Are you someone who loves schedules or hates them? I tend to think I’m very spontaneous, but I actually like to have a schedule that I occasionally divert from. This is true for my work, home life, and even my soul care. Having a schedule—or a plan for what’s supposed to happen—grounds me and gives me something to fall back on. Here are 7 reasons we need to have a plan for soul care in our lives—yes even in this strange time!
1. Creating a plan is very grounding, especially in an ungrounded time. Let’s face it, this season feels very ungrounded and unmoored. It’s exhausting for us—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Creating a plan for our soul care is grounding because it creates a regular rhythm AND it’s grounding because we regularly engage soul care practices, which ground us. Double win!
2. Creating a plan forces us to think through which practices are meaningful to us, which is half the battle. The first step of creating a plan for soul care is figuring out what soul care practices you want to do on a regular basis. Consider those practices that energize you, fill you up, and help you experience God’s presence. One of the main things I help people with at The Perch is figuring out which practices they want to engage, which is something many people struggle with. I think the best way to do this is to experiment with a variety of practices.
3. Creating a plan requires us to schedule our practices (and figure out when they fit into our schedule). Creating a plan for soul care will require you to take a look at your schedule to see where you have pockets of time. You may find you don’t have any pockets of time—and that will require you to think outside the box to create time. Do you need to rearrange things? Get up early? Stay up late? Incorporate your practices into other activities you already do? I believe the best soul care practices are those that fit into our schedules, life stage, and everyday lives. It’s okay if you’re in a season that doesn’t have a ton of free time—there are several practices that can be helpful even in short pockets of time.
4. Creating a plan brings intentionality to our soul care, giving it a better chance of actually happening! Here’s the truth: we rarely think about our soul care intentionally. We say, “I really need a break,” or “I should figure out some time to pray and reflect,” or “I miss when I used to journal.” Creating a plan turns “I should” “I wish” and “I want to” into “I will.” Even if you don’t follow your plan perfectly, creating a plan makes it more likely you’ll fit soul care into your life.
5. Creating a plan gives us something to fall back on when we don’t know what to do. Sometimes I find when I have an unexpected pocket of time I don’t even know what to do with the time! I can spend the whole time figuring out what I want to do for soul care rather than actually doing the soul care practice. Because I have a plan, I can dive right into a practice if an unexpected pocket of time pops up.
6. Creating a plan provides a framework for a habit—which our brains LOVE. Our brains love habits and rituals, things that we don’t even have to think about. Our brains can then go on autopilot and conserve energy for frequent tasks like backing out of our driveways. Unfortunately, that’s also why habits can be tough to break: our brains love following a familiar path. Use this to your advantage and set up regular soul care practices that become natural parts of your routines and rhythms so you don’t even have to think about them. Once it’s a habit, you’ll automatically engage them on a regular basis.
7. Creating a plan can be as rigid or as loose as works for you. If you love having things blocked out by the minute in your planner, you can make a soul care plan that is scheduled into your calendar. If you like a less rigid schedule like me, you can create a plan that schedules things based on other items in your day. For instance, one soul care practice for me is taking the dog for a walk every day after dinner. This happens at a different time each day, but tying it to after dinner means it always happens. You can also plan things that happen every day (like prayer), every week (like journaling), or every month (like a retreat).
If you’re not sure how to create a soul care plan that fits your life, or if you need help figuring out soul care practices that are meaningful to you, I’d love to help! Join us for our 4-session virtual Soul Care Toolkit Workshop. We’ll join together over Zoom for 4 sessions beginning September 17 to try out some soul care practices, learn about creating a plan, and actually walk away with a plan you can implement. Sign up today!
Amy Jackson is founder and director of The Perch.