Tuesday, January 08, 2008

TO WRITE: Nurturing Yourself

Another new year! Happiness and health to you in 2008. We (Americans at least) tend to get wrapped up in resolutions for improving our life this time of year. Most of them aren't a lot of fun -- dieting, more time at the gym, etc. But I suggest you consider a resolution to nurture yourself more, whatever that might mean to you. Everyone needs some time to rekindle the inner flame, and when I'm dealing with depression I need it all the more. But I know that when you're under that cloud it can be very hard to see what might ease your pain.

Play with this...

Write continuously for 15 minutes starting with "I am nurtured by..." and describe the things that come to mind. If you get stuck, return to that sentence stem again and again. These can be big things or small things -- I know people who love candles and hot baths; others like a walk in nature; others crave a chat over coffee with a particular friend or mentor; I love a period of time designated for nothing but reading for pleasure; and of course there's writing! If you're really in a low mood, can you promise yourself a one-hour break from thinking negative thoughts about yourself? After you've brainstormed ideas in writing, reread your piece and, in five minutes more writing, determine what step you can take this week toward being kind and nurturing to yourself.

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