When the dead of winter arrives, I often find myself dreaming of some remote island with white sandy beaches and warm turquoise water; a resting place for my cold feet in the sun drenched sand, a quiet oasis to escape my daily routine, and some sea-side air to refresh my senses. Morning strolls along the beach are a favorite pastime, where the seagull and the sanderling feast on the bounty of the early tide; where the sun rises above the horizon like a champion chasing away the shadows of the night; where the weary body can rest bare in chair – legs dangling in the foamy lather, salty kisses lapping at your feet.
Beaches – white sandy beaches, who’s hospitable virtues entice the great palm and the champlain grasses to cloth it’s nakedness. Where earthly treasures wash ashore at your side: the sand dollar, the conch shell and the sea horse. Where ships pass in the distance and disappear on the endless horizon. Where you spend your time devouring a delicious book, overseeing the building of sand castles and cooling your sun soaked brow with the icy droplets from your San Pellegrino .
Ah! These are the dreams of winter. Times when we look for some reason or excuse to take to the skies. Everyone needs times of refreshing; even the Israelites who were wandering in the desert for three days without any water were led by God to a beautiful oasis. “Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water, (Exodus 15:27). Even the Lord knows we need time in our lives to decompress and be restored physically and spiritually. The fact is we don’t always have to head off to Hawaii to get some rest.
My Top 7 Ways To Refresh Your Mind, Body, Spirit:
Prayer. Talk to God. Take time to be quiet and listen.
Daily Exercise. Our bodies were made to move. Take a daily walk, bike or jog. Start out with a manageable goal. Perhaps only 15 minutes in the morning to start.
Listen to soothing music. (You can do this while exercising too!) This method is also biblical. (1 Samuel 16).
Experience Nature. Get outside and go for a hike. There have been scientific studies that prove that being in nature has healing effects on the body, (Science Daily).
Journal Writing. This is a great way to uncluttered your mind. I also know Christians who use it to talk to God. They write down what they are thinking and feeling and ask God for guidance. They leave a space at the end of each journal entry and wait for God to answer. Then, when He does, they write down the answer and date it. Journal writing is also brilliant for learning lessons. Every day we are encountered with situations and problems. So many of us find ourselves making the same mistakes over and over. Keeping track of our lives in this way can help us make the right decisions next time. It’s also a great way to monitor your goals and make sure your on the correct path.
Do Something Tactile. Work with your hands. Make something. Try something new like oil painting, knitting, scrapbook, woodworking, pottery or up cycling. One sure way to know if you’ve found a hobby you love? You will completely lose track of time. The moments will fly by because you are completely engaged with what you are doing. Who knows it may even turn into a new business idea!
Read a real book. Yes, one with pages and covers. Ditch the computer screen and connect with the page. “There is physicality in reading,” says developmental psychologist and cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf of Tufts University, “maybe even more than we want to think about as we lurch into digital reading—as we move forward perhaps with too little reflection, (Scientific American).
These activities will help you stay refreshed all year long. Also, don’t underestimate the Sabbath day. God knows that we need a break from our work, that’s why He created the Sabbath. Take some time today for yourself. Be refreshed! And don’t completely rule out the Hawaiian vacation all together! Aloha!
References: Our Daily Bread, LifeHack