This is the hardest it’s ever been to get my feet underneath me in a New Year.
The holidays are glorious. But they are a lot (especially if you are chronically ill). But I know I’m not alone in post-holiday exhaustion or feeling overwhelmed at the idea of getting going again.
My soul has been a wasteland.
When your cup is empty, you have nothing to give from, and creativity grinds to a halt.
It is now February, and I realize life is well underway again, but if you muscled through feelings of depletion like me, you’re probably still weary, maybe even sad. I hope this post helps, especially the quotes at the end. They have gone a long way in setting my mind straight and putting me back on my feet.
1) Ease off the accelerator.
The idea of ‘hitting the ground running’ is rooted in the belief that efficiency and quantity determine value rather than substance and quality. That’s balderdash. If you throw out that misbelief, there is nothing wrong with gliding along like a figure skater, rather than charging in like Combat Joe.
We don’t need to do every self-improvement challenge, participate in every extracurricular, watch every show, or check off every item on our to-do list. Happiness isn’t found at the end of these rainbows. Happiness is a mindset.
Take a breath. Sanity is found in stillness.
2) Do things that bring joy and evoke awe.
- Spend time in nature, grow plants, or watch a sunset.
- Revel in hobbies, not for the product or to show anyone, but for the simple enjoyment of creating.
- Read a book at your own pace.
- Listen to classical music without doing anything else.
- Play a tactile game with friends or family.
- Talk with a loved one and make eye contact.
3) Purposeful input.
I get it. Scrolling social media and binge-watching tv suppress the hectic mind. But intentionality, even in leisure, can ground us and give an upward thrust instead of postponing the chaos.
Watch creators use your medium: paint, pencil, words, mixed media, or needles and thread. Enjoy their process vicariously, without pressuring yourself to do it right away.
If you are a writer or poet, read or watch movies in your genre, or learn about others who have gone before you. Sink into whatever inspires you.
By far, the most crucial and impactful input is filling yourself with truths.
Find quotes that hold you up when you are weak, that get to the heart of your struggle, and provide hope.
Here are some of mine.
The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell; a hell of heaven. ~John Milton
And one day she discovered she was fierce, and strong, and fiery and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. ~Mark Antony
Had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, Divine Love would have put you there. ~C.H. Spurgeon
That which is sown in weakness will be raised in power. ~Bible | 1 Corinthians 15:43
A strong person is not the one who doesn’t cry. A strong person is one who is quiet and sheds a tear for a moment and then picks up the sword and fights again. ~Unknown
A Christian should never worry, for any reason, for God’s Providence carries him in its arms. Our only care should be that we would ever remain faithful to the Lord. ~St. Ignatius Brianchaninov
You can feel like hell and still act like an angel. ~Me
God’s refusals are always merciful. ~Eizabeth Elliot
Live each moment with the knowledge that it exponentially affects your heavenly experience, “A day is a thousand years.”
~Joni Eareckson Tada
Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt in every situation. ~Jim Elliot
There are no “ifs” in God’s kingdom. ~Corrie Ten Boom
In Christ’s light, suffering is a ministry, not a millstone. ~Unknown
If we allow let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we really get down to our work. Favorable conditions never come. ~C.S. Lewis
Never let insecurities prevent you from smiling with all you’ve got; don’t rob the world of sunshine. ~Me
When we consecrate ourselves to God, we think we are making a great sacrifice, and doing lots for Him, when really we are only letting go some little, bitsy trinkets we have been grabbing, and when our hands are empty, He fills them full of his treasures. ~Mrs. Howard Taylor
Just keep reading your story. ~Lynn and Me
Here’s to making space for serenity and the things we love, filling up with truth, and granting ourselves grace. May we re-establish rhythms, start new ones, and better our lives one way at a time instead of ten. Let’s glide instead of charge. Life is a journey traveled one step at a time. We do not climb the mountain by staring at its peak.
~May the sun ever shine on your path, my friend.