Every now and then, I set myself a culinary challenge. In the past it's been small things like baking cupcakes or cooking a medium-rare roast. But recently, I've dreamed bigger: I'm taking on the perfect scone. I know, it's a big goal but I'm hoping my kitchen & I are up for the challenge! While Matt is more than happy to devour whatever I bake, these challenges are something I do just for me. An article I read by Psychology Today reminded me that doing something just for yourself is vital to ministry, family life & self care. I thought I'd share their 6 reasons in the hope & prayer that they remind you, as they reminded me, to spend a bit of time, love, and attention on yourself every now and then :) I highly recommend reading their article in full here.
- It allows you to reboot your brain and unwind (The ministry lifestyle is intense! I've heard more than one clergy couple say it can feel like it never ends. Letting your mind rest, with no distractions can clear the air and help you see more clearly. Is there a sound, a drink, or a book you enjoy that helps you unwind?)
- It helps improve concentration and increase productivity (Letting your mind work free from distractions, emails, phone calls means you can get your work done faster! What a fabulous idea, maybe the internet and phone can rest for an hour during your work day?)
- Gives you an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice (With so many people in ministry, do you ever notice you lose track of what you think compared to others around you? Taking a step back can give you a chance to get to know you, what you think, and what decisions you might want to make. Maybe it's worth dusting off the old log book or journal and getting re-accquainted with yourself...)
- Provides time for you to think deeply (Psychology Today suggests alone time gives you a chance to put your to do list on hold and step back to think about things on a deeper level than the busyness of everyday life might usually allow. A wonderful idea! Sometimes I find if I don't write something onto my to do list it won't happen - could you add 'Me Time' to yours?!)
- Helps you work through problems more effectively (With a world full of advice at your fingertips, it can be worth taking what you know and thinking problems or issues through alone, particularly if it's one of those emotionally difficult decisions that often come with ministry. Where do you go to think?)
- Enhances the quality of your relationships with others (Spending time with yourself helps you know who you are and what sort of relationships you want around you. Are you happy? Do you enjoy spending time with those around you? Is someone missing? It can be so difficult to make and maintain friendships as well as family connections during the busyness, but the joy these relationships can give you makes the life God gave you that much richer :)
This great article continues on with some simple & easy suggestions to get more time alone - I highly recommend reading it :)