The need for sleep is part of being human. Eventually, if you don’t get enough, your body will start forcing you there pretty quickly. Your body does a significant amount of condensing, processing, and healing from the day while you slumber. But how is this need for sleep any different from needing a rhythm of rest and renewal in our daily life? This is the topic that I explored this past year.
Just like the necessity for sleep, your body, mind, and soul also need time to refresh and be peaceful. You need the space to breathe, to be in the moment, and to soak in the goodness of life from a state of simply “being”. If you are constantly hopping from one thing to the next, living in a cycle of perpetual busyness, the running will eventually catch up with you.
The journey to living from peace, rather than fear, is an intentional pursuit of growing, healing, and moving in that direction. For me, that pursuit began with the realization and awareness that my body was not going to hold up to the stress I was enduring much longer. It was shutting down and giving me very clear signals that I needed to slow down. You may have stumbled upon this post in the middle of that realization, or maybe you’re even farther down that path than I was. Know that wherever you are on your journey, when you pursue a life that fully renews, you are able to be fully present for others and to give from a place of abundance. This life is possible!
On a practical level, there are intentional steps that I took, and tools that I acquired, in my pursuit of creating a life that renews me daily. Here are some of those steps:
- Create a professional team to walk with you – The “go, then crash” cycle often comes from a fear-driven mindset. You may have a friend or two who can help you dig deeper into your struggles, but it’s likely you’re going to need a trained professional to guide you through the exploring and healing process. Working with a counselor/therapist can be a helpful place to start digging deeper into your draining habits, and to gain tools for building healthy habits. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also be a helpful tool to evaluate how beliefs are affecting your daily actions.
- Find a supportive community – Rebuilding habits, pursuing healing, and learning to live from a place of peace take a lot of mental, emotional, and even physical effort. Having (or building) a supportive community that can walk by your side on a weekly, or even daily, basis can make all the difference. When challenges come, there’s nothing to replace having “your people” to lean on.
- Be intentional with commitments – When it comes to commitments, if you’re like me, you’re probably over-committed, and don’t even realize it. Going-going-going all the time can warp your view of the speed of life that is actually sustainable for your body and your brain. It often takes fully clearing your calendar, and then getting to a mental, emotional, and physical place where that empty calendar no longer causes anxiety, before you can add things back into a more feasible schedule. This doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing exercise, but sincerely take the time to consider what is filling up the hours of your days. Is it giving you life, or is it simply keeping you busy? Are you able to give to that commitment from a place of abundance, or is it sucking your energy dry? Is that commitment on your calendar because you feel you “should”, or because you are fully choosing to commit? Taking the time to consider where your time is going will save you from a stressed out, overwhelmed soul later. For more on this topic, check out my post on making decisions.
- Finding joy in the daily needs – When daily life is being lived by running from one thing to next, it can be challenging to find joy in the mundane day routines and tasks. The daily ebb and flow can end up feeling more like a check off the list, or something that has to be done. Things like self-care (anything from relaxing baths to brushing your teeth), cooking/baking, and even work can become enjoyable again when you are intentional about finding joy in them. As you begin to develop a habit of being intentional about your commitments, you’ll find you have more time to actually enjoy trying out a new recipe, figuring out a skin care routine that helps your skin heal (check out my daily skin care routine here), or finishing a project that’s been on your to-do list forever.
- Practice being present – In this world where everything is moving so quickly, being present is a discipline that needs repetition and daily practice. A few practices that I’ve been incorporating into my life are healthy movement (Barre3 is my go-to – get $10 off), mindfulness (with the Headspace app), an intentional morning routine, and a relaxing evening routine. Incorporate a rhythm to help slow you down to a pace of being present, but don’t try to do them all at once. Remember, it’s not supposed to be overwhelming, but rejuvenating.
These steps have all come into alignment for me this past year, but they have been in progress for a number of years. It takes time to develop new habits and to create a life that is fueled by renewal and not adrenaline. Developing better sleep hygiene may be a great place to start. So keep on pursuing it, maintain a learning mindset, and enjoy the process. Join in on the journey with me!
Question: What habit do you want to start building into your daily life in this season?
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