The older I get the faster life goes by – or so it seems. The older my kids get, the busier I am. There are always activities or work or play dates to get to and to be picked up from. That’s in addition to my own activities. It’s a busy season of life and I know I’m not alone. For me, days usually go smoothly. Most of my friends would say I’m fairly laid back, and not too much gets me riled. But I’m far from perfect – very far.
Sometimes we let the busyness of life affect our hearts, and we react to normal, everyday things with attitudes that reflect a busyness of the heart as well as our day. How often do I snap at my kids when I’ve been interrupted or felt like they weren’t listening, when things aren’t going according to my schedule? We all do it, don’t we? Or am I the only one?
It’s what I call busyness of the heart. We are all so busy these days that it’s easy to get caught up in the “just do the next thing craze.” And when things don’t go as planned we react, showering down our wrath on the next unlucky soul who happens to be in our path at the time. Sometimes it’s ourselves, and we slide down the slippery slope of self-pity, filling our minds and hearts with the lies of failure. We’re too busy to see the truth.
If you’ve studied physics you’ll remember that when something is moving you need friction or resistance to stop it. That’s what we can do with busyness of the heart. Here are some things I do to help me slow down and embrace the day instead of rushing through it.
- Establish a regular quiet time. This is the single most important thing I do each day. Choose what time works best for you. For me it’s morning. Before I do anything else (except brush my teeth and make my bed) I spend time reading God’s Word and praying. I bring my day before the Lord, knowing He’ll be with me all day.
- Exercise. I love going out in the morning for a run or a walk, breathing in the fresh air, and moving my body. It helps me focus, makes me feel strong, and I have time to think and meditate on things.
- Have a plan and prioritize. Each night I make a to-do list for the next day. I can sleep better and feel prepared for what’s coming on tomorrow’s calendar.
- Fuel the body with healthy foods and beverages. I feel better when I eat healthier foods. And if you’re like me — when I feel better I can handle the busyness of life better too.
- Get a good night’s sleep. I’m working on this one. I’ve always been more of a night owl so it’s a struggle. But when I’m tired, that busyness of the heart can sneak in and before I know it, it’s there.
- Focus on others. Take time to call an old friend you haven’t seen for a while, write them a note, and look people in the eye when you speak with them (put away the phone/tablet/computer). Putting others’ needs before your own keeps the focus off you and helps keeps busyness out of the heart.
Everyone seems to be busy these days. What strategies do you take to keep your heart at peace amidst the busyness of life?