One of the best changes I've made this year (well, one month in) is the increase in time I've dedicated to reading each day.
I've always loved to read - always always always - but I'd fallen off the reading wagon over the past few years.
However, I'm back in the game now, and I'm thoroughly enjoying devouring one book after another.
I recently finished the book, 'Nourished' by Becky Johnson & Rachel Randolph, and it spoke to my heart in a lot of ways. One of the reasons I picked 'intentional' as my word of the year for 2015 is because I wanted to dedicate more quality time on things that nourish my soul, instead of wasting away my time on things that do not advance me intellectually/spiritually/emotionally/etc.
In the beginning, the authors (a mother and daughter) list the top 10 everyday stressors of women, which include:
- Stress of chaotic surroundings
- Stress of schedules
- Stress of negative body image
- Stress of negative self-talk
- Stress of food issues
- Stress of fitness
- Stress of friendship
- Stress of marriage
- Stress of raising children
- Stress of feeling like a spiritual slacker.
As soon as I read this list I became convinced that these authors/women have been reading my mind. Yes, yes, and yes, my mind is consistently weighed down feelings of inadequacy in all of these areas, unfortunately. And of course, I wish this wasn't the case. I mean, a little self-reflection and improvement is always necessary, but sometimes I think about areas of my life more than I actually work on them, if that makes sense.
'Nourished' breaks down each of these stressors and discusses how this mother/daughter duo have each struggled with and worked on improving these areas of their lives. Some of the stories are humorous, some are touching, and all are relatable.
I didn't find this book to be overly deep or informative, but I did think it was a nice, easy, and enjoyable read and it further convinced me to take some action in various areas of my life which I feel need a bit more attention.
Specifically, I would like to pay a bit more attention to the clutter in my house and to my lack-of-routine and create an environment that better suits my (Type A!) personality type. Disorganization stresses me out. Stuff stresses me out. Inefficiency stresses me out. However, as I look around my apartment I see piles of papers without a home. I see books scattered about. I see 'stuff' everywhere. I also notice that I have no routines in place, which is a bit ridiculous for someone who loves schedules.
My major takeaway from this book was that I should have a morning routine that I look forward to each morning. This routine should be an incentive for me to get out of bed. Well, this spoke straight to my heart, as my mornings are more-often-than-not spent with me delaying getting out of bed other than to gather Clara in my arms and head back to bed to nurse her! I spend time scrolling my phone, I spend time gazing out the window, I spend time hitting the snooze button... but I do not jump out of bed ready to start the day, that's for sure.
I really do think that having a routine could change all of that. My goal for the next week is to determine what would get me out of bed in the morning. I have a feeling this routine is going to involve herbal tea, a good book, a podcast, and some breakfast, but I guess we'll see if those things make the cut, or if I need to be a bit more creative in jump-starting my day.
Do you have a morning routine? What does it entail?
I'm happy to tell you that I have a copy of this book to give away. I highly recommend you read it, but I also think it'd be a great 'thinking of you' gift for a friend or loved one. This is one of those books that I actually don't want to keep on my bookshelf, because I want to pass it around to ensure others get some goodness out of it, too.
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I hope you're having a most wonderful weekend so far! As I type this we're waiting for a storm to arrive in Chicago... It should be perfect Sunday football-watching weather!
Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.