How much noise is in your life? Noise can be anything from the usual cacophony of life (like traffic or construction) to different voices that make it into your ears (like different people telling you what to do). Noise can also be piled up lists of things to do.
I love that God didn’t reveal Himself to Elijah in a strong wind, an earthquake, and a fire, but in a still small voice (1 Kings 19). When Elijah wanted to die, God didn’t use great and mighty things to lift him up. God used a still and small voice.
When I was going through burnout, I thought doing great and mighty things was the key to shake me out of it or jumpstart my energy and passion. So I’d go on vacations and shopping sprees and have as much fun as I can. But it wasn’t in those big things that I found comfort and peace. It was when God picked me up in the dead of night and gently reminded me of His love and faithfulness. It was in His still small voice that I felt most cared for and felt most hopeful.
When there’s a lot of noise in our lives, it can be practicing stillness that is key to selfcare. Sometimes, to shake off the stress, we need to avoid the noise instead of replacing it with more noise. There’s a time and place for vacations, games, going out with friends, and all those things that are ways to practice selfcare. There’s alsot a time and place for silence, stillness, and the small stuff. They are ways to practice selfcare, too.
We have to discern the time and place. For me, it was by trial and error until I became more in tuned with my body and mental state, until I recognized the types of stresses I’m in and figured out what kind of selfcare would help me best.
Here are some ways to practice stillness:
- Listen to instrumental music (I like instrumental melodic Christmas music)
- Turn off your devices
- Sit down and savor a meal
- Go to the park
- Practice yoga
- Do some slow and deep stretches
Give yourself a time out, however that looks. It may look like rearranging your schedule to fit in some alone time. It may be asking your spouse or a sitter to watch the kids for an extra hour or two. It may be saying “no” to invitations and events. You have control over the noise you let inside your life. You can always turn down the volume.