What do you do to de-stress?
This is easily the most difficult semester I’ve ever had at my ministry internship. One class about deep, theological issues, another class about DIFFERENT deep, theological issues, and a third that is simple, but overloaded with information. Lots of reading for all classes, plus the homework, plus the intern hours. Also, I had to rejoin choir, so I lost my Wednesday nights for practice. Thursday mornings used to be free for me to do my homework, but now we have intern devotions every week and Thursday nights have been taken up by an ill-timed weekly church meeting. So add in trying to see my wife, working, planning the future, my own spiritual life and the issues there in, trying to work out and stay fit, as well as this very blog and other writing projects, I’m a rather busy man!
So I tried to find ways to relax myself. I played video games or listened to music or wrote, but I still found myself losing sleep. Finally, last Thursday, I was just in a bad mood at school, during intern hours, at home, it was nasty.
As usual, my wife knew me better than I knew myself. She told me to sit down on the couch and lay back. I did and ooooooh, mama. That did the trick, but even better, she took off my socks and began to rub my feet. Foot rubs are one of those things you never know you need until you’re getting on and I reiterate: ooooooh, mama!
Laying there in podiatry bliss, I suddenly realized just how wonderful and relaxed I felt and I knew why. I told my wife, “I need some time to just relax every day.”
My wife said, “That’s right. Take some time to just read or play a game or whatever you want.”
“No, no,” I said. “Here’s the problem: I’m still doing something when I do those things. I need to take five minutes each day to just sit on the couch and stare at the wall. No music, no books, nothing be me and a blank stare. It’d also be a good time to wait patiently on God. The point is: I need to sit still.”
Have you ever tried to balance your heavy workload with fun/leisurely activities? They may work sometimes, but when you’re particularly busy, even that doesn’t satisfy anymore. Why? Because even though you have fun doing those things, you’re still DOING something when your body just wants to CHILL.
So I’m going to try it, just sitting still for five minutes a day, eyes closed, preferably, and just let the world worry about itself for a moment.
And I’m not a slacker; this is Biblical. Ever heard of a Sabbath? That was God’s plan for mankind to rest and recharge. We’re not built to run forever, nor is it good to. We get caught up in what we’re doing and lost sight of who we are. That’s already happened to me, and the continued work just piles on the stress, which our body needs even less!
So I want to know: do you take time in your day to just relax, and I mean really relax?
What do you do to chill?
To help, here’s a picture that looks like it would feel really good.