It is easy to focus on the stress in our lives this past year. It feels that we have been hit from every side, our underside, and on top of our heads!
But tomorrow, and the next day, will arrive for each of us. It is up to us to determine how those days will unfold. Will we allow the daily weight of stress, worry, fear, and pressure to build up and negatively impact our lives? Or will we be less burdened, more energetic, happier, more positive, and optimistic about the future? That sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?
The question is, how do we begin to dissolve the anxiety and stress of our environments, and allow ourselves to rejuvenate and refresh our lives?
Here are eight great tips to refresh and revitalize your life. Pick several favorites and begin incorporating them into your routine.
1. Create Small Pleasures. Slow down, relax, and engage in the small pleasures of life. Volunteer, take a long walk in a park, or ride your bike. Read a chapter of a favorite book each day, or maybe reconnect with painting or drawing.
2. Make Exercise Fun. Join an online fitness group and record your progress. Take a challenge to walk 10,000 steps a day. Invite a friend to join in your fitness routine, or ask them if you could join theirs. Create a light-hearted contest with a reward at the end.
3. Develop Three Relationships of Significance. In today’s hectic world, we have a number of acquaintances, but how many important relationships do we have? Strive to fill important segments of your life – someone older and wiser, someone your own age, someone younger to mentor and from whom you can learn.
4. Live With an Attitude of Gratitude. Finding little blessings in life, especially during times of distress, is one of the keys to bouncing back, being resilient, and becoming strong again. Express gratitude through your words and actions. Spread gratitude and feel how it softens those who have become a bit hardened.
5. Practice Becoming a Life Giving Person. Think of those in your past who believed in you, encouraged you, invested in you. For many, it was a parent. Perhaps it was a spouse. It may have even been a stranger who said “Wow, that is really impressive. You are really talented.” Practice believing, encouraging, and investing in others. Listen, understand their point of view and concern, and show empathy and compassion. These are all traits that uplift and replenish souls. In so doing, your soul becomes replenished, as well.
6. Allow Food to Nourish You Again. You are what you eat. We know our bodies thrive on nutrients. We also know our bodies eventually wither from fatigue and susceptibility to disease if we eat poorly, consume too much sugar, and drink too much alcohol.
Have you tried to eat consistent nutrients while avoiding alcohol? I challenge you to eat “clean” and alcohol free for 30 days and truly assess how you feel. You may never go back! TIP: Combine with #2 above for full-body care.
7. Develop or Rediscover Your Sense of Humor. A good belly laugh relaxes muscles, reduces stress and blood pressure. Borrowing from the essence of #5 above, I challenge you to incorporate good, clean humor. It may be hard to find, but the energy that surrounds it will reinforce the “sustenance” you are seeking as you refresh your life.
8. Invite God to Increase Your Faith. Even as we refresh, there are real pressures in life. Health concerns and financial worry, for example, can present real challenges. In challenging times – as in good times – turn to God for strength, guidance, comfort, and forgiveness. Faith looks for the good in others, not the worst. Faith opens doors where despair slams them shut. Faith sees problems as opportunities.
Don’t let societal, political, economical, and health issues keep you from striving to be that best person that resides in you. Incorporate these tips to refresh and revitalize your life!
Dr. Gregory Jantz is the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE in Edmonds, Washington, and a world renowned expert on depression and anxiety treatment. Pioneering Whole Person Care in the 1980’s, Dr. Jantz continues to be a leading voice and innovator in mental health utilizing a variety of therapies including nutrition, sleep therapy, spiritual counseling, and advanced DBT techniques. Dr. Jantz is a best-selling author of 37 books and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, CNN.