Where do you go when you hit that point that if one more person asks you to do something, complains to you, gossips with you, just is…with you, you think you’ll scream? I imagine myself mouth wide open in a shriek, arms waving madly, hair standing up in all directions looking as frazzled on the outside as how I feel on the inside.
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I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we can admit we’ve all hit that point sometime. It doesn’t even have to come after something majorly stressful. I know in my daily moments I feel sometimes like I’ve just hit my limit (like at Walmart trying to navigate through all the people…I tell my husband, “I’ve hit my Walmart limit,” and he knows he’d better get me out of there fast).
Sometimes, because of our need to portray ourselves as being in control, of being cool and able to handle everything, we don’t want to admit we need a break. We go and go and go until it becomes routine to just spout off, “I’m so busy.” or “I’m so stressed.” or “Ughhh, I just wish I could slow down once in a while.”
Guess what. You can. Just as I write about being intentional with your relationship with Christ, it’s just as important to be intentional in your relationship with YOU.
Each day, take a moment or two or ten for you. Go to your mountain pray. Not sure where that is? What about these ideas?
1. Take a walk by yourself.
It’s okay to stroll. For a long time, I never went for a walk unless it was only for exercise, only if I could make sure I could cover x amount of miles in x amount of time. When I didn’t feel there was any other purpose, external purpose anyway, I wouldn’t do it. Now, I know that even a 10 minute stroll helps me to clear the clutter from my brain and brings a sense of peace so that I feel I can soon return to the demands of my day and handle everything with grace.
2. Lock yourself in the bathroom
When I had little kids, they would sometimes knock anyway, and I had to establish a few rules with my husband and with them that if the bathroom door was closed, I needed privacy. My kids learned. My husband learned. They weren’t being neglected in the few minutes I shut myself away from them. In fact, they benefitted from a wife/mom who came out from her alone time and felt real patience with them rather than the forced kind.
3. Go for a drive.
Obviously, don’t leave your small kids at home, but if you have them, get your husband, a friend, a neighbor to watch them for you. There’s no need to go for hours. Just go alone. Sometimes, I crank up the music I want to listen and sing at the top of my lungs. Other times, I only hear the chunk chunk of the tires on the cracks, bumps, and potholes on the back country roads where I like to drive. Looking at the trees and pastures in the varying stages of the seasons helps me to appreciate God’s beauty.
4. Shop and go to a movie by yourself.
If you have a little more time, go out by yourself. Being able to take your time browsing through any section of any store by yourself with no one demanding your time or attention is way more relaxing than you might realize. You don’t even have to buy anything. Just look. And imagine a movie where you can focus only on the movie, not trying to keep a little one in a seat, not having to talk to anyone else. Not that those things aren’t fun, but every once in a while, try it by yourself just to see. I think you’ll enjoy it as long as you remember to let go of the guilt you’ll probably feel for doing something ‘fun’ without others. I only mention that because I think that’s pretty common. Guilt. But let it go. You’re worth taking care of, too.
No matter which ‘mountain’ you go to to pray, remember you do have to come down again. Your alone time helps you center, refresh, renew. Schedule it, keep the appointments, use the time to enjoy being with yourself, and then come back ‘down’ and keep working to make the earth His kingdom.
Where do you like to go when you’ve hit your limit and need to be alone? Share in the comments below.
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