4 Advent Practices To Prepare Your Heart and Health For Christmas
4 Advent Practices To Prepare Your Heart and Health For Christmas
Advent is finally here!
The Advent season of preparation and welcoming is upon us. It’s time to ready our heart, mind, body, and spirit for the ultimate gift.
In the literal sense, Advent means “the arrival of a notable person, event, or thing” but, we are waiting for the coming of Jesus! This beautiful time of the year allows us to reflect on the last 12 months, and make ready our hearts for a new season that brings with it renewing life and energy.
Here’s the thing, in order to compose our heart, mind, and spirit for Jesus we need to get our bodies on board so we can fully experience the blessing of Christ’s coming and step into the new year strong.
The holidays are already packed to the brim with black Friday frenzies, family dinner parties, and Christmas craziness, it’s hard enough to find a quiet space just to think, let alone gain clarity to prepare our hearts.
That’s why it’s so important to connect our physical health to our Advent preparation. Without adequate nourishment, rest, movement, self-care, and mindfulness, clarity is out of reach. Our health is like a tapestry, each thread, body, mind, and spirit is interwoven to create the full masterpiece.
By making ready our bodies and minds over the next few weeks, we will also prepare our hearts to be open to Christ and the life He breathes into us.
Just like a healthy body needs nutrition, exercise, rest, hydration, and more, so does the spirit. So here are 4 Advent practices you can start today that will help prepare you for Christmas and the new year.
Here are 4 Advent practices you can start today that will help you prepare for this new year.
1. Start and end the day with prayer, journaling, and reflection.
The start of your morning can determine the entire direction of your day. Beginning with some prayer, journaling and reflection will create space for you to set intentions so that you can move throughout the day with a clear mind and open heart.
In the evenings, take 5-10 minutes to reflect on your day—think about the intentions you set in the morning, the people you encountered, the experiences you had—and consider how this day brought you one step closer to preparing your mind, body, and spirit.
I find that dedicating a few minutes each day to journal and reflect, gives me control of my thoughts and allows me to continuously look back and see what God is doing in my daily life and how I can continue to prepare all aspects of my health.
2. Identify your 3 key health pillars.
We can’t do everything at once—it’s the nature of being human. Instead of trying to focus on everything at the same time this Advent, identify the 3 key health pillars that you can lean on during this season, that you know will serve you right.
By establishing a few health practices as pivotal parts of your routine, you can use them as consistency markers in your journey of preparation. Oftentimes, these small habits turn into major movers when it comes to getting healthy, losing weight, and feeling great.
For me, these 3 pillars are pretty simple—drink at least 64oz of water daily, eat X grams of protein at every meal, and get 20 minutes of walking in each day. I find that having these established practices in my routine creates a level of consistency that works for me and keeps me accountable during this Advent season.
3. Less is more this month.
Christmas is consuming. From the gifts and get-togethers to the food and drink, everything that surrounds the season is all about excess. Just take a look at the cocktail cart next time you’re at a Christmas party and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
I’m all for enjoying yourself and celebrating, but who said you had to overdo it?
Instead of doubling down on the drinks, food, and presents, make this season a time to double down on the things that will serve you today, tomorrow, and long into the future.
This time of year can become clouded with our own wants, needs, and desires which leaves little room for God to enter into our hearts and clear the way for Christ’s coming. Not only that but when we fill our brains and bodies with excess (food, drink, gifts, people) we further cloud ourselves from the clarity that comes with preparation.
Over the next 3 weeks, think “less is more” and you’ll find that by doing so you will actually gain more than you could have ever imagined.
4. Keep Advent front and center every day.
I get it, life is busy this time of year—we all have different priorities, commitments, and circumstances.
But what we all have in common is a desire to find deeper meaning in this season. A deeper connection with the one who created us and is sending us his own son as a gift for all people. A need to prepare for something great.
As we prepare ourselves over the next 4 weeks for the birth of Jesus, we are called to put this preparation at the front of our hearts each and every day. Just like the health journey, you must commit to the process, show up, and put forth a real and honest effort—and God wants us to do the same for Him!
During this time, I encourage you to make this Advent one focused on yourself. Think about what God is calling you to do in the next year. Where does He want you to go? Who does He want you to encounter? How can He use you to make the world a better place?
When we start to clear our minds and open our hearts to these questions, we can see that He is preparing something awesome in our lives and is excited for us to experience it. Whether that be a new health journey, a rekindling of your faith, a reconnection with family and friends, or even eating a little more vegetables (lol).
What are you waiting for, the time is now…
Advent is a beautiful time of year that calls us into a deeper relationship with ourselves and our maker. I personally have found it to be a very transformational season that gives me the space to center myself, align my priorities, and make ready myself for a new year with new goals.
If you’re looking for a way to follow along with others during Advent this year, go check out my favorite author, Matthew Kelly’s, 5-minute daily Advent video devotional series called “Move Toward the Light.” It’s based on his book, “Life is Messy.” These short daily Advent encouragements are great to set ourselves up for success each day during this especially hectic season.
I challenge you this season to spend some time in reflection asking yourself, how can I prepare for the new year? How can I ready my heart for God’s will in my life in 2022? The answer might not jump out at you right away, but I promise He will help lead you to it during this time.
And if you’re ready to start a new journey with other women eager to transform their health and spirituality, come join the first 2022 session of my RESTORE Program starting January 7th!