It’s been a long day. School, practice and homework. You’re ready to just lay down and check out for the rest of the night. But, before you hit the sheets, take a moment to feed your soul.
The idea of feeding your soul may seem uncanny, but it’s actually rather natural. Just as your body needs nourishment, so does your spirit. Your daily routine of maintaining school, a social life, church and family can easily bog you down. Heavy and cumbersome feelings can even prevent you from enjoying what free time you do have. So, it’s important that you find something that specifically feeds you. And just as important, you need to identify certain pastimes that potentially drain your spirit.
Determining What Feeds or Drains You
It’s actually relatively easy to determine whether an activity feeds or drains your soul. For example, imagine you just finished a very important math test. You studied hard, but you have no clue how you did. The anxiety of not knowing fills you with a sense of dread. By the time you get home, you’re exhausted. This math test has obviously acted as a draining force on your spirit.
Now, pretend that when you arrive at home, your mother asks you to help her cook dinner. You love to help your mom and you enjoy spending time with her in the kitchen. This example shows that spending time with family has acted as a replenishing force on your spirit. Or perhaps, it’s the opportunity to help or serve someone that gives you an energy boost.
Once you realize what may cause your soul to feel nourished, you can start brainstorming similar options and look for opportunities to feed your soul more often and more naturally. If you like to be around your family, consider spending time with friends after stressful moments or join a club or a team that provides a strong community setting. If you enjoy helping others, then volunteer to teach a Sunday School lesson or organize a food drive at school.
It’s not just activities that can nourish you. People, topics of conversations or even classes at school can leave you feeling energized and alive. Oppositely, hanging around certain groups of people or talking about certain things can have a negative effect on your spirit.
Keeping a journal is a helpful tool to discover what feeds you. Write down your feelings after an activity to help you track how things impact you. Once you’ve identified patterns, you can more readily determine what’s causing those emotions.
Is it About the Process or the End Result?
Determining whether you are accomplishment-oriented or progress-oriented can also help you determine what feeds your soul. This means that activities will only feed you to a certain degree. If you’re progress-oriented, reading a chapter or two of a book each night will probably be enough to satisfy your spirit. However, if you’re accomplishment-oriented, you’ll want to do an activity that you can finish, like calling a friend or going for a walk.
If you’re progress-oriented and always accomplishing tasks, then you won’t feel like you’re enjoying the journey. If you’re accomplishment-oriented and never finishing activities, then you’ll feel like you’re never moving forward in life.
Building Time for Your Future
Typically, the activities that feed your soul are tied to a Spiritual Gift that God has given you and may become a good indicator of what God has planned for your future. You certainly have at least one activity that helps you to relax and rejuvenate. Build that activity into your schedule, perhaps every Saturday or Sunday afternoon, to assist your Sabbath. And, instead of just jumping into bed as soon as you get home, maybe spend a few minutes enjoying the Gift that God’s given you.
God made you special and unique, which means that what gives life to your spirit may not do the same for another. God designed you to be revived by certain activities. Pursue those activities every day to grow closer to God and better understand how He made you. It’s important that you set aside some time every day to do what makes you feel revitalized because that activity or interest may be the beginning of God’s plan for you.
A few tips to discover what feeds you:
- Start writing your feelings down in a journal and keep track of patterns.
- Determine if you’re achievement-oriented or progress-oriented.
- Make a list of the things that make you feel energized, as well as a list of things that drain you. These lists can include anything: activities, people, subjects at school, topics of conversation, etc.
- Talk to God about how He’s crafted you and the desires He’s laid on your heart.