What my 7-year-old says
Coping skills for all of us
Welcome to At The End Of the Day. I’m Hannah Sung and I write this newsletter for a people-first perspective on the news. This month, I’m focusing on rest and recharging. Visit my Patreon to support this newsletter’s growth into a podcast.
I’m in vacation-land and as I mentioned last week, my goal for July is to rest and recharge. A bunch of you wrote back with what is giving you rest and pleasure right now (thank you!) and I’ve compiled that below.
First, I’m sharing tips from someone who knows how to live — my 7-year-old daughter.
She is headstrong, independent and indomitably sunny. As a toddler learning to walk, whenever she faceplanted, she would spring back up, brush herself briskly with her own chubby hands and say a spritely, “I’m ok!” to no one in particular.
Serious mood hero.
This year, when in-person school was closed and she was home, stuck on the computer, her teacher gave an assignment to draw a toolbox of ways to maintain good mental health.
A 7-year-old’s coping skills are actually pretty relatable (although I may only be able to relate to my own offspring at this point…baby steps toward re-entry, amirite?).
A favourite activity for my daughter is walking Kiwi, her pet turtle. Don’t have a turtle? Your reptile doesn’t like to be walked? Just do what you love. It might be caring for someone else.
Like my daughter, I claim to love “ecsersis” (I also love spelling of all variations). This week, I swapped Twitter for a running app on my phone and gotta say, it’s improved my vacation life by about 1000%. I run exactly like this diagram below.
I get a kick out of my kid’s entire list of coping skills, it’s beautiful really. I’ve shared a few more on my Instagram. The rest live where they should, hanging on the wall in my kitchen.
As for the wise words of many of you, I was so glad to hear back that the deep need to rest this month is resonating. I can’t remember a time when I’ve needed this more.
When it comes to your own suggestions, ATEOD reader Saara took pity on my pathetic inability to quit Twitter and sent me this:
Saara suggested I create my own affirmations and nest my apps so I wouldn’t have to delete Twitter outright. However, I am chaos and my phone reflects that — I’m really not an affirmations-and-organized apps kind of person. But I was inspired, and instead of deleting Twitter, I threw it into the last page of the apps on my phone, the way you clean a room by shoving everything into the closet and leaning on the door to get it closed. I turned off the notifications et voila — I’m on a news fast (yes, this is working for me!).
Kat wrote to say that deleting Twitter from her phone was the best thing she did, only allowing herself Twitter time when she’s at her desk computer.
And Melanie wrote in to say that she recently made a commitment to herself to take care of her own needs. She pumped iron while blasting her playlist (this sounds amazing) and lay in bed, during the day, to read a novel.
I love knowing all of this. They’re such small but powerful ways to do a daily, restorative act.
Thank you so much for sharing!
As for me, this week has been about long, unscheduled days, homemade ice cream, birthday cake, runs along the water and among trees. I’ve been playing games with the kids, including an extended session of Crazy Eights with my niece.
Through it all, I’ve been feeling more like myself than I have in a long time. Wishing that for you, too this weekend.
Take care out there,
What I’m reading and listening to
Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Nightmare, The New Yorker. I can’t not follow along with what’s going on here. The details are mind-boggling.
An (Almost) Unified Theory of Britney Spears, Friday Things. Here’s my friend Stacy and her friend Russ on framing Britney’s legal conservatorship through a disability rights lens (and more)
You Really Need to Quit Twitter, The Atlantic. Really made me laugh (at myself, let’s be clear)
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. This book arrived on my doorstep from my dear friend Karen and I couldn’t put it down. The author’s observations were like keys, explosives, actually, for locks I’d forgotten about in dusty, dark corners of my mind, blowing them open. Big recommend.
Stress Test, Season 3. In my work life, I just wrapped producing another season of Stress Test, the Globe and Mail’s podcast about personal finance in a pandemic for Gen Z and Millennials. This show was such a pleasure to produce and I highly recommend giving it a listen or passing it on to someone in your life. Follow on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you like to listen.
📣 Patreon update 📣
As for an At The End Of the Day podcast, I want to thank the latest people to become ATEOD patrons. Thank you Hannah, Anna, Lisa, Cliff, Ausma, Michelle, Helen and Kasia. You are getting me closer to my goal of creating an ATEOD podcast with a small team!
To pay-what-you-wish, visit my Patreon and sign up to make a monthly contribution of your choice.
If you’ve already signed up, I’m sending patches and thank you cards in the mail. Here’s my patch, on a bag, in a tree. Let me know if you’d like me to pop a patch in the mail to you! Just hit reply and send me your address.