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What to Do Today: A Walking Meditation, and Distractions

10:17 AM PST on November 3, 2020

Today's stress endurance test will be as good a time as any to practice staying calm. For readers who aren't busy helping people vote, or doing essential work, being stuck at home can be too much of an invitation to binge watch that newsfeed.  Here are a few ways to reduce anxiety:

If you have time, today might be a good day for a walking meditation. Walking is always good, and even a short, "mindful" walk can be calming by refocusing your thoughts on the simple act of taking one step followed by another.

UC Berkeley's Greater Good in Action ("science-based practices for a meaningful life") offers instructions for a short walking meditation.

While one ten-minute walk won't dramatically lower your blood pressure, it can help. Mediation is called a "practice" in part because its benefits come with consistently doing it over time. Still, while the best time to start a walking meditation practice may have been in 2016, the second-best time is today.

Also, the NY Times today is offering a potpourri of content - from making the best (spiked) hot chocolate to beautiful images of outer space to watching mushrooms grow - to help distract your mind between news binges.

Or, heck, time-lapse can be surprisingly calming: watch six months of progress on construction of the subway station deep under downtown Los Angeles' Bunker Hill, or construction of the now-completed Oakland Bay Bridge.

And keep those fingers crossed.

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