It seems we’re all running on or near empty these days. This week while grocery shopping, I looked at the sea of faces around me and saw tired eyes in all directions. Whether tired of wearing steamed up masks or exhausted from living a life that’s been turned on its head for nearly half a year, I can’t say, but tired nonetheless.
Even before the world so suddenly changed, we’ve all experienced times when we’re stretched to thin; when we feel all dried up with nothing left to pour out. The longer we ignore our need for a refill, the more exhausted we get. And it doesn’t take long to realize that what we’re doing simply isn’t working.
So how do we refill when when our cup runs dry? Unfortunately, there’s no magic (or caffeine!) bullet that will recharge us all alike. You’ll need to experiment to find the right recipe to complement your life.
1. Start with a check up on your spiritual disciplines.
When times get tough, we often short change or skip altogether the things we need most. Carve out some time first thing each day to rest in our Provider. Waking just 15 minutes earlier and presetting your coffee pot so it’s ready when you are can make a huge difference throughout your day. Spend a few minutes in prayer inviting Him into your day, read a chapter of scripture, and end by sitting in silence with Him, aware of His leading. Try to leave room for silence throughout your day too-even if just in your car- so you can continue where you left off. I used to think “pray without ceasing” was an impossible suggestion. Now I know this just means being in constant connection with the Spirit throughout the day. In a world where we’re bombarded with news and negative information, we’d do much better to be silent with the one who’s not surprised by what’s happening around us, and who can provide peace that lasts.
2. Assess your basic needs
We all have a different base-level of needs in order to fully function. Take some time to clarify what those are for you. Personally I know I need time with Jesus (and coffee!) each morning, physical activity at least 3 times a week, and a night of quality time with my husband. I also know that working a few long days in order to carve out time for myself to read, write or talk with friends on the weekend is worth it and helps me enter each week recharged and ready to go again.
If it’s been so long since you’ve met your needs that you’re not sure where to start, think back to a time in your life when you felt your best. What was different then? In what ways were you filling your cup? Start by adding just one of those things back into your week and then build from there.
3. End your day grateful
When we’re tired and empty, it’s easy to focus on what’s not working. When we’re worn out and worn down, the cognitive bias we all exhibit searches for evidence of how this is true. But by ending your day thanking God for all your blessings and things that went well that day, you’re more likely to increase your awareness of the positive tomorrow as well. An added bonus? Studies have shown that those who include gratitude in their daily routines are up to twenty times more likely to achieve goals they set than those who don’t. And when we’re all running on empty, we’ll take any help we can get!
With Grit & Grace,
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