May is Mental Health Month and a good time to look for new ways to revitalize ourselves. Or just be mindful to make use of the old ways. As good a time as any, is what I really mean; this shouldn’t be a once-a-year special occasion.
Still, we all get caught up in the day-to-day and forget sometimes (many times) to nurture our souls.
Today happened to be “Take Your Dog to Work Day” where I work, and dogs are one of my best de-stressors. I can’t bring my pair to work with me, unfortunately; they don’t work and play well with other dogs. But that left me free to enjoy everyone else’s pets, and what a pleasure that was. Some came to visit in my office; some I saw as I traveled from floor to floor, office to office. Each offered me a few seconds or minutes of mental release, which really means physical release as well; tension just drains from me when I pet or talk to a dog.
When I got home, I gave Rolo and Tank, pictured here, extra hugs and pets; apologized for fraternizing with other dogs; and took them out on a walk. And there’s another de-stressor: walking, outdoors, preferably with at least one dog. It started raining after two blocks, of course; it’s basically been raining here for the last five or so days, and we haven’t managed more than a two-block walk in all that time. But we do keep trying, and it does help me let off steam.
Poetry for the Soul
Settled back in at home, I discovered a lovely poem by Susan Rich over on Terrain.org, which is what put me in mind of mindfulness and the need for emotional sustenance and nurture.
Called “Mornings,” it captures a moment of quiet contemplation and asks…
“…If I take in the morning landscape
Like a vitamin or a psalm—can it
I read it three times and listened as the poet read it for me as well. Exquisite.