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5 Habits to Build in a Season of Waiting

How do you take care of yourself in a season of waiting? Here are 5 crucial habits to build to help you maintain a positive mindset:

Manage stress: Waiting is hard and stressful at times because you can’t control the outcome. That’s why you need a way to manage stress. I recommend at least 15 minutes of meditation per day in some form of prayer with a spiritual text, devotional, Bible, song, podcast, or other prayer. Choose what resonates most with you. You might consider journaling your thoughts as well.

I also recommend a daily examen at the end of the day, inclusive of identifying things that you’re grateful for and where you saw God in your day. This helps cultivate a spirit of gratitude for what you do have and how God is working in your life now, which naturally helps reduce stress because you start to see how God was with you through the challenges and how He’s caring for you in the gifts you receive each day.

Get exercise: Exercise can help us work off anxious and frustrated energy in a season of waiting and helps stabilize a positive mood. Find a form of movement you enjoy. Running, biking, resistance bands, weights, walking, barre, pilates, dance, sports, high intensity interval training, and so much more are available to you. There are apps, fitness centers, boutique studios, and even just exercising outside. Experts recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

Eat nutritiously: Take a look at your diet. Is it giving you the nourishment and strength you need? Often in a season of waiting, we’re tempted to eat comfort food which doesn’t always serve us well because food and mood are intricately connected. A diet of lean protein, whole grains, low sugar, and lots of vegetables helps sustain positive thinking. The more junk we’re eating, the less likely we’re able to handle the difficulties we face in a season of waiting.

Rest: Get enough rest: 7-9 hours per night is ideal. It will help you manage difficulties more easily. Instead of scrolling social media or binging on Netflix, hit the sack earlier to get more sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, consider wind-down routines (like reading, meditation, and prayer) before bed to put your mind at ease. Ensure sleep best practices like avoiding afternoon caffeine, sleeping in a cool and dark room, etc.

Take care emotionally: Your emotional health needs care and attention during a season of waiting which means you need the support of others and to invest in self care. When you find yourself emotionally strained, take time to rest and rejuvenate; do something that nourishes you or gives you joy. Have a go-to list of people to lean on and a nourishment menu of things that uplift you (going to the spa, a retreat day, doing a hobby, taking a hike, etc). Consider counseling if you need it.

I learned many of these the hard way. I didn’t always do these things well, and it has taken time and discipline to get into new, sustainable routines. I assure you, though, that it’s worth developing these healthy habits. They’ve helped me navigate waiting with a lot more ease and a better mindset. Try them for yourself and see!

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