WHEW. Um, hey there, June. When did you get here? Oh...while Hans and I were busting out an epic garage sale and babysitting four kids? No wonder I didn't see you come in.
Ya'll, it's been a busy week in my corner of the world. It's been good, but it's also worn me out. I imagine that some of your sweet selves are feeling the same way, yes?
Summer often gets crammed with sales and family vacations, sports leagues, kids that need watching and gardens that need tending. Summer becomes less about refreshing ourselves and more about cramming the freshly emptied space with more.
Last summer, Hans and I were revving up for our wedding (which my father nicknamed "The Juggernaut" - defined as "a massive inexorable force that crushes whatever is in its path"), remodeling our home (we gutted and redid the entire main level), and volunteering at camp. Oh, and I was working, doing online classes, and living with my in-laws. They are lovely people, so that part was fine, but the rest of it? Not so much.
So this year? We firmly decided to take it a lot slower. Last summer I was inches away from a nervous breakdown 93% of the time, and that's just. not. healthy. I don't know what your summer is looking like, but you sure don't have to be planning a wedding and patching umpteen million drywall holes to stretch yourself too thin.
Embrace some Self Care this summer, dear friend. We need to take care of ourselves, or we won’t be able to take care of others. Here's how...
1. Spend unhurried time with Jesus. The best way to take care of yourself is to be with the One who made you, loves you, died for you, and has a purpose for you. Try meeting with Him in a different way than normal...listen to the Bible instead of reading, take time to make a verse into a piece of art, or give She Reads Truth a shot. Check out this list for more creative ideas, too!
2. Invest in your Rest. Let's be honest. We've all had a few nights where we've schlumped into bed with our mascara and the lights still on, totally exhausted. Rest well, sweetheart! Make an intentional bedtime routine. Light a candle, drink tea (or wine...I don't judge), soak your feet, do a bit of yoga, take time to read a book. Whatever rests you best.
3. Say No. You don't have to volunteer for every VBS. You don't have to go on every family vacation. You don't have to go to every BBQ. Just because someone asks you, you don't have to say yes! Set boundaries. They'll protect you, your time, and your relationships.
4. Clear the Clutter. Where do you spend the most time in your home? I've intentionally kept my desk space simple, since I blog. Just a few office supplies, some prints from Lara Casey's shop, my plants, a lamp and a candle or two. Wherever you spend the most time in your home, clear the clutter to make room for calm and creativity. Need help? Click here.
5. Ask your people for support. One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to allow others to take care of you. Have coffee with a good friend and leave the "everything-is-perfect" façade at home. Ask your husband to pray over you. Share your heart with your family. You weren't meant to do life on your own.
6. Not my circus, not my monkeys. This quote is just rocking my little world. It's a good word to remember when you feel yourself getting drawn into nonsense that doesn't have anything to do with you.
7. Get out of town. (Literally) Uproot yourself from your normal place and your normal pace, and go someplace new. Sometimes an intentional change of scenery can nourish your heart in subtly strong ways. From just a few hours in a coffee shop in a nearby city, a day hike, or a weekend getaway...getting out of town can give you a refreshing break.
How do YOU take care of yourself?
Under Grace, Rachel