I typically write about appearance and how to look “put-together” on the outside. Not because I’m superficial, but mainly because I believe that how you look on the outside contributes to how you feel on the inside. But what about when our inside doesn’t match that polished outside?
What about when we go through seasons of struggle, or even depression, that a new outfit, or some fresh makeup just doesn’t fix?
Doesn’t it feel slightly fraudulent to have everything pulled together on the outside, when everything inside is spectacularly falling apart?
I’ve been dealing with this on a somewhat personal level, as I navigate a season of life that has been both difficult and exhausting. Lately, I’ve been focusing on how to be put-together on the inside, and I’ve found five tools that have really helped.
There’s such value in having someone listen and offer an unbiased perspective. Whether you’re going through a season of depression or loss, or even simply struggling with direction in a new phase of life, counseling can be beneficial for everyone. Dr. Allan works with people from all over the world, and many local churches offer referrals, or you can check out the National Board for Certified Counselors: http://www.nbcc.org.
2. “Me” Time
Getting a massage, taking a bath, or curling up with a good book, it’s so important to take the time to decompress. Schedule it into your calendar if necessary. Just find a relaxing activity and allow yourself to enjoy it, guilt-free. No mental to-do lists allowed!
3. Lean on Your Friends
It’s easy to reserve our friend relationships for fun, but sometimes we underestimate the support system we can find there. Be honest and vulnerable, and ask for help if you need it. Your friends will not disappoint you. (And if they do? It’s probably time to rethink that particular friendship.)
4. Connect with Your Spouse
As we go through the minutiae of our days, it can be far too simple to miss connecting with our spouses on a personal level. and it is never more important to do so than when you are struggling emotionally. Take 5 minutes to share one thing that is causing you stress, and have your spouse do the same.
5. Time with God
I saved this one for last, because, for me, it is the most important. Spending time with the Lord every day will do more for your “inside” than anything else on this list. And be honest and vulnerable with Him too. He already knows what you’re struggling with, and nothing you can say will shock Him. Promise.
Most of all, remember, this too shall pass.
Whatever you’re going through will get easier.
And it won’t be long before your inside is even more refined than your outside.
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