Finding Renewal in a Dry Covid Season
The forecast was for a Covid season. But what we are facing seems far more prolonged--like a Covid year. Do you find yourself frustrated, weary, or drained?
I am. I’ve been finding myself dried out.
It’s not because I don’t love my husband, my kitties, my work, and my hobbies. But still--I’m dried out.
My soul longs for refreshment--for water in the dry places.
Have you been feeling that?
Here’s how to find renewal:
Rest in Christ
We know that when we come to Him weary, He will bring us rest. But if it were easy, none of us would remain weary for long! Here are a few tips to find His rest:
Bring Him your weariness. Lay before His throne each and every burden.
Entrust your burdens to His care. Try this prayer: Father, even though these burdens are not mine to carry, it’s hard to let them go. Help me truly release them into your care, knowing that they are far more important to you than they are to me. Keep my heart firm in faith that you are the One who works all things together for my good.
Soak in your identity in Him. The Bible is FULL of who we are in Him--chosen, free, made new, more than conquerors, citizens of Heaven, raised up, light of the world, holy, sons and daughters, royal, co-heirs with Christ.
Write out who He says you are on sticky notes and place them around your home to remind yourself of how loved, how TREASURED you are by your Father.
Practice saying them out loud--I am an heir with Christ.
Want more? Here’s a great article about identity in Christ.
Embrace what calls your soul
Waterfalls are my special place. When I’m hiking waterfalls, I feel clear and fresh. It’s like my soul just gets still and breathes a long, deep sigh. I feel God’s joy in what He has made, and I leave feeling like the world’s problems are just a little smaller.
What is your special place? What draws your soul? Is it candles? The ocean? Soft music? Warm blankets?
Set aside time to soak in the things that draw your soul. Close your eyes. Focus on what you find so beautiful about them. Breathe deeply. What do you notice happening inside?
Clutter affects your brain. For many of us (myself included!) a messy desk stimulates creativity during projects. But studies show that on-going mess is draining. Help your mind rest by taking time to clean, organize, and eliminate the unnecessary. Struggling for time? Try these tips:
Tidy the areas where you rest.
Get rid of 1 thing each day.
Get rid of 1 thing every time you make a non-food, non-toiletry purchase.
Set aside 10 minutes for cleaning each day.
Get the family involved--and have a reward for who finishes first!
I miss game nights with friends and normal church worship badly. But there are still ways to connect safely in person and navigate new social norms.
Meet for parking lot prayer times. Toss around a Frisbee in the park. Send someone a cut-out heart in the mail (don’t say anything--just send it and see what they say!). Send pictures of what you’re up to.
Remember, we are all wired for connection. It’s important for your soul to take time to be with those you care about.
With many of our usual summer activities absent, it’s easy to feel like we’re on a treadmill at work and at home. (Especially if you’re working from home.)
Brain research shows that novelty is so crucial that people who actively seek out new experiences live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Our brains feel sluggish and frustrated when they’re bored. Renew your mind by looking for small ways to try new experiences:
Walk somewhere new.
Relive childhood fun! Bubbles, stovetop s’mores, flying a kite...
Bake a new recipe.
Take a day trip. (Make sure to check on availability of rest areas!)
Try a new activity--Frisbee, volleyball, gardening, knitting, jet skiing...
Learn a new dance.
Try a different park.
Listen to a new song.
Start a DIY home project.
Take the family out for new flavors of ice cream. Enjoy sampling!
Reduce energy drainers; embrace energy givers
We all have things in our lives that drain us. Chores, obligations, people, clutter, bills, Covid, health problems, personal loss--just to name a few. Some are overwhelmingly big, while others are more like gnats. But even gnats add up. Many of these (like Covid) we cannot control. But some (like clutter) we have direct control over. Eliminate or reduce drainers you are able to. For the ones you can’t, try reducing how much they impact your energy.
There are also things that give energy. What makes you feel motivated? What relationships put a skip in your step? What empowers you to tackle fresh challenges? Is it rewards? Sharing about your progress? Learning new things? Accomplishing a task? Talking with God? Invite these things more into your life!
Bottom Line: The needs of your heart and soul are important. Whatever fills you and refreshes you, set that as a top priority. You will find yourself more rested, engaged, healthy, productive, and happy for it!
Join the Conversation:
What brings you renewal? What helps you feel refreshed?