I see it all around me - on the highway, in the grocery store, in my neighbors’ backyards - people are returning to normal routines. And that’s a good thing! Why? Because as the mom of a former Cross Country runner, I can tell you that without a doubt, races are won because of routines.
Paul reminds us that we are running a race:
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV)
This race of faith enables us to be and do and have all that God has planned for us. And this race of faith requires engagement of our whole being - our body and our mind as well as our spirit.
Every one of my son’s racing achievements was fueled by the consistent practice of a few simple, well-chosen routines that only his family ever saw - daily stretching, pre-race meals, daily runs, rest days, good nutrition, 10 PM bedtimes, and swearing off soda pop for 4 years (it’s bad for a runner’s stressed bones).
After a year of having our routines disrupted, most of us are envisioning what we want this next season of our lives to look like. As this pandemic period winds down, what do you want your life to look like and what routines need to be readjusted to support that?
According to a recent survey, 42% of adults reported gaining more weight than they had intended, gaining an average of 29 pounds since the pandemic started.
For many, more time at home meant:
What do you want your eating routine to look like going forward? What does the contents of your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry need to look like to support that?
Pandemic exercise was a mixed bag. On the one hand, shutdowns shut out many people from their exercise facilities. On the other hand, remote work gave many greater freedoms to incorporate regular exercise into their daily life. Plus, the pandemic work wardrobe of sweatpants, leggings, or PJ’s may have left us out of touch with the changes in our body that happen when exercise consistency declines.
Have your routines around movement been an energy gain or drain? What kind of movement does your body need as you transition into this post-pandemic period? What type of exercise do you want to slowly get back to? What type of exercise do you want to explore?
It’s been a tough year and coping with pandemic stress has impacted our health both physically and mentally. Nearly 1 out of 4 adults report drinking more alcohol to help cope with stress. For essential workers, 54% report that they relied on unhealthy habits to get them through the pandemic.
Living together in close quarters and working together within new parameters have a way of bringing out unhealthy ways of coping with unresolved issues, strained relationships, unpleasant truths, and unprocessed grief.
Addressing these issues is a key to moving into the next season of life with the freedom to flourish. Whether through prayer or professional intervention, now is a good time to deal with any unresolved difficulties. What do you need to talk about?
Rest: In recent survey findings, 70% of Americans between the ages of 35-44 experienced sleep disturbances during the pandemic, primarily caused by anxiety and disrupted routines.
With all the isolation and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. staying connected through our devices seemed important. Now that pandemic anxiety and isolation have lessened, it is a good time to establish some healthy boundaries around your late evening routines, especially involving the use of devices. What time will you commit to “winding down” by turning your screens off?
The past year may have been one big disruption, but the time has come to get back to those hidden, healthy routines that are an important energy source for us as we run the race in this next season of life.
Good Health for Good Works Challenge:
Eat, Move, Cope, & Rest - transitioning out of pandemic living and into your next season of life will require readjusting some routines in these 4 key areas of health.
In what area of health has pandemic living taken the greatest toll on your health and well-being? What actions do you need to take to establish some hidden, healthy routines to help you run your God-given race?
About the author:
Ginger Hill is a Christian wellness speaker, coach and consultant and the founder of Good Health for Good Works where she helps the earnest, but often exhausted, workers in Christian organizations to take steps toward healthier living so they can fulfill their organization's mission with energy, excellence and endurance.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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