It’s been a hard day. Seven to eight hours of school or a job can easily drain your energy. You probably just want to lie down and pass out, right? That’s only natural. However, before you hit the sheets, consider putting aside a little time to feed your soul.
Now “feeding your soul” may seem like a daunting task, but it actually comes naturally. Just as your body needs nourishment, so does your spirit. With all the pressures from school and work and family, it can be easy to become bogged down. Heavy, cumbersome feelings can even stop you from enjoying what free time you do have. So, it’s important that you find a pastime that feeds you specifically. And just as important, you’ll need to identify certain pastimes that drain you.
Just as your body needs nourishment, so does your spirit.
It’s easy to recognize whether an activity feeds or drains your soul. Imagine leaving math class after taking a very important test. You’ve studied hard for days but still aren’t sure how well you did. The anxiety of not knowing fills you with a sense of dread, and by the time you get home, you’re exhausted. Obviously this math test has acted as a draining force on your spirit. On the other hand, say that when you arrive home your mother asks you to help her cook dinner. Helping her makes you feel better, and even lessens your worry. So, spending time with family has acted as a replenishing force on your spirit. Volunteering to teach a Sunday school lesson or organizing a food drive at school might also act as replenishing forces on your spirit. You might find it rewarding to give advice to friends, encourage those around you or raise money for a club in which you’re involved. Each of these is indicative of the gifts that God has given you as a unique individual. The things that feed your soul are usually good indicators of what God has planned for your future.
You certainly have at least one activity that helps you to relax and rejuvenate. It might be playing sports, sewing or even spending time outside. Or does taking a long soak in the bathtub sound more appealing to you? What about some light exercise or yoga? Devoting your Saturday afternoon to painting a picture can provide an outlet for your creativity. And a widespread cleaning spree could be unbelievably liberating. Instead of just jumping into bed as soon as you get home, maybe spend a few minutes in your backyard, smelling the flowers. And it’s not only activities that can feed you. People, topics of conversations or even classes at school can leave you feeling energized and alive. Oppositely, hanging around certain groups of people or talking about certain things can have a negative affect on your spirit.
Something that can help you to find the activities that feed you is determining whether you’re accomplishment-oriented or progress-oriented. This distinction is important because certain activities will feed each type of person to a different degree. If you’re progress-oriented, reading a chapter or two of a book each night will probably be enough to satisfy your spirit. However, if you’re accomplishment-oriented, you’ll want to partake in an activity that you can finish, like calling a friend or going for a walk.
Another great way to discover what feeds you is to keep a journal. Writing down your feelings after an activity is one way to stay aware of how things impact you. Once your feelings are in a journal you’ll be able to go back and see if patterns arise. Once you’ve identified the patterns you can start to figure out why you’re having those feelings. Are you always anxious because it’s the end of the semester? Do you become emotional after having too much to eat?
A few tips to discover what feeds you:
- Start writing your feeling down in a journal and keep track of patterns.
- Determine if you’re achievement-oriented or progress-oriented.
- Make a list of the things that make you feel energized, as well as a list of things that drain you. These lists can include anything: activities, people, subjects at school, topics of conversation, etc.
- Talk to God about how He’s crafted you and the desires He’s laid on your heart.
God made you special and unique, which means that what gives life to your spirit may not do the same for another. That’s because what feeds your soul is likely connected to your purpose in life, and what God will have you do in the future. God designed you to be revived by certain activities, so pursue those activities every day to grow closer to God and better understand how He made you. It’s important that you set aside some time every day to do what makes you feel revitalized because that activity or interest may be the beginning of God’s plan for you.