Saturday, June 25, 2011

Doing What We Can

It sounds so simple and obvious. But too often it's not where we focus our attention. We get hung up on other things.

Have you ever spent part of your drive home mentally rehearsing excuses?

I have.

Or gotten angry with yourself (or someone else) for messing up?

Yeah, me too.

It doesn't help, of course, and in some cases it can actually make matters worse. But it's what we do when we aren't in a positive frame of mind.

What if we took a different approach? What if we were to focus instead on doing whatever we can do--large or small--for our health and well being in that moment, and just let the other stuff go?

Instead of, "Why does this keep happening?" or "What's wrong with me?" a far more productive question might be:  

"What can I do for my health and wellness right now?"

There is an infinite number of answers, not all of which will apply in every situation, but here are a few possibilities:
  • I can take some slow, deep, calming breaths.
  • I can relax my grip.
  • I can do a few stretches.
  • I can focus my eyes away from the computer for a moment.
  • I can eat more slowly.
  • I can save the rest for another meal.
  • I can take a walk or a swim. 
  • I can do an exercise video--or even part of one.
  • I can make a healthy grocery list.
  • I can make a list of things I'm grateful for.
  • I can find or create or share some new healthy recipes.
  • I can ask for help.
  • I can delegate a task.
  • I can let someone else be in charge.
  • I can do less.
  • I can find an alternative.
  • I can have a healthy snack.
  • I can sleep.
  • I can brush my teeth or my hair.
  • I can take a shower or a bath.
  • I can listen to relaxing or uplifting music.
  • I can light a candle.
  • I can pray or meditate. 
  • I can read scripture or other inspirational writings.
  • I can research new options (classes, support groups, websites).
  • I can pound play-dough or tear up an empty box.
  • I can bounce or toss a ball.
  • I can balance a book on my head.
  • I can clean out a drawer or closet or handbag.
  • I can journal or blog.
  • I can write a poem or draw or paint or sing.
  • I can make something.
  • I can walk the dog.
  • I can walk away from the argument.
  • I can reconsider.
  • I can be kind.
  • I can smile at a stranger (or a loved one).
  • I can hug someone or ask for a hug.
  • I can offer encouragement.
  • I can help someone in need.
  • I can make a long list of things that I can do.
Any one of these actions can be a step in the direction of greater health and well-being. It's okay to start small (or medium or large). Just start wherever you are. And do what you can.


  1. Excellent blog article Lenora!!! Hit home for me to be sure! As always you have much down to earth wisdom that would benefit many to hear. I look forward to the next one! Blessings, Brenda

  2. Great post on keeping the focus on little steps:) I will for sure be bookmarking this as a reminder:)

  3. Thanks for the wonderful blog post! Many good reminders in that list. :)