Birchwood identified five day to day things that were important for wellbeing. Here’s a few “I can…” statements I have fleshed out for you.
I can connect with the people around me including family, friends, colleagues and neighbours, at home, work, school or in your local community.
I can show support to the people around me.
I can build people up by what I say and do.
I’m not doing too badly with this one. I live too far to see family often. I used to have a letter writing habit that saw me getting through books of stamps weekly. Neighbours? I planned to get to know my neighbours through my kids, but the kid thing didn’t happen. A dog maybe? Next door is dog-sitting a very lively little brown dog with floppy ears and a waggy tail.
I can spend some of my time outside walking, running or cycling.
I can do some gardening.
I can benefit from regular exercise.
I can discover a physical activity I enjoy and that suits my level of mobility and fitness.
Winter and cold weather doesn’t make for good reasons to go outside. I am walking more often. I could run…actually, I probably couldn’t. Running has gone the way of hopping on one foot. It’s not gardening weather. The soil is rock hard. I have found my Dobbie’s card which means I can go down to the garden centre and drink free cups of tea. Regular exercise? I suppose I could dig out the swimwear and head off to the leisure centre. My bus pass is also a Highlife card which means I get to do things free of charge.
I can be curious.
I can see and admire beauty.
I can notice the unusual.
I can be aware of the world around me and what I’m feeling.
I can reflect on my experiences to help me appreciate what matters to me.
I have this one covered. I tripped over a paving stone just the other day looking at the tops of trees for birds' nests. I almost got run over too because I was paying too much attention the frosty sparkles on the road in the early morning sun. I love sky. I love clouds now that I think I can paint them. I had a discussion this morning with my financial advisor about some of the organisations I appear to have shares in – I am aware that not everyone out there is ethical. I have taught moral issues for too long not to know who the baddies are.
I can try something new.
I can rediscover an old interest.
I can sign up a course or an evening class.
I can take on new responsibilities.
I can set myself a challenge I will enjoy achieving.
We have this one covered too. Knitting socks with five needles is proving a challenge. My socks have holes that have nothing to do with wear and tear. I have ear marked funds to sign up to a degree in creative writing, part time, over eight years! I’m learning to paint.
I can do something nice for a friend, or a stranger.
I can say thank you to someone.
I can volunteer my time.
I can join a community group.
I can create connections with the people.
When I saw the word “give” I thought about all the different causes that I could donate to. Having retired and having less of an income I really had to sit down with the list from the bank of direct debits and standing orders and do a cull. I have joined a knitting community and a walking community – two different groups – I could just picture you trying to see us all knit while we walk. I haven’t quite got the nattering bit of Knitter-Natters. I talk – I drop stitches – I don’t talk. Sometimes I don’t talk because I have forgotten to put my hearing aids in and can’t hear the conversations to well. Saying thank you – to God – gratitude is an essential – and not just for the good days, but for the resources given to triumph on the not so good ones.
As Horatio Spafford said, in his wonderful hymn, “It is well with my soul.”