Country living can become hectic if you let it, but it doesn’t have to be this way! The first step toward a balanced lifestyle is knowing and adhering to your priorities. It also helps to work within a seasonal flow. Here’s how to avoid burnout and create a life you love.
The Multifaceted Human
As humans, all of us are multifaceted, no matter how simple or untalented we may think we are relative to others. All of us share certain things that make us human:
- A soul.
- A heart.
- A mind.
- A body.
To feel complete, balanced, and fulfilled, we must meet the demands of all four of these aspects of humanity.
First off, we must be at peace with the Creator, or we will never experience the deepest, truest joy. Not only must we accept salvation on the terms He has provided, we must commune with Him and continue in the path He has created for us.
Then, we must also fulfill our duty to our neighbor. Humans have been created to interact with others of their kind, to love, to give, and to receive. Serving others in our daily life brings balance and joy.
To reach our full potential, we must also feed our minds. It appears that there is a connection between the cessation of learning and the onset of aging. Those who continue to learn and grow, to feed their curiosity and accept new challenges, often have longer, healthier, happier lives than those who don’t.
But the physical body must not be neglected, either. Too often we seem to regard a restless, cranky attitude as a spiritual problem (and in some cases it certainly can be). In experiments conducted on pigeons and chickens, irritability and discontent were actually the first symptoms of a nutrient deficiency. Perhaps the boredom that plagues society is actually a natural result of our nutrient-depleted diet. Growing nutrient-rich food is the solution to this ailment. Also, attending to our other physical needs, such as for water, exercise, sunshine, and sleep, are important, as well.
We have already examined the importance of letting your vision drive your daily schedule. This is the first step toward a fulfilling life.
At this point, however, you will want to make sure that you are covering the four key areas of humanness in your daily routine. If you are immersed in starting or growing a business, you will want to be particularly mindful of this, because it is all too easy to let something fall through the cracks when busy.
The beauty of the country lifestyle is that it naturally invites balance. It mandates getting outside to move and absorb the sunshine regularly. It practically begs for a balance between physical work and mental work, such as research and troubleshooting. It calls us to compassion for our animals and generosity toward other people. And it invites us to give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow.
But don’t take this balance for granted. Run through your routine and see if there are areas you have been neglecting. Consider starting a gratitude journal or a Bible-reading plan. Find new ways to give to others. Decide if it’s time to learn a new skill. Strap on a pedometer and make sure you’re moving regularly throughout the day.
In country living specifically, one of the goals for most is to live more closely in sync with nature. This involves running on nature’s schedule, the ebb and flow of the seasons.
Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything, and a very brief acquaintance with country living tells us experientially that this is true. Pruning is best done in winter to prevent pathogen entry, calving time is smoothest when the grass is lush, and fall is the quintessential harvest season. Working counter to the seasonal cycle can result in difficulty and frustration (not to mention greater expense). Working in sync with nature’s timing makes things go smoothly and gives us variety.
Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labors
While you’re putting in all the work, be sure to enjoy the fruit of it, because if you don’t enjoy it there’s not much point in it. Revel in the first harvest of spring. Spend time just watching your animals and enjoying their interactions. Sit quietly sometimes and watch the wildlife. Whatever your vision looks like, take time out from pursuing it to actually enjoy it.
By now you’ve gotten off to an excellent start on your country living adventure. You’ve learned much, put in a lot of work, and are starting to reap the fruits of your labors.
But please do not become complacent at this stage! There is so much more to learn and do. You still have unrealized potential and more wonderful purposes to fulfill ahead of you.