This whole year has been incredibly busy, and Michael and I agree that it’s important to rest. Actually, we think it’s so important that we started scheduling a time to rest each week because if we don’t we’ll wear ourselves out.
I’m typically off on Fridays because I work longer hours Monday through Thursday, but that’s the day when I do things that I don’t make time to do during the week like meet friends for lunch, shop for my favorite staples from Trader Joe’s, and catch up on homework for that week. I also make trips to visit Mom on Fridays, so I try to relax in the quiet at home at some point over the weekend.
Over the weekend I enjoyed the sunshine and a latte with a friend at District Donuts. The weather is finally cooling off in New Orleans, so it’s a joy to be outside. I’ve added walking back into my routine on days when I don’t feel like doing my typical cardio, which is fun when it’s not over 100 degrees with 98% humidity outside. The coffee is more relaxing than brisk walks, but they’re both fun.
I also think it’s important to have a daily habit of rest. If we’re not careful, our minds can easily get bogged down social media, the never-ending, breaking news cycle, and a myriad of other things that keep us from living a peaceful and content life, so I’ve made some major changes over the last few years to prevent myself from getting to the point of exhaustion.
- I turned off the news. I still keep up with the what’s going on in the world, but I limit the amount of time and energy I spend hearing about all of the awful things happening in our country and across the globe.
- I started reading books again…like, actual books. I love the access to books that I have thanks to my iPad, but it’s so easy to be distracted by notifications. A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of a riveting novel called “The Soulful Child: Twelve Years in the Wilderness” by Chloe Rachel Gallaway, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a new, captivating story. Does anyone else remember the days when you picked up a paper copy of a book and read it from start to finish before putting it down? I do, and without giving away the story, I’ll tell you that this is one of those books. I’ve heard that it will be a movie at some point too, but there’s something so refreshing about imagining the characters in my mind first. #booknerdalert
- I take more bubble baths. I’m a “shower once or twice a day” girl, but I love to relax in my garden tub with a bath bomb and a book (see #booknerdalert hashtag above). I’m completely out of bath bombs as of last night, which is not okay. I’m planning to stop at Lush for at least a few minutes after an important meeting later this week because…#priorities. (What’s with my use of hashtags within this post today?)
- I journal every day. I used to write here almost every day. I still write, but most of my writing stays in my book.
- I read the Bible each morning. It sets the foundation for my day. I also pray, and I write out what I’m feeling or thinking because it helps me gather my thoughts and gain perspective. It’s also fun to look back and see all of the prayers that have been answered, so it’s one of my favorite things to do to refresh my soul and to rejuvenate myself.
- We go on a date every week. Michael and I enjoy spending time with friends, leading a Bible study, visiting family, and more. We love all of that, but we both agreed very early in our marriage that we should spend alone time together too. Whether we go out to dinner or shopping or some kind of activity, we set time aside to do it together. It helps us stay connected, and who doesn’t want that? Last weekend we spent a lot of time with friends, and we even dressed up for a Hallowen party with our BFF’s. I’ve never really been a fan of the holiday, but it was fun making our costumes. I was a gumball machine, and Michael was a quarter. My accountant husband loved dressing up as money. Ha.
- I spend time doing things I like. Knitting, baking, and making wreaths are three of my favorite hobbies, and I do at least one of them almost every day. Even if I only knit for a few minutes, there is something so relaxing about the swoosh of the needles. It’s calming, and it helps me quiet my mind.
- I listen to music. Who else has already built their Christmas playlist for 2018? Yes, I may be listening to Christmas music prematurely, but is it ever really too early for Christmas music? Don’t worry. I listen to a lot of other music too. Has anyone else listened to the latest Elevation Worship album? It’s everything.
As you can see, I think it’s important to do things that help me unwind and enjoy life. I’m thankful that I have a job that I love, but I think it’s important to do something every day to simply celebrate life.
What do you do to refresh yourself?