1. BUNDLE UP
It’s cold. Bundle up anyway, and get your body out into the morning. Move your legs and your arms and your heart, and be grateful for all the things that are not broken. Breathe in the fresh air around you, and make time for an electronic free walk in the world.
2. INDEX CARDS
I got this one from Anne Lamott. Keep index cards and a pen in all your purses, pocket, bags, and cars. Writers, especially, when something crosses your mind that feels like a spark or a valuable moment, write it down. You will forget and you do forget, and this how we can hold onto to our ideas before the wind blows them away.
3. TALK TO DEAD PEOPLE
So much has happened, and Benjamin never knew most of my dearest people. So, I talk to him. I tell him, sometimes aloud, about my life and my people. I ask him for advice, to show up in the day somehow, and it helps.
4. BANANA/ QUINOA MUFFINS (GF)
These are a family staple in our house. Easy, healthy and delicious. Check out the recipe here.
If something breaks too early and you just bought it, ask the company for a solution. I am always surprised that when I ask, there is usually a support system in place and people are happy to help make it right. I spent years not asking and trying not to be “trouble” for anyone. I swallowed a lot of things I shouldn’t have, because I was afraid to ask. Because I learned this valuable lesson, I have new boots on the way to replace my torn ones that broke way too early.
6. A REAL LETTER
This is one of the original “things that will help” we found in Benjamin’s little red book. Write a letter to the true source of the problem, and pour out your story. Even if it is a letter never sent, there will be something healing in the process, and just that act of writing it will cleanse your insides.
7. INVERSION TIMINGS
Get upside down regularly. I love the strength and clarity that comes from yoga inversion timings. (handstand, forearm stand, headstand, dolphin, legs up the wall, downward facing dog, L-pose). Set your timer for a minute (or something relevant and doable for you), and practice daily. **If new to this practice, please seek instruction and alignment clarity from a qualified instructor before diving in.
***Things That Will Help backstory:
More than a decade ago, my big brother, Benjamin, died from a drug overdose after struggling for years to survive the stranglehold of addiction. My mom and I found a small, spiral notebook next to Benjamin’s bed with the handwritten title Things That Will Help. Inspired by his, I have been writing my own list all these years. I decided recently to begin publishing them.
This practice has always been an homage to him—something that has gotten me through the hardest things in my life and has now blossomed into life medicine that I hope to keep sharing.