My husband and I often talk about this idea of having 'margins' in life. We have observed that so many people (and at times us too) fill life so full that there are no margins, or spaces left to think, reflect, and then appropriately prepare for life.
For me, creating margins in my day means being in control of the amount of time I spend in front of a screen, whether it be laptop or phone, particularly in the evening. Once babies are in bed and the kitchen is sorted it can be very tempting to sit and endlessly scroll through social media, blogs and other interesting pages (I still do this mind you!) but I have found some days it is just so beneficial to put it away and think, reflect, and plan for what is coming up. This is often a time when I reflect on my parenting, and how my house hold and family is going, are we thriving, or are we just getting by? Are we happy and are my children and husband happy and healthy? What kind of behaviours are we struggling with at the moment and how can we help these evolve into more positive attributes?
But margins don't always have to be for the purpose of planning and reflection. I can also remember a time when I just had no time to simply 'switch off'. This is important as it is not healthy for our minds to constantly have so many 'tabs open', we need time to enjoy a book, or a walk, or a long conversation with someone who is close to us. Margins are also where we often find the space to hear the voice of wisdom.
As a Christian I love to hear the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit in my days but I know there are times when my head is so full of my responsibilities and future plans that I just can't hear very well. So creating margins at times like this is something I have learnt to do.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU'VE CREATED A 'MARGIN'
If you've made the time to sit and reflect or plan, what now? These are a few things I have found helpful:
- Give yourself time to think. So often we are so distracted by our phones, computers, TVs and other people around us that we don't actually get any time to think for ourselves. You'll be amazed at what comes to you when you give your mind some rest and some space.
- Write down your reality in an area, what is it like for you now? Ie: your health, are you energetic, sleeping well, and feeling strong, or are you lethargic, sick all the time and just 'getting by'?
- Write down where you would like to be if that area is not really all you would like it to be. Ie: I would like to not rely on caffeine for energy during the day, I would like to feel fit and strong and not have a sore back all the time, I would like to not be sick with this allergy or symptom.
- Research/ask for help/pray for specific wisdom. At times like this I pray for God to reveal to me where to find the information I need to resolve the issue, then ask for the strength and ability to follow through with any changes that need to be made, and thank Him for His help. I have a look at websites, read books that may have been recommended to me and then take notes of things I could change or implement to help me on my way.
For websites and resources I have found really helpful in various areas, have a look at my 'Helpful Websites and Apps' post on both my Lifestyle and Reviews pages.