Another month, another block, and another Beyond the Block personal challenge, you guys! I don’t know about you, but for our family, October can get ridiculously busy. We have school and church activities in full swing, sports, family events, work deadlines, and Quilt Market just around the corner…so much going on! So much, that the word “peace” has been on my mind lately. I need some! In these busy times, I really see just how very much I need to carve out more quiet time, more time to be calm, still, relaxed, soothed.
So often, I catch myself considering quiet time a rare luxury- something that’s nice to have, but that I can do without. Anybody with me? As a mom, I’m so often feeling like the real priorities are clean clothes, combed hair, lunches packed, dishes done. But the reality is, some quiet time alone to rest and restore my body and spirit, are just as important, if not more, than my freeze-ahead meal planning or laundry day. I need peace. I need renewal. I need time set aside to calm my mind, otherwise I’m a hot mess and absolutely no good to those around me.
So what does this look like? For me, it looks like a lot of things, and I’m so excited to really focus on making these priorities in my own life. Here are a few ideas for ways to slow down, breathe deeply, and make a little time for peace.
- Get outside and exercise. This week when my husband came home from work one day, I handed him a toddler, kissed him on the cheek, put on my headphones and walked out the door for some desperately needed outdoor exercise. What a perfect time to sing, or to pray, or to just be quiet and listen.
- Take a vacation from social media. I love connecting with friends on Instagram like nobody’s business, but sometimes it’s just time to unplug and take a break. Post a note to friends if you like, to give them notice of your absence, but then shut it down and don’t give it another thought for the day, weekend, even week. Every minute I save from not posting that photo, not writing that comment, not browsing that album, is another minute I can take a deep breath and just enjoy a moment of peace.
- Use music to create a mood. For me, music is so powerful, and it has the ability to literally change my state of mind in a very tangible way. As much as I love singing at the top of my lungs and busting out a new dance move, I also adore those peaceful times where I turn on something mellow- for me this might be classical or religious hymns- and just allow the music to take me to a place of calm.
- Pamper yourself. I never do this! I have such a hard time with guilt and not wanting to spend time or money on anything that isn’t for my family, but a happy mom is a happy family! Dig out those bath salts you’ve been meaning to use for a decade and take a soak! Give yourself a pedicure, or get a massage. (I want one so badly!). I need to stop dreaming about getting one, and actually take the time to do it, remembering that rejuvenating my body and mind are important.
Work is great. Serving others is amazing. But we can’t work or serve effectively if we don’t take time to renew ourselves. I’m learning this the hard way, but I can’t wait to get started in making a change toward more personal renewal. Won’t you join me? What’s your favorite way to unwind? What treat makes you feel brand new? I’d love for you to share about it as we dig in to this month’s challenge together.