I have been feeling very out of whack since I learned of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have two sons, ages 9 and 11, and I can barely bring myself to think about those kids, the teachers and staff, the parents and the community. There isn't really a way for me to directly offer support, solace or comfort, which makes me feel helpless. Over the last couple of days, I have had some learnings about what to do and not to do to help myself and my family cope.
1. It's okay to not feel bad every minute. I'm glad the boys and I went to the gluten-free meetup and cookie swap on Saturday. The baking beforehand was enjoyable and productive and I got to spend some time with my 9-year-old making chocolate peppermint cookies. The party itself was very fun.
2. No matter how good all the gluten-free cookies left over from the party are, too much sugar sends me to a rather bleak place. I need to remember that sometimes its easier to eat none than think I can just eat one, which I usually can't.
3. Say yes to interaction and people. Too much screen time or alone time makes it harder for me to pull out of a tailspin. I really wish I had said yes to a game of Apples to Apples with my kids yesterday.
4. Make healthy comfort food. I made my mom's pea soup for dinner. Sometimes you just need your mom.
5. Remember what it's like to be a kid. My boys are troubled by what happened too, but they don't really have the verbal or emotional vocabulary to express it. For the first time in a long time, we all piled in bed together last night. I think it helped all of us.
6. Get some exercise. Even though it's cold and rainy/foggy this morning, my half hour run was a sanity-saver, a moving meditation, that helped me find my emotional bearings.
7. Write. Being able to put your thoughts down on paper is like sharing a burden so that you don't have to carry a heavy load around with you all the time.
8. Listen to music. I've been alternating Charlotte Church and Julia Fordham and October Project on Pandora. It helps.
9. Appreciate EVERYTHING. Tell your family you love them. Watch the sunrise. Look at pictures of happy times. Savor your morning coffee.
10. Convey gratitude. Thank those people who have loved and supported you and kept you safe. Write them a letter. Tell them. Even if they are no longer with us, trust that the effort you put into thanking them will boost the positive energetic vibration that we all occupy.
Peace be with you, today and always.