These past 18 months have been nothing short of exhausting between the lockdowns, Covid anxieties, self- isolations, new hustles and disappointments, and the unexpected pivots we have had to make.
For me, the mental and emotional load left me depleted. I needed a real mental break from processing it all, from keeping up with everything and still trying to maintain sanity. Work, family, relationships, personal goals. It’s A LOT! So, I sat down and came up with my what I call my daily non- negotiables. I wrote down a list of the things that allow me to disconnect and do something relaxing and something I can enjoy, something that allows me to wind down and quiet the burden of my thoughts. Call it self- care, mindfulness, whatever label you give it, the point is that it was essential to keeping me from crumbling under the pressure.
Here’s my list, maybe you can carve some time in your day to do the same.
- Sit with a cup of my favourite tea (or coffee if that’s your preference) and listen to a podcast.
- Sketch a picture or colour with my girls. (For when it’s impossible to get alone time)
- Read (I know how hard it is to find the time for this nowadays!) Sometimes it may just be a few pages, a Psalm or set a timer and do 30 minutes.
- Find a creative hobby. I’ve started embroidery and love it!
- Take a long, relaxing bath with your favourite scented candles and some bath bombs. Yes, blow the dust off, open those Valentine and Mother’s Day gift baskets and put them to use.
- Go for a walk (by yourself if you can.)
- Put on your gospel playlist.
- Do a Brain dump.
Literally, I write down all the things that are on my mind. Jennie Allen calls it a ‘thought audit’ in her book, ‘Get Out of Your Head’. It really is very useful to be able to put down ALL THE THINGS. I start with trying to label the feeling that is troubling me and then I write down all the things that may be contributing to that feeling.
Sometimes it’s just a list of so many things that you need to do. I suggest writing them all down and use highlighters to organize them by priority.
Take an hour for yourself each evening. Set a time to do any one of these. Pull from a hat or choose which ever you feel like doing that day but make it a part of your routine. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it takes the pressure off and leaves you feeling not edgy, but encouraged, refreshed. We all need to keep our minds steadfast and ready, because it really is the first point of attack for the enemy.
These are just some simple everyday ways to protect and preserve your peace of mind. Mind Care is important. BE intentional! If you didn’t know it, your mind is a battlefield and you’ve got to guard it and fight with purpose!