Motivational toast! Get it?!
Omg, I'm laughing way too hard at this thing. I will forever be the biggest fan of dad jokes!
Today we are talking about all things routine and structure.
Ahh, structure, that word is music to my ears!
When I hear structure, I think success!
Did you know that having a schedule can alleviate all of your anxiety? When I said schedule I meant to say, God. God can alleviate ALL of your anxiety, but a schedule definitely helps!
Our minds are God's miraculous creation but sometimes they do crazy things! Like think too long or too hard about certain topics that really don't deserve that much of our attention.
Today we will discuss how implementing more consistency can eliminate concern, how more routine leaves less room for ruminating, and how more structure shuts up our anxious thoughts!
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for the gift of our minds. Help us to treat our minds with great care, considering deeply what we allow to enter our thoughts. Whether it be through what we watch, what we listen to, the conversations we entertain, what we read, or the activities we engage in. Oh Lord, there are so many opportunities for unrighteous messages to penetrate our minds. We pray protection over our thoughts. We pray that you would guard us against anything that does not honor you.
Lord, when we encounter detestable images, song lyrics, or speech we pray that we would not be negatively impacted by those messages, but that you would keep us safe from all unrighteousness. We pray that we would recognize our responsibility to care for what you have entrusted us with and remove ourselves from any situations that do not serve to glorify you.
As we pray for our mental health today, we ask that you would convict our hearts to make the necessary changes we need to implement to rid ourselves of anything that you would deem unholy. Help us to live up to your standard, not our own.
Help us to realize that every good thing comes from you, Lord. When we walk in your will for our life we will receive the courage to face any temptation, any negative thought, any unwillingness in our flesh.
Our strength is found in you, Jesus.
We pray specifically against anxiety, depression, laziness, poor lifestyle choices, feelings of failure or defeat.
You call us worthy. You call us forgiven. You call us redeemed. You call us holy, clean, spotless, a new creation!
It is by YOUR stripes that we are healed. While we were still sinners, you freely gave your life to pay the price for our sins.
We are eternally grateful!
As we embark on a new journey, help us to choose a routine that places you high above any other priority in our life. Lord, let us wake up and fall asleep with you on our mind!
It is in your holy name we pray.
How would your relationship with your spouse or your best friend grow if you only spoke to them in the morning or briefly as you fell asleep at night? What if you only called them when you needed something?
Well, God is our best friend, right? And aren't we his bride? So shouldn't we talk to him all day every day? We don't want to neglect our relationship with the Lord. We should strive to consider his will for each decision we make, every struggle we face, and celebrate with him in our seasons of rejoicing!
Let's create a Christ-centered consistent routine that encompasses Jesus in every aspect.
1. Christ-centered routine
Developing a new routine isn't easy in general, but if we put God first, as he has commanded us to do, I promise you are in the best position possible to achieve success.
God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or even think!
In a world of technology - we have God's word on demand right in our hand.
While there are people all over the world praying for a Bible of their own how long do we go without spending time in his word when it is at our very fingertips?
This isn't a "there are starving kids in Africa, so eat all your food" guilt trip. Rather, it is a sincere question and one that we should all consider. Am I taking God for granted? Have I become so wrapped up in the busyness of life that I won't spend my first few morning moments thanking and praising him?
I encourage you to consider downloading one of the many Bible apps that are available. Or try writing in your prayer journal, praying out loud, or reading his word the old-fashioned way. Lol
Whatever you choose and for however long you choose to do it, just try your best to remain consistent.
Look back at last week's post for details on how to create SMART goals. That will help track whether or not you are accomplishing what you have set out to complete.
Here are the recommended Bible apps:
The Bible App
This one is at the top of the list for all of the amazing features it offers! It allows you to connect with friends. It has so many reading resources available for any topic imaginable. It encourages your own creativity by enabling you to post Bible verses to your personal photos or choose one from their gallery. And it has a "story" feature, just like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Every day you can click on the story and there is a Pastor or Christian artist that reads a verse and gives a devotional. It's really cool how they've made it so relevant to today's society while ensuring that the focus remains on the Lord.
Inspirations is much more straightforward. It sends a bible verse to your phone every morning and if you choose to click on it, you can read a devotional. I love it! It's something simple to get your morning started off right!
Just remember, the key here is consistency! So start out simple and stay vigilant!
2. Get organized!
You're off to a great start! You know that you will begin your day with God, which is most important! But if we want to truly be successful, we need to be able to physically see what is expected of us each day.
There are a million ways to get organized, but I've found the most helpful is a day planner that allows you to plan out each hour of the day.
Day Planner = Routine
This is the one I use: Hourly Planner
When I write out my day, it looks something like this:
6 AM - Thank God (so this would be your God first thing, whatever that looks like for you.)
6:30 AM - Breakfast, feed the dogs, clean kitchen
7 AM - Shower, get ready
8 AM - Work
10 AM - Staff meeting (off in the margin I might write something like who can I pray for?)
12 PM - Look up healthy recipes on my lunch break
2 PM - Submit my grocery order/send my husband a cute meme
4 PM - Call my elderly neighbor on my drive home, see if she needs me to stop by the pharmacy
5 PM - Work out (write exactly what you are going to do. I have an entirely separate notebook dedicated to what exercises I plan for the day and cross them off as I go.)
6 PM - Dinner
6:30 PM - Book Club
8 PM - Shower and get ready for bed
9 PM - Spend time with my husband, pray together
10 PM - You better be asleep, girlfriend!
This specific planner has a place for a little gratitude note, things to remember, a to-do list area, which would be a great place to write out your exercise plan.
Each day looks different depending on what day of the week it is, but that's what's great about getting into a routine! You can create routines inside of your routine by doing specific things on specific days.
On Sundays there's church and meal prepping.
On Mondays there's your kid's karate lesson.
On Tuesdays there's tacos!
And so on and so forth.
Below I've attached a FREE option to help you get organized!
You can print multiple copies of this template or just make your own in a traditional notebook. However, you choose to do it, just be detailed. And make sure your objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.)
Like anything in life, you get out what you put in.
3. Positive thoughts, positive actions, positive results
We have God and goals, let's keep going!
Now that we have our priorities straight and a schedule to adhere to, we should feel at least some sense of relief. If you are feeling overwhelmed that's okay, too. Just give it some time.
The more you stick to your schedule the less anxiety you will experience.
As humans, we tend to be nervous about the unknown.
A schedule helps to keep some of our questions at bay.
Of course, life is unpredictable and curveballs get thrown our way, but that all goes back to number one. There is not a single thing that we cannot face with the security found in Christ.
To track how a schedule can aid in alleviating your anxieties, I've attached a mood chart. To achieve accurate results, you must remain consistent with your schedule and your chart.
You can download a copy of the chart here.
Simply place a check in the box of the emotion that you experienced and what time you felt that way.
You'll want to look at it objectively. Over time you will be able to determine what your anxiety is most related to. For example, am I anxious at 3 PM most days? Why? Well, according to my schedule, that is what time my kids get out of school and I'm at work. I'm usually wondering if they made it on the bus, what I'm going to make for dinner, and how I'm going to fit my workout in.
Now tailor your schedule to alleviate some of those anxieties. Somethings are within our control and some are not. So focus on what can be controlled and leave the rest to God.
For example, I am in control of planning ahead.
One concern I can eliminate is wondering what I am going to make for dinner. I meal prepped, so I don't have to think about dinner for the rest of the week!
How am I going to fit my work out in? Well, it's on the schedule for 5 PM and that's all there is to it. I am going to be consistent and prioritize my health.
Now, as long as your kids made it on the bus, which they typically do, you can use prayer to cope with anxiety associated with them getting home.
These are the three most simple steps that will guarantee a reduction in your symptoms of anxiety. Pray, plan, and implementation!
It is our prayer that as you spend prioritized time with God your relationship will grow and your mind will be at ease.
Come back and let us know if you tried any of the resources in this post.
We love receiving feedback!
Until Next Time
Your Praying friend
Is there anything we can pray with you about today?
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Let's be friends!
Substance Abuse Counselor