Take a Break
There's a reason why soccer games have halftime. Even professional athletes can't go that long without resting and rehydrating. After 45 minutes of constant action, they need to slow down and recharge. Sometimes, it's an opportunity for them to develop a new game plan; other times, it's just a few minutes of laying down on the field and catching their breath. Either way, they take a break.
I have a Type A personality, no questions about it. I'm constantly busy, oftentimes overwhelmed by everything I have going on in my life. Classes. Work. Clubs. Church. Friends. Family. I have a really hard time saying "no" when asked if I can add one more thing to my schedule.
This summer, one of my goals was to improve my ability to turn down some opportunities in order to decrease my stress level. I've gotten better, but I'm still struggling. ("Yes" just seems so much easier sometimes!) However, in my growth, I have come to realize that part of why I keep getting burned out is because I never stop going, going, going. I barely ever take time away from my normal routine to just relax.
So I took a break.
For 8 days, I traveled back to the city where I attend college to spend time with my church family and friends in the area. In all honesty, I wasn't able to completely ignore all responsibilities like I had hoped. I still checked my e-mail, studied for my GRE, and visited a potential graduate school. But, I did spend most of the time doing things that I enjoyed.
I ate dessert before dinner. I walked around the mall, simply because I was desperate for air conditioning. I watched a meteor shower at 2:00am, and then went back to watch the sunset from the same place that evening. I read over 20 cards in the Hallmark store, just for fun. I watched the Olympics for more hours than I probably should have. I could go on, but I'll spare you the rest of the details.
Today is my first day back to work. While I'm struggling to stay focused, I feel so rested. In my time away, I developed a new game plan and caught my breath. Just like soccer players, we all need to take a break. There's a few weeks left of summer. How are you going to make sure you take a break?
"And Jesus said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31