goals · recovery · wellness

April 2020: Wellness + Recovery

For my first post for every month of 2020, I’ve chosen a theme and made some resolutions that fit the theme. I started out big in January, with a theme of Health + Longevity and a list of eight resolutions.

Then, as the days became weeks and then months, I realized that I wasn’t following most of my resolutions. This is pretty typical Kerriann – I love making resolutions but rarely keep them. Because for me, it seems to work better to say, “Well – I’d like to try to eat better. But making a Healthy Eating Plan doesn’t work out for me, so I’m going to turn it over to a higher power and stop worrying about it.” When I do that – when I set an intention, but let go of my urge to make a detailed plan to meet the intention – I get better results. It’s weird, but it’s me, and it works.

So I’m not really doing the “happiness project with resolutions” thing anymore. But I do love a theme. In March, I chose Creativity, and all I did was occasionally remind myself that my goals for the month centered around creativity. It worked. I got back on my blogging schedule, and I’m moving forward with my novel. The unexpected flexibility with my scheduled inadvertently supported this goal, which is one of the weird silver linings of this coronavirus experience that I feel simultaneously grateful for and guilty about.

tree branch

For April, I originally planned to focus on Minimalism + Decluttering. And my focus on minimalism and decluttering in my life has been great! I’ve been discarding and organizing and limiting what I buy. This unexpected time at home has really helped with the decluttering and discarding. But in the big picture of life, it’s not what I want to focus on this month.

I’ve been worried about so many people this month. People who are especially vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus. People who are losing their jobs or their livelihood. People who might have medical needs this month and next who may have trouble accessing treatment. Local businesses who are closing indefinitely and may not reopen. People who are dying. Kids who are missing the structure and love and care they receive at school. AND – people who are trying to get sober.

I stopped drinking in July 2012, and I was able to do so because of Alcoholics Anonymous and going to AA meetings. Full stop. If there was another way I could have gotten sober, I would have tried it; I probably did try it. For me, there was no other way. And once I agreed to try AA and meetings, I got sober quickly and I’ve stayed sane and whole for almost eight years now.

When I think about people who are new in recovery, I can’t imagine how hard it must be right now to get and stay sober. There are AA meetings, because smart and wonderful people quickly figured out how to move meetings online. You can participate in meetings using a computer, via phone, or using an app on your smartphone. If you’re okay with the technology piece, or can get help with it, then in some ways, it’s great. It’s easy to “get to a meeting” because you don’t have to leave your house. You don’t even have to put pants on!

But, it’s different. And you might not get the same wraparound support that you’d get if you walked into a room full of people who were willing and able to help you achieve sobriety.

ANYWAY – this is a long lead-up to the fact that for April, my focus is Wellness + Recovery. This month, I want to:

  1. Attend at least 3 Zoom (video conference call) AA meetings a week.
  2. Continue to work on my own recovery program with my sponsor.

That’s it.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home, everyone.

aromatherapy beautiful blooming blur
Photo by Palo Cech on Pexels.com
wellness

Bedtime Hygiene

There’s a thing called sleep hygiene, and I’ve never been great at it.

What is sleep hygiene? It’s your bedtime rituals and nightly habits, and if you have good sleep hygiene, it can help you have better sleep and improved overall wellness.

Now, my sleep hygiene? It is sometimes good but often awful. I fall asleep on the couch listening to Netflix after eating a bedtime candy snack. NOT GREAT.

These are the sleep hygiene habits I’d like to form:

  1. Go to sleep IN YOUR BED.
  2. Wear pajamas. STOP FALLING ASLEEP IN YOUR CLOTHES.
  3. Stop using your phone at bedtime. Plug it in to charge across the room, out of your reach, to keep from impulse scrolling.
  4. No more bedtime candy. No eating at all after 7:30 p.m. Give your gut a chance to rest from a long day of digesting!
  5. Read before bed.
  6. Make sure you’re tucked in by 9 p.m.
  7. Eliminate sleep aids. (Sometimes I use Tylenol PM when I can’t sleep and I’d love to stop that habit.)
  8. Do your daily inventory and a little evening check-in with yourself as soon as you get in bed and before you dock your phone.

I feel peaceful and well-rested just looking at this list. My plan is to get going with this routine TONIGHT! Let’s do this.

grey and white floral bed comforter
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
balance · self-care · simplifying · wellness

Summertime

I have always loved the idea of summertime having a different vibe than the rest of the year. I enjoy it when my life feels seasonal – cozy and homey in the winter, active and fun in the spring, adventurous and busy in the summer, and slowing down in the fall.

A few years ago, I remember reading something Gretchen Rubin wrote, about wanting summer to have a different feel. She talked about people who actually live someplace different in the summer – they spend the summer at the beach or in the mountains or abroad. (Which I would love to do someday!) I’ve noticed that some friends achieve a different feel to their summer either by a) enjoying Summer Fridays at their jobs, when everyone is allowed to leave early on Fridays, or b) changing up how and where they spend their weekends, like retreating to a country home or the beach for Saturdays and Sundays.

This year, my summertime will DEFINITELY have a different vibe. This is my first summer off after starting a new job as a school social worker at my local middle school. And I am pumped. Psyched! And also, curious. Because what will it look like, to have the summer free to be home with my boys and to write and to have open, lazy days when we have no requirements for where we have to be and what we have to do?

I don’t know, but I am so excited to find out.

The vibe I want to cultivate for my family is all about rhythm, routine, recreation, and rest. I want to establish an enjoyable and healthy rhythm for our family; I want to create beneficial routines for all of us that we can carry into the next year; I want to have FUN and adventures!; and I want us all to have a good rest from the running around we’ve been doing all spring.

I love summer because it is a huge opportunity to press the reset button – to start new habits and to change the rhythm of everyday life. We have had a bonkers year – that post will be coming soon! – and it’s time for us to have a restful, rhythmic, fun-but-not-bonkers summer.  I can’t wait. Which is good because it starts TODAY!

green plants on ground
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com