5 Ways to Stay Happy and Healthy in Crisis

When tough times come, it is particularly important to offset them with much gentle softness. Be a pillow. ~ Vera Nazarian


It has been weeks since I sent out a fully loaded Kick in the Tush e-letter.  As both Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on a Tuesday, OLWL insisted that we take off.

She headed off to some beach or another with low-calorie umbrella drink and sunscreen in hand, while I headed off to the desert (not dessert).  To my beloved Tucson, where the air is crisp and the sun warm; where people are friendly and supermarkets are overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables (as opposed to being in my beloved NYC, a grand city for other reasons, for sure).

I digress, but you get the picture, yes?  And—while in Tucson, we were telephoning my 96 year-with-it mother early and often, as the saying goes.  And when we did, she entertained us with stories from “independent/ assisted living,” until, one afternoon while speaking to Peter (DH), she had a stroke.

We dropped everything and headed straight back to New York City, to find her “Where Heaven Touches Earth.”  (I posted a bit on my Beliefnet blog because people started wondering where I’d disappeared to.)

With regard to sending out the KITT Club e-newsletter, last Tuesday came and went, as you can well understand.  But today, I am able to carve a few hours out of my morning and write to you; an act that brings me great comfort, joy and balance.

During this time of stress, I’ve watched/observed my actions and reactions, noting the actions that I do take that help to keep me in a balanced place, which I am about to share with you all.   Are you ready? Good!

Here follows, 5 Essential Ways to Be Happy and Healthy in Crisis:

In other words, be the pillow.

1. Eat Healthy.  As you might imagine, one could be tempted to eat the entire box of Entenmann’s, order up a pizza; to take the “I’ve had a stressful day–I deserve comfort food” route.  But you know, as well as I know, that at the end of the day you will feel physically, emotionally and spiritually drained, exhausted and unhappy.

Ask yourself, “What do I truly deserve?”  How about energy, a clear head, a happy heart and a hydrated body?

Keep some fruits, carrot sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and nuts on hand and snack when hungry.

To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~ Buddha (c. 563 BC to 483 BC)

2. Walk/Breathe.  Put down your bag of stress, get out in the daylight, take a walk and breathe in fresh air; clear a space in your mind for an utterly useful thought.

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. ~ Frederick Nietzsche

3. Meditate.  In the morning, before the day has an opportunity to flood your mind, sit for 10 minutes in silence

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms. ~ Thich Nhat Hahn 

4. Gather the Troops a.k.a. Your Support Group.

Friends and even family often know not what to do.  Feel free to ask for what you need, be it moral support, a ride, or someone to help organize, arrange and execute whatever tasks need to get done. Reach out.

We don’t heal in isolation, but in community. ~ S. Kelley Harrell

5. Be Grateful. Choose Happiness.  A daily gratitude list really does help to shift your focus; allowing for a boost of happiness and motivation.

I choose happiness in this moment and in this moment and in this moment. ~ Janice Taylor

What do you do when crises hit?  How do you stay healthy and happy?  Feel free to add to these five essential ways to Be the Pillow.

“Talk” to you again, soon, I am sure!  In the meantime, thank you for being there, for reading my missives and for sending happy and healthy vibes.

Spread the word–NOT the icing!

PS:  Check out my workshop @ Rowe Camp and THEN … register

photo by: Alan Cleaver