Maybe grab a cup of your favorite. Can we sit for a minute and chat about some resetting soul care practices?
I’m not sure you and I can accurately count the various hats we wear on any given day. Daylight. Sundown. Weekday. Weekend. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. The list of the roles we manage 24/7 is a long one, no matter our age and stage in life. Personal shopper. Mentor. Caregiver. Homemaker. Housekeeper. Tutor. Teacher. Student. Landscape artist. Employer. Employee. Neighbor. Coach. Gardener. Calendar Keeper. What am I missing from your list?
On top of that…the list of tasks and inevitable interruptions stream-live most every day. No wonder we get overwhelmed, grow claws and fangs and bark like a beast of burden. Oh, maybe that’s just me? Maybe not.
It’s too easy to lose ourselves and our sanity in the chores and the chaos. The fangs are a neon sign signaling time to press reset. In my spirit. In my thoughts. In my habits. In my behavior. Certainly, in my attitude. Tells me my focus is off by a long shot.
Summer is winding down. September is on us and school is gearing up. I’m guessing you might be due for a reset in your spirit too. If not right now, later today. Long before Sunday, I’m sure.
I have 10 liberating soul care practices I return to when I need to set my stack of hats on the soothing sand beside my virtual beach chair and rest my spirit. Practices that help me pause for a reset.
1 Silence all unnatural noises. Enjoy a few moments or an hour, if possible, without beeps, buzzers, timers, TV, podcasts…, and breath deep until you’re praying.
2 Kick comparison to the curb. Nothing good comes out of comparing ourselves to others or to media-generated ideals of what we have or what we do or don’t do. I return to Micah 6:8. “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
3 Let go of unrealistic expectations. Yes, please! Where do we get the idea that it’s okay to place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and allow others to do the same? So crippling. I battled this one again last week. I’ll have that story for you soon.
4 Retreat. Whether it’s an hour or several at a park or on a trail, or an overnight getaway if you can arrange it, a change of place and pace and focus can offer a much-needed reset. Easier said than done, but so worth the effort.
5 Try something new. A creative outlet free of critique can do wonders for a sagging spirit. For me this week, that one involved making sourdough bread with my great-nephew and his class of fifth graders as a stunt double for my sister on Grandparents’ Day.
6 Seek support and wise counsel. Don’t walk a stickery path alone. Call a trusted friend for coffee or lunch.
7 Feast your eyes on a favorite medium of art. In place of being able to stroll through an art gallery, I settle into a comfy chair with my little book, A Year in Art and breathe through a few distracting images. Perhaps your choice would be a book of poetry or a hymnbook.
8 Do something physical–take a walk, dance it out, go for a spin on your bike. A physical outlet for stress can help reset your mind and refresh your body.
9 Exercise gratitude for what you have and express your thanks. Reciting or recording 10 things I’m especially thankful for in a given moment serves me well every time.
10 Be still and know that God is God and that He is with you. This one comes from Psalm 46:10 and offers me the ultimate reset for my spirit. My mind. My attitudes. My focus.
I’d love to hear about your favorite Soul Care/Self Care Practices!