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Tips to Help You Get Through Covid!

                                           

Wow, none of us expected 2020 to be such an unbelievably worrisome and stressful year!  It’s just almost too much to comprehend sometimes that this pandemic is really happening.  Who would have thought?  We went from a somewhat “normal” lifestyle to a world where everyone and everything has just gone crazy.  But since it is a reality, we’ve had to learn to adapt, change and just learn to deal with a life that is very different than what we wish it would be.  Change can be super hard and stressful, but if we can remain positive in the midst of it all, we might even come out of this hardship as better, more resilient and caring people.  At least that’s how I choose to look at everything since I can’t change it anyway.

 

Here are a few tips that might help you keep your sanity during this difficult time –

If you are a religious person, keep your faith strong and pray often – about everything and everyone.  Keeping your mind focused, especially on helping others, will keep you grounded each day.

Try to keep your sleeping and eating patterns the same every day in order to stay as healthy as possible. Get as much sleep as you can.

Exercise – it keeps your body strong and keeps your mind healthy too.

Be sure to make time to do activities that you love – things that make you feel happy, like painting, cooking, singing, playing a musical instrument, reading, or any indoor or outdoor sport where you can be safe.

Stay connected with others so you don’t feel so isolated.  We have so many different devices these days that can keep us connected.  And don’t forget your neighbors or those who may need a friendly phone call.  We’re all in this together, and people need each other.

Find as many ways as you can to have positive emotions – joy, gratitude, love – all the good things that you can focus on.  Negativity never helped anyone.

Enjoy simple moments like sipping a cup of tea, laughing at funny moments with your children or grandchildren, playing with your pets, watching a special movie, or just having a conversation with a friend or family member.

Take whatever action that you can to achieve goals you have set for yourself.  It can be one of the best antidotes to anxieties.  Don’t let anything stop you from achieving what you want.  There is always something to be done.

I look at it this way. There will inevitably be hardships in this life. We have to remember to be grateful in spite of the difficulties in which we find ourselves.  We learn from those hard times and it makes us better and hopefully wiser people.  It teaches us not to take things for granted and to really appreciate what we have.

I want to give a special “shout out” to all those who are putting themselves in the front line to help those who are sick with this virus.  I appreciate all that you are doing and you are in my prayers – – THANK YOU!

I also want to commend the many many parents who are taking on the daunting task of online and home schooling their children.  That has to be a difficult task along with your daily jobs and everything else you do.  I feel sure that teachers are going to be appreciated much more after this!  More power to you!

This too shall pass.

Stay safe,

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do Favorite Books and Characters Give Us?

John Hemingway once said, “there is no friend as loyal as a book.”  I am a firm advocate of reading books.  I believe, as both an avid reader and writer, that knowledge is power and that there is always something to learn which will in some way make you a better person or perhaps a better writer.  Books can be motivational and inspiring or draw us into a magical world that takes us far from our often hectic and lackluster world.  Many of us have certain books that are like an old friend we can always rely on for encouragement or allow our minds to become creative.

Sci-fi author Ray Bradbury’s favorite books that most influenced his career were those in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s  “John Carter: Warlord of Mars series.  “They entered my life when I was 10 and caused me to go out on the lawns of summer, put up my hands, and ask for Mars to take me home,” Bradbury said. “Within a short time, I began to write and have continued that process ever since, all because of Mr. Burroughs.”

It’s interesting that Bradbury would be a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, since the same author is the one that started it all for me with the book “A Princess of Mars.”  I have a very old hard cover of it sitting in my office in a glass enclosed case, in addition to a large number of his earliest paperback books that are prized possessions.

 

My favorite character from his books that I’ve read would have to be John Carter from the Barsoom novels.  He was the most singularly minded person I’ve ever encountered.  He was always in control, never faltered, was open and honest and refused to give up no matter how hopeless the situation seemed.  He openly loved the heroine of the story and was willing to move heaven and earth to be with her.  He inspired me as a child and the books inspired me to become an author.  How much more could anyone ask out of a series of science fiction books?  Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to be more like him, but I cannot in good conscience say that I find myself in that person’s character.  It’s just someone that I desired to emulate.  He didn’t remind me of anyone in particular.  A character of his caliber was larger than life, and inadvertently caused me to raise the bar of expectation to an unhealthy degree, at least so I’m told.

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

Carl Sagan

Grab a book and Keep Reading!

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

10 Ways to Promote Happiness

Happiness – the often elusive thing that nearly everyone is searching for.  We all have different ideas, preferences, and desires for our lives.  But after years of scientific research, it has been suggested that certain things make the good majority of us happy.  To be more specific, happiness does not result from reaching “bigger and better” signs of success, but rather from looking for contentment from new and fresh experiences in our quest for a life that is considered well lived.  So, what kinds of experiences provide the best happiness benefits?  Well, scientific study has discovered that these 10 ways will increase your everyday overall happiness:

  1. Make little changes in your daily routine, such as getting more sleep, exercising, getting out into nature, and meditating.
  2. Read more books. Read books to learn—research suggests that lifelong learners remain healthy and engaged, and live long lives. Read books as an escape from your everyday life, Read books—it will make you happy.  (One of my personal favorites.  I have always loved to read, and write as well.  Check out my books at www.solitaireparke.com)
  3. Find your right fit or match, both personally and professionally. If you love what you do and who you are with, you’ll position yourself for personal happiness and professional success.
  4. Be grateful. Two specific activities help foster a greater sense of gratitude. First, keep a daily gratitude journal. Second, pay a “gratitude visit” to someone from your past that has had a significant impact on your life, and let them know how you feel.
  5. Smile more—even if you don’t feel like it. Research shows that the simple act of smiling can trick your brain into a happier state.
  6. Take pleasure in simple, everyday moments. Appreciating life’s small moments, such as a beautiful sunny day, plants sprouting from the ground, and skipping rocks at the beach, teaches you to be more grateful for what you have, especially during moments of stress and anxiety.
  7. Perform random acts of kindness. Do good deeds. Volunteer. Be charitable. Shop for someone else! Studies have shown that you can help yourself by doing good things for others.
  8. Spend money on experiences versus things. Studies have shown that buying an object—a car, handbag, or kitchen gadget—can quickly lead to buyer’s remorse. On the other hand, investing in experiences—a concert, a camping trip, music lessons—leads to greater happiness. Experiences create “happiness residue,” and our perceptions of them often get better over time.
  9. Avoid comparisons. Whatever you may think of someone else’s life, particularly as viewed through the phony, filtered lens of social media, it’s almost certainly messier than you imagine. It’s easier to embrace and learn to love your own imperfections, if you don’t conjure up myths about how perfect everyone else’s lives seem.
  10. Build and maintain close relationships. Having a small number of tight, meaningful relationships is one of the highest predictors of happiness.  (Pets are wonderful companions too!)

We all lose sight of some of the happiness priorities, so don’t feel bad if you do.  In this world we battle on a daily basis the relentless marketing and expectations of society that attempt to lead us down paths to happiness that lie somewhere else.   We don’t need to over-complicate things.  It’s the simple things in life that matter most.  Live each moment with purpose and intent – live each moment as if it were your last and enjoy the people around you.  You have one life – so live each minute to the fullest!

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable.  Happiness is not about making it to the peak of the mountain nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain;  happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”

Solitaire

www.solitaireparke.com

 

 

 

 

 

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