I loathe falling into patterns. Old habits. The funny part is, having those feelings IS part of the old pattern. Hate, loathing, dislike... those are all dirty words I'd like to strike from my vocabulary. Well, maybe we can keep dislike around, because there are a lot of things one can dislike and still be very joyful. Recently I had set forth a plan to help me cope better with my crazy schedule and find more joy and peace throughout each day.
It included injecting my day with more time for God and me to talk. Whether it was through meditation, taking walks, sitting and breathing in His quiet stillness or through Praise Moves exercise (more on that later).
I was doing good for a little while, and even worked out my schedule to balance my career paths nicely. And then, the old pattern started again. I started over-extending my one little self, exercise went out the door, meditation soon packed its bag and followed and yesterday I found myself exhausted again of the pattern of work, work, doctors office, television, bed, work, work. I had to break it fast, because my adrenals, hormone and tummy issues just don't care for such a lifestyle.
Yesterday, when I got home from work, before I sat down to write, before I started cleaning the house or running errands, I put on my sneakers and went wandering. Not walking, simply wandering. I went down streets I didn't know, exploring parts of my neighborhood, golf course, parks, simply just wandering and letting God replace my cluttered mind with one that was simply still, relaxed and taking in the rich blue sky and subtle breeze.
I prayed, I listened to music, I stopped to take photos of anything that caught my eye and I came home refreshed. I put in a solid amount of time of social media promotion and article editing and I felt calm in doing so. When the internet went down from the water company messing with stuff outside, I got some laundry done. And last night, for the first night in over a week I meditated on God's word before running errands for our vacation.
And you know what? I still got everything done. Just in a more peaceful, and calm manner. So much of our time is spent telling ourselves we don't have time. Something that Mr. Charming tells me often is, "but you do have the time..." sometimes I believe him, sometimes I scoff in the middle of my chaotic panic, and ok, maybe sometimes on jam-packed days I don't have the time to lay on my mat for 20 min, but even if I took 5, to step away and re-center I'd feel a lot better. Below is just a list of ways you can re-center, recharge, reconnect and refresh. Try one or two each day. I've also included some of the spring beauty I saw while wandering.
1. Go Wandering - Explore parts of your town or city that you have not been to. When the mind is able to explore and process new things, its harder to stay focused on whats stressing you.
2. Guided Meditation - There are many CDs, DVDs and videos online to help you with guided meditation based on your personal religious or spiritual beliefs. I personally use an amazing CD from my counselor that you can also find on iTunes. It's a 20 minute guided meditation based on scripture titled "Being In Him". Get comfortable, close your eyes and just be.
3. Breathing Exercises - I will be incorporating this more into the fitness side of Nosh & Nurture, but for the time being, again find a quiet place, even if you only have a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. When we stress, we breathe incorrectly allowing us to feel drained, fatigued, short of breath and panicky. Breathe slowly through your nose, hold and exhale slowly. Do this until you feel noticeably calmer.
4. Move Around - So often I am at a computer 8-16 hours a day. I make it a point to get up, walk around, get outside, stretch so that I don't allow my body, mind or eyes to get overworked.
5. Be Social - And this is NOT referring to social media. SEE your friends. WRITE them letters, NOT emails, letters. Call them on the phone, facetime, skype. No texting, no IMing. Hang out. Host a dinner. Play board games. Connecting with people will help calm your system and give you an overall sense of community. Something we are created to feel a part of.
6. Do Things You Love - Not to make money, well if it does that too then all the better, but things you did maybe as a kid, or something you fell in love with later. Personally, I went to the craft store the other day and bought paint and canvases and made art for my kitchen. I've NEVER done this, I do not paint, but I was proud that I did and I felt so relaxed in doing so. I also signed up for ballet because I miss dancing and havn't done so in ten years or so. Find things that make your inner-child smile, or your soul breathe a sigh of relief from the break in your routine and do it.
7. Take Vacations - This is a huge part of how I recharge, Even if its just a staycation in town for a night. The change of scenery, the feeling of luxury, the quiet time with my husband. All helps me to recharge and refocus for the week ahead.
8. Pray - Staying in constant contact with God has been my number one. He lets me know its all OK. That my worries don't have to seem so catastrophic or big. That He is bigger than it all and I CAN take it one day at a time.
9. Live A Healthy Lifestyle - This probably goes without saying here at Nosh and Nurture, but its a HUGE part of how we feel. Eating clean, organic, non-processed food, and foods you aren't sensitive to, play a huge role in your overall well-being. Cutting out caffeine, sugar, alcohol and processed grains will limit the anxiety and stimulation that our face paced life can trigger. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep, 8-9 glasses of filtered water a day and supplementing on any vitamins or hormones your body is low or deficient in are also vital key factors in your overall health, and your ability to handle and bounce back from stressors.
10. Love - Last but not least, find people and moments to love. Fall in love with joyful moments and people in your life with all your heart. Be kind, speak kindly, don't get pulled into negativity or drama and if you are surrounded by relationships that are toxic, pray on them, evaluate if those people should truly be in your life. If so, find a way to not get wrapped up in the negative aspects, and if not, forgive and let go of those people in your life.
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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