Habits and routines
Cultivating healthy habits
The Apostle John prays this deeply personal prayer for his friend Gaius. John suggests that “it is well” with Gaius’ soul, that he is spiritually alive and walking in the truth of God’s ways. But this prayer also acknowledges that there’s something inherently good about being healthy and experiencing life’s circumstances going well. Neither of these things is a reality for any of us all the time.
Do some exercise
Walking, running, swimming, climbing stairs – even fidgeting! – any activity that gets you moving is good for you. And vigorous exercise helps dissipate stress hormones like adrenaline.
Connect with friends
God has made us relational beings and social isolation is harmful for our health. What habits could you build into your life that foster or help you form healthy relationships and friendships with others?
When was the last time you laughed? Really laughed? The last couple of years have given most of us much to weep over. Many of us have shed many tears of sadness. But there comes a time for us to laugh.
Sing songs of joy
Being thankful and responding to our great God with joy and gladness is good for us. It is a wonderful habit to build into your day. Psalm 100 is short and its words are filled with how to worship our Lord. You could start or end your day reading it out loud or singing it or some other song of praise
Eat healthy food
Eating well-balanced, nutritious meals can make a big difference to our wellbeing. Building habits around what you eat can profoundly impact energy levels, your sleep, your ability to think clearly, and ability to juggle the demands of life. What we need is to limit processed foods and include fresh foods from all the different colours of the rainbow (especially plant-based foods).
Work on your friendships
The last couple of years of living with Covid and isolating from others has impacted my friendships. The normal habits I had of reaching out and connecting with friends have become flabby with disuse and I have realised I need to be a bit more intentional if I am to rebuild them.
Take a break from your digital devices
According to research, the average Australian spends roughly 5.5 hours per day on their mobile phone or tablet devices. That’s almost one quarter of the day. Almost two hours of this time is spent scrolling through and responding to social media. It’s not that long since we did life without these devices and managed pretty well.
We all know that regular exercise is good for our bodies, but our brains also benefit from a workout. Learning a new skill or building on existing skills helps keep our brains healthy and builds new neural pathways. As to what – well, it can be just about anything. So, why not choose something that interests you and commit to learning more!
Get good sleep
Sleep is God’s gift to renew us each day. How was your sleep last night? Did you awaken this morning refreshed ready to face a new day? A good night of sleep is good for our physical health and mental wellbeing. For some, there will be times when the pressures and demands of life bring sleepless nights, and there are various medical conditions and other things that can interfere with our sleep.