consider starting a journal with your observations of the ordinary during this extraordinary time. Just a few lines a day will suffice. We guarantee your future self will thank you.
“Your inner world is a gold mine. When you connect that with your outer world--boom! Magic happens.” ― Lissa Jenssen Wishing you many extraordinary mundane moments in the week ahead, Lynne & Addie If you have a friend who could use a positive charge, please share our newsletter...consider it an Act of Friendship!