One activity has gotten me closest to a sense of calm and collected peace: early-morning writing, usually with a cup of something hot next to me.
I’ve never described myself as a writer, as it wasn’t a skill on which I was academically trained. However, just as I used to get incredible mental gratification from programming as a younger person, writing gives me a great deal of intellectual and emotional satisfaction today.
First, expressing an idea in writing requires me to explore its "books and crannies" enough to elucidate it into words, which in turn cements the idea in my mind much more clearly.
Second, writing is an accessible yet effective way to externalize my thoughts and allow them to persist timelessly, surviving me by capturing the essence of my lessons learned.
Third and finally, writing is an affordable way to reach family, friends, and sometimes strangers, and, by doing relaying thoughts to them, make a small yet permanent difference in the world.
I can’t recommend writing enough, and I encourage everyone to take it on. Don’t be afraid of how well you write or of being judged; just start and improve over time…and the good humans around you will support you, encourage you, and appreciate it. If you need moral support, please reach out to me.