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.