Everyday Grace

thoughts and inspiration on emotional health by colleen p. arnold

Jump Starts

In cars, a jump start creates energy in a dead engine. Every once in a while, I need a jump start. I start to feel sluggish, slow in mind and body, and it feels like everything is too tight – finances, my jeans, my family’s demands. I knew I needed a jump start when I posted on my Facebook page, “I could really use a weekend at a hot springs right about now.” Planning a weekend away is just not in the cards right now, so I thought about the smaller things I could do to get my mojo back, and two things came to mind almost instantly:

1. Exercise

2. Organize something

Exercise creates energy. Any time I’m feeling overly tired, I know I haven’t been exercising enough. I remember a doctor on the radio commenting that if they could put exercise into a pill, it would relieve the symptoms of most ailments better than any medicine available. That always stuck with me and if I ever feel like my physical well-being is less than optimal, I try increasing my exercise before checking in with the doctor, and most of the time, I feel better pretty quickly.

De-cluttering, for me, is another powerful way to increase energy. I find that the act of clearing away or organizing an area makes me feel productive and clears the way for new ways of seeing things. In Feng Shui, de-cluttering is a necessary step to inviting new energy into your life. My life gets cluttered very easily. I tend to keep things I don’t need, or might feel sentimental about, and then I get overwhelmed with the clutter and ignore it. My natural way of being is not simple and clutter-free, so for me, de-cluttering has actually become kind of a spiritual practice that I need to continually practice.

My husband agreed he’d be responsible for the boys that afternoon, which gave me a few hours. If I hadn’t been intent on creating energy, I probably would have taken a nap or done office paperwork. Which is fine, but I knew in my heart that I needed to stoke the fire a bit.

I would have preferred a walk outside, but it was raining buckets, so I pulled out the Wii Fit, informed my sons that it was Mama’s turn to use the Wii, and no, I wasn’t going to do a 2-person game so the 5-year-old could just put down the extra remote. (He parked himself next to the board the entire time, so I just told him this was my time to exercise, and reminded him that he was capable of getting a drink himself or he could ask his dad.)

I felt better quickly. The Wii Fit isn’t exactly running a marathon, but it’s fun and I know which activities I have to do to work up a sweat. I did about 45 minutes, which was enough to remind my body that it could do more than sit in a desk chair.

Then I put my earbuds in my ears, pulled up “This American Life” on my iPod, and went to work in the bedroom. In about 2 hours I’d cleared out four large garbage bags of sweaters, jackets and pants that I kept because they were good quality, but I never wore. I took photos of all of them (for tax purposes – we always itemize our donations and keep careful records). They will be delivered to a local clothing bank within the week.

There are a lot of things on my to-do list that I haven’t gotten to, and that’s fine. I needed to prioritize those tasks that would help me gain momentum and propel me into this week so I could tackle it with energy.

Look at your to-do list. Which of those tasks will create energy, instead of deplete it?  Sometimes it’s important to put aside that which is urgent and focus on that which is essential.

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: