For many people the new year starts the week after Labor Day. Summer (in as much as there was a summer in the COVID year of 2020) is over, and it’s time to get down to business.
We are living through one of the most stressful times in modern history—and we are tired. Practicing regular and real self and spiritual care is crucial if we are to have the energy to serve others and help affect change.
We know what we should be doing…sometimes we just need a little nudge–and a little music.
Breathing is the only autonomic system in our body that we can manage. In other words, it’s the one thing our body does automatically that we can also wrest control of. We can’t do that with our nervous system or our circulatory system, but breathing is something we can do without thinking or with total intention.
A regular practice of deep breathing exercises can reduce stress, clear the mind and even lower blood pressure. And it takes so little time, there’s really no good reason not to do it.
If you’re not heading in to a work place, it’s super easy to let yourself stay cooped up inside all day everyday. Get outside. Go for a walk.
Sometimes one of the best ways to keep going is to just take some time to cry. Rosie Greer is right–crying gets the sad and the mad out of you. Don’t just take Rosie’s word that crying will make you feel better. There’s science behind it.
I put this last on the list because that’s where it all-too-often lands in our lives. Prayer as absolute last resort instead of first line of defense. When it comes to self-care, bump this one to the top of your go-to’s for things that keep you going. There’s science involved here, too…plus, it seemed to work for Tommy and Gina (see below).
The world needs you and the gifts you bring. Take good care of yourself so that you can do God’s work with energy, imagination and love.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.