Fires and smoke have made this a very draining summer for many of us, not only physically, but emotionally as well. I developed suggestions to increase our resilience during these adverse circumstances.
I wish I had written this sooner, but I had to go through my own stages of grief to get to the acceptance phase for creative options to emerge. I know many of my patients and friends have left the area temporarily. The following are ideas to uplift those of us still in the area that have to deal with the smoke, instead of escaping from it.
1. Indoor projects such as:
a) Curating photographs both film and digital
b) Expand useful knowledge of the electronics you have
c) Declutter closets, bookshelves, kitchen etc.
2. Visit the public library—Magazine reading rooms offer comfortable chairs with a plethora of magazines and newspapers.
3. Read a book that transports you to faraway places and times.
4. Visit someone who is lonely or invite them out to coffee.
5. Learn through free online courses through Coursera or other universities. The selection is varied, and you learn at your own pace.
6. YMCA is a great resource for physical activity as well as social connection. SOU gym has an indoor track available to the community. Take a walk at the Mall.
7. Learn a new recipe to add to your repertoire and invite someone to share it with you.
8. “Tank of gas one-day getaways” to find blue skies and fresh air such as the North Umpqua Waterfalls.
9. Many wineries have indoor venues for tasting and live music. Grizzly Peak has music indoors most weekends.
10. Go to a movie, bowling alley, or coffee shop.
11. Put on a mask and take a walk in a park.
12. Work on a gratitude list focusing on good things rather than losses.
13. Pray for rain!!!
Your optimism challenge:
Choose one of the activities on this list and give it a try this week and see if it helps you feel more optimistic. Here’s to a beautiful autumn.
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