How to Find Time to Rest with a Busy Schedule

Recently we have had a lot of coming and going of guests in our home. Squishing as many as 5 people in our 600ft studio apartment!

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We have had late nights chatting and movie watching as well as early mornings whether it be for work or adventuring.

The last few days I have been feeling the exhaustion creeping in as I started to learn more and more on coffee and chocolate every day to keep me going. Not to mention my extremely extroverted self was slowly turning into an introvert.

The problem is that I spread my time and energy way too thin. Today everyone went home and I completely crashed. The feeling of sleep exhaustion, dehydration, whacked-out hormones, and sore muscles had me in bed for a nap at noon and fell asleep for over two hours! My husband has even taken a siesta today, and when we both need a nap you know we are tired.

So here I am re-evaluating how I approach the rest of this awesome summer and realizing that what we need in all the busy and exciting times is to slow down.

SO how do we slow down during one of the busiest seasons of the year? Well I totally get it, you have kids, you work all the time, have school, or maybe you're doing all three! Life won't stop for you, so you have to take responsibility for finding the time and ability to slow things down. Even though slowing down is important, it’s hard to know where to start, so here are a few tips to help you answer that question for your own life.

First of all, you want to begin to think about the time-wasters in your life. And by time-wasting, I don’t mean sleep! I mean mindless activities like social media that drain our time to rest and regroup in our day to day life. I am not saying that you have to go to the extreme and cut out all social media because life doesn’t work well on extreme restrictions. You are more than likely setting yourself up for failure when you have extreme restrictions and this doesn’t actually solve the problem of creating solid boundaries in life. There are things you can do like set times on your social media apps or leave the checking of social media for specific times of the day, away from bedtime when you are supposed to be taking time for yourself to rest and recover. What I do is set a 30-minute reminder on Instagram since its what I am on the most. Then over the course of the day if I have spent 30 minutes on Instagram it lets me know. It doesn’t shut off the app but is a simple reminder as to how much time is spent there. When I first started my average time on just Instagram was almost 2 hours a day, but now it has gone down to about 55 minutes a day! This is just a small example of how just becoming aware of time wasters we can cut back on to regain time to rest.

My second piece of advice is to recognize where you often say yes even though saying no would benefit both you and your family. Usually, these are fun activities or events that when you have energy sound great, but at the end of a long week are more taxing than anything. It’s hard to say no to something that is fun like a night out with friends, or a day spent at a theme park with your kids. These things aren’t a bad thing to have in your schedule, but we need to remember the importance of having a weekend or day off for rest and recuperation.

Lastly, I want to talk about asking for help. For me, this is very relevant because I hate to ask for something, even if I need it and the person has expressed openly their will to give it. This can be anything from a loved one watching your kids so you can take a nap, asking your spouse to run to the grocery store for milk, or seeing if a friend can cover a shift at work. The worst they can say is no, but more than likely if they love you, they will do what they can to help even if it doesn’t work out this time, it might the next! This is not one of those suggestions where you use and abuse the kindness of others without paying it forward because when you get these moments into rest and recuperate you begin to see the importance of them. Since you are better rested you can take the opportunity to do the same for someone else in need. It is a great opportunity to reach out to others and build stronger bonds as a community when we begin to work together to benefit each other.

SO first we find the time wasters and set some boundaries, we find where we say yes to plans when we should be saying no, and then we learn to say yes please to help from others instead of saying no thanks.

If we can incorporate these little changes into our day to day lives, we will find ourselves rested and able to give more to others around us!

Thank you for checking out my page!

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Prioritizing Health and Wellness

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to health and wellness things usually turn out the best for me when I focus on it as an afterthought in life.  

I know what you might be thinking, because hello Sonya, isn’t health and wellness what you are all about? And to answer the question, Yes it is what my main focus is here and I believe it is my calling from God. The thing is, I believe that when our lives are focused on the right things in the right order, everything begins to fall into place.

Think of your time like a budget, where people often assume the thing they put the most time into will be successful; therefore bringing with it true happiness. There, of course, are several different types of investments, but the one thing that people (Myself included) need to realize is the only way to gain true balance and success is to first invest in your relationship with Christ!

In John 3:30 the bible says “He must increase, and I must decrease.” This doesn’t mean you as a person have to give up on everything brings you joy or makes you feel good. What it does mean is that what you invest in first and foremost in life is God.

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My life did not reflect John 3:30 at the beginning of college when all I truly cared about was getting healthy and fit. It sounds innocent enough, but because I was putting myself as my main investment I began to act as though I was the only thing that could provide happiness in my life. I became so obsessed with obtaining happiness that I became a slave to myself. I stopped eating, was over-exercising, and lived for the high of loose fitting pants.

If you read Proverbs 27:19, it says “So as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” My life reflected a selfish and broken system, a life dependent on self. I believed that in turning to myself and leaving God at the bottom of the list I could make everything right when in reality, my life was a disaster.

In Proverbs 21:2 it says, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.”  

My ways were not right, and even today I don’t always invest my time properly, but my end goal is to first and foremost focus on the LORD. I know that when my heart is not invested in him, my relationships, work life, and health suffer. 

So the next time you dive into a self-help book, blog, Instagram page, make sure that before working with these tools find out what's going on in your heart.

Thank you for stopping by, If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below or dm on my Instagram handle at @sonyasopencupboard. I would love to talk to you more about the freedom and LOVE which comes from God!

Love always,

Sonya

The Importance of Loving Other

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

I don’t know about you, but I tend to take people for granted. I want to be the type of person who calls their mom every day, who meets new people in coffee shops and knows my neighbors. Unfortunately, it’s not the case because more often than not life takes my attention and puts in on things of this world that don’t necessarily matter.

I have a hard time especially getting caught up wasting valuable time on social media. It’s not that you can’t connect with people on social media and I definitely do, but for me, the percentage of time spent on social media actually connecting with people is not half as much as the endless scrolling.

In this life I want to live a life that is pleasing to God, investing time in Him and then People. In Matthew 22:34 talks about “men of the law” who tried to trick Jesus by asking Him what law was most important. Jesus replied in the following two verses that the greatest law is to love the Lord with everything you have and to second love others.

The life I desire is this passage, but in order to do this I have to take a different approach in life. Taking the time to be with God in prayer and in the Scripture, then focusing on observing what other people around me need.

One of the reasons I started this blog was my love of people, and I have to remind myself constantly that even if only one person reads these words and finds them helpful I am doing what I need to be doing. Blogging is an amazing tool, but I am also going to challenge myself to go further and begin to be more intentional with the people around me. To put away my MANY selfish desires, and work on getting to know and love people that God has put into my life for a reason.

Whether or not you believe that Christ is Lord we must do our best to come together and care for one another, no matter how difficult. Things are always being replaced, but the friendship, love, support, laughter of another human is irreplaceable. So let us focus this week on putting down the screens and showing some love to those around us.  

Love always,

Sonya

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How to Avoid Burnout / 2019 Goals

I don’t know about you, but January was one heck of a month. I keep seeing all these memes of people saying how January felt like the whole year and figured I would talk about it a little bit with you.

When it comes to the New Year there are a lot of positive vibes flowing the first week. Things like people starting over with a clean slate, forming new habits, working towards a big project, etc. and then life happens. Your apartment floods, you get sick, you realize you forgot to pay a bill and now you have to pay a fine. These types of thing happen whether or not you have a plan to reorganize and revamp your day to day life. We end up idealizing what our year will look like and by February feel disappointed we weren’t’ able to put life together in four weeks.

The new-year cycle is far too familiar with us filling January with possibilities and February filling us with disappointment. When we start to feel disappointed instead think about November and December. The months where we get the opportunity to take a look back on the year and express our gratefulness for everything. We take time to reflect on the good and bad, to see the changes in our personal lives and get excited because in just a few weeks we get a whole new 12 months!

I don’t know about you but I want to feel like every month, week, or day is a new opportunity to achieve something great! I want to acknowledge the fact of each day is a gift from God and we can accomplish anything because God has given us the chance. It says in Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Instead of focusing this month on what stopped you from achieving goals and filling your days with regret for how you might have spent your time, rejoice in the time God has given you! Each day we wake up, each day we have a chance and as long as you wake up these chances never end. They last all day, all week, all year, and all you have to do is decide what attitude you are going to greet your day with.

Start with a grateful heart and an optimistic attitude and before you know it every day will feel like January first.

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Thanks again for stopping by,

Sonya

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How to Regain Focus and Motivation

I don’t know about you guys but when it comes to other people I love to love them. It’s not me being weird or anything, but I genuinely aim my day at helping people become a better version of themselves. People are amazing and I love to see others accomplishing big goals, going out of their comfort zone, finding joy and accomplishments, etc. It makes me feel on top of the world when I see others do these things, and I strive to help them accomplish this!

The amazing part of blogging and Instagram is it gives me a platform to encourage others, but lately it’s felt more of a reminder of failure at giving you guys my all. Emotionally and physically I feel drained, and I almost like a fraud coming here to help motivate you while figuring out how to even motivate myself. Thankfully I have a loving God who gave me perseverance and an amazing husband to lift me up with encouragement.

In Romans 5:3-5 it says “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”.  Now I don’t know about you, but to me this means the fact I feel so defeated is exactly why I need to keep on persisting through this time of trial!

I don’t want to be one of those people who in the midst of a personal trial I give up because I would be admitting everything I have felt called to do and have done would be worthless. I know when God calls you to do something it indeed is worth more than rubies!

Whether or not you are a believer in Christ I know we all feel a strong pull to do something in our lives and it is easy for us to get derailed. We tend to feel small and alone in these times, and for me I tend to accomplish everything I need and more before even reconsidering taking a second look at what needs to happen in my life. I want to just stand here for you and for my future self to keep searching in these times of distress and demotivation. For every person rediscovering there passion and drive for something looks different so don’t do what you think is expected, do what you know works for you!

For me I tend to always spend my free time with people, I love deep conversation, getting to know others and experiencing deep emotional connections, but I have a hard time finding the time to be alone and reflect. I am realizing if I want to be there for you guys, I have to also stop and be there for myself.

If you are struggling in this area take some time for yourself whether it be alone time, time with family and friends, time spent researching, dancing, cooking, etc. Do something today to recharges and brings you energy and motivation! When you feel your best you create more, you love people more, you accomplish more and overall feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders!  

Now if words from my human brain didn’t encourage you here is some scripture I find inspiring!

·         Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad”

·         Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”

·         1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

·         Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

·         2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”  

Thank you so much for stopping in and taking the time to share some love,

-Sonya

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