We all need reminders sometimes of the things that can help us restore a sense of well-being. Here are some of the reminders I have found helpful:
The best thing to do is get outside, but if that’s not possible, you can bring the outside in with nature cams or nature photography.
- 8 Calming Livecams of Kittens, Penguins, Jellyfish and More | KQED
- Channel Island, CA Eagle Cam (I particularly like this one for the background sounds of wind, birds, frogs, etc. – even if the eagles aren’t in the nest, the landscape and sounds are restorative!)
- Codorus State Park, PA Eagle Cam (I enjoy seeing what the eagles go through in a different climate for the sake of their young – including sitting on the nest through a snow storm!)
- U.S. Interior instagram (just viewing pictures of the natural world helps mitigate our stress response)
My favorite way to meditate is with a group of other practitioners (also known as a sangha). You can find both Buddhist sanghas and secular meditation groups here:
- Sanghas in the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition
- Online sanghas in the Thich Nhat Hanh tradition
- World Buddhist Directory (pre-selected for California)
- Mindfulness Groups on Meetup
- East Bay Meditation Center
There are also lots of apps, videos, podcasts, and recordings that offer guided meditations. Here’s one you can do with kids:
Singing and playing music with other people is a wonderful way to build community and a sense of connection, and listening to or playing music by yourself can also create healing opportunities. Below are some of my favorite sources of music to listen to with your children:
- Melita Music – Melita is a wonderful music teacher for younger kids, and has many great recordings. Her band, Octopretzel, gives dynamic performances.
- Joe Reilly – Joe’s music emphasizes nature and mindfulness, so what’s not to like?
- The Banana Slug String Band – Songs to inspire an interest in science and the natural world. And catchy, too!
- Mothersong with Joya Winwood – Her in-person groups are in Santa Cruz, but you can purchase recordings or get the songbook to play at home.
And here are some fun music videos that were favorites with my family:
I have many favorite poems, so here are just a few (these are for adults, but some can be shared with children) :
- Maya Angelou reading her poem “A Brave and Startling Truth” (you can also read the poem and a little more about the context in which the poem was written here)
- “If You Forget” by Rob Fisher, a fellow therapist.
- “Beneath the Sweater and the Skin” by Jeannette Encinias
- “For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet” by Joy Harjo, named United States Poet Laureate in 2019. You can watch her read the poem here (scroll down until you see the name of the poem, then click).
- “Continue” by Maya Angelou
- “Start Close In” by David Whyte
- Mary Oliver reading her poem “When Death Comes”
- “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry