Finding Encouragement: Your To-Do List

encouragement to do list

Often the source of stress lies in our over-filled to-do lists. But, if you’re putting the right things on it, your to-do list can help you gain the encouragement and motivation you need to keep going in the midst of tough times.

When I am feeling especially burdened and weary, it’s usually a good sign that I’m not taking care of myself, that I’m over-committing myself, and that I’m not honoring God’s commandment to give my mind and body some rest.

Be Productive

I’ve been in the dark pit of depression, and it can be debilitating. It drains you of energy and motivation, and the result is an even deeper feeling of uselessness and self-loathing. It’s a vicious cycle, but you can break it.

During the worst of my depression, I determined to do just one thing. One productive thing each day.

I know to some of you that sounds ridiculous. But I know that to some of you, it sounds hard to think of doing even just one thing. But I promise you, it will help. Get up and do just one thing to be proud of. Pick up a room, cook dinner for your family, wash the dishes, take a shower.

Just one thing.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get you back on the right track. Sometimes that one thing leads to more things. But even if it doesn’t, you can feel better at night knowing that you accomplished at least something.

If you aren’t in the throes of depression, then your aim might be different. Maybe you need to focus on doing just one fun thing with your kids. Or just one fun thing for yourself. Or one restful thing.

Whatever it is, don’t underestimate the power of doing just one thing.

Get out of the House

Sometimes when you’re down or depressed the natural response is to be a hermit. Getting out requires energy–both mental and physical–that you just may not have.

But being cooped up in your house rarely does anything good. In fact, it usually makes things worse. I know it’s hard, but get out of the house. Sunshine is proven to help!

Sometimes a change in scenery or routine might be just the thing you need to get your day back on track.

Examine your schedule

Sometimes, I am too busy doing the wrong things. When I step outside God’s good and perfect will and take on things that He never intended for me to take on, that’s when I become weary and burdened by many things.

I love the words that Jesus spoke to Martha:

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

One thing is needed. Just one thing. And when we move beyond that one thing, we bring unnecessary stress and burdens on ourselves, and the things we are really meant to be doing suffer.

Ask the Lord to help you accept and embrace His calling for your life, even if that means setting some other things aside for this season. Make sure you have time for the things that are most important.

Do Something Fun!

Sometimes, the best remedy for a down-in-the-dumps day is a change in routine. Forget about your to-do list and re-write it. Do something fun, something that makes you happy. Play a game with your kids. Go for a nature walk. Put on some worship music and dance around your house.

Be silly. Make memories.

Sometimes, on a bad day it may feel like you don’t have the energy for fun, but put your mind to it and make it happen. Sometimes it can snap you right out of that down day.

When You Need Encouragement

This post is a part of my Finding Hope & Encouragement Series. To see all the posts in the series, click here or the image below.

need encouragement 2


Where do you find encouragement for those tough days?

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