Keeping the renewal alive all year long

Has your summer brought you a sense of renewal? I was recently pondering ways to maintain the wonderful sense of renewal that I feel after a long weekend or vacation once I’m back home. First of all we need  to figure out what actually renews us. Each of us is unique and our needs change all the time.  It isn’t always the things we read about doing or think we should do that offer the best renewal choice. For example, sometimes when I finally sit down to read a good book with a cup of tea, I realize that what my body and spirit really needs is to get outdoors and move. Other times, reading is just the ticket to the relaxation I needed.

I take a daily afternoon break and get out for some fresh air. I may not always be able to leave my desk at a scheduled lunch hour, but I don’t let that stop me from taking a refreshing break at some point in the afternoon even if it’s not until 3:30 or 4 p.m! Whether it’s a walk along the Embarcadero or Crissy Field, a visit to one of the many nearby farmers’ markets, or sitting quietly for a while in a nearby garden, I find I’m refreshed when I return.

I’ve also noticed that although some things are pretty tried and true, like taking a soothing hot bath after a particularly stressful day, its also very renewing to try something new. Recently, I caught on to the Chia seed craze and started adding the seeds to my morning juice and oddly have felt renewed by having found a new, healthy practice. Sometimes especially toward the end of a busy week,  it’s tempting in the evening to just be a TV- watching couch potato but I’ve found that if I choose instead to spend a few minutes gardening,  going for a walk in the neighborhood, practicing my songs or listening to some beautiful music, I feel more relaxed and also get a better night’s rest.Waves of New Opportunity

I’ve become a fan of a little application on the iphone called Lift. Lift allows you to track a list of habits you know give you a lift.  If you like the feeling of checking things off a “To Do” list, Lift  may be for you. I review it once or twice a day and it acts as a reminder to do things like walking to the farmers market, spending quality time connecting with a friend, taking an afternoon break, or taking three deep breaths. When I do check off the habits, I feel a little lift too.   Similar to Facebook’s “likes”, other users on the app can give you props for completing your lift habits which is also fun and motivating.

So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.”  Swiss writer, Henri Frederique Amiel

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