I said to a friend the other day, “I’m at the bottom of my barrel. I must take a break.”
I was talking about writing specifically, but really about life these days. For the past 14 months, I have worked tirelessly. At the beginning of 2016, I chose the word “slow” as a reminder for me that this year needed to be different than 2015’s breakneck pace.
Slow is not a word I would use to describe to me. In high school, a teacher called me “Tink” because I was always “fluttering” from activity to activity. The nickname “energizer bunny” was another favorite. Twenty years later, the nicknames still ring true — I’ve just replaced choir practice with other activities.
But I have been sick more in the past six months than I have in the past few years. I am irritable and tired. I have not made myself a priority, and it is impacting every area of my life.
Here are five ways I am embracing slow this month:
- More prayer: In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” I need Jesus right now. My prayer life has really suffered this past year. I am committing to being more intentional during this season. I know that a vibrant prayer life positively impacts every other area of life and I am eager for a reset that only Christ can give.
- Less self-imposed deadlines: I have written continuously on my blog The Mom Creative for 10 years. For the next few weeks, I am taking a break. In preparation for this break, I have not accepted any writing contracts and am giving myself permission to not write. I plan to use that time to do other projects that have been pushed to the wayside for far too many months.
- More rest: I have been listening to my body and not staying up late. Instead, I go to bed shortly after my children and do my best to get 7-8 hours of sleep.
- More creativity: When I craft, I feel alive. I believe God has gifted me with the gift of creativity, and I have pushed it aside for too many months. I plan to make a mess in my craft room, sew, scrapbook and use my talents.
- Less technology: I am too attached to my phone. During this season of slowness, I need to get back in the habit of no technology from 6-8 in the evenings and less technology in general. I need to be more present.
I’m at the beginning of this journey, but I know these simple practices are going to make a big difference in my life. I just wish I hadn’t gotten to the bottom of my barrel before I took action! If you too have been in a season of busyness, I pray that my story might encourage you to slow down.
What does your life look like right now? Are you like me and need to slow down? Or is this something that you don’t struggle with? Let’s encourage one another in the comments below.