Keep unbusy – get quiet. Make time for you. Make time for God. Those are all great statements and statements that will impact your life; but how is the question. How do we “unbusy” in a hectic, overachieving, accomplishment-obsessed world? After last week’s post, I was thinking that could be a question that some of you might have had so I thought I would share my best practices for managing my “busy” and maintaining my #balance.
Twofers. Reading this, one might say, twofers is the opposite of getting unbusy. For me twofers (or essentially the act of getting two benefits out of one act) is a key to life balance. How else to manage your time and streamline activities. In doing so, I create additional time in my schedule for balance and restoration. For instance, sometimes I talk a walk (for exercise) and take my son with me to ride his scooter (mom & son time), or a walk with my friend (exercise and girl-time).
Saying “No.” No is not a bad word. No can be a good word. No can be a brave word and a life giving word. Yes, can be a word that holds you hostage to commitments you may not have wanted to make to do things that you didn’t want to do that serve purposes that are not aligned to yours or the ones God has for you. By being brave enough to say no, we manage our lives and schedules and not someone else. By all means, say yes when you want but know that you can say no as well.
5 Sense Immersion. You can’t always streamline the day, but you can create peaceful space in the midst of the busyness of the day. I find that creating peaceful space in the midst of your day or after your day, helps you to quiet your mind, relax your spirit and rejuvenate your soul. I can this 5-sense immersion. Create space that engages your senses. Diffuse lovely smelling oils while you work. Surround yourself with life-affirming words that remind you of the beauty of life and keep you relaxed in the midst. Play soft music that relaxes you. Have a few tasty treats to nibble on. It doesn’t have to be all at once but allow these things to relax you and at least provide the feeling of being less harried in the midst of your activities.
Calendar downtime. Have many of you have a #planner? These days likely 90% of those reading. We calendar and schedule time for meetings, plans with friends, the time we clean the house or run errands, personal appointments and family activities. So I ask, do you schedule time for you? Not time for your errands or appointments like hair appointments or lunch dates but time for you to be with you – no agenda, no to-do, no need, just you. Ladies, we particularly, struggle with making time for us to “just be.” It’s almost as if time for us to be with us is the non-priority that can be given away to other “pressing” things. Actually, friends, your time with yourself is a PRIORITY.
Journal. #Journaling is a great way to slow down and go within. As you quiet the noise and distractions, you will be in a better place to hear from God. The cool thing about journaling is that you are also prepared to write down what He is saying to you. (How quickly we can forget those words if we aren’t able to jot them down.) Sometimes I journal while listening to worship songs. It sets the tone and brings me to a meditative place. Not sure how to start journaling — try just capturing what you are grateful for each day. You can also journal out your prayers, your affirmations, and your dreams. Yes — it’s more than ok to dream, who do you think gave you dreams but that is another blog for another day.
Morning Ritual. Establish a quiet morning ritual where you can just sip some tea or coffee and hang out with God before the rush of the day – before family stirs and email alerts start pinging. Getting up before the rest of the world and using that time for you and God puts “first things first”. Hopefully you can not only chat with Him, but life is quiet enough that you can actually listen for the feedback. Consider using this time to seek His face, give thanks, inquire what He would like you to do or give to the world or quietly sit listening to worship music and let God work.
Bedtime Ritual. Similarly to a morning ritual, if you are a night person, you might try a good bedtime ritual in the calm quiet hours before you end the day. Maybe have some tea or hot #Tazo Tumeric milk at night). I tend to pass out at night after getting the kids settled so this isn’t my strength most nights; however, it is a great way to end the day; and end the day with your mind stayed on the right things. Those who are really good, like my sister, manage a little time with God on both ends — but she’s truly the real MVP.
Try one. Try a few. Share your best ways to unbusy. Be blessed!