We usually associate the Christmas season with words like joy and peace, giving and receiving, happy and merry. Other choice words could be stressful and tiring, packed and rushed, expensive and…perhaps…Aaaaahhhhh! What are the best practices to enjoy a healthy life balance?
Actually, our lives are an outward expression of inward living. Jesus’ career assignment was to provide us with a new “power-full” way of inner living that brings amazing order and peace, free from anxiety and chaos.
In our Adult Development courses at Trinity International University, we illustrate a healthy life balance with a picture of a tree and its roots. A tree with a strong and deep root system can weather a hurricane with little damage. But if a tree is outwardly devastated, it can grow back if there’s a strong root system.
Solomon advises in his book of wisdom, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
There are seven key areas that wonderfully contribute to helping us keep our heart and maintain a healthy life balance.
The starting line of our daily race is including God. Beginning well exponentially increases our chance of ending well. When included, He will provide strength and wisdom to align everything.
Beginning with God may mean praying a few minutes, reading our Bible or daily devotion or attending a worship service. It could mean registering for a Bible course at the local church, Bible college or even online.
Worship is rooted in seeking Him first.
Interpersonal conflict and turmoil can rob us of inner strength and peace during an over-busy holiday schedule. To fix that, it helps to communicate.
Involving our kids with the holiday schedule makes them feel included and bridles their willing cooperation. Plan a weekly family fun night to actually do something together. Your kids will love it: your teenagers will tell you they hate it but later admit it wasn’t so bad after all. One pastor wisely said, “…these are the ones who love you the most, who matter the most and who truly need you the most!”
There are plenty of busy holiday activities that drain. Balance this by including fellowship with those who deposit something positive in us.
One more thing…it is helpful to forgive and talk nicely to ourselves. A positive self-relationship contributes amazingly to a healthy life balance.
Relationships are rooted in communication.
Maintaining an emotional bank account at work contributes to a healthy balance as well. If stressful interactions are causing a low positive balance, we could send a thank you note, wish our boss a nice day and share a kind word.
We remember a life of true service is highly valued by God.
True inner man refreshment flows from a balance of thinking and doing the right thing. Inner turmoil increases when we know we’ve been less than honest at work.
For every completed to-do item say, “I’m doing a great job!” We keep a healthier balance when our heart is swept clean of negative self-talk. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”(Proverbs 23:7).
Work is rooted in service.
Bread for the body; truth for the soul. Inner anxiety relief comes from feeding our inner man. Morsels of truth make us free.
People make terrible mistakes for lack of knowledge. Keep safe; get in the know.
We cannot give what we don’t have. To have the best answers, take some daily time to search and find the truth.
Study is rooted in truth.
There is truth we learn in doing, not experienced in studying. What we think we know is uniquely enriched or corrected when applying it. A doer of truth is just as important as a finder of truth.
Inner strength to achieve often comes as we go. Break up a major task into many smaller ones. Instead of saying “clean the house,” list five items to do. Each task completed makes us feel an increased sense of accomplishment.
An overbooked, super-packed schedule guarantees an over-drained and super-tired inner-man. There is a time to stop.
Maintenance is rooted in doing.
Here are a few sage recommendations from a special 46-year experienced RN.
We greatly prefer feeling energized and healthy. A memorable season full of laughter and good times is preferable, but not in a hospital bed. However, medically, if you want to seriously compromise your immune system and become highly susceptible to infection and disease, eat lots and lots of luscious desserts and freely imbibe in many glasses of high fructose drinks.
Positively, drinking lots of water and washing hands frequently is more helpful than we realize.
Don’t eat Santa’s cookies this year. Sacrifice!
It is better to choose a balance of protein and high fiber and limit ourselves to three bites of sweets only.
If a full workout is not possible, reduce it in half. Otherwise take a short walk or follow a few quick 5-minute office exercise routines that day.
Don’t set the bathroom scales back 10 pounds.
Health is rooted in sacrifice.
“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).
Finances are rooted in giving.
Christmas is really a world-wide birthday party for Jesus. Invite the one having the birthday by addressing each of these seven keys for inner life balance. Celebrate Him big-time this season and follow His input on each of these issues. That will be a special present for Him. After all, it is ‘His’ birthday! Happy Birthday Jesus!