5 Ways to Rekindle Your Spiritual Wellness in your Passion Planner
In the six years I’ve been using Passion Planner, it’s helped me get myself organized in so many ways. Every week I can see how much time I spend writing, at work, with friends and family, and working out – but one thing I didn’t track for many years was my spiritual life, and after a while, I began to notice the effects. It wasn’t pretty.
I had always treated faith and spirituality as organic things that would take care of themselves, but eventually I had to admit that I was letting literally everything else in my life take priority over my spiritual wellness, and it was impacting my mental health pretty negatively. It was time to get proactive. So I selected a new pen color and began integrating time for prayer, Scripture, and books on faith into my weekly planner.
And it transformed me overnight and I’m now the most emotionally balanced and most content person you’ll ever meet! Well…not quite. But finally seeing real, physical evidence of how much time (or, some weeks, how little time) I actually spent on my spiritual practices made a huge difference in how I prioritize my time and my tasks. It’s also led me to get more creative in how I make time and space in my life for the spiritual.
What is spiritual wellness?
Spiritual wellness relates to your values, beliefs, and your sense of purpose. It’s a feeling of being connected to something greater than yourself. It’s how your values and principles shape what you do with your life. The path to spiritual wellness never ends - so just like how we set goals to improve ourselves professionally or physically, we can set goals to improve our spiritual health, too.
Why is spiritual health important?
No matter what you believe or don’t believe, there are tons of health benefits to the practices associated with the spiritual. Meditation, for example, gives you an immediate sense of calm in a stressful world while also building emotional regulation skills and relieving anxiety. Practicing gratitude can make you more patient, help you get more sleep, develop better self-care habits, and a whole bunch of other health benefits.
Here are some other spiritual wellness examples and self-care activities to consider incorporating into your routine:
- Mindful walking
- Ignatian Examen
- Time reading your preferred sacred text
- Practicing awe
- Reading an uplifting book by a spiritual leader you admire, then journaling about it
- Reading and reflecting on themed devotional
- Your favorite creative outlet – photography, drawing, dance – done as a form of prayer
- Gratitude journaling
How Passion Planner can help
Here are five ways to use your Passion Planner to deepen your spirituality, grow your faith, and improve your outlook on life. (As a disclaimer, I’m writing from a Protestant Christian perspective, and while I’ve attempted to be inclusive, I’m almost certainly not using all the possible correct terminology for all the spiritual practices out there. Whether you ascribe to a mainstream religion or none at all, I hope there are some spiritual wellness activities here that work for you!)
1. Make it a goal, and make it a SMART goal.
You already use your Passion Planner to set goals in all areas of your personal and professional life – your spiritual life should be part of that, too. The trick is to make sure you’re setting goals you can actually achieve. Opt for a SMART goal: one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
The biggest problem I had when I first started tracking how often I prayed was that I set my goal way too high. I thought I’d been praying once or twice a week; turns out it was more like once or twice a month. And I’d marked out five little blue check boxes reminding myself to pray five times a week! Needless to say, I failed hard, and found myself even more discouraged than before.
So I altered my goal. (Yes, you can do that – that’s what your Roadmap is for!) Now I have two check boxes, and I fill them in almost every week. Not only am I feeling the benefits of spending more time in prayer, I get an extra boost from the good feelings associated with accomplishing a goal.
2. Schedule your practice in the most opportune time.
Are you a sunrise-yoga person, or does the idea of being still and quiet first thing in the morning put you back to sleep? Would you wind down with a devotional at bedtime, or are you so tired by the end of the day that you just don’t want to think anymore? Maybe you have time during breakfast for some reading, or you can introduce a new podcast or mindfulness practice to your commute.
Rather than scrolling through my social media feeds first-thing and letting those set the tone for my day, I like to read a short devotional during breakfast. It’s scheduled in my planner every weekday, just after my morning workout. To help myself reset during the day, I take advantage of my lunch breaks, a guaranteed hour at the same time each day. I schedule twice-weekly time with a meditation app during that window. Be honest with yourself about when you’re most likely to be willing to engage with your spiritual self, and mark those times out in your Passion Planner for the whole week.
3. Mindmap your spiritual practices.
Want to learn how to meditate? Develop a Mind Map for all the steps you need to take, like practicing letting your thoughts go, or yoga for strengthening your sitting-up posture. Want to memorize Scripture or another text? Set a weekly goal using the This Week’s Focus box or the Space of Infinite Possibility. Trying to break out of some cognitive distortions and reframe your thinking? Sign on for the Gratitude Challenge any time of year. Your Passion Planner gives you great tools to map the path to success, so take advantage of them!
4. Make the most of those pages in the back.
Another great tool in your Passion Planner can be found past the planner section: blank pages. For the first couple years I used Passion Planner, I forgot the pages in the back even existed. I missed out on the endless possibilities to personalize my planner experience! Those pages are an awesome space for all kinds of self-care activities, affirmations, or other spiritual development:
- Write out the verses or quotes that speak to your heart
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Design your own yoga routines
- Make a list of people and situations you’re praying for
- Write a letter of gratitude or forgiveness to yourself or someone else.
Those back pages are a literal blank slate for developing spiritual wellness activities, so let your creativity flow and explore the possibilities.
5. Use visual reminders to overcome forgetfulness
I have a lot going on spiritually these days as I try to keep myself grounded in spite of this ridiculous year. I’m doing devotionals in an app, I’m reading encouraging books by my favorite theologians, and I’m making the effort to sit down and pray twice a week. Every Sunday evening, my “Personal To-Do List” section gets transformed into a little grid with a row dedicated to each of those practices. Then, as the week goes by, I fill in that grid with glittery blue checkmarks.
I don’t fill everything in every week – and that’s okay, or at least I’m trying to tell myself it is. What matters most is that I’m not letting all the duties and responsibilities – or the distractions – of modern life pull me entirely away from practices that will keep me healthy, content, and resilient.
Whether you find yourself derailed by too much work or meaningless distractions, visual cues can help you stay on track. Use stickers to set aside quiet time, leave yourself uplifting reminders, or reward yourself for meeting a goal. Pick a special color that will motivate you to journal or record your successes.
Go in peace
This is an unbelievably challenging year. We’re all grappling with new stress and anxiety, and sometimes it feels like something new and terrible is waiting for us every day. I hope these ideas help you embrace hope, courage, and peace, and empower you to face each day with strength and resilience. Take good care of each other, and take good care of yourself!
Do you have a favorite spiritual wellness practice? Let us know in the comments!