In Donesa Walker, Lola Shreveport by Lola Magazine

Writtten by Donesa Walker, M.Ed. BCCS, Reading/Dyslexia Specialist

If a dry surface has no drops of water, it is still dry. But single drops consistently delivered can become a river or even eventually, a flood.

The summer slide is a sad statistic that states that over 2.5 months of learning loss occur over summer. This is if no cognitive engagement is incurred and will mean that kids can start the year off behind. They can never really catch up it seems, but what about those drops of water? Summer sucks the hydration straight out of our bodies and brains, which leads to short term memory loss. But what about those drops of water?

Ripples in water come from one drop. One person who cares to make an effort. One drop of water can restore life to a plant, hope to a dying brain, or even begin the process of priming a pump. This can start the watering process. Recently, a person was commenting on all the negative things about our area. I asked one question: “So what are the solutions to all these issues you are concerned about?”

We can all ask ourselves questions. Where are you starting? What is your one drop? Here are a few suggestions to “hydrate” your life in order to get off to a fresh start to a new school year or just need a stepping off point.

Hydrate: Drink plenty of water as it helps your brain, your body, your skin and your personality. Your demeanor is like a little cactus, try taking a sip of water every time you think of a negative thing to say. You’ll either need to pee a lot or you’ll learn to start thinking a little more objectively and positively. The ripple effect from a little hydration can get all your thoughts and memories flowing more freely allowing for a fresher perspective.

Celebrate: You will find good if you look for it and it will ripple out to other people. Look for truthful things in other people to uplift them. Look for opportunities to smile, say a friendly word and lift others up because those ripples will continue to drift to others. This can cause a tidal wave of goodness back to you.

Read: Choose a good uplifting book, devotional, webpage, or magazine that will stimulate your creative thinking. It can take you on a journey and inspire you to reach out to others. One word can ripple into a journey of a lifetime, giving you knowledge to share and grow on as well as refreshing those around you.

Meditate: Pray and time to refresh yourself daily in good thoughts. This refocus/recentering yourself in priorities will often take the load of irritation off the brain and allow you to think with clarity and vision. A drip of time can ripple through you, giving you new insights and perspectives into yourself. As an added benefit, it helps your situations, even inspiring you to step out.

Vacation or Staycation: Find a local pool, river, or spring. Watch the wildlife, splash, swim and take time to just be. Skip a rock and watch its ripple effect. Play and enjoy life in its purest form. Take a friend or loved one along to create memories or go alone to relax. Remember to take a camera or your phone for a snapshot but be sure to put it away to enjoy the value of time.

Volunteer: Give time away to a VBS, camp, local library. Volunteer to read or babysit for a frazzled mom or mom-to-be. Sit with an elderly person or visit a nursing facility as well. The ripple effect of you giving time will pay back many times over. Your time may be the sweetest moment to someone who feels lost from their home or connections. Giving time is invaluable.

Water: Go water a plant, give life to something that is struggling to survive. Water a small business with your presence. Buy a gift for another. Go get a gift card just because. The watering you do to your community could be the difference in business survival within a dry economy.

Splash: Go big. Get as lavish if you can. Throw a party. Doesn’t have to cost a penny. Open your doors to your friends and family just because. Have Christmas in July. Celebrate life even if you only serve water. Gran a cucumber, freeze it, then add some mint leaves and add to water for a refreshing water party! Put the cucumber slices on your closed eyes for a facial reduction of puffiness. The ripples of life here can fade those wrinkles!

Rest: Take time to lay back in a tub of water and reflect on what you have. You have running water to refresh your skin, your soul, your being. Hydrate your body and dive into the water. Think deep and allow the ripples of rest to restore.

Engage Cognitively: Do something good for your brain! Even though the rest of this list is ultra brain nutritious, be deliberate in doing brain exercises. For instance, saying your alphabet backwards while counting forwards by 3s or in the reverse. Recall as many items of food in your fridge that you can or list all the things that can be made with water.

Finally, take an ice cube and drop it down your back – That will certainly cause a ripple effect and maybe a laugh or a chuckle. But certainly a reaction!

Ripples come from the very first drop. There can never be a ripple if no drop is ever given. Join others, get a group, start a tide, a flood, a movement! However, start with a drop of goodness!