10 ways to refresh your spirit every day
1. Be slow
What would it look like to live your life at half-speed? When you’re flying down the highway, you take in much less of what you see than if you’re walking beside the road. When you do your regular everyday things, go slow enough to be aware of yourself doing them.
Take time to notice the flowers blooming, to wave to the sweet elderly couple walking by the house, or to stop for a real conversation with the new girl at school. When we rush through our days, bouncing from one place to the next, we miss so much.
Put the phone down and look around instead of mindlessly scrolling or cramming busy into every moment.
“...A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot” (Proverbs 14:30-31).
2. Laugh and play
Play isn’t just good for kids but adults, too! It reminds us to laugh ourselves into letting go of insecurities and give up control. Do a puzzle. Dream up a new line dance with your besties. Pick up a coloring book.
As a scientific bonus, play aids in calming anxiety and encourages us to connect in more authentic ways by not taking ourselves too seriously.
“...everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man” (Ecclesiastes 3:13).
3. Do something creative
Pot a plant, paint a stone, or go Marie Kondo on a room that needs it. Participating in creating (even if you don’t think you’re very good) relieves stress and forms brain connections to make your brain healthier.
We were created in the image of God. Creativity reflects the creator of the universe and feeds our souls.
“He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer” (Exodus 35:35).
4. Work up a sweat
From leisurely walking to really getting our hearts pumping, moving our bodies produces endorphins, and they make us feel better.
Working hard physically not only refreshes our spirit but also calms our bodies. We rest better and experience less anxiety and stress.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
5. Invest in a friendship
Investing in friendships can be as simple as going out for a cup of coffee, sending a thank you note, or picking up a small gift, just because.
According to Harvard Health’s research, those with healthy relationships live the longest and have the healthiest brains.
We often have to fight for our friendships by prioritizing and making room for those who we want to keep in our lives, but it refreshes our soul to do so.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).
6. Bless someone
We constantly hear about the benefits of self-care, but what if filling our own cup comes after we’ve emptied ourselves out? The continuing cycle of pouring and filling refreshes the soul. We can’t pour out more than God can fill.
Perhaps blessing is something practical, like mowing a neighbors lawn or delivering a meal. Maybe it’s more relational, like taking someone out for lunch so you can talk about something they might be dealing with and share wisdom and encouragement. You will be blessed to be a blessing.
“It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).
7. Learn something new
A healthy spirit embraces exploration and discovery. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill, like changing the oil in your car, baking, or — go nuts! — try skydiving! Perhaps it’s expanding your understanding, like reading books about healthier boundaries or how to pray for the people in your life.
Growing makes us feel more alive and capable. It reminds us of the complex brains the Lord created for us to use in new and exciting ways!
“And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 8:15).
8. Waste time with Jesus
We know. You can’t actually waste time with Jesus. We mean spending time — like, way more time — than you normally do, without any agenda.
If your time with Him feels “unproductive,” that’s the idea. Noah was considered a righteous man before he built the ark because he walked with God. If a quiet time for you is usually 15 minutes, put off the vacuuming another day and double —or, scandal, triple — that time!
Time with Jesus isn’t only reading the Bible and praying. It can be a walk in the neighborhood or sitting on the beach. Create quiet space to hear from the Lord and appreciate the creator of such beauty.
“...Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9).
9. Pray out loud and listen
Praying aloud reminds us we’re having a conversation. Focus on dialogue rather than monologue. Jesus regularly got away alone and prayed. If He needed to talk with the Father, how much more do we? Connect with the giver of life, and He will give you everything you need, and often, much more.
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
10. Start a gratitude journal
Grab a notebook from that draw or purchase a special journal. Heck, just open your notes app on your phone. The point is: write down three new things to be grateful for each day.
Bonus: After about a week, we’ll exhaust all the normal stuff like coffee, our family, God, and we have to start seeing the beauty in the little things. Thank Him for the struggles because they help us grow. Gratitude changes our attitude.
"I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live“ (Ecclesiastes 3:12).