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May You Live Each Day This Way in 2021

January 04, 2021

2020 will be remembered for lots of things, chief among them stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness. And thoiugh we ended the year with good vaccine news, there is still a long way to go before normalcy returns.

The start of the new year is a good time to make self-care a priority. Living mindfully doesn’t just happen. It takes work and practice. Building time into your life to live more mindfully will help reduce stress and anxiety.

“The poet John O’Donohue has a lovely poem called ‘Matins,’” said the Rev. Mary C. Horan, Hartford HealthCare’s East Regional Director of Spiritual Care.

It ends like this:

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart,

Clear in word,

Gracious in awareness,

Courageous in thought,

Generous in love.

“Those are five good things to recite daily and live by,” said Horan.

Horan also offered these ideas as ways to get started on a journey towards more inner peace:

  • Light a candle before your evening meal and recall one thing you are grateful for today.
  • Take a walk in the snow or woods and sprinkle bird seed along the trail.
  • Choose one day a week when you will get up early to watch the sunrise or pause in the afternoon to watch the sun set. Allow yourself to be still until the sun has completely appeared or disappeared.
  • Fill a tub or basin with warm water to soak your whole body or just your feet. Add some essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, or other soothing blend) and mineral salts as well. Play some music while you soak.
  • Write a note (the old-fashioned way with pen and paper) to a friend, a relative, someone who may be alone during much of this pandemic. It doesn’t need to be long or too newsy. Just let them know you are thinking about them. Mail it and know your note will brighten someone’s day.