I write often about the importance of self-care. I believe it to be fundamental to our health. However, like everyone else there are times that I get busy and overwhelmed. I forget to “put myself on the list.” It’s like telling your kids to eat a healthy lunch then forgetting to do it yourself.
I thought I was taking care of myself. I have been eating well and moving more. But I was out of balance. I had not been reading my Bible or meeting with friends. Instead I was trying to do all the things and becoming increasingly resentful of my family who seemed to be unwilling to help.
Note that I said ‘seemed” as my stressed-out mind was interpreting the situation in the most negative way possible. I felt angry and anxious.
Enter Amy. We have been friends since we shared a college apartment more than a decade ago. Amy invited me to visit for a weekend. We spent countless hours talking, playing games, studying the Bible, watching silly shows and eating amazing food. I was reminded of the power of friendship and of rest.
The stresses of life won’t go away. Our response to them is the only thing we can control. When we are overly stressed we react rather than respond, allowing the emotion of the moment ot lead us down paths we would normally avoid. We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded by information, opinions, and demands. It is easy to get worn down by the onslaught.
Taking time to rest is essential for our mental and physical health. If you can get away for a girl’s weekend, fantastic. If not, here are some time/budget-friendly ways to get re-centered. I suggest adding a few of these to your schedule every week. Think of this as a maintenance plan.
- Get outside in nature
- Read for pleasure
- Play with the kids – soccer, board games, whatever makes everyone happy
- Laugh every day!
- Take a media break
- Write in a journal (I love having a gratitude journal
- Listen to inspirational/worship music
- Join a Bible or book study
- Meet a friend for a walk
Chose activities and people that replenish you. The goal is to balance, laughter,connection, rest and joy. When we are spiritually and emotionally nourished, the stresses of this world remain manageable.