Now more than ever, rhythms keep us sane. Heartbeats. Habits. Skin care. Schedule. With a global refocus on essentials, it’s the patterns of our daily routine that make us feel comfortable.
Sometimes we need a reset. My monotonous schedule eventually made me feel like something was missing. I wasn’t reaching my full potential.
In my search for more excitement in my day to day, I came across Rebekah Lyons’ book, Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose. She talks about 4 rhythms: rest, restore, connect, and create. Tapping into these rhythms has helped me live a more fulfilling life in the day to day (even with a million Zoom calls).
REST. Rest once felt like a far off idea for me. In my busy schedule, the last thing I had time to do is rest. Staying up more hours does not mean that you are more productive in most cases -- you might just be depleting yourself of the restoring benefits of sleep! True rest deserves more of a spotlight.
In my extra time the last few months, I put more of a priority on sleep. I got into the habit of going to bed one hour earlier than usual and waking up one hour earlier. This small, incremental change has made me so much more productive! I found that I thrive in the stillness of early mornings and love establishing each day with an intentional slowness. I get what I need to do in an efficient amount of time during the day so that I can relax when I step away from the computer. Giving yourself the freedom to simply do nothing (or read or watch a movie or savor your coffee), has amazing benefits for health and overall happiness. Do not shame yourself for spending a little time recuperating -- it will surprise you how much energy you can get from a little recharge!
RESTORE. Once you have built a foundation of rest, restoration is about physical health -- how we take care of our bodies. There is a lot of stress and anxiety pent up around fitness and eating healthy, and I have personally fallen victim to this in the past. Changing my mindset on health has allowed me to have more fun, in the kitchen cooking recipes with my roommates and trying new workouts with my sister.
I have learned more of the science behind gut, hormonal, and overall health from Kelly LeVeque’s podcast, which I highly recommend. Separating the social stigma of what’s beautiful and repositioning health and wellness as fuel and release has helped me to reclaim freedom and feel more content with myself and around others.
CONNECT. Surrounding yourself with a tribe of people you trust and respect is essential to a bountiful life. Vulnerability is more important than ever. Zoom classes, virtual work, and more time at home spin our lives so that we only see the same few people. While your family and colleagues are likely dear to you, there is something special about college or home friends. Wield extra time in your schedule to call a distant friend, text someone you might not cross paths with anymore, or step outside for a walk with a local friend. You don’t realize how refreshing this is until you try it.
CREATE. The final rhythm is creativity. Now, this one might seem hard for you if you don’t like art or music or dance. Creativity is not limited to artistic endeavors! Maybe your creativity springs from new recipes in the kitchen, telling stories to your kids, or trying the newest makeup trend. I have personally found that making videos of different times in my life from my camera roll is a therapeutic, creative activity that makes me happy.
One of my professors, Greg Hohn, taught me that creativity is more of a practice than a quality. Take a little time out of your week to practice being creative, and it will feel more natural as it becomes a habit (no matter how painful it might be at first!). You might even discover a new passion.
Rest, restore, connect, and create. You don’t have to go all in at once. Recapturing purpose can starts with small tasks. Try slowly introducing a new activity from one of these rhythms this week!