Help With Actionable Items to the Rise This Day Self Survey
This page, Actionable Items for short, is provided as a companion resource to the Rise This Day Self Survey, which is a section within the series called Finding Rest in the Storm.
Am I getting enough sleep?
If you are not, and you know that doing so would be helpful to your overall heath and well-being, consider this: What time are you headed to bed? Could you hit the pillow earlier? Are you having trouble getting to sleep? How much caffeine are you taking in during the day? Can it be curbed, or could you use decaffeinated drinks, from decaffeinated coffee to sodas? Talk to your doctor about safe prescription medications that might help. Remember too that alcohol consumption impacts your ability to get to sleep. Are you anxious and prone to worry that keeps you awake when you should be sleeping? If so, it helps to nail down what that is and get some help with it from a professional.
Am I happy at work?
Yes? Then good for you! If not, read on: Sometimes it’s just not in the cards, financially and physically, to make a change in jobs. But….oftentimes, a change is a possibility and fear and uncertainty make you feel that no change is possible, even though it is. Don’t be afraid to start looking. Get your feelers out there, and let a few people outside of your present work know that you are looking around. If you don’t, nobody will ever know! But if your work is making you sick, or marginalized, or underutilized, then you really need to start looking elsewhere.
Is My Weight in a Healthy Place?
(Clever question, huh? Sorry) Carrying lots of extra pounds not only drags down your energy and makes you feel like crap, but it also, over time, will impact your health in detrimental ways. Have you seen your doctor recently and did you discuss weight issues with your physician? (Many docs avoid this topic altogether. Why? Because most of their patients don’t want to hear it, and docs don’t want to make their patients upset.)
Even though it’s fair to say that most diets fail over time, meaning the weight creeps back on, most of us need help to lose substantial amounts of weight. Many weight loss programs are out there, and most are not cheap, either. I am bias in favor of Weight Watchers, however, because I have used it and it has worked for me. I also believe that a weight program and regular exercise, go hand-in-hand and help people to meet their goals.
Am I eating the right foods?
This is a vast topic and volumes are written about what foods are truly beneficial to be eating as a part of a regular diet. Consider consulting with a nutritionist, and upon your doctor’s recommendation, can provide very helpful info and guidelines that are covered by your insurance and/or HMO.
Am I Getting Enough Exercise?
If you are, go away and stop bragging! If not, read on, please: Are you able to walk some every day? If yes, do so, and increase whatever amount of walking you’re doing presently so that you get up to 30-40 minutes per day. (Stats show this to be very effective.) Remember, you don’t have to be a gym rat or be, as they say, ripped, to be getting good, healthy exercise at gyms. Going consistently, several times a week will yield terrific benefits to your overall physical and emotional health. Remember, many people who are by definition overweight, but who exercise on a regular basic, are even healthier mentally and physically then some of the skinny-minnies out there! Bottom line: start moving and keep moving!
Do I get Enough Recreation and Down-Time?
If you’re bothering to read this, I’m guessing not. Recreation can be whatever work is not that feels like fun, chill-time or invigorating in some way. The funny thing about recreation is that what one person experiences and recreational might feel like drudgery to another person. It’s weird. Just try your best to find something that feels fun to do and makes you feel better within.
Is Alcohol or Drug Use Causing Me Problems?
(Hey, I am just the messenger here!) If it is, can you cut back on your own over a two month period? If you can, and can or have done so honestly, then good for you (and there may be others out there that you can help, too, which helps you also.) Sometimes consuming too much of a substance (take your pick) causes long-time friends to shy away from you, or contributes to issues within your relationships with people whom you love Or, substance overuse or abuse gets you in hot water with your boss, or over time causes financial hardship within your family. Consider talking with a therapist specifically trained in addiction counseling; consider too the 12-Step programs such as AA, NA, and so forth.
Do I Have Hobbies or Interests That Renew Me?
If not, consider developing one to start. Having a hobby or passion, no matter what it is, can help you to have another purpose, a joy that fills in the darker moments that impacts many of us. It can be anything, from bowling to Pinterest, to collecting shells to making and baking items to give to other in need.
Am I in Touch with My Losses in Life and Possibly Unresolved Grief?
Most of us experience grief and loss at different times throughout our lives. From losing loved ones, colleagues at work and of course our pets big and small. We can also experience a sense of loss and grief when we experience deep disappointments, when we realize that something we had hoped for will, unfortunately, will never come about for various reasons.
Sometimes we can get stuck in our grief which prevents us from letting go and moving on. This can happen when we lose a loved one and for one reason or another our grief work gets delayed, interrupted, or in some cases this important work never even began. All of this can leave us feeling paralyzed and unable to dare to do something new, etc. The good news is that grief delayed or grief work never started can be undertaken months or even years later. It does help though to seek professional help to support you if you undertake doing delayed grief, or to seek out a grief support group in your area. Processing inner grief, with support, can help you to eventually be ready to move on to new things that felt impossible to strive for previously.
Do I have a Sense of a Spiritual Life that Nurtures my Heart and Soul?
Here, I’m not necessarily referring to religion. However, if you are religious and active within a faith community, wonderful. But if you checked “no” in the Self-Survey and if you wish that you did have a spiritual dimension in your life, it can really help your heart and soul to start exploring further. Some folks nurture their spiritual lives through meditation, yoga and any one of the many healing modalities that exist in most places. Explore recommendations from friends who have had experience in a given practice and can vouch for the leadership and their core principles.
Is there Someone in Life Whom You Cannot Forgive?
You may be surprised by this question. If you checked “Yes” in the Self-Survey, here’s why the question was asked: There’s an old recovery phrase that says, “Life is hard and it hurts, and love is the only drug that works.” Many are fond of saying, “forgive and forget.” But life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes people get hurt or abused emotionally, physically and sexually. And these kinds of wounds that are inflicted by other people or even someone we thought that we could trust can stay with us throughout our lives.
And carrying these wounds around year after year can wear a person down, resulting in everything from depression, living in fear, anxiety and for some, attempting suicide. Therapy can definitely help in these cases, and folks who have been deeply hurt and seek help discover that they don’t have to go it alone.
Some people also find it more beneficial for their health and happiness to find a way to forgive, but not forget. For some, forgiving the person who had hurt them allows them to move on with their own lives. Forgiveness can, under the right circumstances, allow the victim to breathe again, to be able to drop the weight of the hurt and pain that they’ve been carrying for so long. Doing so frequently allows them to start living again, to feel freer, and to start moving on with their lives for the better. Remember, forgiving someone who has wronged or hurt you does not require being in contact with that individual at all. Forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you! (And some victims also choose to forgive the abuser, which is a delicate process and should be attempted only within therapy. But that process is beyond the scope of this resource.)
Text by Kevin Lee