Get Intentional About Playing and Moving

Are you suffering from circumstantial depression?

Are you too tired to move?

Too worn out to play?

Or maybe you never learned to play as a child?

Some seasons of our lives, we just don’t feel like moving.

Why get intentional about moving and play?

One thing we have to get intentional about is playing and moving. We moms can get so caught up in the doing, that we forget about being. I’m not talking about vegging on Netflix or Amazon. I’m talking about intentional play for you and your children. Play builds brains, fuels logic, and gets bodies moving.

Play Therapy was developed in the 1970s to help families learn how to do intentional play with their children. It’s an important part of parenting. It stimulates brains and the relationship part of the playing grows the brain. Did you know that? Relationships grow the brain. So, the play I’m talking about is interactive.

  • A walk on the trail picking up nature and identifying it together.
  • A tea party.
  • Playing with Play doh.
  • Archery practice.
  • Board games.

All of these activities are work for children. We all have jobs. A child’s job is to find out how the world works -what the physical laws of nature are, how relationships work, how to get along. how to win, how to lose, how to build character.

These are all done through play/work. 

Have you ever thought of play this way before?

I’m not talking about “go to your room and play by yourself.” There’s a place for that. In fact, kids are more willing to play by themselves after their emotional tank is full. We mom are the gas that fuels their tank. If you have boys, the last sentence should hit your funny bone. We co-regulate with our kids, we teach them how to play.

YOu’re never too old to Play

Some of us don’t know how to play well as adults, because no one taught us or we think we are too old for play. We’re never too old to play. It’s okay. We can have fun. We can make a mess. Remember Moms, we are the boss and the employee. If the boss says we can have a water fight, we can. Then the employee can clean it up ( that’s us too).

One year, we had moved to a new town and didn’t know anyone. I was suffering some of my own circumstantial depression and God told me to do something fun with each child every day. It was hard. It was fun. We grew closer that year as a family, more than any other time.

We had squirt gun battles, game nights, roller blades on the driveway. Hiked. Biked. Did scavenger hunts at Cabela’s. 

The point is, don’t wait to want to. Do it when you don’t feel like it.

Moving.

Mamas, we have to move. We do a lot of moving with babies, laundry and dishes, cooking and the like, but with all of our servant appliances, we don’t work as hard as Moms of the past used to. We can easily become couch potatoes in between jobs. Couch potato-ing makes us feel sluggish. Our lymph nodes fill with toxins that don’t drain without proper exercise. We get headaches, backaches and cranky attitudes. We need to move. Guess what, it takes the investment of time and energy. You can do it! You can! Find an accountability partner. If you want to see your children grow up, graduate, get married, and have children, you have to start working on moving today. Not some day when you have the time. Now is the time to move and play.

Examine Your Feelings Regularly

Examine Your Feelings
So, yesterday’s assignment was just the beginning of making sense of your feelings. If you have journaled every day and followed the assignments, YAY YOU! You know what’s next? Don’t stop. Keep the practice of journaling going. Use journaling to examine your feelings whenever you need to.
Just a warning, if you are a number one on the enneagram, in other words, a perfectionist, you may get two days in and miss a day and then quit because you can’t journal perfectly. This isn’t about perfection. It’s about progress. (Kristin’s mantra for 2020 which I borrow often).
You don’t have to journal every day. Maybe put your journal somewhere you can see it and then use it for emotional emergencies or just some fun exercises. Not sure what do next and you want to keep journaling?
Check out this article – “Self-Care Journaling Prompts for each Enneagram Type.”
Next week, we’ll delve into using journaling to plan your goals/vision! You don’t have to do this on New Year’s Eve. Anytime is a good time to plan a new goal.

Confront Your Feelings

Confront Your Feelings
You may think we did this yesterday, not quite. We owned our feelings. Consider this example – I own a car. I say, “I own that midnight blue Rav4.” Confronting my car is like saying, I own it and it seems low on gas, what am I going to do about that? Maybe you did the assignment yesterday and it was overwhelming. Maybe you finally own that you are anxious, angry, or depressed, now what? Now we confront those feelings. Confronting our feelings means we are the boss of them. We don’t have to be ruled by them just because we acknowledge them. We don’t have to let them lead us into sin or moral decay. Just because we realize we are angry with our spouse doesn’t necessarily mean we need to get a divorce (I’m not talking about abusive situations here, that’s different). Consider this excerpt from “5 Ways to Win Spiritual Battles in Your Emotions”:

“Satan often attacks Christians through our emotions. We can be thinking with correct beliefs, yet still fall victim to evil through feelings that tempt us to sin: lust, anger, fear, jealousy, discouragement, etc. Sometimes we discount the importance of paying attention to our emotions day by day, thinking that the right convictions should be enough to strengthen us against evil. Yet, when attacks come into our lives, they often enter by way of our emotions.”

– crosswalk.com

Before you think I have changed my mind about acknowledging, feeling, and owning our emotions, remember if we stuff our emotions, it can have a negative impact on our health. Those three steps of acknowledging, feeling, and owing are important in spiritual warfare. You can confront your emotions by looking up and copying scriptures about them. Yep. We need the word to win the war over acting on our negative emotions. Your assignment today is to write down one negative emotion you feel on a regular basis. Then using a concordance, look up a verse on that emotion/feeling. Copy it down. Read it to yourself when you are struggling with confronting your emotions. Here’s an example:
I feel anxious a lot.
After the feeling, write down a scripture to combat it, such as:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4: 6-7

Own Your Feelings

Own Your Feelings
You knew it was coming right? We can’t just write down our feelings and let them get the best of us -especially if those feelings are anxious, oppressing, or depressing. Even if the feelings are joyful, we need to own them. Maybe you grew up in a home where you weren’t allowed to express feelings. Maybe you feel as if you don’t deserve to own feelings, as if they are unholy or ungodly. If you didn’t already, check out episode 123 of The Whole House Podcast – “Having a Healthy Relationship Yourself When You are in a Codependent Relationship.” I think it is common in Christian circles for us to believe we should stuff our feelings. I used to believe that my feelings didn’t matter. If you struggle with owning your feelings, take a look at the Psalms. In “What the Psalms Do” on Desiring God, Tony says:

“One of the reasons the Psalms are deeply loved by so many Christians is that they give expression to an amazing array of emotions. Listen to this list of emotions I pulled together:”

I pulled a few from his list:
Loneliness: “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalms 25:16).
Sorrow: “My life is spent with sorrow” (Psalms 31:10)
Shame: “Shame has covered my face” (Psalms 44:15)
Desire: “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted”
Brokenheartedness: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).
You can find the whole list here.
Today your assignment is to own your feelings by going through the list and writing down what they are. Be specific and feel free to go the extra mile and copy down a scripture or two from the list!

Write Down Your Feelings!

I feel…

Today give yourself permission to write out your feelings whatever they are. Don’t be afraid to put them on paper. Here’s why:



“Symptoms like anxiety and depression, which are on the rise in the U.S., can stem from the way we deal with these underlying, automatic, hard-wired survival emotions, which are biological forces that should not be ignored. When the mind thwarts the flow of emotions because they are too overwhelming or too conflicting, it puts stress on the mind and the body, creating psychological distress and symptoms. Emotional stress, like that from blocked emotions, has not only been linked to mental ills, but also to physical problems like heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia and autoimmune disorders.” –time.com

Yikes! How many of us women have or do suffer from depression and anxiety? (Raising my hand here). How many of us women give ourselves permission to feel our feelings? Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying we should go around acting on whatever we are feeling, I’m saying we should acknowledge our feelings. Don’t “thwart the flow of emotions because they are overwhelming”, it can lead down a path of unhealthy living. So for today, we’re going to write down our feelings. Just let them pour out of your hand onto the page. Tomorrow, we’ll work on owning our feelings.
Trigger warning: if you have never let yourself acknowledge your feelings, this exercise may be overwhelming. Find a trusted friend (or your spouse) to pray with you before, during, or after you write in your journal.