Pray, hope, and don’t worry. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. – Saint Padre Pio
Dear Little Sister,
Water for your soul
When I asked my grandmother how to best take care of the roses in my yard, she told me to make sure they have plenty of water. Without water, the plant becomes stressed, producing less buds.
Taking care of yourself and your life as you would take care of the roses in need of water seems simple and is a wise life lesson. Making sure your soul is hydrated so your life will yield more fruit or roses.
Notice you are thirsty
During particularly stressful weeks, I notice my jaw clench. My shoulders and neck tightened. I usually won’t know how long they have been like this throughout the course of my day. I make sure to take a moment to relax, and pay attention when I do notice these signs of tension. They are signs that I need to take a break. I know if I ignore them, they lead to further stress and I won’t be able to be as effective in my life as I am when I stop to take it easy.
Take a drink of water. Relax. Refresh. Water the roses. There are certain things that will nourish your soul and allow you to reset. What is water to your soul? The following work for me:
Write in a journal
One of these things for me has always been writing down my thoughts. I’ve kept a journal for as long as I can remember. The thoughts get out of my head and onto the paper so I can better see what’s going on inside me. Clarity and peace come to me when I take the time to do so. To step back. Be the observer. Get out of the driver’s seat to see the passenger’s perspective.
I find myself extremely relaxed and having more energy when I take time to exercise. I also tend to crave healthier foods so it impacts my overall lifestyle. I’ve tried running, swimming, outdoor biking, and spin classes for more intense workouts. I’ll find a 20 minute walk will change my entire day at times.
Comfort in simple pleasures
A cup of coffee and some sort of dessert does this for me. Reading in a comfy chair or in bed. Watching a good movie. Taking a walk. On particularly overwhelming days, just sitting for a few minutes in the silence. A complete quiet halt. Anything that allows me some peaceful downtime.
Keep in touch
Staying close with the people I love is another way I am refreshed. When I am in sync with my loved ones, there is nothing more nourishing to my soul. It is especially so when I reunite with someone who I haven’t seen in a while. You don’t realize sometimes what you are missing until you have it again.
Pray and don’t worry
I recommend this first, but saved it for last. There is so much peace and comfort from prayer. It can difficult to begin if you haven’t prayed in a while for whatever reason. Distractions usually. There are plenty of distractions that keep us busy and we forget to stop to talk with God. Usually we are in need of comfort or encouragement for renewal. God is always there. He will provide the refreshing peace when you need it most. Have faith and call upon Him.
Step back. Breathe. Stretch your clenched muscles, and get your watering can out – whatever that is in the literal sense for you. Most importantly pray, hope, and don’t worry. Allow yourself a time and space to be refreshed.
Refreshingly and keeping in touch,
Your Big Sister