Feed Your Soul

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Once in a while, I feel I need to take a break from my life, run away, and get alone.  Do you ever feel like that?

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Fort Harrison, near Richmond, Virginia; photo by Tasha M. Troy

At times like that, I usually will take a short road trip, either a trip out to some of my favorite nearby natural sites or a day trip to a place a couple of hours away.  Most often, I take these excursions alone – just me and God.  If I do invite a friend along, it is because she is a highly trusted friend.

I always come back from these outings feeling refreshed, grounded, and centered, ready to face my life and the demands put upon me by clients, students, employers, friends, and family.

In order to practice connected influence or principled leadership, we must first connect with ourselves and with God.

John Maxwell teaches that the highest form of leadership is self-leadership.  This includes feeling connected to yourself and your purpose, understanding your strengths.  It also includes self-care.

As I write this, it is December 8 – smack-dab in the middle of the busy Christmas season.  It might be the hardest time of the year to engage in self-care.  However, I would venture that you won’t survive the next few weeks if you are not intentional about finding the time.

We cannot give what we do not have

Green Spring Garden, Virginia Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Green Spring Garden, Virginia
Photo by Tasha M. Troy

Whenever I talk to someone who is feeling stressed out – whether it’s a friend, client, student, whoever! – I tell them that everyday they need to do something that “feeds their soul.”  By this, I mean you need to do something everyday that you enjoy, that is just for you.

In the Law of Priorities, John Maxwell describes his “3 Rs” for setting priorities; the third one is “reward,” which means prioritizing the things that give you your greatest emotional payoff.  This is exactly what I mean when I say “feed your soul.”

Feed Your Soul

This doesn’t need to take a long time; 5 or 10 minutes will suffice for many activities.  Here are some suggestions, mostly things that I do; this list is by no means exhaustive!

  • Take a short walk outside.
  • Take a 10-minute nap.
  • Read a chapter in a book you enjoy (not required reading).
  • Eat your favorite food (you still gotta eat dinner right?  Make it something you enjoy!)
  • Call a loved one and have a short (or long) conversation.
  • Take a hot bath and light candles (one of my favorites!)
  • Play with your pet(s); if you don’t have one, borrow one!
  • Spend 5 mindful minutes breathing deeply and listening to the sounds around you.

What suggestions do you have for a quick recharge when you’re feeling tired, stressed, or “out of sorts”?

 

Resources

One of the things I love the most about John Maxwell’s 7-Day Experiment in Intentional Living is how focused it is on creating stronger relationships with the people around you.  Join the intentional living movement!  Click here to start your 7-day experiment with John Maxwell!

 

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