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The Feast of Saint James the Great
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5 Ways to keep the Easter spirit alive all year long

Kimber Shaw | Flickr

Patricia Bailey - published on 04/16/17

The season of joy, hope, and new life isn't meant to end today.

One of the abiding messages of Easter is that it never ends, because we live in Anno Domini, the “year of the risen Lord.” Even after Easter has long gone and the last piece of Easter basket grass has been picked off the carpet, we can still get that same experience of a fresh start, a new beginning in hope, peace, joy, and new life.

So here are some practical ways you can keep the Easter spirit alive in your own life, starting from the outside and ending on a more interior level.

Shutterstock

Do some spring cleaning

One of the more outward ways of making a fresh start is to go through the house and donate all those old toys and clothes that no one uses anymore. Go through your own closet as well and ask yourself: have I worn this at all in the last year? If the answer is no, donate it. Don’t hold onto things if you never use them. Feeling ambitious? Try the Marie Kondo method outlined in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Get outside and get moving

It’s been a long winter, and we need fresh air and a chance to move. Even if you can only manage 20 minutes of walking per day, do it! And if you can do it in the morning while the birds are singing, even better. Even moderate exercise does wonders for our bodies and our spirit. As the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk.”

Adrianna Calvo | Pexels

Add some silence to your day

We live immersed in noise and constant overstimulation, constantly tethered to our phones. But our souls need spaces of silence to breathe and to find clarity and peace. Recent research also connects silence to reduced stress and growth in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that linked to learning and making memories. So take time to disconnect. Go watch the sunset or gaze at the stars. Camping or fishing trips are also great ways to get your silence fix. Even walking the dog can be a good excuse to get some quiet time.

Add spiritual reading to your book list

Reading a good spiritual book can help you start a new conversation with God. Just five minutes of spiritual reading before turning out the lights at night can be enough to lift your mind and feed your soul. For suggested good resources, try this list, which is relevant all year round.

Aikawa Ke | Flickr

Dedicate a day or a weekend to God

Sometimes 15 minutes here or there is not enough to delve deeper into our spiritual life. So if you’re feeling that call, consider doing a day-long or weekend retreat, make a pilgrimage to a church or a shrine, or take a day out to serve with a charitable organization. If none of the above are practical, try making Sunday what it was meant to be: a little Easter, a day to rest, reflect, be with God, and take a break from everything else.

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EasterFaith
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