The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
— Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)

From Monday to Friday without fail I've always planned a very busy after work schedule. It goes a little something like this. "As soon as I get home I'm going to straighten up the house a little bit, tackle that laundry and if I have time, I'll finish up that book". That thought enters my mind on Monday evening, and transfers to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and finally Friday without one thing on that list getting done.

I don't think I'm alone in saying that I have this innate need to be superwoman. I want to get everything done with a snap of my fingers and be able to still look fabulous while doing it. I don't even have children and it's still hard to get everything done. By the time I get home from my 9 to 5, having travelled an hour to an hour and half on the ridiculously crowded NY city subway and fighting the crazy cab driver who's cut me off several times in a minimum of 10 mins, I am tired. Overwhelmingly tired! Who wants to clean a house and do laundry after going through all of that? Needless to say I have good intentions but never seem to execute my plans.

Are you still with me? Ok, good.

So when a plan does not work, what should a girl do? That's right! Change it! Instead of adding work to my day, I've decided to end my long work days with a relaxing regimen and move my house "stuff" to the weekends. My evenings are less about getting everything done and more about getting my body in a place of mindfulness. Relaxed and focused is the goal and here's how I do it. 

  1. Immediately change from my work clothes into lounge wear.  
  2. Work out for 15 to 30 mins (workout day)
  3. Sit in silence for 15 mins (non-workout day) - This includes an aroma-therapy session. 
  4. Pray for however long I deem necessary. 
  5. Eat a healthy meal
  6. Write in my journal or do some reading. 

If I felt like watching TV I would, but I tried to avoid doing this too much during the week because I find that TV watching sucks away a lot of precious time that can be used to do something more productive. It's really easy for me to go on a Netflix binge so I avoid it altogether until the weekend.  After completing this regimen for a couple of days I found that I was a lot less stressed out and my anxiety decreased tremendously. These results were expected but what I didn't expect was that my productivity level would increase. I was more focused, diligent and motivated. My body, my mind and spirit loved the new routine. 

These days the demands on our time and bodies can seriously break us down. Luckily God gave us the capacity to regenerate but if we keep pushing ourselves to the limit, we will have a hard time bouncing back. If we want to be able to be our best for others, we must make sure that we take care of ourselves first. Trust me, this is not being selfish at all. Let me say it once more. Taking care of yourself first, so that you can be your best for others is not selfish at all.  When you are in a good place, others in your circle of influence will benefit in the best way. 

Take it one day at a time. Re-evaluate how you spend your days and try eliminate waste and include healthy habits. Out with the old and in with new.

Until next time,

Live in gratitude. Live in love.