A = AWARENESS – Small Step Fun

written by Jodee Kulp

First, realize that DOING NOTHING can be healthy. If you need to simply stare out the window for a while and breath that is okay. If you need to cry it is okay. I have ranted at the heavens. You are alive, you made it. The past is behind you. You have this precious moment to simply BE!

Second, it is okay to be naughty sometimes. One week I ate a donut a day for twelve days in a row – but I did not buy another box of them. One week we had popcorn for dinner with lots of butter. And on a really crazy I can not believe all this is happening day – I stopped at Taco Bell ordered a large Mountain Dew and Dorrito Taco Supreme – it had been years. Did it make me feel better – probably not – but it did make me smile each time I dunked that donut.

Third, it is okay to be good to you. I upgraded my shampoo and conditioner. I upgraded my toothpaste. I savored my coffee in the morning. I bought organic vegetables and I ordered Hello Fresh Meal delivery for the past year! Not every week, but most. The convenience of grocery delivery made a huge difference. I bought a new duvet for our comforter. I fell into bed and listened to audio as I fell asleep. Moments of snuggle, cuddle, and comfort became all important.

Fourth, it is right to rally the troops. My husband washes all the dishes and he does not start until I have put all the clean dishes away – we play TAG YOUR IT and it always makes us each smile – instead of face the dreary task of daily dish duty.

And when you are ready – look through this list and see if there is something below that sparks your interest. Remember 1% is more than 0 to create a new you!

FUN IDEASDescriptionSteps to Get Started
A physical and mental practice that combines postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to improve overall well-being. Or aerobic or intensity exercise that gets your heart rate up.

Try something new!
Take up a new sport!
Or get into watching or volunteering at a new sport.
Choose a space to practice, such as a quiet room or outdoor space.
Purchase or gather necessary equipment, such as a fitness mat or blocks.
Start with simple poses and stretches and work your way up to more advanced ones.
Follow an online video or attend a class for guidance.
Practice regularly, starting with a few minutes and increasing the duration over time.
Focus on deep breathing and meditation for added relaxation
Get Moving
Dog walking
A leisurely activity that involves walking on natural paths or trails in scenic outdoor locations or utilize your neighborhood, a local village, or someplace you have been curious.Choose a location to explore or hike in.
Research the trail and prepare for the hike by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear.
Pack necessary supplies, such as water, fun snacks, and a first aid kit.
Start with a shorter hike and work your way up to longer ones.
Take breaks as needed and enjoy the scenery.
Practice safety measures, such as staying on the trail and avoiding hazardous areas.
DancingA fun and energetic activity that involves moving to music and learning new dance styles.Choose a dance style to learn, such as ballroom,  hip hop, tango, salsa, square dance, zumba.
Find a qualified instructor or online resources to help you learn.
Practice basic steps and techniques.
Start with simple routines and work your way up to more complex ones.
Incorporate music and movement to add enjoyment.
Dance with others for added socialization and fun.
Studio Arts Painting or drawing or other craft or art style projectArt projects can provide an outlet for individuals to express and explore their emotions, thoughts, and feelings in a creative and non-verbal way.Purchase or gather art, craft, painting or drawing supplies, such as paper, pencils, paint, or brushes.
Find a comfortable and well-lit space to work in.
Choose a subject or inspiration for your art.
Start with simple sketches or drawings to warm up.
Experiment with different techniques and styles.
Practice regularly to improve your skills.
Visual Arts
Photography, video, drama, community TV production
Photography and video can encourage individuals to explore and discover new places, cultures, and experiences, fostering a sense of curiosity and adventure. Photography and video can be a mindful activity that encourages individuals to be present in the moment and observe the world around them.Choose a camera or smartphone with a good camera.
Experiment with different subjects and lighting.
Learn basic photography techniques, such as composition and exposure.
Edit your photos using photo editing software or apps.
Share your photos with others or create a portfolio.
Create a photo book of your favorite shots
Fabric Arts
Knitting, crocheting, weaving, sewing, macrame,
knot tying
There is something very soothing with fabric and yarns that linger on your hands. Fabric arts, can be a calming and meditative activity that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.Choose a pattern or project to work on.
Gather the necessary supplies, such as yarn and needles or hooks.
Learn the basic knitting or crocheting stitches.
Start with simple projects and work your way up to more complex ones.
Take your time and enjoy the process.
Share your finished projects with others or keep them for yourself.
Music Arts
Playing a musical instrument,
singing, choir, worship,
Playing an instrument allows for self-expression and encourages creativity. It can also improve a person’s ability to improvise and think outside the box. Music can be a relaxing and therapeutic activity that can help reduce stress and anxiety.Choose an instrument to learn.
Find a qualified teacher or online resources to help you learn.
Practice regularly, starting with simple exercises and progressing to more challenging pieces.
Set goals for yourself and track your progress.
Enjoy the process of learning and creating music.
ScrapbookA creative activity that involves organizing and decorating photos and memorabilia in a visually pleasing way.Choose a theme or event to create a scrapbook for, such as a vacation or family gathering.
Gather necessary supplies, such as paper, stickers, and photos.
Plan out the layout and design of the scrapbook.
Start with basic pages and work your way up to more intricate ones.
Add personal touches, such as journaling or mementos.
Share your scrapbook with others or keep it as a personal memory.
Learn New LanguageA cognitive and social activity that involves studying and practicing a foreign language to improve communication skills and cultural awareness.Choose a language to learn, such as Spanish or French.
Find a qualified teacher or online resources to help you learn.
Start with basic vocabulary and phrases.
Practice regularly, starting with a few minutes and increasing the duration over time.
Incorporate listening and speaking exercises for added practice.
Use the language in everyday situations for added immersion.
Visit a restaurant or look up common food from the country and try a recipe or dish.
Take a fun online class
Or watch a movie
Online classes can be taken from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier for people to fit education into their lives. Pick something easy and just for fun to transport yourself into something newChoose something you want to learn – culinary skills, scarf tying, gardening, sport skills, exercise, laughter, 
Choose a movie venue you are interested in – comedy, adventure, children, romance, animals, something positive
Play Board Games
Or Cards
A fun and social activity that involves playing board games with family, friends, or the virtual community.Choose a board game to play with family or friends.
Read through the rules and familiarize yourself with the game.
Set up the game and gather necessary supplies, such as dice or cards.
Start with simpler games and work your way up to more complex ones.
Enjoy the process of playing and spending time with others.
Practice good sportsmanship and have fun.
VolunteerContributing time and effort to help others and make a positive impact in the community.Choose a cause or organization to volunteer with, such as a local shelter, food bank, church, garden club, HAM radio, medical rallies or runs.
Visit their website, attend a meeting or event/
Research the organization and their volunteer opportunities.
Contact the organization to learn more.
or baking
Cooking can be a relaxing and therapeutic activity that helps people relieve stress and improve their mental health.Choose a recipe to try out.
Gather all the necessary ingredients and tools.
Read through the recipe carefully and familiarize yourself with the steps.
Follow the recipe step-by-step, taking your time to ensure accuracy.
Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Enjoy your finished dish or dessert.
Reading or
Audio Books
Reading and listening to books can be a great way to relax and unwind, reducing stress and promoting relaxation.Choose a book or genre that interests you.
Set aside a specific time and place to listen or read.
Make sure you have a comfortable and distraction-free environment to read or listen in.
Read or listen at your own pace and take breaks as needed.
Reflect on the themes and ideas in the book.
journal, letters, thank yous
Writing can be a powerful tool for emotional healing and self-reflection, helping people process their emotions and work through difficult experiences.Set aside a specific place to write.
Have a basket with materials ready to use.
Choose a place of comfort.
Choose a writing prompt or topic to write about.
Write without stopping or editing.
Review and edit your writing for clarity and style.
Share your writing with others or keep it for yourself.
GardeningGardening can be a great way to relieve stress and promote relaxation. Spending time outdoors and working with plants can have a calming effect on the mind and body.Choose a location for your garden, such as a plot of land, raised garden beds, hanging planter, simple plant pots, or window sill box.
Research the types of plants you want to grow and purchase seeds or starter plants.
Prepare the soil by removing weeds and adding compost or fertilizer.
Plant the seeds or starter plants according to the instructions.
Water the plants regularly and provide adequate sunlight.
Prune or harvest the plants as needed.
Skills and building with wood, home repair, welding, metal work, automotiveBuilding skills can help people develop their personal strengths and abilities, which can lead to increased confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment.Choose something you want to learn that is new or build on a skill you already have.
Visit a store that sells supplies to complete the project
Break the project down into small steps – each step you complete is a win.
OrganizationClutter and disorganization can cause stress and anxiety, while organization and tidiness can create a sense of calm and relaxation.Choose one thing in your home to improve.
Clean a corner, change the sheets, clean a drawer, clean the toilet.
Pick one thing that will help you feel like you tidied up.
2023 Jodee Kulp

Published by jodeekulp

Jodee Kulp, is an award-winning author, producer and advocate who works tirelessly to serve children and families of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Her behavioral work in understanding canine fear and applying it to helping adults gain life skills is momumental and parallels our work with EAGALA Equine Therapy. It will be exciting to watch this progress. - Chris Troutt, Papillion Center Current Projects include: Pearlz Work Embraced Movement PraiseMoves LIFT (Laughter in Fitness Training) LiveAbilities Red Shoes Rock. Stop FASD PawZup Life Stories

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