Oh the joys of taking care of screaming babies, feeding hungry mouths, aiding stumped children with homework that’s over your head, finishing that project that your son finally told you about that’s due tomorrow, fighting stubborn and ignorant teens, consistently enforcing good behaviors and being called the “bad guy” or “fun hater,” forgetting to pay the bills that day or pick up the mail or thaw the meat for your meal that night or maybe realizing that you are being replaced ever so slowly by people more talented, smarter, competent than you, or you have that peer that always sees the world different than you and isn’t afraid to tell you about it to spark a nerve……or…or…….. and that was just today!!
After a long day of “Gimme gimme gimme” it’s time for you to “take” time for yourself. Honestly, I only deal with a fraction of that list above, but I know people who deal with much more, and I have to say “Bravo!” I see people in my area here who seem to do these things gracefully (at last in public). I am not so graceful. At times, I crave the alone time now and then, and need to recharge. When I crave time to relax, here is how I do it:
1-I pull out my trusty Oil stash and pick one in my “relaxation” list. For me, it’s one (or multiple) of the following:
- Ylang Ylang
- Lavender (it wasn’t at first, but has become one now)
You can also use blends such as Peace and Calming, or Peace and Calming II. As you expand your oils, you may find others that you really enjoy the smell of. I create a bath soak using 3/4 Epsom Salt and 1/4 Baking Soda. If you want to make a one cup batch, you do 3/4 cup Epsom Salt and 1/4 cup Baking Soda. You then make a combination with 20 drops total of the oils you find to be most relaxing. You can get an idea of what blends well together by smelling the oils next to each other in the bottles and fanning the aroma to your nose. Put about a 1/2 cup in your bath water and enjoy your setting for relaxation.
2- Guard your heart in the Peace of God. My main reason for anxiety, anger and stress is that I’m focusing on things that are not God-honoring. I let things such as Anger, Bitterness, Envy, Jealousy, Gossip, and Pride contaminate my heart and create rash words and judgments on people around me. Imagine your heart being consumed by this list. That’s all that you are allowing to enter in. You dwell so much on it that it’s all you think about and pretty soon all you are talking about.
Instead, Philippians 4:5-8 says,
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Now imagine God’s peace wrapping around your heart and guarding it from the Sin that was leaking in before. By choosing to give your anxious requests to God instead of harboring them inside, God gives you a barrier of Peace. He is guarding your heart as if for battle. Your receive that Peace when you choose to ignore the Sinful thoughts, but you also are given the strength to do so. The best way to relax, is to acknowledge that you can’t do it alone. Sometimes when I soak in my oily salt water, I choose to ignore the anxiety and feel the Peace surround me instead. THEN it is easier to dwell on the good things listed in Verse 8….whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise. Then I find real relaxation.
Each person has their own way to unwind. That’s okay. Not everyone needs a bath soak or a break from the people around him/her….but guarding your heart is the most effective way to find not just peace, but Peace.
There’s plenty of time to relax while you are striving and thriving. It’s basically essential!
Love you all!