Navigating the Busy Spring: a practical, easy guide

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Easter at our church was lovely!

We are 6 weeks away from the end of the school year. Wild, I know. 

This is also time for finals, tests, performances, you name it. If you are a mom like me, you know the kids will have what they need. 

My older two will have their uniforms ready for all and any band performances. We talked about setting time aside for practicing and studying. 

My youngest is pretty much attached to her script. She has been memorizing her lines, singing, and doing all she needs to do. She will be ready for her musical.

How do I know? We help our kids prepare. We do it well. We look at the family schedule. We plug in the dates. We also buy any material necessary for those activities to happen. 

Last summer, I bought everything needed for the swim team season. I was so on top of it, I had time to return and exchange a swimsuit that did not fit one of the kids. I was proud of myself. 

Mothers know how to prepare their children for what's to come. I propose that we use those same skills to care for our health.

If you take an honest look at your upcoming schedule, you will probably be very busy. 

I have a lot of big things happening at home and work. 

In the past, I was inclined to give up and just go with the flow. No doubt I was busy. I was also tired, unhealthy, and stressed out. I did not enjoy that combination. I would get furious to be completely honest with you. Why did I have to feel that way (poorly) just to pick myself up and do it all over again come Monday morning?

I secretly admired the people who "had it all." At least that was my perception. These internet folks were busier than I was. Somehow, they would take off and fly to a beautiful place during a work week then come back and finish the school year with the rest of us. 

Wouldn't it be nice? I learned that comparing myself to others is not good. Also, people can say whatever on the internet. They can both tell the truth and tell a lie. Only God knows how people live behind closed doors, so why should I keep wondering and coveting their digital activities?

I learned that I could get furious or I could get curious but not at the same time. 

Curiosity is a beautiful thing. In my case, it caused me to ask "What if I build a healthy lifestyle that supports my busy seasons in life?" The answer was easier than I was expecting. 

Building a healthy lifestyle required small, consistent steps. Making mistakes was also a right of passage. Nevertheless, I didn't give up. I kept applying what I learned and today I can say, I no longer get furious, I get curious. 

Take the Easter season for example. My husband is a pastor, so this is one of our family's busiest seasons of the year. Being busy does not equal stress because I work to be sure my healthy lifestyle supports this busy season. I learned the following things about myself:

• I can look at my schedule and plan Easter shopping ahead of time so I am not tired and stressed out when it is time for Easter weekend services. This year half of us shopped online. I might do this again next time because it was so convenient. 

• Drinking plenty of water makes me feel and think better.

• I can look at my schedule and plan my Easter dinner menu. Some years we have guests, other years we do not. I prepared the food ahead of time. I also took a few shortcuts. By the time we got home, everything was mostly ready to go. It was a hustle-free experience and I'm grateful. 

• I can book my hair appointment weeks ahead of time. My hairdresser said that was a smart decision because there was no stress included for her or me. 

• I can exercise during busy weeks because I know "my minimum." This is what I call the least amount of exercise to give me the best results. This year I chose to exercise daily. 

• I can be honest about how many Easter treats I need. "Need" is the key word. I can enjoy what I want to enjoy. I also can be honest about what I need to eat that day. I learned to slow down and enjoy a delicious meal with my family. 

• I can and should rest. Observing the Sabbath is wise. God created the Sabbath so the body, mind, will, and emotions will find much-needed renewal. When you are busy you need your Sabbath rest. I'm not suggesting we all take off to Rio (wouldn't it be nice?) and rest at Copacabana Beach. I am suggesting we find our stopping point and go to bed. I suggest we push screens away if they impede our rest at night. Resting means I can be more productive the next day.

I'm inviting you to join me in looking at your schedule (mine is filling up by the minute but that's normal in the Spring). 

I invite you to decide how you ask yourself, "What if I build a healthy lifestyle that supports my busy seasons in life?"