Deep breath

And breathe…
There is something deeply refreshing about pausing to breathe. This may be because I don’t do it nearly enough. Work, school, sorting through belongings to prepare for a move, trying to be a good wife (daughter, sister, friend) and other wonderful things can crowd in and slowly deflate me.

About a month ago I asked friends (mostly ministers) on twitter how they practice Sabbath and self care. A few laughed at me. Others said they recognize the need, but admitted they haven’t quite figured out how to fit self care in. Still others gave me a variety of responses from massage therapy (my favorite — I’m trying to figure out how to accomplish THAT one!) to reading to exercise to just. being.

I wondered what I’ve been doing… turns out it is mostly watching TV shows on netflix with my husband. We made it through the entire series of Scrubs this semester (finished last night). I admit that I often feel guilty about that. And perhaps it is a bit overboard. But I think I needed it — needed something — to breathe. Watching goofy actors face crazy obstacles in a field that is totally different (yet somehow very similar) to my own allowed me to back up and realize that I often take myself too seriously. In reality, my adventures as the one woman in a cohort of guys would make very funny TV.

I also take baths. The more bubbles, the better. Sometimes a book accompanies me — although during busy times, it is often a book for class, which probably does not count as Sabbath.

What do you do for self care? for Sabbath? Do you think it is important?

(photo credit)

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4 Comments

Filed under reflection

4 responses to “Deep breath

  1. I’m not so great at this as i mentioned on twitter but when I reflect here are some tips that work for me

    1, Walking when you can it slows you and you notice more
    2, Music – whatever you like really its a place I escape to all the time but its also my weakness
    3, Friends , especially some with who you share an interest that is not work related , a complete escape for me is football I think you call it soccer
    4, Reading again it slows you down but I guess you maybe read so much already , there are a couple of well being books I recommend by Fr Christopher Jamison, Finding Sanctuary and Finding Happiness both are I think also available as audio books if you cant get them let me know and I will sort saomething out
    5, Speaking of sanctuary find a place that makes you feel happy and safe and go to it and be quiet when the world is spinning , even if its only for a few minutes it may just help a bit.

    Take Care

    • Thanks, John. Those are good words. I read a lot of text books, but still enjoy reading non-assigned books! Looks like those books are available on amazon (on kindle, even!). I love the idea of sanctuary. Really, all of these are great ideas.

  2. What a relevant topic, Jennifer.
    Many people have Sabbath on Sunday, but since that is impossible for those of us in the ministry, as you well know, it is necessary to seek Sabbath on another day. Yet, we don’t always carve that out weekly either. Like you and your husband, we also watch many Netflix movies or shows. I, too, feel the guilt at times: where is my time going? However, there are some nights when I just need that escape after the kids are in bed, before the next day is upon me, and it would either be carefully selected choices, or dumb t.v. But other mights, I think the guilt comes from the feeling that I could be redeeming my time with more instructive reading, creative pursuits, etc… because I am not that mentally exhausted.

    Still other times, I have felt like the Lord is calling me to a sabbath day mid-week. Recently, things had been stressful, I had been hard on myself, and it was a Wednesday that I felt Him leading me to consider it a sabbath, not from total chores (impossible!) but almost a mental Sabbath from guilt and worry. I did it, and it was really wonderful.

    Also, we have a very valuable opportunity to get together occasionally with a couple nearby who are also in the ministry. The four of us feel we can really relax around each other without maintaining awareness of our positions in the ministry. We have a lot of fun with them and it is soul refreshing.

    Sabbath seems different for many people, no?

    • Certainly does. And it truly stinks that we feel guilty about something that is good for us (but I don’t think that is rare…). I’m hoping to be able to be more creative with Sabbaths soon. And by that I mean that creating things is a release for me — one I’ve kinda forgotten about in recent years. Hoping by the end of the week o have some order in the house (with sorting through things AND finishing the semester, it has gotten a bit crazy here)… hopefully then will have a good place to relax and work on fun projects.

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