Late last year, I had a severe anxiety breakdown. I was doing too much – working full time on a major project and looking after my dad who was on 24 hour oxygen. It was a stressful time but one that I look back on now and am thankful for. You see many of us get busy doing life. We run here and there, trying to pack more into our already busy schedules and fitting in family and friends at the same time. One thing I desperately needed to find last year – was the answer to the question of what is normal for me?
Maybe you need to ponder that question too. What is your ideal life? How many hours would you work, what activities do you like the best and how often do you want to catch up with people and how? These are the questions I subconsciously asked myself and found out the answers.
Even Jesus had to find His normal and recharge Himself. He spent time away up on the mountains with the Father praying, refreshing and getting His directions for the next day. We have to do the same. So what are some steps to follow:
1. Spend time with God. The Bible says that Jesus will carry our burdens. But He can only carry them if we give them to Jesus. He can’t carry them if we keep taking them back. I try and make sure I spend time reading the Bible and talking to Jesus each day. This keeps me knowing Who my help comes from.
2. Look at your working hours. I reduced mine to four days a week so I could spend one day a week by myself doing housework, shopping and relaxing. It keeps me organised and less stressed. To tell you the truth, my budget is still met and God keeps blessing me.
3. Look at my activities. Now that my children have left home, my husband and I are not so busy with the many activities that come with kids. When my kids were here, I always kept a diary of the various activities they were involved in, including us, and made sure dinners were easy that night. I also had the kid’s timetables on the board so they knew what books they needed for the next day. Are you out too many nights of the week? Try to limit to three nights out just so your family doesn’t miss out on you.
4. Eat simple meals. This was a big one for me as I like to cook. I have devised a rough monthly meal plan that suits us just fine. No more wondering what to cook for dinner. It’s all simple and easy now.
5. Do a bit of major housework each week. This has been a game changer for me. I literally clean and attempt to declutter my entire house twice a year. It keeps my house tidy and me not feeling overwhelmed.
6. Get enough rest. This goes without saying but even the Bible states that God gives His people sleep.
7. Find your purpose in life. This has been big for me. I always wanted to sing well but that doesn’t work. Sunday school teacher sounded good but me and kids doesn’t really work either. So, after a long time, God told me to write – first this blog and then some other things. Pray and ask God what He would have you to do.
So, what is normal for you. If you have been working non-stop, you need to recharge and find out where you should be. Take time to prioritise what is important to you and your family. Take care of yourself and find out your purpose.
Finding your normal can be liberating because it gives you more energy, more time and more satisfaction. So what are you waiting for? Step off the treadmill of life and find your normal. Have a great week and keep living the life God intended for you!