Wednesday, May 20, 2020

7 Ways To Cast A Spell of Lumos During Difficult Times

Harry Potter Lumos Spell
Sometimes it's hard to admit that the muggle world is a mess. Breaking news from around the world and within our own countries can add to the chaos and stress of our own struggles. Staying positive is a day-to-day challenge when our lives at home or in our close inner circles seems bleak.
"We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are." -Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
As challenging as it might be to fight against dementors and death eaters, we can choose to bring more lumos into our lives and those of our friends, family, and peers. Remaining motivated, finding inspiration, and feeling happy doesn't have to be jinxed by darkness. Below is seven ways to cast a spell of lumos and light during dark and difficult challenges.

Give To Good Causes

Our minds are wired to hone in on our own issues and look for problems in everyday scenarios. To break the cycle of negative bias and focusing on our own challenges, it's beneficial to reach out to others. Giving to local or national charities helps us shift our perspective from our inner circle and see the larger picture that our fellow witches and wizards struggle too. Pick a cause that's close to your interests and heart - animal rights, equal rights, adoption, the environment LGBTQ community, firefighters, etc - and consider donating time, raising funds, or when the COVID lockdown ends, showing up face-to-face to help someone in need.

Harry Potter Journal Writing

Start a Gratitude Journal

According to Harvard Medical School, positive psychology research has shown gratitude helps us feel positive emotions, improves our health, and deal with adversity. Start a gratitude journal by jotting down 3 - 5 things every day that made you smile or made your day better - having a conversation with a barista, beautiful weather, a delicious lunch, finishing a project. Gratitude can be implemented all year along beyond the holiday season. See what a difference it makes in helping you seek the positive aspects of life.

Similarly, journaling on a regular basis helps to manage anxiety, reduce stress, and improves our moods. It feels good to help us release our anxiety, frustration, and worry. We can find solutions and see what changes we have to make in our lives when it's not swirling in our heads but something tangible on the page.

Try Something New

Establishing a morning and evening routine keeps us organized and focus, but repeating the same habits and actions throughout the day every day makes us feel limited. We love to be challenged because it invites growth, creates new experiences, and helps us see ourselves and the world in a different light. If your feeling stuck in a rut, consider changing up your routine. Try a 30 day challenge, where you try something new every day. Check out a different form of exercise to stay healthy. Play games with family instead of watching movies. Re-arrange your day-to-day schedule to spice up activities, chores, or tasks. 

Harry Potter Golden Trio Laughing

Watch a Feel-Good Comedy

Everyone needs a good laugh every once in a while. Though Harry Potter is obviously the first pick to revisiting a story that feels familiar and comforting, feel-good comedies can also provide the same benefits of escape and lift our spirits. On Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, there's hundreds of titles to choose from with romantic comedies, dramedies, and action movies. 

Throw A Dance Party

Contrary to what Professor McGonagall says, you can take some time to act like bumbling, babbling band of baboons. Dancing is always a fun way of letting loose. No matter what kind of music you like, if you're by yourself or with a friend, there's no shame in following the sound of your own drum with a good playlist of fun songs. Get up, dance, hop, shake, twist, and shout like no one's watching.

Harry Potter Art

Try Art Therapy

Some feelings weigh us down too much to put into words. Expressing ourselves through art is a therapeutic tool that takes what we want to say and relaying into an artist platform. A blank canvas can be transformed with paint, crayons, pencils, collages, and all kinds of mixed media. Even hobbies and crafts such as woodworking, cooking, and knitting can make us feel accomplished after seeing an idea transition into a finished project.

Take Time for Self-Care

Sometimes we're so busy moving from one goal or task to another, and focusing on other people's needs, we forget to slow down and check-in with ourselves. Creating a daily or weekly routine of self-care helps us maintain our emotional, physical, and mental state of mind to prevent burn-out and fatigue. Start by asking yourself what makes you feel good and implement fifteen minutes of that activity in your life every day. A few good places to start is getting enough good sleep, eating healthily, exercising, meditating, spending time in nature, taking a relaxing bath, and reading. Make sure to put your health and happiness first as a top priority, and you'll consistently create lumos in your life.

“There is no shame in what you are feeling, Harry,' said Dumbledore's voice. 'On the contrary ... the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.'

If you like this post, please let me know how you cast lumos in your life!
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