Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Take Charge Challenge

There is no fancy way to introduce this topic.no perfectly illustrative story.

There is just the truth: I, like many people I know, do not take care of myself. I know this. I see it. I feel the effects of it. And I keep thinking, next week I'll do better. Eat more food. Somehow exercise. Drink more water and less coffee. Carve time out to sleep more, read more, write more.

But the bottom line is: there is not going to be any time in the near future when my day suddenly has more hours. 

And friends? I am SO tired of being tired. 

As I sit here during the beautiful quiet of the nap overlap, that time of day when I usually inhale whatever food is closest, drink whatever coffee is sitting in the pot from this morning and try to get dinner in the crockpot, I can see it all. I can see the mess of a life lived without regard for the long term effects on my health: physical, mental and spiritual. I can see my irritability from lack of sleep and exercise. From too many frozen pizzas scarfed down in less than 10 minutes. From the wear and tear of tantrums and noise on a sensory defensive mama. From too many hours spent on facebook and not enough in face to face contact with other human beings. From not enough yeses to the things that make me whole.

So, I am issuing a challenge to myself. Today, in this season where we are working out details for a cross-country move, when life is not going to be any less chaotic or more stable for a long time to come. 

I am issuing a challenge to take charge. To stop lamenting and dragging about exhausted and to, for the love of all that is good and holy, do something about how I feel. 

Anyone else want to join? 

Here's what it's going to look like: 

Every day for 15 days, this is what I'll do:

(1) COFFEE? WHAT COFFEE?: Drink a glass of water when I wake up. BEFORE coffee. And every other time I am tempted to reach for coffee, drink a glass of water first. I am so over-coffeed, I treat it like Jesus some days.

(2) POOP ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Check facebook once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at night, for five minutes each time. Done. No more social media ruling my day. (See my post from a few years back about Choosing Real Life )

(3) SMART PHONE, YOU PUNK- I truly think getting a smart phone may have been the dumbest thing I've ever done. I feel it's tyranny, it's accessibility. And when my kids are awake, I'm putting it down for these 15 days. They deserve better than my distraction.

And besides those things, those disciplining of areas I know are unhealthy to my soul and body, I am doing one mental, one physical and one spiritual exercise that has nothing to do with taking care of all the little people. EVERY DAY. And yes, I realize that all these areas bleed into one another. That you can't really separate them. But, for the sake of order, I am going to. And maybe some days I will only do 2 out of 3 because there won't be a nap overlap or there might be a sick kid. But I will at least think about it. I will at least try.

Here is a list from which I might choose: 

MENTAL:
  • Read a book for fun DURING THE DAY for at least 10 minutes.
  • Write a blog post
  • Write a book
  • Write down my hopes/dreams for this new stage of life
  • Organize something (don't judge me)
  • Call a friend on the actual phone
  • Write notes to far away friends
  • Garden

SPIRITUAL:
  • Practice 10 minutes of silence
  • Journal
  • Read my bible
  • Read a fantastically encouraging book about faith
  • Write a song
  • Sing by myself for no reason other than to worship God
  • Pray for my husband
  • Breath prayers

PHYSICAL: 
  • Run a few miles
  • Bike 
  • Take a dance class (or just, you know, dance it out to my tunes while everyone is asleep)
  • Take an actual nap
  • Pull ups and push ups
  • Mow my neighbor's yard
  • Take a walk with a friend
  • Lay in the sun and breathe deeply
  • Play volleyball at the gym
  • Eat a vegetarian lunch
Obviously, these lists aren't exhaustive. I'd love to know what YOU might do if you take up the challenge. 

And here's the deal - you probably have different areas you need to discipline, different ideas of what is life-giving, of what changes will actually help you find yourself in the midst of a chaotic life. Go for it. There is no rigidity to this, just commitment.

What is it they say? Misery loves company? Well, so does hope. 

So today, I am standing up and saying, in hope, that even in the midst of one of the busiest seasons of my life, I know God doesn't want me to become unhinged. I know he wants me to function as an actual human being, loved and created in His image. Today I say, "enough is enough" and stop making excuses for my unhealthy choices. 

Anyone want to join me? 

1 comment:

  1. Here is my list, I wanted to try to keep it simple and really focus on what my needs are in each category:

    Physical:
    I've been doing a good job with exercise and healthy eating lately, but here are the things I really need to work on:
    -Go to bed earlier (no later than 10pm).
    -Take a shower every day (I know that might sound crazy, but I often don't fit in a shower)
    -Go outside at some point on every single sunny day (I recently tested as vitamin D deficient).


    Mental:
    -Write daily. Whether it's a quick journal entry or a blog post, writing is something that is such a life giving outlet for me and uses my gifts, but I never do it anymore.
    - Read one piece of news each day.
    - leave a notebook open to jot down thoughts and dreams

    Spiritual:
    -Less social media/screen time. I waste a lot of time during the day doing this, and it's not making me any more rested or healthy. I like the idea of checking social media once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening :)
    -Invite one person from church over each week. For my own spiritual life (and sanity), I really need to find friends and build community here.
    -Try to do breath prayers throughout the day.

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