Monday, September 5, 2011

30 things to do when you are in a "rough patch" (part one)

Our family has had a pretty crazy last nine months. And now as fall approaches, Dave and I are feeling more settled since our move from Seattle to Chicago. Jenny is enjoying some fun changes in her life and has just created a beautiful art studio in her apartment, and Christy is off to new adventures and ministry in England.

But we all did a lot of hard work . . . emotionally, spiritually and physically, and while we are excited about all that God is doing, we are a bit weary, too.

What do you and your family do when you are feeling a little tired, stressed, bored or stuck?

Here are 30 things I like to do when I am in a rough patch:

1. Re-establish basic routines. Have I been staying up too late? eating too much take out? skipping my morning quiet time? ignoring my growing laundry pile? It always helps me to get back to my basic proven routines.

2. Do something creative. Whenever I need a burst of energy, anything creative does it for me. (a project, a good book, a creative conversation etc.)

3. Change the pace of life. Last week we were crazy busy helping Christy pack for her move to England and helping Jenny rearrange her apartment. This weekend I am reading The Help. The perfect change of pace.

4. Go for a long walk with someone you love. Dave and I have been taking a lot of walks. Sometimes we talk the whole time. Other times, we just enjoy the scenery.

5. Enjoy a cup of tea. A cup of tea always refreshes me and I enjoy it in a favorite mug. Even the shape and color of the mug nourishes me. And I am spoiled, I have a husband who often makes the tea for me.

6. Pray aloud with a friend. I have been missing Carol, my Seattle prayer partner. We met every other week to pray for our concerns. So encouraging. But even if I have just met someone, and I have the opportunity to pray together with them, there is a deep connect for me that brings great joy to my soul.

7. Get outside. We were spoiled to live on a beautiful lake for almost three years. Sitting on the dock, watching and listening to the water was always restoring. I also enjoy an hour sitting outside on my back porch here in Chicago, overlooking the garages and alley.

8. Get an extra hour of sleep. Going to bed an hour earlier or sleeping in an extra hour feels so luxurious. 
Even a 15 minute nap this afternoon was wonderful.

9. Putter. I first learned this phrase from Alexandra Stoddard in Living a Beautiful Life. I also call it "sprucing," as in, I am going to spruce up my house. This is done at a leisurely pace (unload the dishwasher, throw out the junk mail, dead-head the petunias etc.) Puttering is relaxing and frees up space in my head to pay attention to what matters to me.

10. Tackle that one hard thing that has been hanging over your head. Make that hard phone call, return the stack of library books that has taken over the counter, figure out how to fix the under cabinet light fixtures, make the dreaded dentist appointment . . . just do it.

See you on Wednesday for the next ten.


  1. Hi Glenda - this is awesome - I'm going to print this out as a reminder.
    God bless

  2. Great list...I would suggest all of that also...and since our family has been in many changes lately I loved the reminder

  3. These are all SO good -- and you are so right, they are restorative practices, aren't there? I particularly like #1...and the last two. I love to putter! And I love to go to bed early.

    Can't wait for the next ten!

  4. This was super encouraging to me this morning. Thank you.

  5. I love all these tips. Changing the pace works for me. When I am crazy busy, it's nice to have a day where I just putter or get lost in a book. By the way, you will LOVE The Help!


  6. Dearest Glenda - thank you for sharing your wisdom...I need it!

  7. All right on...and I am glad you only did ten of them because when a person is overwhelmed, thirty is a mighty big number. When a person is in crisis the rule of thumb is that you don't suggest or press for any changes but simply try to support and encourage them back to their previous level of functioning...and while your list fits in perfectly in that regard, on a good day I probably couldn't remember thirty things....ten maybe...let's see where is that cup of tea?

  8. Oh Gg, this is a lovely post! You are so very wise. I love it! In Australia, we call it " potter". You potter about... Have a beautiful day. Can't wait for the next 10.....

  9. Glenda: Thanks! It's so good to read this 'things'. So, I get an extra hour of sleep now.

  10. Glenda, I love your list! I agree with all ten. I'm looking forward to the next ten.

  11. Glenda,

    I love this list! Thank you!!

    Okay, so I do different things when stressed vs bored/stuck. For some reason I'm quicker to pray with the boredom yet eat when stressed! Your list will "cure" both situations.


  12. just what I needed did you know?:)
    I have a fair coming up this weekend but after that I am going back to the basics and my fitness routine..lots of things get out of whack when trying times come. A big hug to you!

  13. The routine always helps me get back to "normal", even though it may be a "new normal." (Loved reading The Help--and the movie is well done).

  14. Great list, Glenda!

    I like to pray, drink coffee or tea, and watch a funny movie.

  15. Adjustments can be tough, but you have great ten that help. I tend to reach for food - mainly chocolate when things get out of whack or there are changes. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your top 30!

    I had to laugh when I read the last one: Tackle that one hard thing that has been hanging over your head. A year ago, when we got our "new" stove, the first thing we noticed was it was greatly unlevel - tilting horribly to the back. I've asked Honey to level it more than a few times, but he always says the "Leveler" is not working that weekend. Sunday, when I fixed him a cheese sandwich, I thought it was really weird that the butter actually stayed in the spot that I put it... It never occurred to me that Honey had finally tackled the thing he thought would take a lot of time and be difficult to fix!

    I'm so excited to have won the copy of Life:beautiful magazine! I so much need this right now, as I have a case of the blech. I can hardly wait to explore the pages and find inspiration for beauty in my home.

  16. This was so hopeful for me! I have been doing many of these things this last week to try to give my life a little more structure, so it's encouraging to see it affirmed and to get some more tips as well. I'm looking forward to the next post!

  17. Sounds like stuff I do every day...

  18. These are all so great, Glenda! I particularly like the idea of doing something creative - stretching my mind and heart to attempt something new! (new follower)

  19. At the library, trying to access i-net; due to torrential rains we've been off line with both i-net and phone.
    Glenda, great list and love Alexandra Stoddard; most of her books are in my library.
    I've been going to bed early this week and it's a huge help; that and going to the Y to work out.
    Now to work on 3 meals a day...
    Best, Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

  20. I'm a huge fan of puttering. I hadn't really thought about it, but that's exactly the right name for what I need to do when I need to let my head clear--dust an end table, put something away that's been nagging at me, clean out a drawer. Putter. Looking forward to more from your list!

  21. GREAT series, Glenda! Tackling one hard thing and crossing it off the list really helps me. I can almost feel the weight fall from my shoulders when I do that. Thanks for the great list!

  22. This is a very good list...I'm excited to read the rest!

  23. I think we all fall into ruts and lose our sense of perspective. I use simple changes of pace to fight back. It usually works. All dark clouds eventually move :-). I hope all is well. Blessings...Mary

  24. Love your list Glenda...I am due for lots of the same. I am working on the post for Christy..hope to get more free time today. It us a fun project!

    Jeanne xx

  25. How did you know
    that I needed to
    read this, now?
    I can't imagine
    leaving life on
    a beautiful lake
    near Seattle, as
    that is my dream.
    Nothing more soothing
    than dock-sitting!
    xx Suzanne
    PS: I treated myself
    to a subscription to
    Life: Beautiful. Can't
    wait for my first issue!

  26. Hi Glenda, I love your list and especially the reminder to re establish those good routines. There's nothing like seeing the bottom of the laundry basket! Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

  27. Glenda, how nice to hear from you. I do remember you and would love about Holly in Chicago. I have not even bought the book. Was she as fun in person?

  28. with my baby and toddler, i keep having to remind myself that this is potentially the craziest time in my life but that it will come to an end. in the meantime, i also need to remind myself to take a minute here and there to have a cup of tea, take a deep breath, putter, call a friend, etc. thanks for the reminder!


  29. Glenda, so awesome. I have been wanting to circling back & around and catch up on your awesome series. Turns out I so needed this tonight. Actually feeling fear about the coming week as Sunday night was inched on.

    We have been through a very long family crisis that is very stressful and I was so glad to be reminded of these.I also realized that I use many of these but don't give them their proper credit for blessing my life, burning off stress and bringing needed calm. Thank you so much for sharing these. Can't wait to keep reading.


Let's chat.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...