I'll be honest, when I heard that March was Spiritual Wellness Month my first thought was, "what the heck does that mean?" As one of the chaplains for Serenity Hospice and a minister, I kind of operate under the philosophy that during every month we should be well with our spirit. Every month we should be caring for ourselves spiritually, as well as physically and mentally. But do we?
We probably all know that we should participate in some regular physical activity. According to health.gov we should be doing 2.5-5 hours per week of moderate physical activity. Which means walking at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
In addition, they suggest doing muscle-strengthening 2 days a week.
I discovered this information by Googling "how many hours of physical activity is recommended weekly for adults?" Imagine caring for your spirit that much. So, I Googled it, "how many hours of spiritual activity is recommended weekly for adults?"
The first article talked about doing physical activities to improve your spiritual wellness. Most of the articles assumed I was asking about physical and mental health rather than just spiritual health. Not very helpful.
The truth is most people do nothing to boost spiritual wellness and those that do something usually spend about one hour on Sunday mornings sitting in church. Is that kind of like sitting on the couch and watching an exercise program?
Well, maybe it's time to get off the pew or yoga mat and DO SOMETHING to strengthen your spiritual health. Spiritual Wellness has many definitions, but all involve finding your meaning and purpose in life and aligning those with your morals. Most definitions also agree spiritual wellness includes doing things for others.
Now we're getting somewhere. Here are some things you can do to find meaning and purpose for your life. Oh, and I don't care how old you are, your life has meaning and purpose.
Connect with a faith community.
Surround yourself with people who have similar spiritual beliefs.
Have quiet time.
Meditate, pray, do yoga, be in nature.
Listen to your thoughts.
When you feel that nudge or that little voice inside you, pay attention to it. Follow through. If it tells you to call somebody you haven't connected within a long time, trust it and do it.
When you keep a record of thoughts and ideas. You're more likely to follow through on them.
Speak with a chaplain or someone you trust to help sort through your thoughts and ideas.
Here are some things you can do for others.
Check on your neighbors.
Write a thank you note to someone who has impacted your life and tell them how much they mean to you.
Donate - time, money, items, or services.
Be kind, say kind things, show kindness to others.
It almost sounds like if we all practiced some Spiritual Wellness the world would be a better place. It's worth a try, both for your sake and the world's sake.
Happy Spiritual Wellness Month!
Rev. Jill A. Smith
Serenity Hospice, Chaplain / Community Educator