I write to process life. My writing takes place here, but also and especially if it’s not entirely my story, it also takes place, longhand, in some random spiral. And the processing I’m doing? Well, right now, life kind of feels like a load of wet towels in my top load washing machine with an agitator in the middle. I mentioned in my Daybook Journal post the term Kendra uses for large families, or wide families as she calls them. Let me tell you, wide families can stretch a momma thin. Today, I’m going to share five ways I mentally reset my heart, mind, and soul when I’m stretched thin.
1. I Write in My Gratitude Journal Daily
I had gotten out of the daily practice of writing in my gratitude journal which is honestly how most of my woeful stories begin. A while back, I took this practice one step further. I used to have a couple of different gratitude journals I’ve started over the last couple of years. There was a day when I sat down and compiled them all into one. That’s right, I re-wrote all the gratitude lists I’ve started the last couple of years. Basically, I flooded myself with gratitude. This act reminded of all the things I had been grateful for in the past: little daily things, events, things my children have said or done…things I had already forgotten. Revisiting them was so good for my soul.
2. I Seek Silence
I strive for weekly Adoration. I turned off the radio in the car. I step away from the computer and when I am at the computer, I mind my own business; I don’t follow every link. I start talking to my husband and children in a quieter voice. I become hyper intentional about noise…input and output.
4. I Say the Saint Michael Prayer Before I Fall Asleep
Instead of long, drawn-out prayers…or no prayer, I say the St. Michael prayer. I don’t worry, think or ponder anything after that. This is especially helpful for mommas of older children living out on their own.
5. I Look for Beauty or Create Beauty
I use my camera more (although not as much as I used to or should). I catch sunrises and sunsets. I find smells I like. (I’m intrigued by essential oils but didn’t want to deal with signing up for anything or even talking to anyone about them–can anyone say “burned out introvert?” I found the perfect solution–directly from Edens Garden or from Amazon! I buy my oils direct or via Amazon and my favorites right now are Joy, Anxiety Ease and Uplift. I even bought my diffuser from Amazon.)
6. I Say No…Without Any Guilt
Fortunately, I can say no with very little guilt to begin with so this is pretty easy. It also helps that my husband totally and completely supports and encourages me to say no often. I would love to do this, that or the other sometimes, but I can’t. Not right now. And that’s ok. I even have to say no to myself with some things I truly enjoy.
Bonus–I Read My Bible for Pleasure and I Exercise
I sit with my Daily One Year Bible at the counter and read. I don’t read this Bible for “quality” or study. I read strictly to get the Word in on a daily basis. I use my cheap pen from some hotel we stayed at during soccer. I use whatever color highlighter I grab–no color-coded Bible Journaling here. Double bonus, I Google pictures of Bibles and prayer binders…eye candy I like to call it.
I’ve also been exercising since December. I started out doing a ten-minute stretching video. I began to notice how much better I felt–partly because I was moving my body and partly because I was committing to myself and accomplishing my goal of stretching. Then I added walking on my treadmill and doing strength training videos with some dumbbells we had around the house. I can tell I have a new strength–mind, body, and spirit from this physical activity and the accomplishment of showing up for myself every day.
So that’s what I’ve been doing, or not doing. I’m trying to feel better, less wet towel soggyish if you know what I mean.