Sanity Savers

Next week will mark one year since we began living in a world under conditions we hadn’t experienced in our lifetimes.

Many of us went from working in offices to working from home, along with kids who were now essentially home schooling.

In this reality, we lost not only the (at least partial) division between home and office, and the productivity and support that an office environment offers, we lost thinking time—commutes in cars and on trains that gave us time to process and decompress (or ramp up, depending on the direction in which we were going). Gone, too, were spontaneous interactions that led to breakthrough ideas or changes in strategy on a matter, along with walking meetings or socializing with colleagues.

For many like me, whose work was primarily in-person, the operative word was pivot.  

Regardless of whether you were WFH, or in the midst of a business pivot, both demanded stretching in many directions, and well beyond our comfort zones.

So, we began stretching…. stretching….. stretching.

Yet we can only stretch so much. At some point, we have to release the stretch, or the stretch becomes a SNAP!

Here are some of the ways that I managed to release the stretch this past year, just before the SNAP!   

Sanity Saver #1, Nature: Living in downtown Los Angeles, a solidly urban environment, I spent more time indoors this past year than I imagined was humanly possible, especially as I’m an “outdoorsy” type. There came a moment each week or longer (yes, you read that right) when I knew that a trip to a natural environment was absolutely necessary. It wasn’t even a thought; it was a “Must. Leave. Now” somatic experience that saved my sanity on multiple occasions. In fact, the reason you’re receiving this Thrive Bite on a Thursday night instead of on a Thursday morning, is because my Wednesday stretch was about to become a snap. Instead of working beyond my capacity, I spent the morning doing calls in the park, and am writing now with more clarity and energy. Listen to your body and get outside.

Sanity Saver #2, Laughter: I’ve written about this several times this year and I can’t overstate it. I don’t believe anything compares to the benefits of levity and laughter for our mental, physical and emotional health. This was a tough year, and finding lightheartedness was often a challenge, but injecting a bit of humor into the darkest times is life-saving. Humor, if not laugh-out-loud laughter, connects us to ourselves, as well as others, and is scientifically established to heal us physically and emotionally. Get your chuckles on.

Sanity Saver #3, Jigsaw Puzzles: A new frontier for me, jigsaw puzzles give my mind an opportunity to think in new ways, see patterns, and create new connections, on the board and off. It’s become a wonderful metaphor for life, giving me an opportunity to observe how I handle the more challenging sections (with dogged perseverance), and the immense satisfaction I get from completing a section of the board. Celebrating small wins is all it’s cracked up to be.  

Sanity Saver #4, Thursday Thrive Bites: In April 2020, I “penned” my first Thrive Bite. Reaching out was hard (and is still a little scary, at times,) yet it’s kept me connected to the world beyond my own and I’ve enjoyed inviting you to my site, to engage with the resources, and try a course (or two or three). And thanks to your engagement, these weekly thoughts on thriving have become a labor of love and sharing. I so appreciate your comments, responses, and feedback, I feel a warm connection to this weekly activity.

What’s keeping you thriving?