Life-Giving & Life-Draining Things

Every night (or at least on most nights), I take a few minutes to reflect on my day. Usually I do this as I lie in bed, before falling asleep. Two questions I consider are:

1) What was life-giving today?
2) What was life-draining today?

As I’ve practiced this nighttime ritual, I’ve become more aware of the rhythms and flow my life. I’ve recognized the things that tire me and energize me. This reflection habit also helps me to review my day, pay attention to emotions, practice gratitude, and be aware of the larger themes of my life. More and more, I am learning about what brings deep joy to my life, and creating space to experience those things in the midst of work, rest and family.

Life-Giving Things

  1. Taking a nap
  2. Going outside for a walk
  3. Exercise
  4. Family time with my husband and son
  5. Doing one thing at a time
  6. Playing hide-and-go-seek with my son
  7. Time with my inner-most circle of friends
  8. Cooking and baking
  9. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep
  10. Massaging my shoulders and neck
  11. Blogging
  12. Meeting with my spiritual director
  13. Reading fiction 
  14. Going out on a date with my husband
  15. Taking a hot bath
  16. Joining or guiding others in their pursuit of God
  17. Spontaneous dance parties
  18. Gardening
  19. De-cluttering and simplifying
  20. Visiting the farmer’s market

 Life-Draining Things

  1. Picking up clutter and mess around the house
  2. Comparing myself to others
  3. Advertisements
  4. Taking a trip to the post-office
  5. Multitasking
  6. Having more than one or two appointments/meetings on any given day
  7. Sitting in traffic
  8. Joyless, complaining, or self-focused people
  9. Shopping malls
  10. Waking up to the sound of garbage trucks at 6:30am

What are some of the life-giving or life-draining things in your life?

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