In the next several weeks, I will be sharing some of the journaling exercises from Sara Avant Stover’s The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, a guide to returning to “daily, seasonal, and yearly rhythms of nature” in order to regain a healthy body and spirit.
Exercise #3 (pages 68-69)
Absolute Yes List (things that make me a stronger, better person and that I absolutely can’t live without):
- Sleep a minimum of six hours per night, preferably closer to eight.
- Unplug from the computer, iPad, and television at least a half hour before bedtime and spend the time reading a book, writing in my journal, and/or meditating.
- Perform a minimum of two cardio and two strength workouts per week. If weather permits, add one outdoors session (i.e. hiking, walking, snowshoeing, or bicycling) to the workout total each week.
- Use light box from mid-September through mid-April.
- Eat real food, and be mindful of portions.
- Prepare one new recipe a week.
- Schedule a massage once a month; perform a home pedicure every two weeks.
- Visit with my immediate family at least twice per year.
- Visit at least one new city or country per year.
- Participate in some sort of cultural activity once per month – museums, music, theatre, even strolling through botanic gardens.
Absolute No List (things I know weaken, irritate, and lead me away from who I truly am):
- No depriving myself of “needs” (food, medicine, water, basic clothes, “Absolute Yes List”).
- No impulse buying of “wants” (material goods, restaurant meals).
- No stress eating.
- No excuses for not exercising, unless sick.
- No sleeping on the bus commute.
- No complaining about what I cannot change.
- No procrastinating on what I can change.
- No comparing myself to others.
- No use of derogative language about myself to myself.
- No making plans more than two nights each work week.