I woke up the other day feeling sluggish. I was tired, and couldn’t seem to get myself going. I struggled through my workday, always feeling a bit off. I was also grumpy and short with the people I interacted with.
The next day, on the other hand, I woke up feeling alert. My mind was sharp, and I had a lot of energy. I accomplished quite a lot, moving from project to project with ease. I was able to thoughtfully respond to people I came in contact with rather than just react.
What was the difference? I think it had something to do with the idea that our physical, mental, emotional, relational, and even spiritual parts of ourselves are all connected. There’s a link. We are an integrated whole, rather than just a bunch of parts.
On the first day, I had just gotten back into town from a trip. I hadn’t gotten good sleep while I was out of town, and I was feeling drained. I also had been eating a lot of junk food and hadn’t been working out regularly. On the second day, I had gotten 9 hours of sleep the night before, I had a chance to work out, and I had been eating healthy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence I felt differently.
If you are struggling today, take a minute and assess five areas of your life. How have you been doing physically (sleep, eating, exercise)? What about mentally (do you feel challenged intellectually)? How are you doing emotionally (do you feel balanced or overwhelmed, do you have space to check in with yourself and others)? What about relationally (family, marriage, kids, friends)? Finally, how are you doing spiritually (relationship with God, spiritual community)?
It’s all connected, so a problem in one area can carry over into another area of your life. For me, the problems in the physical part of my life carried over into the mental and relational parts. You might think you are struggling in one area, but when you pause and take stock, you might find the real problem to be in another area. Addressing that problem might bring your whole self back into balance.
Action Step: Take 5 minutes and assess how you are doing physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. What is the one area where you are struggling the most? What is one small step you could take to address something in that area of your life?