After a day of work to earn a living, your body, mind, and spirit is ready to chill out. Coming home to a peaceful, nurturing environment is much desirable.
But it may not always be so. Driving home you are thinking of what’s for dinner, are the kids okay, or what wonders are still in store for you. Wishful thinking for the latter maybe, but maybe not.
When the day is over, after the family is fed and the dishes are done; after checking the kid’s home school activities and the pets are taken cared of; after all the demands of everyday life are done for the day, finding the time to just be can still be a challenge. Take a fresh look of what is available to you. As darkness spreads, let the wonders of the night recharge you.
Simply go outside, and grab a chair or sit on the grass with your favorite beverage.
The night reminds us that as the sun rests, we should too. If you are a night owl ready to go as the sun goes down, this might not resonate with you. But nonetheless, a conscious effort at any time to chill out and be thankful for the daily life experiences can be cathartic. In these unfamiliar times, our capacity to cope is stretched to unknown limits.
Our freedom to roam is hindered. Most kids go to school at home and siblings’ conflict is inevitable. Vacation plans are canceled. Everyday can become a mundane repeat of the day before just trying to stay safe and sane.
Self-care is a must. Welcome the night for your ‘me’ time to relax:
• Log yourself off from your phones, tablets, laptops and televisions.
• Take the time to allow your body, mind and spirit to simply rest as the day ends. As the sun sets, and darkness spreads, look up in the sky. As you see the magical vastness of the universe, let your worries of the day fade to insignificance. For a few months now, I sit outside wondering at how far and how big the stars really are. I curiously read up on stars, planets and galaxies and I am endlessly amazed as my comprehension expands. My daily concerns seems so small.
• Practice clearing your mind making room for your senses to notice the natural sounds and sights around you. It is calming and centering to hear the loud crickets and the subtle noise of birds settling on a tree. Cars have their own sound footprints and the sirens of the ambulance passing by add to the orchestra of sounds of the night. Just listen.
• Connect with nature. Most days of the year, we are blessed with clear skies and cooler evenings. IF you have a patch of grass, go barefoot and feel the earth underneath your feet. As you sit in your backyard or front yard, notice the trees in the back-draft of darkness. If the wind is blowing, hear the sound of the leaves dancing with the winds. Feel the wind and be thankful for being able to do so. And take the time to observe the abundant beauty of nature around us.
• Positively anticipate the dawn of another day. Tomorrow will come whether we like it or not. The sun always comes out and the day goes on whether we participate fully or not. Make a decision before you sleep that you wake up with the best version of you. Everyday counts. Life is a fleeting reality, make the most of your limited time. The life you are living right now is not a dress rehearsal. This is it. Treasure every moment and make every day count. Waking up in the morning, in the comfort of your home is a blessing. Many do not have a home or even a comfortable bed. Choose to be grateful and make anything less, more.
Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how your day may have gone sideways badly today, tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better. When troubled thoughts keep you awake, remember your blessings. On to new thoughts for tomorrow.
Tonight, take a break from the worries and wildly dream of all the possibilities while you are living.
Dreams are free and there is no limit.
A registered nurse, Dr. Elvie C. Ancheta is administrator of the California Department of Veterans Affairs’ William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home in Lancaster.