Beep. Beep. Beep.
Your incessant alarm wakes you up just as the sun rises up into the sky. You wipe the sleep from your eyes, almost unable to notice the gorgeous array of colors streaked across the heavens. It is another day. Another day where you have to wake up earlier than you would have liked to make your husband's lunch, take the kids to school, head to that very boring morning class, or go to the early morning spin class with your friend so you don't break a promise you made in a moment of determination.
All too often, we are overwhelmed by the demands of life and we get more + more tired each day. We wait for vacation time, or a sick day, or the moment when someone waits on us instead but we feel like we're waiting forever. It's exhausting!
So when we get a few moments to ourselves, we sit in front of the television, play a game on our phones, scroll through Instagram (even though we checked ten minutes ago), and hope to find something interesting to watch or read to distract us from our own lives. Then we go to bed late and start all over again the next day. Believe it or not, but it'll start to take it's toll!
So how do we keep from getting so exhausted? How do we prevent ourselves from looking at something with disgust, that once gave us joy? What simple steps can we take to enjoy life again?
REST- Rest allows for tenderness. This is something I often have to remind myself so that I take resting seriously. I want to be sensitive to the callings on my life, the needs of my loved ones, and the grace shown to me each day. Resting and taking a little mental break is good for us. It will keep us from maxing out and committing to too much at once. Have you ever had a moment where you had way too much on your plate? I know that I have and let me tell you, the aftermath was not pretty! I was exhausted, grouchy, and snappy to those that I came in contact with. No fun for anyone. Making sure that you take a nap, read a book for leisure, take a walk outside, paint, write a letter to a friend, or whatever else it is you like to do on your days off is so important. Don't let yourself burn out!
VITAMINS- Make sure that you are eating fruits and veggies and getting protein too! Whether you eat meat or you're a vegan, make sure that you are getting good sources of protein like lean chicken + turkey, beans, nuts, and dark leafy greens (like broccoli and spinach). Also pay attention to how many fruits and vegetables you're eating. Some days I don't get any and I don't realize it until I'm feeling fatigued and dizzy. Getting plenty of vitamins is key to being your best self, and even on the days where you're not doing much you have to make sure your diet doesn't take a turn down potato chip alley! This also includes getting a little vitamin D from spending time outside. Sometimes taking a daily multivitamin is great too, especially if you're always on the go. And let me just be real with you guys for a minute. Although candy and soda and oily potato chips are delicious, get rid of them. They're a fast way to gain weight and make yourself lethargic and unmotivated. If you want to keep up with life, make sure you're eating healthy!
ATTITUDE- Sometimes finding joy in life just requires us to stop and say thank you. Admire the little things and treat others with respect and love. Say 'thank you.' Your outlook on life can determine what your days look like. If you're always pointing out the flaws, the worries, and the giant mistakes of your day, then that is all you'll see. But if you look around at the blessings and happy things of life, your outlook will start to change. You have food in the fridge. The sun is shining (and if it's raining, that's a blessing too because your plants are being watered and you're not experiencing a drought!), you have a place to live, people who love you, your passions and talents, the list can go on. The other day I was feeling really down and I decided to stop and just think about the blessings I was currently enjoying. I have a car that works (yes, it's like 10 years old but it gets me places), I have a family that I love and that are so good to me, I am getting married this upcoming weekend (wow, oh wow!), I attend an amazing church, and I'm surrounded by people who constantly pour into my life. It seriously helps so much to just write down a list of what you're thankful for each day, give an old friend a call, try something new like a pottery class, yoga, or visiting a new coffee shop. A change of scenery can really improve your day too!
So all-in-all, just relax. Live your life to the fullest, but make sure that you're getting the proper care YOU need as well. It's not wrong to say "no" sometimes if it means that you're taking time for yourself and growing, resting, healing, and becoming the best 'you' that you can be! Let yourself enjoy the little things and appreciate all God has given you, all that life has to offer. Don't dwell on your past mistakes or your worries about tomorrow. Just breathe. When you have some free time, instead of diving into the pointless endeavors or web-surfing, get outside! Recuperate in order to be ready for life's next big adventure or hurdle. Better to be prepared than left wondering when you'll be able to finally have a break. Treat yourself with kindness, because let's face it: you are your biggest supporter and you need to be okay with enjoying the moments of peace instead of filling every gap with something to busy yourself. Enjoy the life you're living.
Natalie Jean is Oakmoss Collective's Founder + Visionary. She loves to spend time painting, writing, blogging, and enjoying the company of friends and family. This Saturday she is getting married to Mark Gettis and will be honeymooning in California for a week!
Be sure to stop by the Instagram account as Jordan takes over and shows us some of her work and creativity!