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My best practices of 2015

My list goes to 12:

1.     Quitting Facebook, or at least spending waaaaay less time on it

2.     Finishing a trilogy!

3.     Starting a new novel that is not going to be a trilogy and is way simpler and smaller in scope but still paranormal and romantic and quirky in my usual ways

4.     Getting into the habit of daily meditation - I like the app Calm to help guide the practice, but there are lots and lots of others that do similar things and look good too

5.     Stepping up my exercising. In addition to making sure I take walks on an almost-daily basis, I've started doing some high-intensity-ish exercises a few times a week. (Try this one if you dare. Calling it "beginner" may be a stretch! But it'll give you a workout for sure, and I'm getting better at it with practice.)

6.     Also tai chi. I've been doing various YouTube sessions of that on occasion, and find it really does make my joints all feel happier.

7.     Recognizing anxiety for what it is; i.e., my imagination working overtime; and redirecting that imagination into creativity, such as writing stories, or thinking up ways to improve my surroundings

8.     Probiotics for all in the household. Or at least, definitely for me, in the form of things like kombucha, yogurt, kefir, and fermented pickles, and for my kids in the form of chewable probiotics when they won't eat those other things, which is usually. It has correlated to a notable decrease in number of viruses and other infections we've caught. I won't claim it has caused the decrease, but it has at least correlated, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a cause and effect here.

9.     Earlier bedtimes for kids, better enforced. More sleep for me too. The meditation and similar breathing exercises help relax insomnia's grip on me. And more sleep surely helps our health too.

10.  Being a lot gentler in how I think of myself, and getting a lot better at not giving a damn what other people think of me. Self-care feels real good, and ends up making me more patient with everyone else, so hey, win-win.

11.  Leasing my soul, for a time anyway, to the Merlin (BBC) fandom, and in particular the Merthur ship. Yay, slash daydreams and fanfics! I've missed your siren song.

(It's pretty much canon, anyway.)
Also, maybe I just haven't dug deep enough yet, but so far the Merlin fandom is one of the sweetest-natured I've ever encountered. Everyone has been wonderfully nice.

12.  Trying doing things in new ways, or doing new things. I'm starting small, no bungee jumping yet, but practicing flexibility in daily life is like yoga for the brain.

So my resolutions for 2016 are pretty much to keep all of those up, and do even better at them. Happy New Year, everyone!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2016 06:06 pm (UTC)
Happy 2016!

Oh, I like your best practices list and love that the changes you implemented worked so well for you and your family this past year. It is amazing how seemingly simple changes can produce such beneficial results.

Merlin fandom is beyond wonderful and I am so very happy to be back. My life wouldn't be nearly as bright without the wonderful people who share my love of this show, particularly Merlin/Arthur.
Jan. 2nd, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
Happy 2016! Yes, simple changes have been good, and I'm hoping they'll help me work up to grander changes. :)

I'm quite pleased with Merlin fandom so far. I haven't seen any of the snark and cliquishness that usually plague other fandoms. But then, maybe I haven't spent enough time on tumblr. ;) AO3 is fine for now!
Jan. 3rd, 2016 01:32 am (UTC)
Your mention of tai chi strikes a chord with me. I practiced tai chi for a few years some time ago, but stopped. I've been looking into taking it up again. It does wonders for one's balance, flexibility and strength.

You mentioned YouTube videos. Have you spent any time working with an instructor?

If not, may I suggest taking a class? They'll work with you on proper positioning/alignment so you'll get the greatest benefit from the forms. Besides, I always found it enjoyable to practice with others each week.
Jan. 3rd, 2016 06:01 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried an actual class, but yeah, that's something I'd like to do. I know they have occasional outdoor free tai chi in our part of the city, at least in warmer weather, and I've been meaning to join up one of those weekends. I'm sure I could use some pointers on proper stance!

It really does seem a cool practice. Everyone I've talked to who's tried it has really liked it, and that ranges from the total fitness guru types to the people who barely exercise at all. Must be a good art!
Jan. 11th, 2016 10:59 pm (UTC)
I'm determined to exercise more, too. I was up at Macchu Pichu and had the darnest time getting up to the top so I'm not going to have that happen again. Must stay in shape!

I do probiotics with yogurt each day. Seems to work for me.

Merthur ships all the way. :D
Jan. 12th, 2016 05:26 pm (UTC)
Well jeez, Machu Picchu is some serious elevation! That'd be hard for anyone who doesn't live up that high all the time. I'm used to sea level, so when we get up even to just 5000 or 6000 feet in the mountains, I definitely feel it in the hiking difficulty.

Yogurt every day is a good practice! And for sure, Merthur is excellent for the health. ;) (As long as it isn't all angst all the time, I suppose.)
Jan. 15th, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)
I tried out the app Calm and it's really great! Thanks for introducing me to it. I was wondering if you could also share links to the tai chi videos you've enjoyed on youtube. I've been making a concerted effort to lower my anxiety levels lately and think tai chi might be a real help. :)
Jan. 15th, 2016 10:15 pm (UTC)
Oh good, glad you like the app! I think that one and similar apps are helpful because if you try meditation without any guidance, at first it often feels like you're doing it "wrong" when you can't make your mind settle down, and aren't sure what you should be thinking about, and all that. And they help keep you on track and reassure you. :)

Tai chi videos, sure: I started with this one, nice, short, easy one.

This one is a bit longer, but I've done it several times (main instruction starts at about 2:30; before that it's intro).

And there are loads more available out there - anyone who likes a particular one is free to add to this thread. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )