This week we have another video AND blog post. I wrote the blog post prior to recording the video, and while some of the information is mirrored in the video, there is also different information between the two so I encourage you to check them both out if you're able.
In addition, this week's video is longer than most have been. In fact, it's about twice as long coming in at just over 20 minutes. This is because I cover three specific topics and offer personal examples of what has worked for me. I wanted to make sure that you left this video (and/or blog) being able to document and pursue your own specific comfort desires, so you're no longer stalled by disruptive emotions (unless you want to be of course). Thanks for visiting! ~M
Mindset Monday blog: Cultivating Comfort.
When you're too busy to breathe...
Hectic was the name of the game today. Lots to do in what felt like the span of 10 minutes. It feels like everything I'm doing is at the last minute, with barely enough time to catch my breath let alone take a rest. And holidays will do that. Hustling and bustling to get things done, organized, purchased, wrapped, communicated, celebrated or concluded with little time left over to just be. Except just being, I suspect, is a crucial part of maintaining my sense of balance.
Honor yourself by cultivating comfort.
What I have found to be extremely beneficial during times of high stress and activity is to seek out solace. Solace, by definition, means those things that bring comfort or relief.
To me solace encompasses a wide berth. It can be anything from stealing a minute or two to savor that cup of coffee, to carving out time to read a great book, or watch an inspiring movie. It can also consist of talking to tried and true friends who know how to provide EXACTLY what I need when I need it.
I've written on solace before, but this time around I want to link it to a recent post (actually a Mindset Monday vlog) on Finding Your Joy. The two are actually quite similar, if joy brings you comfort or comfort results in joy as they do for me.
So for this week, I'm going to offer a couple of questions along with a few ideas to get you started in finding your solace, so if or when the need arises, you won't have to try too hard to move into action. Nothing is worse than needing solace and getting stuck in figuring out how to get it. So here goes.
How to cultivate comfort.
In Finding Your Joy, I suggested a super-simple way to getting there; figure out what brings you joy, and focus more on those things. Simplistic maybe, but also challenging in training your brain to focus on those things instead of the myriad distractions or dramas we regularly face.
For solace, I'm taking those questions one step further. Once you've figured out what brings you joy, the next step is to figure out your top five emotions that regularly create a desire for comfort.
For example, anger, frustration, sadness, emptiness, loneliness, disappointment, fear, and so on. I know this is sort of a bummer to ask you to think about, but if you can identify those top five emotions, you can then think about what tends to make you feel better when you're experiencing each one.
I'm a big fan of context, and believe that one thing won't bring comfort to all of our different emotions. I for, one, require very different things for anger and sadness, or when I'm feeling defeated. For anger, one of the best ways to comfort me is, strangely enough, super aggressive music. My top pic is Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine, or the first couple of Linkin Park albums.
If I listen to this music when I'm sad; however, it bums me out even more. Instead, getting myself out into nature is a great way to get myself back into optimism, as does writing. Writing allows me to detangle whatever is bugging me so I have more clarity and usually a clear path outta there.
When I feel defeated, a movie with a message of empowerment and/or triumph, or a lighthearted message about the good things in life can do wonders to get me into a place where I'm ready to get back in the game. Amelie is a great one for bringing back a sense of joy, and The Holiday is a great one for rising above one's barriers. Of course, there are a lot of other options out there, and that is why it's important to figure out what works best for YOU.
I could write more (and maybe will at some point in the future) about other remedies for different moods, but for now, I want to challenge you to do the following:
1. Figure out those top five emotions for which you typically require comfort and
2. Come up with at least three things for each emotion that you have found helpful in the past.
Be specific, if it's a certain book or a certain author that you gravitate to, write the title and/or the name down. If it's certain songs, list the band name or, at a minimum, the song title.
If you can, start a Pandora station (or whatever music source you use), or create a playlist and put it on your phone. If it's movies, see if you can find them available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Red Box, or wherever you typically source your movies if you don't own them.
When you need a micro comfort burst.
These tips are for those bigger emotions that have the potential to get in the way of your joy. But that's not the only way to find solace. The little things can also make a big difference in providing you with small but impactful comforts during a marathon or hectic day.
The best thing to do in these situations, when you have a Calgon moment, is to invoke your senses. Focus on your breathing. Pay attention to the individual sounds, or different colors in your environment. Change your location (depending on where you are), even if only slightly. If you can, close your eyes and try to empty your head. Go to the restroom. Wash your hands, paying attention to the sensation of the soap and then the water on your hands. Take a short walk, doing nothing more than noticing.
One of my daily solace routines is to brush my teeth. Yep, that's right. I have an electric toothbrush, so I don't really have to do much, so while the brush does its thing, I notice the sensation of the bristles on my teeth, the taste of the toothpaste, things like that. It works wonders in clearing my head.
Things to consider when seeking comfort from people.
Lastly, I'd like to talk about people. If you find yourself in need of comfort from others, making sure to reach out to the right person or people for the job is crucial. Just as there are certain things that help pull us out of certain moods, so too are there certain people who can help us better than others in certain situations.
For example, if I am feeling in need of support and uplifting, I have a friend for that (actually more than one - I'm lucky that way). If it's a great listener I seek - someone who will hear me, ask questions, but not necessarily offer their own perspectives or advice - some people in my life are better for that than others. If I know a swift kick in the pants is what will straighten me up, there are other people I'd go to for that. Get the picture?
In my experience, talking with the wrong person when in need of a specific form of comfort does nothing more than make my mood worse. And during busy times like the holiday season, I have neither the time nor the energy for that. I want whatever is the most effective way of getting me back in the saddle, whether a person, some music I can scream along (or cry) to, a personal dance contest, or talking with others. Basically, I want whatever I do to seek comfort to actually comfort me and bring me the solace I seek.
And so, my friends, that's what I've got for this week. I hope you are able to find your solace as we approach the height of holiday festivities. If you're interested in a few more words on the topic, check out these posts from last year:
The Art Of Clarification: Defining Your Solace
The Many Facets of Solace
Spreading The Word: Sharing Your Solace Needs With Others
4 Quick Tips For Providing Solace To Others
Designing Support For Our Change
Aligning Support For Our Change
It has been, and continues to be, a goal to put together a comprehensive guide to solace. Sadly, it's not done yet, but I hold out hope that as I continue to consider this concept, that one will emerge soon. ~M
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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