Do you ever get to the end of the day, exhausted and yet feeling like you have no real sense of what you accomplished? Knowing that you took care of the necessities, or at least tried to, and yet something about your day holds no weight? No fulfillment.
Maybe those days have multiplied into weeks…months…dare I say it…years. And it leaves an emptiness there. A knowing that you were made for more, but you’re not sure what. A restlessness blooms inside of you, and you try everything to quiet it. You fill your life with new experiences, binge-watching Netflix, hobbies, social media scrolling, taking peeks into other people’s lives. Instagram snapshots of people who seem so content. You seek out posts about self-care and you try all the suggestions. For a moment it comforts the thing inside you that wants claw free. But when everything is quiet, it’s back.
How can you find lasting peace in a world that is always pulling at your time and attention? You understand rest for your body. But how to find rest for a weary soul? And why does it feel like if you quiet your restless soul, if you really pause and look deeper, you won’t like what you’ll find? That it might actually be true, that if you looked close enough you’ll find that thing you’re running from in all your busyness will catch up to you. And then what?
But what if the opposite was true. What if there was lasting peace on the other side of that soul care?
5 ways to care for your weary soul:
We live in a world of instant gratification and constant connection. It can often leave us with a sense of always having to be on. Set a window of time each day to be unavailable. It can be ten minutes or it can be half an hour while you eat lunch. You decide what is doable for your schedule. The main goal is to be intentional and consistent with taking time to unplug. Leave the social media apps closed and your phone unanswered. Give yourself space to be.
If you, like me, are a follower of Jesus, you recognize the importance of spending time in God’s Word, but we find our thoughts wandering back to the to-do list, the words on the page blurring, and even though we know the words in the pages of our Bibles is exactly what our soul needs, we struggle to take anything in. If this sounds like you, you might need some time to unwind.
Commune with your creator in a different way. Step outside and enjoy some fresh air, turning your heart and mind to the Creator of it all. Move your body, run, dance, swim and marvel at how you’ve been knit together by His hands. Or pull out a sheet of paper and journal, pouring out some of those buzzing thoughts in a permanent way so that they can be left for a minute. Do something creative–doodle, paint, craft with the intention of connecting with God. He is the Creator, and you were made in His image. Connect with this facet of who He is as you create. So many times if we take some time to unwind, it can help us reset our thoughts and clear away the things that are pulling so hard for our attention.
- Practice Thankfulness
If you struggle with fulfillment, one of the best ways to feed your soul is to practice thankfulness. It can be so easy to become distracted by what other people seem to have, or by things we think we should have. This doesn’t just mean material things. We can become distracted by another person’s seeming inner peace or life phase…anything. It leaves us longing for something different than what we have. The danger of this is that we can miss what God has for us now, right where we’re at. Even if it doesn’t look very pretty at first glance.
I am a big believer in the idea that God wants to use ALL of our life experiences to draw us closer to Him. Take a little time each day and tell God about three things in life that you are thankful for. Maybe the trials of life have you at a point where it is difficult to be thankful for the season you’re in. Find something small and simple, like the feel of sunshine on your face, or the taste of chocolate. It’s amazing how pausing and finding small joys can give rest to a weary soul.
- Feast on Soul Food
There is no place like the Word of God for feeding a weary soul. It’s not always easy to understand. It’s not always easy to quiet ourselves to take it all in, but it is there and available. Full of what your soul craves. The Bible tells you who God is. It tells you who you are. And when we begin to see every bit of our day through the light of those two things, we start to approach our days differently. We rediscover our purpose and find that even the most mundane things can become something of eternal value.
I encourage you not to put this time with God in a box. It is always great when we can dig in and study deeply, attempting to plumb the depths of His Word. But sometimes we struggle, and it seems too much too daunting. And then we feel guilty because we are sure we’re not doing enough, and then we end up putting off the very thing that would give rest to our souls because we’re so worried about getting it right. There is Grace for our struggles. Don’t let guilt or feelings of inadequacy be a barrier robbing you of this fellowship with your Father. Take a moment today, read one verse, ponder it, let it rest in your heart. Your weary soul will thank you.
- Prayer and Praise
When we lift our gaze from ourselves, from the noise around us, our perspective shifts. Seek God’s perspective on your life. Spend time in worship–through song, through art, through journaling. Moments like this help us see the fullness of who God is. And all of those things that try to take center stage, that pulls our attention to the details of life. Have a conversation with Him about your struggles. Ask Him to help you feel the grace He has for you. When you talk with the one who created your inmost being, your soul finds rest.
These 5 things aren’t a quick fix. They take intentionality and consistency in incorporating these things into our DAILY lives. But if we continue to feed our weary soul, just like when we start eating healthier, we become more and more receptive to the right kinds of foods– and these are the things we’ll begin to crave. When we practice these things, it can help us avoid falling back into a state of burnout.