Recently, someone told me I looked tired. While I’m sure the person spoke from concern, having someone say you look tired doesn’t do much for self-esteem and leaves you feeling as if you failed in some way. My response, “I never really get a break. My life is constant duties and deadlines.”
Many can identify. Taking a break in today’s hectic world is a rarity. COVID presented us with a season of pause, but the return to normalcy seems even more fast-paced than before. Forward motion doesn’t equal constant motion. We all need time to slow down, rest, and refresh.
Following are some clues to incorporating breaks into your life:
Disconnect from Screens
While talking to a writing friend, we discussed the need to consciously take a screen break. We’re so conditioned to having our phones with us at all times, it feels odd to turn a phone off, leave it in another room, or ignore it. But time away from computer, i-pad, and phone is an important step toward taking a break.
Remember the activities you engaged in before screens were a part of life. Read a book. Plant flowers. Walk. Hike. Be still. Activities that are a departure from technology refresh mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Activities that are a departure from technology refresh mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
When opportunities come our way, we often feel we must accept, even if we are already over-scheduled. Learning to say “no” is a cultivated response. Many feel guilty, or that they will miss out, if they decline, but bypassing some invitations is vital to allowing yourself time to rest, reflect, and renew.
Bypassing some invitations is vital to allowing yourself time to rest, reflect, and renew.
In our life group, we discussed volunteering, even when the job isn’t in your area of giftedness. Just because you can volunteer doesn’t mean you should. Volunteerism is great when it fits your gifts and talents, but don’t feel you have to become involved just because there is a need. Let others step up.
Avoid Shouldering the Problems of Others
Compassion is a wonderful quality, but when your concern for others causes you to worry about issues over which you have no control, or attempt to solve the problems of others, you are taking on burdens that aren’t yours to carry. It’s okay to set boundaries and keep them in place, even when others try to guilt you into doing more.
Observe Sacred Rest
In her book, Sacred Rest, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D., discusses the seven types of rest—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, sensory, creative—needed to recover, renew, and restore. Taking a break, resting, is more than sleeping or going on vacation. We have a sacred responsibility to care for ourselves on a deeper level. Self-care takes effort because we are trained to be doers. Ask God to help you see the need for making rest a priority and watch for opportunities to implement rest.
“I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint” (Jeremiah 31:25 NET).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.