What a whirlwind this year has been so far. It seems as though everything is going a million miles an hour. Tensions are rising between the great nations of the world, employees and employers are fighting over what constitutes fair wages, blockades are being put into effect that damage movement of goods and supplies, and on a local level…we are facing staffing, finance, and volunteer issues. With everything coming out, being shared, and threatened, it feels like stress for everyone is at an all-time high. What do you do when you are stressed out? How do you take care of your physical, mental, and spiritual health?
One of the most difficult things I have had to learn in my life is letting go, setting boundaries, and taking care of myself. I want to be there for everyone that I can, often to the detriment of my own well-being. I have had to learn the hard way that doing things for myself is not always selfish, but rather self-caring. I am reminded that in the midst of Jesus’ challenges, he would take time before or after each one to be with friends, be alone with God, and do what was needed so that the ministry God had given to him might be accomplished.
For myself, I have learned that spending time alone in the camper, crocheting, reading, or sitting at coffee with a couple close friends is immensely beneficial. Just like Jesus’ example, we each need to take care of our self-care so that we might accomplish the ministry that God has given to each of us. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we run the risk of burning out or in extreme cases total breakdown. So, I circle back to the questions at the beginning of this, what do you do when you are stressed out that is a balm to your body, mind, and spirit? Do you have a good, healthy scream to release the tension (during finals at college, the midnight scream was an honored tradition for many students)? Take a long walk on streets, avenues, or paths that allow you to breathe? Sit down to a loved craft/activity and pass some time in joy? Sit down with friends for stories, laughs, or just a comforting presence?
In all times and in all places, seek to be with God. Allow God to be the constant in all things, then perhaps the stresses of the world will not be challenging to face.