Self-care: joy connection gratitude

Helping others develop their sense of self-care joy connection and gratitude greatly fulfills me. That’s likely why I became a therapist, as I love witnessing people, couples, and families feel better and thrive. During these currently stressful times, I want to help people focus on their own self-care and expand their idea list. Everyone has bad days, but ideally you want to feel like you can  still manage your inner experience, find ways to stay in connection, have gratitude, experience joy when possible, and search for what is in your control. Every day, you need to practice self-care that brings you joy, connection, and gratitude. 

I get this from my mom, Susan Strauss. She is a writer, teacher, and literacy coach in Los Angeles. Throughout the pandemic she has been working so hard to help her students stay educated, connected, and supported at home. Her creativity, wisdom, and good-will is visible to all around her, and is evidenced in this ‘list poem’ she recently created and shared to the public. 

What helps you to feel a sense of joy, connection, and gratitude?

Please enjoy this poem and see how much you can apply to your own sense of self-care joy connection and gratitude right now.  We are all needing ways to keep our mind directed, positive, and intentional. Thinking of others, a sense of purpose, and kindness, are all wonderful ways of interrupting anxiety, stress, and negativity, which is so easy to get consumed by right now. This poem does mention praying, which can be very therapeutic and connecting for a lot of us. I am not religious, but I support any act that involves sending positive, supportive, grateful energy out towards self and others. Please share this list with your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Thanks, Mom!

A List Poem:

Things To Do When You’re Suddenly Indoors for Who Knows How Long

♥ Write a gratitude list about people, places, and things you wish to give thanks; in my case, here’s a thank-you a thousand times over, to my family, which continues to grow thanks to my lovely daughters.

♥ Write a question poem about the wonderings you have, especially when there is so much uncertainty in the world.

♥ Write a haiku celebrating people, places, and things you love, perhaps the Great Outdoors, including the Pacific Ocean and the sun still coming up in the sky above us.

♥ Write an ode, a celebration poem, especially about people who deserve it and ordinary objects, like the mailperson who delivers no matter the weather, a ripe lemon on your tree, or your suddenly clean hands.

♥ Call your loved ones, which at the moment, might mean everyone you know.

♥ Play your favorite music, especially if you are able to dance, even if only from the waist up or in your head. 

♥ Create a play list and play it forward so that everyone turns up the volume in their head.

♥ Create a book list, remembering that the public library has many books online, and share it with others so that everyone can enjoy the gift of words.

♥ Read a favorite book, maybe twice a day, especially anything by Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Mary Oliver, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and Burt Prelutsky.

♥ Read the Bible or whatever book provides inspiration, then read it again.

♥ Read a favorite quotation like the one we hear when we’re about to take off on an airplane, “Remember to put your oxygen mask on first.”

♥ If you have an opportunity to spread kindness, love, and joy, do so.

♥ Pray, especially for people who are most vulnerable and their health care providers.

♥ Pray for our leaders, especially those who are putting themselves and their own welfare on the line right now.

♥ Pray for the people who might not have anyone to pray for them.

♥ Revisit your photo albums or other memory books; if you don’t have them or they’re not very together, this might be a good time to take care of that.

♥ If you are able, donate money to the people or organizations that are keeping others safe and healthy, especially if they are addressing basic needs.

♥ Thank God for every single person, place, or thing in your life.

♥ Start your own poem or song and encourage others to do the same.

♥ Remember that the gift of words, like all gifts from God, is meant to be shared.

♥ Write a list poem, like this one, and send it to people you love, even if you’re not sure.

–Susan Strauss
March 14, 2020

You can read all of my Pandemic (Pandi) tips here, which address relationships, self-care, and parenting.

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