What color goes with quarantine?
What colors are flying off the shelves and onto the walls of people stuck at home who want a do-it-yourself painting project with anxiety-busting benefits? A new palette of blues and greens has emerged out of the pandemic, organic neutrals with some pink, yellow or purple to add a splash of escapism. Glossy paints are making a shiny comeback. Fisherman's Boat, Scalloped Silk, Soft Bisque. Even the names of the paints sound comforting. Add something warm and tactile with a tapestry wall hanging, a throw blanket, and some furry pillows and you've got the home design equivalent of a comfy pair of blue-green sweat pants. Perhaps we're bringing the colors of the outside world into our homes to make up for what we're missing. Or maybe we're feeling blue and want our surroundings to mirror our muted mood, or are green with envy for the hue of our lives in the Before Times. Whatever your quarantine color, the 5-Minute Recharge is here with evergreen evidence-based wellness strategies, tips, and encouragement. Let's get started! ONE QUOTE “The disaster is that we think we're separate, but we're not.” – In “How to Be at Home,” filmmaker Andrea Dorfman reunites with poet Tanya Davis to craft a tender and profound 5-minute animation on the theme of isolation. ONE UNITED IMAGE
“We can debate issues without degrading each other's character. We can disagree without hating each other.” Utah gubernatorial candidates Chris Peterson and Spencer Cox get together to send a positive political message. THREE IDEAS #1 THE SUPERPOWER YOU DON'T KNOW YOU HAVE It radically changes your ability to deal with the tough stuff in life, makes you more connected to others, less selfish, more motivated, less depressed and anxious, and even improves your immune function. What is it? It's self-compassion, defined as treating yourself with the same support, kindness, and care that you would show a loved one. Dr. Kristin Neff is one of the world's leading experts in self-compassion and she knows what you're thinking: if I'm not sufficiently self-critical, I'll lose my edge. Being self-critical is a behavior that helps you feel safe and in control, but it's rooted in fear and turns on the body's stress response. Self-compassion makes you feel safe through caring rather than fear, and both motivates you to reach goals and change unhealthy behaviors. “If you were just to give yourself permission to start turning the lens of kindness and support to yourself, you'd be blown away by the difference it makes in your life.” – Dr. Kristin Neff, from the Unbecoming podcast #2 THE KERNEL OF TRUTH IN THE SECRET According to Caroline Webb, author of How to Have a Good Day, there's a kernel of truth in The Secret, the book/movie that asserts you can have anything you set your mind to. The truth is in the power of focusing your attention, enabling you to notice opportunities that would otherwise slip by. Webb says it's possible to have a good day, even in the midst of a global pandemic, by being intentional about where you direct your mind. She recommends limiting news consumption, especially first thing in the day, because it primes you to be on the lookout for what's going wrong. Instead, try consciously directing your attention to be on the lookout for what's funny (see fast five #5 that recommends doing a daily a “humour audit”) what's interesting, or what's going well. “What is there that I can notice around me that can help me reset a little?” – Caroline Webb, from the The Psychology Podcast, “How to have a good day in the middle of a global pandemic” #3 THREE WAYS TO WORK YOUR BRAIN Whether you do cardio, strength training or yoga, rest assured that you're working your brain. Improved blood flow to the brain that accompanies cardiovascular fitness has been linked to enhanced cognitive performance, particularly in areas such as memory, attention and planning that are associated with age-related cognitive decline. Strength training fortifies your hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory and language, and improves your ability to focus. Yoga increases your volume of gray matter thereby making you brainier, and reduces anxiety and depression. Imagine what you can do for your brain if your fitness routine involves elements of cardio, strength training and yoga. “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy *********************************** THE FAST FIVE 1. The Single Word that Connects Denmark - BBC.com (We've already featured this word in our newsletter, but samfundssind is worth repeating.) 2. Are We Trading Our Happiness for Modern Comforts? - The Atlantic (As society gets richer, people chase the wrong things.) 3. Shhh. It's Breakfast Time - The New York Times (“The image of the light changing during my quiet mornings stays with me all day, and I come back to that peacefulness any time I need it.” ) 4. The Definitive Guide to Broadening Your Social Circle - The Guardian (Eight ways to expand your connections, according to experts.) 5. Five science-backed ways to find happiness right now - Fast Company (“The real secret weapon—the real key—is to live a life of levity and humor, anchored by what’s truly meaningful.”.) *********************************** YOUR 5-MINUTE RECHARGE CHALLENGE WHAT DO YOU NEED TO HEAR? How self-compassionate are you? You can take a short test to find out, but know that there is no such thing as being too self-compassionate. This week's 5-Minute Recharge Challenge is to take a few minutes to build your capacity for self-compassion. This is an exercise taken from Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer's The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook that we highly recommend. All that's required is that you sit quietly for a moment and ask yourself this question: What do I need to hear from others? What words would I like to have whispered into my ear every day for the rest of my life–words that might make me say, "Oh, thank you, thank you!" every time I hear them? Write down the answer to this question and turn it into a phrase. You can use these words in meditation or use them as a target for directing your attention (recall Idea #1) so that you can bring more of what you need into your life. “Strength is the biggest thing self-compassion has given me. I really know that whatever happens I'll be okay.” – Dr. Kristin Neff Wishing you a colorful and self-compassionate week ahead, The 5-Minute Recharge