AtoZ Holistic Self-care: K is for Kindle (one day late)

Some say it takes 7 days to form a habit, others say 21. At the beginning of winter, I posted a Winter Wellness Bucket List that included a few intentions that I easily wrapped into one. I spent 20 minutes each morning under a sun lamp listening to meditation music, drinking hot tea, and working on a jigsaw puzzle. The habit formed quickly, and I enjoyed the calm, peaceful morning ritual.

As Spring arrived, I was in the midst of wrapping up an important, intense project I’d worked on all winter. The last week or so entailed a few “all-nighters,” which through off my morning ritual and my sleep-eat-exercise patterns.

And I learned quickly that while it may take 7 days or 21 days or 3 months to form a habit – it takes no time at all to completely let one crash and burn.

Almost a month into Spring and two weeks since the project deadline and my sleep-eat-exercise and morning routine have not returned.

I’m not beating myself about it – but rather, I’m focusing on today’s word: Kindle

Kindle is synonymous with verbs like spark, arouse, ignite, encourage, excite, activate, pique.

And so, as the weather warms and I transition into new rituals and habits for the season, I watch and ask myself how I will kindle physical well-being, energy, productivity, and joy.


Physically, I try to be attentive to which forms of movement encourage more movement. Which sleep-eat-exercise patterns and habits make me feel alive and which drain me? What happens in my body when I eat too much, too late, or too little? While I can operate on virtually no sleep when I must, does this kindle joy and productivity? Is it more energizing to take long 5-mile walks at one time each day – or will it spark better self-care to break it up throughout the day?


During the week of the project deadline, social media and cable news took a back seat to everything else. I noted that, despite the deadline – I had more energy to handle the rest of life. I often use social media as an opportunity to zone-out for 10 minutes, to refocus and return to work ready for another hour or so of productivity. Evening news, which kindled an eagerness to make a difference in the world, has become redundant and deflating. What previously had piqued my interest and lit a fire in me, now saps my focus and frustrates my efforts to be productive.

And so, I remain attentive. As trees wake from dormancy and green returns to the garden, a welcome the smile of the daffodils and note – what kindles my curiosity, drives my productivity, encourages me to make a difference in the world?


While I can have the most physically fit body and the sharpest mind on earth, the bottom line I keep asking is – what kindles joy?


  1. I had the same assumption as Mary Lou… but I love this definition of Kindle. I need to implement more of this in my life.

    I totally understand the idea of habits taking 21 days to create and only minutes to demolish. I did so well with “closing my rings” in January and February … not so much the last few weeks. I’m hoping consistent warmer temperatures will encourage me to get outside and walk on a regular basis.


    • Molly, I get how much consistent warmer weather can encourage outdoor exercise — but today we got 27 degrees and 3 inches of snow! I’m sure you’ll have more opportunity when you retire — counting down….


  2. Nothing against Kindle but the statement “while it may take 7 days or 21 days or 3 months to form a habit – it takes no time at all to completely let one crash and burn” really resonated with me! Now, how can I kindle the return of those good healthy living habits?


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