Daily essentials: Rest and comfort routines

Life is a balance of rest and activity, isn't it? Sometimes, those lines are blurred. Rest can be active, and inactivity can be work. I'm particularly curious about the little routines we all implement in our lives, either subconsciously or consciously, to various ends. I've noticed trends in my own practices of resting and activity.

Comfort routines is a funny term, but there are particular things I do in order to promote rest and comfort in my life. Most of these things are not essential, per say. However, rest and comfort are essential to a balanced life, so I do consider these things worthy investments. Life can wind us up, so we need to devote time to wind-down. Here are a few of the top comfort-promoters in my life:

Easy-to-grow indoor plants and fresh flowers—I visited a local nursery and asked for "hard-to-kill indoor plants," and they recommended Sansevieria (the variegated leafy green plant in the photo). Fresh flowers are a favorite splurge from Trader Joe's or the farmer's market. A little greenery inside makes our home fresher and a little brighter.

Candles—soothing light and pleasant scent. We like soy the best for a cleaner burn. My favorites are these or these locally made candles.

Nice dish soap—A sink-full of dishes can't be neglected, but a little Mrs. Meyer's dish soap makes the experience a little nicer.

Coffee (of course)—When we have nice coffee in the pantry, it feels like a little extra luxury we don't even have to leave home to enjoy. I've grown accustomed to the caffeine, sure, but I primarily drink it because I enjoy the sensory experience of the taste and warmth. Solo coffee is great, but coffee and conversation with a friend is wonderful.

Productive kitchen tasks—like baking, keep my hands busy and settle my mind. And a warm cookie never hurt anybody.

Time with Jesus*—If I'm feeling anxious, worried, or aimless, this is the only no-fail cure. Romans 5:2-5 says

Through [Jesus] we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance , and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

And a few others, for good measure (not pictured) :

  • House slippers—don't knock 'em until you try them, and really, you should try them.
  • Lavender oil—I'm not a big subscriber to essential oils, but we do use them for aromatherapy purposes. Specifically, we apply lavender oil (in an almond oil carrier) at bedtime. At the minimum, it's a nice little bedtime ritual for the two of us.
  • Knitting—I don't need to elaborate, but I find comfort in repetition and production, and knitting offers both.

*This is what gets me through both good and hard days. I would give up all of these except for my time with the Lord—it's the only true essential on this list.

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