Last week I wrote about how lonely I have been feeling in the wake of some big decisions made in our country and subsequently the response to those decisions. The constant bombardment of negative energy pouring from one side and the extravagant boasting with little to no compassion coming from the other side had my caving in. I gathered my family and we circled the wagons. I have all but ignored the majority of the internet because if I’m going to continue to be honest, I just can’t with people right now. On the rare occasions I do stop to scroll Facebook or Twitter every other post is about how horrible things in the world have gotten. And I just can’t with it all.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that things in the world are all rainbows and sunshine. Things are messed up. News flash! They have been for thousands of years. We live in very fallen world with very fallen people and until Jesus returns and makes everything right and whole and new again we are going to continue to live in a very fallen world with very fallen people and things are going to continue to be pretty messed up.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do our part to try to move toward making things better. Throughout this week I have taken time to really take stock of my mental health and my capacity for human interaction. I have also worked to think through the things that I can do in my own personal life to move out of this place of overwhelm and begin to truly live life well.
Here are a few of the things I have begun focusing on that I believe are beginning to make things a bit more manageable.
Open the Curtains
So since this is the title of the article I figured I’d start here. I am lucky enough to live in a house where I have some pretty decent sized windows. They are nothing like the almost floor to ceiling windows we had in Fort Worth but they are still relatively wide and tall. The kids also have pretty decent windows in their bedrooms. One thing I have begun being much more intentional about is opening the curtains each day and turning off the artificial lights. While I may not be racing out to get some actual Vitamin D because lets face it, I live in Southern New Mexico and it’s the summer so its a bit hot I am still lettign in the natural light. There is just something about throwing open the curtains and letting that natural sunlight stream in through the day. I think the simple act of opening the curtains physically also opens the curtains to the dark places in my brain that would rather hide. It forces me to acknowledge the ugly that is there, give it over to God, and move on with my day.
Change Out of the Leggings
Ok I’ll be the first one to admit that I never thought this would be a suggestion I made to get out of a funk. I LOVE my leggings. Especially since I have discovered leggings with pockets. I mean, how much better can they get? But over the course of the past week I have actively forced myself to get up and really get dressed each day. For now dressed is a t-shirt and a pair of really comfortable denim shorts but there is something about putting on the actual clothes that triggers my brain to acknowledge that the day has begun. On the days I need a little extra motivation I even go as far as to put on sock and shoes but that tends to only really happen if I know I have to leave the house at some point that day.
Putting Meals on Autopilot
One thing that helps make life go so much smoother for me is when I honestly take time to plan out my menu, buy all the groceries, and take one day to freezer prep all my meals for the week (or two if I’m feeling feisty). This way when it’s time to begin to make a meal I don’t have to over think the process. Now I’ll admit I am REALLY bad at doing this particular thing with breakfast but lunch and dinner are usually on point. Knowing what’s for dinner and when I need to have it cooked to be sure people who have evening activities are where they need to be on time saves me such a huge headache.
Getting Rid of Extra Clutter and Organizing
Decluttering is such a cathartic activity. The simple act of gathering things up in a trash bag then taking it all out the the garbage is one of the most therapeutic things I have done. Knowing that once the process is done (at least for a bit) means that the kids will have an easier time keeping things straightened up and there will be less clutter and mess around, which also means there will be less for me to have to stress about. I have learned that decluttering the physical spaces I’m in also helps to declutter the mental spaces.
I picked up a devotional journal at Hobby Lobby the other day that is titled #100 Days of Bible Promises”. This fun journal has a short little devotional, a handful of Bible verses to go with the devotional theme, and then a large-ish blank space to Bible Journal my take away for the day. So far I’m only on day 3 but it has been very relaxing and therapeutic. It has also helped get me back into reading and studying the Bible even if its just a few short verses a day. This is the season I’m in so I’m going to embrace it the best that I can.
So there they are. Just a few things I have been trying to do to get myself out of this funk and moving toward a more healthy outlook. So what about you? What things help you get that cloud over your head to go away? Let me know.