29 April 2016

Relaxation In Ministry Life

"Sometimes when we’re exhausted, we gravitate toward activities that drain us even more. Or we think we don’t deserve to take a break, so we ignore our body’s whispers for rest. But only in helping ourselves can we help others and do good work."  - psychcentral.com

It's hard to make time to relax when the ministry lifestyle is so busy, even the best laid plans go astray if you get an emergency call or your day off rolls around and becomes filled with appointments and errands that just need to get done. The word 'Relax' gets thrown around so often, I decided it was time to look it up and see if it was achieveable. Here's what I found:

 

Relax
verb
re·lax

  • : to become or to cause (something) to become less tense, tight, or stiff
  • : to stop feeling nervous or worried
  • : to spend time resting or doing something enjoyable especially after you have been doing work





Turns out you don't need a full day off to achieve relaxation, you just need the space to make it a priority. 20 seconds to take a deep breath, 5 minutes to enjoy a hot drink, 30 minutes for a nice walk. While a day off is neccessary, maybe it's worth looking at ways to relax throughout your week as well to help look after yourself? Maybe try one of these...

              Relax: to become less tense, tight, or stiff
Keep an eye on tense feelings in your body. If you notice your chest is tight, shoulders are hunched, or a sore neck (to name a few), stop a minute, stretch, go for a walk, take a breath.   
If you've had an ache or pain that's been bugging you for a while (sore back anyone?) - get it checked out! The longer they stick around, the more work they take to recover from. Visit a professional who can give you some helpful stretches and advice you can follow or do from home.
Start an easy stretching routine - Stretching is a great way to loosen your body, relax your mind, and take a quick break (often without leaving your work or home!). We found this guide quite helpful and easy to follow or ask your health adviser for ideas.

: to stop feeling nervous or worried
Ask: "Does this really need to be done or resolved now?" 
Try a mindfulness exercise: Check out Smiling Mind 
Create a relaxing environment at work or home: Try encouraging verses, reducing clutter, or nice music (more ideas here)
Talk to & pray with someone
: It's often the job of clergy families to listen to others, but remember you are worth listening to as well. Call a trusted friend, organise to catch up with someone outside of church, or find an understanding counsellor.

Spend time resting or doing something enjoyable especially after you have been doing work Create a soothing bedtime routine: We enjoyed these suggestions!
Enjoy your favourite treat:
I love a good chocolate bar or an ice water, or fresh fruit.  
Define what 'Day Off' means and stick to it: It's worth sitting down with other clergy family members and coming up with some 'rules' for days off...the sky's the limit!
Create a Relaxation Board: Often just seeing a picture of a past holiday or the smiles of family members can rejuvenate you enough to keep going. Try starting here!

We always love to hear your ideas. How do you find time to relax? Add your ideas below.

~ Rachel