Sollars: Tune out the noise and just breathe

## Sollars
## Sollars

Editor’s note: N-R Publisher Jeb Bladine’s weekly column will return to this space on Sept. 4. His thanks go to Cassie Sollars for filling in this week.

In this era of political division, racial conflict, COVID-19, climate change, and disastrous fires across the nation, it seems impossible to take it all in and remain sane. There are times we just cannot think about the challenges that face us in this world. Sometimes we simply must turn inward for ourselves.

Here is my advice: Relax and breathe. Find your center. Find your escape. Find your joy.

An escape can be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood once or twice a day. Walk with a partner or alone, but be in the moment. Stop along the way and listen to the birds, look up at the sky, meditate on your blessings.

Take it up a notch, whether you are a novice or an expert: Your joy could be feeling the breeze as you bicycle through the countryside. Run or jog, if that is how you get into your zone, or hike some of the many trails in the area.

Create. Draw, paint, write or otherwise immerse yourself in the arts and music. Dance, practice yoga, put on your earbuds and listen to whatever heals your soul. The secret is to find your own sacred place and keep it a sacrosanct part of your day.

My escape is reading, as it has been since I was a young girl.

On New Year’s Day, before I knew what lay ahead, I vowed to read at least 20 books in 2020. As of this date, I am into my 38th book. Who knew there would be so much time during a pandemic?

My interests vary from historical fiction or other novels, mysteries, biographies … the list goes on. A few of my favorites have been “The Book of Lost Friends” by Lisa Wingate, and “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. Both novels deal with slavery and racial identity.

“We Were the Lucky Ones” by Georgia Hunter is about a Polish family separated during WWII and the horrors they faced. Emma Donoghue’s “The Pull of the Stars” takes place in Dublin during the 1918 pandemic as three nurses struggle to care for mothers facing childbirth at a time when so many lives were lost.

Don’t worry, I have been reading humorous books as well … in fact, some that made me laugh out loud.

The fact is, serious issues face us every day. Take time to find your joy.

Cassie Sollars has retired from several delightful jobs, including Viewpoints Editor of the News-Register. She is quite willing to share her reading list. Just don’t interrupt her sacred time!


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