10 things I do for my own peace of mind by Kirk Moore

written by Kirk Moore

Of course this list isn’t exhaustive.  And it isn’t a “you should do these things.” list.  Here, simply,  are 10 things I do for my own peace of mind.  Maybe reading them will help you think of the things you do for your own peace of mind.

1. Play guitar 
I’ve written here  about being a therapeutic musician.  When I play guitar, the vibrations of the strings affect my entire body and spirit deeply.  The chords, melodies, and individual notes regulate my breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

2. Dance 
I’m not a professional dancer. I don’t even know if by any dance standard I’d even be considered a good dancer.  All I know is that when I move my legs, sway my hips, and let my body just flow to the music it gives me a sense of peace and goodness.

3. Take a shower
First thing almost every morning I let that water hit my face and the rest of me and feel the cleansing streams open up my mind to what is possible for the rest of the day.  The shower both wakes me up and calms me.

4. Take a bath
A bath isn’t the same as a shower.  For extra relaxation I really do like to draw a bath with some epsom salts and let my entire system soak.  The relaxation from the warm water and soothing salts beings peace to me at my core.

5. Go for a walk
I used to be a pretty fast runner.  Nowadays I don’t run at all, but I do like a brisk walk or a leisurely saunter.  Being outside with a cool breeze on my face brightens my spirit.  Sometimes my walks are around my neighborhood. Other times, when the opportunity is there, I take a walk or a hike in the woods or near a river.

6. Sit in the sun
It can be in my backyard , at the pool, or at the beach. As often as possible during the warmer months in the Midwest USA, I like to spend at least a few minutes a day sitting in the sun.  (I also know to limit my exposure time to the sun and to wear sunscreen.) Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. :)

7. Go camping 
My favorite kind of vacation involves a tent, campfires, cooking outdoors, hopefully a beach, and the sounds of the forest overnight.  Being close to nature centers me and brings an amazing peace.

8. Garden
Getting my hands in the dirt and tending to a flower or vegetable garden makes my body both tired and refreshed.  Again being close to nature centers me and regulates my entire system,

9. It
Yes. That’s what I mean. It.  Alone, with a partner, whatever, wherever.  A celebration of life and love without the need for shame. It brings about calm, peace, and a feeling of overall goodness,

10. Meditate 
Or pray.  When I utilize my energy emptying my mind instead of filling it with more and more, I find a delightful, blissful, rejuvenating peace.

Peace be with all of you.

Kirk Moore is a guitarist, vocalist, and a certified music practitioner, (CMP).  He’s also the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, IL and a member of the executive board of the UCC Mental health Network. Find out more about therapeutic music here.