Are you in one of those seasons of life where it seems like any second your world is going to go spinning off its axis? Please, tell me I’m not alone in this! Are you overwhelmed with all of the demands of this world? Do you feel like your tank is on empty and you’re running on fumes? If so, I’m right there with you, sister!
You see, I’m one of those people that takes life head-on and plows through the problems that come my way. Usually. However, recent illness in my family—myself included—has made it significantly more difficult for me to navigate the stresses and pressures of life with my usual tenacity. I’m exhausted mentally and physically and several times I’ve wondered how I was going to accomplish everything on my to-do list, while still staying sane. And I know I can’t be the only one.
Mental and physical exhaustion is inevitable. Everybody goes through it at some point. For some it may be caused by illness or stress, and for others it may be caused by a significant life change. Sometimes the season is blessedly short, and other times it feels as if it will never end. So, what do we do when we’re smack dab in the middle of it?
This Is How I Enjoy My Life Even When It’s Overwhelming
1. Be Willing to Shift Your Focus and Priorities
While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I do know that I have learned several lessons during this time in my life. For starters, I have (finally!) learned not to fight it. I have accepted the fact that right now, in this moment of my life, I am tired—due to reasons beyond my control. This means that I may have to adjust my priorities and even my daily routines to accommodate this season of life. It means that I have to let some of my expectations go and shift my focus. It also means that I have to relinquish the control that I cling to so desperately and let my body tell me when it’s time to rest—instead of my to-do list.
2. Take Time to Reflect and Cultivate What Matters
This season of life has also given me an opportunity for self-reflection. I have realized some things about myself that need to change, like my rigid routines and my ridiculous expectations. However, there are other things about myself that I would like to cultivate—such as my hunger for learning and my desire to encourage others. This time of slowing down for me has become incredibly eye-opening, and believe it or not, I’m very thankful for what I’ve discovered about myself.
3. Listen to Your Body and Meet Your Own Needs
I’ve also learned that I need to take better care of myself. As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve gotten to know myself a little better. I’ve learned what my needs are and I’ve learned that if I don’t take care of those needs, things will not be good for me (or those around me!). For instance, I know that as an introvert, I need alone time every day to recharge. I also need quality sleep and a healthy diet. And most importantly, I need to spend time reading my Bible and praying every single day to stay connected with God. If I neglect any of these things for an extended period of time, then my life begins to show it and let me tell you, it’s not pretty!
4. Be Present and Take in Every Special Moment
And while I know that this is a just a season and it won’t last forever, I still need to live in the moment and enjoy the everyday blessings that surround me. And so should you. Life is ever-changing and it moves so fast. You may be knock-down, drag-out tired, but let me offer you some encouragement: Don’t let it stop you from enjoying your life.
How Can You Begin to Enjoy Your Life More?
Maybe you need to adjust your routine and expectations for yourself during this season. Maybe you need to slow down and drop some responsibilities. Or, maybe you need to invest in yourself a bit and spend some quality time on self-care. Whatever it is that you need to do, give yourself permission to do it—and do it without feeling guilty about it.
You were not created to just “survive” this life. On the contrary, dear friend, you were created to thrive! And the One who knew you before you were formed wants you to live the life that He intended for you to live. Does that mean that you won’t have struggles? Of course not. It does mean, however, that we can rest in the fact that we are never alone because we have a Creator who hears us, who sees us, and who loves us more than we could ever imagine.
So, as we navigate this busy holiday season, I pray that you will find rest. I pray that you will be able to spend time reflecting on the reason we celebrate this time of year and that you will be filled to the brim with the knowledge that you are not alone and that you are loved so very much. May you choose to live in the moment and in the truth that you are a treasured child of the Lord of heaven and earth.
A prayer for you, my dear sister:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
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