Life has brought me to tears more than once in the past week, and so I decided it’s time to practice some self-care.

When I woke up Thursday morning, I turned on the news and got the latest information (which was no information) about the Presidential election. Nothing had changed overnight. Ballots were still being counted, the decision was too far away to predict, and threats of legal action pointed to unrest for weeks to come. I read the latest Maine CDC COVID statistics on my computer as the TV reporters turned to the violent protests going on in several large cities. I couldn’t stop the tears that ran down my cheeks. What was happening and would life ever feel normal again?

As I got ready for work, I put on my favorite sweater and took a little extra time on my makeup. Hugged my puppy and began forming a plan for some mental health boosters as I drove into work. This afternoon, I’ll plant the potted Mums that I bought last month, so I can look forward to their beautiful purple color next Autumn. Tonight, I’ll fix our favorite meal and put candles on the table. Jim and I will spend lots of time with our dog Toby, indulging his love for wide open spaces and munchkins at Dunkin. And, of course, I’ll take a drive with my trusty camera to get some pictures of the sunshine we’re expecting for the next few days. Nature’s beauty always makes me feel at peace.

Now it’s your turn. What are some things you can do this week that will take your mind off the national turmoil, even if only for a few hours? Maybe you could spend an afternoon reading in the sun. Grab a cup of coffee and visit your favorite outdoor spot, before the snow flies. For some people, cleaning house is like purging the soul, so maybe that’s a good idea. Actually, that works for me too, so I guess I’ll add that to the list. And, this is the hard part...ignore the news updates on your phone as much as you can. Let the world go long enough to recharge your soul.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ignoring what’s going on in the world. I mean, with my job, I really can’t tune out completely. But I can give myself something positive to look forward to, even if it’s only a quick walk in the sunshine to let my brain relax. I hope you’ll do the same.